Do you parent with wisdom from above?

Posted on · Posted in Parenting, Wisdom

James tells the story of two kinds of wisdom. In Chapter 3:13-18, he talks about wisdom from above and contrasts it with “wisdom” that is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. Which of these two forms of wisdom characterize your parenting? How can you tell the difference?

The answer is shocking and disarming. If the “wisdom” that you deploy is different that what is described in verse 17 then it is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. There is no middle ground.

Honestly look at what verse 17 says is wisdom from above. Cry out to God for the courage and faith to show your children this kind of wisdom. Remember, anything else is described by the Holy Spirit as earthly, unspiritual, demonic.

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.

Pure: This means having a genuine, undivided heart. Your first desire is to bring honor to God and not be concerned with serving yourself.

Peaceable: Do your children see you as someone who brings peace instead of someone who is irritated at their failures.

Gentle: Even when discipline and rebuke are called for, do you speak with the power of gentleness and humility as God does with you?

Open to Reason: Do your children and your spouse say that you are someone who is easy to approach; who is eager to hear what they have to say before making a decision? Do you submit yourself to scripture instead of your own understanding? Are you a refuge for them or a demanding task master?

Full of Mercy and Good Fruits: God has poured out his mercy to you, when you did not deserve it. Does this mercy flow from you to your family? See Ephesians 4:32 as well.

Impartial and Sincere: Do you defer to Scripture or to your own desires? Do you have favorites? Is your parenting marked by a sincere love of God’s truth.

Are there fights and quarrels in your family? James 4:1 asks don’t they come from the battle of two forms of wisdom raging within you.

Do something about it. Ask God for wisdom from above! Choose this wisdom so that you and your family may know the mercy and peace of God.

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Jay Younts
John A. (Jay) Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger, and is a ruling elder serving at Redeemer Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He has written Everyday Talk, Everyday Talk About Sex & Marriage, Finding the Right Track, the In Touch With Paul stewardship series, and What About War. He has studied and taught about biblical childrearing for 30 years. He and his late wife Ruth have five adult children.