“Then He told them what they could expect for themselves: ‘Anyone who intends to come with Me has to let Me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat—I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow Me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, My way, to finding yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you?’” (Luke 9:24–25, The Message)
We’re in that stage of parenting where the days of controlling exactly what our kids eat, when they go to sleep and where they go are mostly over. Our teenagers (and even our darling, baby-of-the-family tween) view our instructions as mere suggestions, not from a disrespectful “my parents are irrelevant” posture, but in that “I know better what I need and how to take care of myself” sort of way. They’re becoming real life humans—yes, I know they already were, but now they’re forming their own opinions, developing a deeper inner life and exercising their free will (and not necessarily always in tandem with us).
So as our parenting has evolved from micromanaging little ones to overseeing teens, our parenting style has shifted to more coaching and shepherding tones. This last week we had moments with each where we couldn’t just say no to something without reason. We had to ask questions, present some guidelines and extend a philosophy for pursuing and exercising wisdom. Not just man’s wisdom, but God’s wisdom. He created you, we told them, so He knows you best of all.
As we were coaching our child, I started to feel that uncomfortable, but all-too-familiar feeling of conviction. The Lord whispered in my ear, “This is for you, too.”
He was telling me to consider what I consume, how I engage with things, where I invest my time and whom I acquire wisdom from. He brought moments to mind, where I was unwise or acted poorly. He didn’t spell it out for me, with a diagram of how to make wise choices or the outline of a choose your own adventure novel. But rather, in His pursuit of me and as His child in what I already knew of Him, I recognized the sound of His gentle, yet steady voice and knew without question how I was meant to live.
Apparently, I still need a shepherding parent, too, to help me fill in the gaps of my understanding with His perfect wisdom, boundless grace and open arms. I may lack (a lot!) in the perfect and boundless department, but my arms are open wide, trusting Jesus will fill in the rest.
Warmly in Christ, Karen Huber
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” (James 1:5, NIV)
Choose a portion of Scripture to pray over someone you love: a neighbor, friend or your child. Read it aloud and insert their name into the text, asking for God’s direct intercession and wisdom in their lives. How does it change your own posture to see God engage with them personally through His Word? How does it change how God sees you?
Share with a trusted friend or colleague about an area in your life where you need God’s wisdom or fresh perspective. Ask God how He might still minister through you, even in your questioning or uncertainty.