Later this year, I have the privilege of speaking at an event called .MOM (pronounced: dot-mom). I’m so looking forward to sharing the platform with women like Angela Thomas, who’s written a BRILLIANT book for single mothers, Vicki Courtney – a woman I’ve long admired for her ministry to mothers and their daughters and, for the first time, Angie Smith – whose heart wrenching testimony has inspired and encouraged many.
This conference will be a haven for moms to be refreshed and encouraged in their callings as mothers. There will be workshops and sessions on everything you can imagine – from adoption to battling against perfectionism.
With this conference and its theme fresh on my mind, anything that I read in the Scriptures that has ANYTHING to do with the relationships between parents and their children resonates within my spirit. While I’ve yet to decide what I’ll teach on this fall, I have run across some nuggets of inspiration and instruction that I’d love to share with you.
This first one will be familiar to you. It’s that age-old classic story of King Solomon having a meeting with God in which He asked the king to name anything and He would provide it. Instead of asking for wealth and health or prosperity and notoriety, He surprisingly asks for wisdom. (2 Chronicles 1:7-10). His request is met by God’s favor and the granting of His request – plus more than he could have imagined. When Solomon made this request he was twenty years old. That’s right. . . a mere twenty. What twenty year old do you know, with any sense of independence and power like this young king had, who would have handled this divine opportunity in this way?
Well, it must have something to do with the way Solomon was raised.One of the last times we hear Solomon’s father, King David, he is speaking about his son to a whole gathering of people (which probably included Solomon) and this is what he says:
My son Solomon – God has chosen him alone – is young and inexperienced. (1 Chronicles 29:1)
This sounds strangely like a modern parent saying to their mouthy, know-it-all teenager – “You don’t know everything, you know?” David is honest with, and about, his son’s maturity – but something about this honesty doesn’t deflate the tender young man’s spirit, but plants in him a desire and enthusiasm to become what he is not yet. Maybe it was that one phrase that stood out to the young child – “God has chosen him.” Or maybe it was the fact that his dad didn’t belittle him for how little he knew, or was capable of doing, in front of the “assembly,” but instead began immediately to prepare and plan and make provisions for the future tasks that He knew his son would undertake. In fact, he seemed to be encouraging the people listening to do the same.
Instead of spending the immature years of his child complaining about them, being discouraged by them or belittle his son for them, David seemed to accept the normalcy of that season and used the time wisely to prepare for his son’s future and enlist others to do the same. Possibly, just watching his Dad work so hard on his behalf caused Solomon to desire what mere words could have never accomplished.
Maybe, just maybe, he felt like someone believed in him and so he wanted to live up to the expectation.
Nothing wrong with his Dad being honest – about his inexperience and all – as long as it was peppered with encouragement along the way.Seems like this is an incredible lesson for all of us. Sure, we’ve got to be honest with our kids but if, behind that honesty our children suspect an air of disapproval or low expectation, the weight of what we’ve said might have more of a detrimental effect than we bargained for. If, on the other hand, we relax into this season of “inexperience” – reminding ourselves that our kids will not always be the way they are today – and encourage them by reminding them (and others) of their consecration by God for His purposes, and by using their unwise years to make provision for their future, they’ll know that we’re on their side (even when we secretly wish they’d grow up a little bit faster).
Who knows? That kind of encouragement might cause a twenty year old – who’d normally be lost in the foolishness that young adults tend to be – to turn His face towards the heavens and say, “Lord, give me wisdom.”
And, I betcha, God will grant them what they ask.How do you speak honestly, yet encouragingly to your children? To others? What are you doing today to make sure these “foolish” years are not wasted in their lives?
This mother of three young boys can’t wait to hear from you!Priscilla