In recent years I’ve noticed that once we reach October, it might as well be January because these last three months of the year go by so quickly! Since we’re in the midst of planning our older daughter’s wedding, I think that will be even more true this year.
Last week we talked about some keys to having a good marriage, so today I thought we’d talk a bit about parenting. The same principle applies to this topic as it did to marriage – I’ve been doing it for a lot of years, but I’m still learning!
Below is a list of ten ways that a wise woman parents her children. I didn’t include love on the list – because as moms, I would hope that’s a given – but certainly, loving our children is the basis for all of the other attributes we’ll look at.
A wise woman parents her children…
1. …with grace.
She doesn’t expect perfection. She trains her children and has expectations for their behavior, but she knows we’re all sinners.
Yes, our children will sin. Actually quite often, in certain stages. And consequences will be necessary. But let’s remember our own struggles and give grace to our children as they learn to choose right and overcome wrong.
2. …with prayer.
We’d expect this to be on the list. But do we recognize the importance of praying for our children daily? We want to be talking to God about our children, asking for His protection, for His guidance, for Him to be working in their lives. (If you want a quick list, here are 5 Prayers to Pray for Your Children Every Day.)
3. …with self-control.
Step away from the harsh words and the angry tone! In the heat of the moment when dealing with our children, those reactions may make us feel better momentarily. But as James 1:20 tells us, the anger of man doesn’t produce the righteousness of God.
Ask the Holy Spirit to allow the fruit of self-control to be evident in your life as you parent your children.
4. …with wisdom.
We know about James 1:5 where we’re told that if we ask for wisdom, God will give it to us. I’ve never needed wisdom more than in parenting! (Here’s a prayer for wisdom in parenting.)
We also need discernment, whether it’s making sure to get the whole story before making a decision or knowing how to handle different situations that come up. I like Proverbs 31:27 which says, “She looketh well to the ways of her household…” A wise woman is aware of what’s going on with her people and is able to act wisely because of it.
5. …with a long view.
We’re not parenting for today. Our goal is to raise adults who love and want to serve God and others. So what we do today needs to work toward that end.
We’re seeking to build character and teach our children how to make good decisions and wise choices on their own. Doing that training while they’re under our roof allows us to help guide them so they can learn from their mistakes.
6. …with courage.
It’s not always easy to stand up to culture, to lead your family in doing what you believe is right. It takes determination and endurance to follow through on how you believe God would have you parent your children.
7. …with patience.
I can think of a number of ways this applies…some as practical as being patient while you’re sitting in the car waiting for a late sports practice to end!
Here’s another fruit of the Spirit (longsuffering) that we can exemplify in our parenting. The quick results we want to see in our kids’ behavior or character may take longer than anticipated to develop. But seeing them (maybe finally!) mature and watching God work in their lives is a blessing worth waiting for.
8. …with hope.
In the daily grind of parenting, it can be easy to think that we’ll forever be correcting and disciplining our children. Or as our older children make decisions that disappoint us, we can get discouraged.
But we have a God who hears our prayers and who is always at work in our children’s lives…and in ours. Psalm 71:14 says, “ But I will hope continually, and will yet praise thee more and more.“
9. …with humility.
I’ve been parenting for over twenty years and I still learn new things about how to do it better. May we never think we know it all, but always be open to growing in our knowledge and in our relationships with our kids.
10. …with a sense of humor.
Yes, parenting is serious business, but remember to look at the lighter side of things, too. Laugh with your children. Find fun things to do together.
In blessing our lives with children, God has given us a great privilege and responsibility. May we go to God in prayer and follow the truths we find in His Word so that we can do it wisely!
- 20 Things I’ve Learned in 20 Years of Parenting
- 7 Life Principles from Proverbs to Teach Our Children
- 10 Ways to Manage All the Hopes and Dreams We Have for Our Children