Six years ago, we were newly married, starting our journey together as husband and wife. We weren’t even pregnant yet. We decided we would go through the book of James together. My husband memorized it. I prayed it daily for him, myself, us, and our future. We entered into our marriage with difficult relationships around us. We needed wisdom for how to navigate these relationships and for how to head into our future together. James was a perfect book to study through as newlyweds.
Today, our boys are five and four. And I’m going through the book of James again with a small group of women. I need these verses and the Lord’s voice to enter in to my parenting and give me great wisdom as to how to parent these two little boys. With the Lord’s help, not the world’s wisdom, we can parent well.
He has promised to help us. He has promised to give wisdom to those who ask. He has also given us His Word. This is how the Lord defines wisdom from above. How can we have parenting that is wise – with His wisdom. The following is from James 3.
(Parenting) wisdom from above is pure. It is not bought or coerced. It is done with pure motives. It is without error. This is why we need Jesus in our parenting. We are not perfect. We will always fail in our parenting. Our boys do not ultimately need us – they need Jesus.
(Parenting) wisdom from above is peaceable. Where we don’t raise our voices or cut off our children because we are doing something and they are interrupting. We seek to bring peace (not fairness) to our children’s lives when they are interacting with each other. I seek to appease and pacify, but I find it truly difficult to bring peace in our home. That is why our sons need Jesus – He is our Prince of Peace.
(Parenting) wisdom from above is gentle. Amazingly I find this difficult unless I’m showing affection. I get irritable because I’m being interrupted. I am not gentle if they are doing something wrong. I need a Gentle Shepherd to shepherd my heart so I can in turn shepherd my children’s hearts.
(Parenting) wisdom is open to reason. This is getting easier for me, by the grace of God. Open to reason in parenting is (I think) being willing to hear help from others. These tips and help may come from my husband, my friends, my pediatrician, books I’m reading, etc. Find those moms and dads who are (generally) ahead of you in the parenting game and seek them to pour into your life as a parent. Watch them. Learn from them. And that is why we need Jesus, He is all-wise and the perfect teacher.
(Parenting) wisdom from above is full of mercy. Isn’t God so rich in mercy! I love it. I apply this to some discipline. And hear me out – this does not mean never disciplining your children when they have disobeyed. This means walking in step with the Savior who showed you great mercy and plead with them to know how to interact with your children at all times. They may have done something wrong. And the best way to show them Jesus in that particular moment is by talking to them about Jesus – not giving them a timeout or spanking. Jesus is lavish in mercy to us!
(Parenting) wisdom from above is full of good fruits. Abundantly pouring out in good fruits. This is an opportunity for you to encourage your kids. One saying we use in our our is “God is helping you become more…” We don’t want to tell our kids that they are acting better to focus on their good works. We want to help them realize that everything good in them is from God. And to not wait for the big things they do, but be encouraging them in the times you see any kind of good fruit – even a little bud. And Jesus helps us bear fruit if we abide in Him!
(Parenting) wisdom from above is impartial . See the pure paragraph above.
(Parenting) wisdom from above is sincere. It is hard to be a mom. Even those who love being a mom every moment find some moments hard. But, let us sincerely think about Jesus has called us to. To shape little hearts and minds. To point them to Christ. To grow little boys into men who will one day shape the world around them. Jesus sincerely came to this world to save us.
(Parenting) wisdom from above will reap a harvest. We can definitely know that God will bless efforts to shepherd our children and reward us. It is a promise. And he is faithful.
One tool I’ve found in helping me pass on wisdom to my children – and hope in the Gospel – is Pass it On by Champ Thornton. It is a Bible study on Proverbs, with a great introduction to the book, commentary some, focusing on the Gospel (how Jesus fulfills wisdom). But it is also a journal for you to fill out and pass along your thoughts to your children. I’ve started doing this for my sons. It could be used once a week, 30 minutes, and it would take you less than a year for each kid. What a treasure it would be for your children.
Pass It On was given to me by Litfuse. All thoughts are my own.