Have you ever been irritated by a person who “knows it all”? Or more precisely, someone who ACTS like they know it all?
(truth be told, NO ONE knows it all)
This is very common with parenting advice…
- “Well, when I was potty training….”
- “My child never…”
- “My child always…”
BEWARE OF THOSE WHO USE “ALWAYS” and “NEVER”!
It is rare for life to be so absolute, isn’t it?
These statements sometimes come from a parent of an only child – a compliant only child. Where is the control group? Where are the variables of gender and birth order?
The reality of parenting is that we don’t have all the answers.
I heard a preacher say recently “it isn’t about having all the answers… it is about knowing who to go to for the answers.”
I remember Elizabeth Elliot challenging young women at a conference in 1990 – “I don’t know what you are facing in your life today…but I know the One who does.”
Prayer is an amazing practice that opens our hearts and minds to receive God’s wisdom. Does this mean that when I pray I will receive an audible response telling me what to do?
Yet I do believe that God will respond to our requests for wisdom. I have experienced this myself many times. God promises to do so in His Word.
James 1:5 (ESV)
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.
This promise applies to us as parents. James goes on to say in this same letter –
James 3:17 (ESV)
17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.
This is not the kind of wisdom that makes one feel dumb, ignorant, or inexperienced. It is …
- open to reason
- full of mercy
That list embodies JUST the kind of wisdom I need when I don’t know the answer.
This wisdom may come from a thought given by the Holy Spirit. It may come from a friend who is unaware you even have a concern. The wisdom may be from something you read or hear on the radio. It may be in a song. God will use various means to answer our prayers for wisdom. His wisdom.
It is the kind of wisdom young mothers should seek.
It is the kind of wisdom grandmothers should share.
Gentle, not judgemental.
Open to reason, not hard and fast.
Full of mercy…knowing that God has shown mercy to me more times than I can count.
May we seek Jesus so we can receive His wisdom.
I may not know – but I know the One who does.