Monday, August 27, 2012

Parenting from Proverbs: Seeking Counsel and Wisdom

I started a new personal Bible study today – studying through Proverbs. One type of application I’m specifically looking for is how the wisdom from this book pertains to parenting, and how I can apply it in my life to be a better Christian parent.

There are many ideas that could be considered from Proverbs 1, but I specifically considered Proverbs 1:5.

A wise man will hear and increase learning, and a man of understanding will attain wise counsel.

Proverbs 1 is filled with information about wisdom, and how to gain wisdom in one’s life. Proverbs 1:5 states that a wise man will not only hear, but also increase learning as well as that a wise man will seek wise counsel. Parenting is a difficult task, and I know I can gain much by seeking wise counsel about parenting. Where can I go for wise counsel on parenting?

First, I need to look to God’s Holy Word and His example as our Father. Only a couple of verses down, Solomon writes in Proverbs 1:7: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” I must have the proper view and reverence for God. God is the perfect example of a Father for us, and through His Word He has given us “all things that pertain to life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3). This includes parenting.

Secondly, I can look to the instruction and counsel given to me by my parents. I am blessed with Christian parents, and I’m thankful to be raised in a Christian home and to be taught the wonderful gospel of Jesus Christ. Solomon writes in Proverbs 1:8-9: “My son, hear the instruction of your father, And do not forsake the law of your mother; For they will be a graceful ornament on your head, and chains about your neck.”

Additionally, I can look to other Christians for guidance in parenting. I think about Titus 2, and the instructions given to Titus by Paul to “speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine” (Titus 2:1). Titus was to instruct the older women to teach the younger women: “the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things— that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children,  to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed” (Titus 2:3-5). On the surface, it might appear that only one of the items in the list – to love their children – would involve instruction about parenting; however, instruction in all the areas mentioned would encourage better parenting. For example, I think part of my duty as a Christian mother is to exhibit how to love and be obedient to my husband, and without doing such things I would certainly be lacking as a parent.

The last section of Proverbs 1 warns about the danger in not heeding instruction and wisdom, and concludes with the blessing that can come if one does seek wisdom: “But whoever listens to me [wisdom]  will dwell safely, And will be secure without fear of evil” (Proverbs 1:33). As a Christian, I need to be seeking Godly wisdom in all my endeavors, including parenting.