A Home Built By Wisdom
by Willie Batson, MA
Have you ever seen a marriage or parenting seminar on wisdom? It is not a very popular concept. Many of us are looking for something more tangible, like five steps to keep your child from whining and complaining or three trouble-free ways to get your husband to tell you what he is thinking.
Yet, the Bible is clear that the major tool for building a home is wisdom. Solomon the Sage announced, “A house is built by wisdom and becomes strong through good sense” (Proverbs 24:3, New Living Translation).
Wisdom is often described as something you have when you become old. Being old is no guarantee of being wise. In the Bible, wisdom is the ability to see with discernment from God’s perspective. Now I am all for that! How do you get that kind of wisdom?
It seems too simple, but all you have to do is ask God for it. “If you need wisdom – if you want to know what God wants you to do – ask him, and he will gladly tell you. He will not resent your asking” (James 1:5, NLT). I have read many books and articles on the subjects of marriage and parenting. Nevertheless, I have stood flabbergasted in front of my children, not knowing how to respond to a desperate situation. The only thing I could do was pray for wisdom from heaven.
Charles Sell tells of a distraught father who stood before his kicking and screaming child. He was baffled by his son’s temper tantrums. When his son started beating his head against the floor, the father dropped his chin to his chest, shaking his head in a silent prayer, “Help me know what to do.” When an idea flashed, he got down on his knees, grabbed his son’s head, and said, “Here, let me help you bang it.” Careful not to hurt his son, he helped him with his tantrum, instead of resisting it. His surprised son stopped, cured of using tantrums that no longer worked.
It worked for him at the time, but do not assume that his method is universally applicable. Children are different. That’s an understatement! Your child may not respond positively to an approach that works for another child. That is why we need to have God’s wisdom when dealing with our children. Who knows them better than He does?
Knowing the difference between the two kinds of wisdom that are available is crucial to building relationships wisely.
Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. (James 3:13-17, NIV)
The first kind of wisdom is unspiritual, coming from this world and the devil. The result is brokenness and bitterness. Family builders using this kind of wisdom lack humility and are not living a good life. In their homes, you find disorder and immorality.
The second kind of wisdom is very different. In the home that is filled with spiritual wisdom you find people who love peace, who are gentle in how they relate to each other, who are willing to yield to others, who readily show mercy, and who sincerely treat each other with fairness. The wise family builder will do everything possible to find this treasure trove of wisdom that is from heaven.
We also gain wisdom from the realm of life experiences. Repeated mistakes reveal our failure to learn from the good and bad circumstances of life. The cartoonist Charles Shultz used an episode in the life of Charlie Brown to accentuate this truth. Charlie Brown had carefully fashioned a sand castle on the beach. Stepping back to admire his work, the castle was demolished by a wave that came crashing onto shore. Charlie Brown’s response was, “There must be a lesson here, but I don’t know what it is.” The wise family builder learns from the adversities of life.
There are many great tools for building your marriage and family life. However, they are dangerous in the hands of someone who does not know how to use them wisely.
©2003 William Batson – All Rights Reserved
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