What is your “issue” right now? The one you don’t have the answer to, or the one that’s really dragging you down?
God has something to say to you about it!
Last weekend at the Zimmerman Campus, Pastor Jason talked about staying true to your faith when you feel pressured to conform to the stress, slander, depression, and other destructive tendencies of the world around you. At the end of the talk, he said something that hit me hard: “When you have a problem, don’t go rant about it on Facebook looking for advice – how much does that even help? Instead, go to the Bible! Find out the truth about your situation and get some real wisdom!”
That very morning, I had considered posting something on Facebook about my toddler’s defiant behavior. I was trying to figure out if I needed to “hold the line” or “choose my battles” (and let her have her way).
Every child is different and there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to training, but I hoped that some other moms out there might commiserate and offer suggestions. The whole situation has caused a lot of tension in our home and a lot of hurtful words have been spoken. It needs to stop!
I thought twice about posting, though, when I thought about how many negative things are said about 2-year-olds. I didn’t want to open a door for people to explain away her behavior by claiming she IS “defiant” or “stubborn” or “bossy” or “in the terrible twos!” (all things I’ve thought). Not to mention – I don’t want to blast my child’s sin all over the internet!
So when I heard what Pastor Jason said Sunday morning, I thought, “Wow. That’s exactly what I thought about sharing this! Except – where in the Bible do I look?” As soon as that thought disappeared, the word “PROVERBS” replaced it. I shrugged it off in the moment. But later that night, when I was thinking about how cool it was that God spoke so directly to my situation in church, I heard it again, but this time it was more specific: “PROVERBS 10!”
Here’s what Proverbs 10 says:
10:1 – “A wise child brings joy to a father; a foolish child brings grief to a mother.”
10:10 – “People who wink at wrong cause trouble, but a bold reproof promotes peace.”
10:17 – “People who accept discipline are on the pathway to life, but those who ignore correction will go astray.
10:8 – “The wise are glad to be instructed…”
10:14 – “Wise people treasure knowledge…”
The more I read, the more clear my answer was: train your child to be wise. Help her make wise decisions and accept correction by showing her clear boundaries. This will set her up for success in the long run.
But God showed me even more than what I was looking for! Here’s HOW I need to set up those boundaries:
10:19 – “Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut.”
10:11 – “The words of the godly are a life-giving fountain…”
10:13 – “Wise words come from the lips of people with understanding…”
10:21 – “The words of the godly encourage many…”
Basically – STOP TALKING so much! And when I do speak, it needs to be words of life. Words that encourage and help and bring wisdom.
Then I thought, “Great. How am I supposed to find those words?” In response, I heard in my head a very clear “JAMES 1!”
In James, God showed me that to get wisdom from Him, all I have to do is ask (James 1:5). He also let me know that this is just a test, and through it my faith will be strengthened and more joy in my family will be the result (James 1:2-3). I can get through this test by being “quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry” (James 1:19).
Most importantly, though, God reminded me that “whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father” (James 1:17). This little girl – this “independent” (to put it nicely) 2-year-old – is a GIFT from God. In the heat of the moment, it might be hard to be slow to speak and slow to get angry, but that doesn’t change the fact that God entrusted ME with this beautiful gift. And if that’s the case, I can trust HIM (my Father) to give me the strength I need in that hard moment to give her the wise, gracious, and patient correction that she needs – just like God did for me through this whole process!
None of this understanding came about from my superior reading skills or knowledge – it came about because I believed what it says James 1:5 that God would provide the wisdom I need when I asked, and I believed John 16:13 when Jesus said that the Holy Spirit will guide me to the truth about my situation. And I believed that the Bible is living and active – that God speaks to us through it! (Hebrews 4:12)
As believers, we have the amazing gifts of the Holy Spirit and God’s Word. When we listen to His direction, we get the wisdom
and strength to get through any difficult situation we face.
I know this to be true, because I immediately practiced what I learned today – and my daughter and I had the best day we’ve had in a long time!
Now it’s your turn. Ask God to give you that wisdom – or strength, or peace, or comfort, or joy (take your pick; He promises them all for you) – and open the Bible. I can’t wait to see what He does in your life!