Wisdom in Winter – Day 1 – Foundations

Read

By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through; knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.
Proverbs 24:3-4

Reflect

A few years ago, we had a conservatory-style extension built at the back of our house. I had watched enough home renovation programmes (my guilty pleasure) to have a rough idea of the chaos that would ensue, but what really took me by surprise was the depth of the foundations. For a moment, I thought we were actually creating a swimming pool! The builders really did have to dig deep in order to build something strong.

Today’s proverb teaches us that wisdom is our strong foundation. We need wisdom to build with understanding and to furnish with knowledge. This is our Heavenly Architect’s grand design for life. Jesus echoes this proverb when he says:

“Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the storms rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.” Matthew 7:24-27

We are reminded that a wise person builds their house on strong rock and not on shifting sand and it is God’s wisdom that provides the foundation that enables us to withstand the inevitable storms of life.

My word, don’t we need this wisdom and understanding in all our relationships, especially in our relationships with our children? It’s often easy to be blown about by our feelings, which can range from contentment and peace to exhaustion and catastrophe in the space of a day (OK, sometimes in the space of an hour).

Our confidence about how we feel as a parent can often be skewed by how many plates we failed to juggle, how many tantrums we endured or simply by how many hours sleep we got last night. We’re encouraged to build our house on the rock, yet more often than not our feet can feel like they are pacing around in shifting sand.

Thankfully, God’s wisdom is a permanent foundation and his unconditional love and forgiveness are what enables us to show that same love and forgiveness to others. He gives us peace and strategy when we don’t know what to do.

He encourages us to step back and to understand what the issues and pressures are, whether we are battling with a toddler who won’t eat vegetables or a teenager who has not-so-carefully stored every plate in the house on their bedroom floor. It’s God’s wisdom that can help us to manage both our expectations and our reactions.

In the different stages of my parenting journey, I’ve also been so grateful for parenting courses and other parents who have helped me to grow in wisdom and understanding. There’s nothing like discovering it’s not only you who is facing a challenge.

I thank God for role models who’ve been there and done that (and survived!). They have helped me to be honest and to make wiser choices in each phase – from potty training to empty nesting.

We will never have all the wisdom we need pre-installed, and (rather frustratingly) every child is completely different, so there won’t necessarily be a one-size-fits-all approach, but we can learn from each other.

As we gain wisdom from digging deep foundations in the word of God, and learning from each other, we may just find that we are able to share that wisdom with somebody else along the way.

Respond

  • What foundations of wisdom do you have in place, which help you to not get blown off course by feelings or circumstances?
  • What parenting resources or courses could you use to help you grow in understanding for the phase of family life that you are in right now?
  • If life is challenging at the moment, can you think of any role models you could connect with to gain wisdom and insight for the season you are in?

Cathy’s top tip

Save an encouraging Bible verse as a screensaver on your phone, or write it down and place it on your mirror or fridge as a reminder at key points in the day.

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