If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.
Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such wisdom does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure, then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.
These two verses have really made me do some thinking about my parenting. Everyday I find myself in unfamiliar territory, wondering "Now what do I do?" Exactly what do you do when you find your 18 month old busting eggs all over the kitchen floor, or your 3 year old pulls down his pants to show the neighbor something cool, or your 5 year old that tells you he hates you when you punish him? I need wisdom!
What does wisdom look like in a very practical sense? James 3 says it is a good life with deeds done in humility, pure, peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy, bears good fruit (as in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness and self-control). True wisdom is impartial and sincere.
So I started thinking what if I could discipline our kids with a spirit of humility? Do I recognize that I am a sinner, just like our kids? Does that cause me to humble myself and seek God's wisdom in discipline? What if I could model purity in everything I did? Or peace? Am I considerate of others, like Jesus in Philippians 2? Do I submit to God and to my husband? What if I was full of mercy, full of the fruits of the spirit? Am I impartial? Am I sincere?
How do all these things impact my parenting? What changes do I need to make? More importantly how would it impact our children, what changes would I see in them?
It isn't far-fetched to think that parenting with these characteristics, with wisdom, would benefit our children. So how do I get there? ASK GOD! He will give me wisdom, because He is generous. He wants me to have His wisdom so I can impact these babies for Him, so they can impact the world for Him!
I need to ask God for wisdom before I interact with our kids, before I talk with them, before I discipline them, before I play with them, teach them, before I read the Bible with them. All day everyday! And I can be confident that God will give me what I need when I need it, because His word promises it!
drawing by EMR, courtesy of Linda Taylor (found in a book)