Parenting advice is everywhere. Bookstores are full of books on the subject, advocating every possible angle and opinion. The internet has websites, news articles, and blogs that can fill your head with both fact and fiction. It's not always easy to tell which is which. And you can't forget the unsolicited parenting advice from family and friends. You can't forget it because they won't let you. With all the advice available you would think parents would be well prepared for any situation that that might arise. From my interactions with other parents, and from my own experience, we have plenty of advice, maybe even too much advice; what we need is wisdom.
So where can you find wisdom for parenting? All the information out there seems to contradict itself, and what works for one kid or one family doesn't always work for another. Is there any source that can be trusted to provide real wisdom?
Yes, there is! The Bible has plenty of wisdom that you can use in parenting, and it is the best source to trust for information. It is God's word and no one is more trustworthy than he is.
I'm going to give you a few passages that you can find in the book of Proverbs. These can be used in your daily life and in your parenting. They are also good to pass on to your children. By the way, I used the New International Version here.
- Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. – Wisdom comes from God. We've already realized that we don't understand everything we need to or want to, so we need to trust in God. If we will acknowledge who he is, trust him, and follow him, he will guide us on the right path. He will show us what to do, or he will give us the wisdom to make a good decision.
- Proverbs 3:3 Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. – In all of our interactions with our children we should keep love and loyalty for them in the forefront of our minds, words, and actions. That can be hard when things aren't going right or there's anger in the air. The verse says we should wear love and faithfulness like a necklace around our neck and in our heart. If we do that it will be much easier to act and react with the proper attitude. It will also be easier to make wise decisions instead of rash or impulsive decisions.
- Proverbs 4:20-22 My son, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to a man's whole body. - This verse also applies in the same way to women and their daughters; it's not just for men and their sons. God's word provides wisdom that can protect you, even save your life, if you follow it. And the same applies for your children. God's word can protect you and your children and help you both when you face trouble.
The book of Proverbs has many verses that speak specifically about how to handle relationships, money, work, and character issues. The rest of the Bible also has many examples of good and bad parenting and many words of wisdom that you can use in your parenting journey. You'll find freedom in those pages from indecision and confusion and freedom from all the chaotic voices trying to give you advice. If you need wisdom for parenting, or for any other part of your life, God's word is the best resource you'll find.
From my parent's heart to yours,
Joy Goodman is a mom whose mission is to encourage parents and to celebrate joys of being a parent.