“Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold. She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her.” Proverbs 3:13-15
What does it mean, as parents who love the Lord Jesus, to seek out God’s Wisdom in parenting?
Granted, I don’t have a definitive answer. All I have is what I read in the Bible, what I have experienced myself, and what I’ve seen from other Parents (including my own).
First, there are a couple of ground-rules.
* In my experience, wisdom is not about having to get everything right exactly always forever. You are not going to agree with everyone, or please everyone.
Mums who breast-feed will have people who disagree with them. Mums who bottle-feed will be told they are wrong. Dads who teach their sons how to play contact sport will have people worried. Dads who decide to leave sport out of their sons lives will be accused and belittled. Mums who do not go to “back to work” will be socially neglected, and Mums who do work after having babies will find themselves under fire. Dads who strive for obedience in their children will be told they are wrong to do so. And Dads who are afraid of becoming what they were brought up with will have mutterings about the state of their children.
* Seeking God’s wisdom, in parenting and in all other facets of life, means being humble. Meek and lowly. Allowing for the possibility that you are and have been doing something wrong. Not beating yourself up when the Lord reveals it to you, but acknowledging your failing and moving on with the God-given portion of wisdom to correct and align to His will.
Decision-making as Parents is tough. Which choice do I make right now and how will it affect the short-, medium- and long-term relationships with my children and my spouse?
There are questions of process in terms of discipline (send them to their room, or take away priveleges, or smart their bottom), and routine (where do we eat breakfast, lunch, dinner?).
It’s all important. Sure, some things carry more weight, but if you spend a little time thinking and praying about these things, I believe you’re in a much better position to be led in the path of God’s wisdom in bringing up your children.
Because as believers in Christ, we are called to carry His yoke. We are called to obedience. That means to work out in prayer, before Him, what we should be doing as Christian Parents.
It’s Him that we should be striving to please. Which means, in my mind, that when I come under fire for my parenting I shouldn’t get too much up in arms. Sure, there are times to say what you need to say, but under the Sovereign Will of the Almighty, He will look after those folk. Look to your own.
So I look to my own. Yes, that person doesn’t seem to be following wisdom with their children. Okay, so what? The Lord grant them an opening of their eyes. And Lord, please open my eyes, humble me that I would be meek and lowly before You, as our Saviour, Your Son was.
Because, let’s face it, we know how hard it is to be a Parent, a Christian Parent who believes they need to lead and nurture their children in the paths of the Almighty God above. We know it’s incredibly difficult to walk the Narrow Way, because the world buffets us, the Wide Road beckons and calls, and because Satan is determined to drive whatever wedges he can between us and God.
I don’t understand why Parents make certain decisions. But that’s okay. I’m 100% sure it’s true the other way. Sometimes my own decisions baffle even me. Of course, that’s because Doctor Who was a hero of mine, and we all know Time Lords act a little strangely.
What do we know?
We know the Bible is clear on wisdom, and the seeking of it.
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding.” Psalm 111:10
“Get wisdom; get insight; do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth. Do not forsake her, and she will keep you; love her, and she will guard you. The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight. Prize her highly, and she will exalt you; she will honor you if you embrace her. She will place on your head a graceful garland; she will bestow on you a beautiful crown.” Proverbs 4:5-9
How do I make decisions about parenting?
I try really REALLY hard to not be led in the opposite way of what other parents are doing that I don’t think is wise. That’s not cool.
Decision-making is about seeking wisdom from On High. The insight to know the Will of God for our family. It’s not always clear, and it’s pretty much always hard .. But that’s okay.
God doesn’t call me to act on my own instinct. He calls me to obedience, as a Follower of Christ, and as a Father, as a Parent (in more ways too, obviously). How are we to obey? The verses above, and many more in those wonderful Psalms and Proverbs, seem pretty clear.
We seek out wisdom. We read the Bible every day. We commune with God in prayer every day. If our spouse is alive / around, we do our best to marry with them in our thoughts and deeds, in Parenting and otherwise.
And, we Fear the Lord. Because that is the start, the alpha, the beginning of wisdom.