I once heard this message preached by Pastor Wayne Cordiero. (Click the link if you would like to see more of his messages. He is one of my favorite communicators of the gospel.) I tried finding the message on the web but, alas, I couldn't, so you will just have to hear it from me. It's a simple, practical message that seriously changed my life. I pull it out constantly so I wanted to share it with you.
Everyone has the ability to learn wisdom. Everyone gets the chance to learn wisdom. There are two different "schools" at which one can learn wisdom: School of Wisdom and the School of Consequence. Both are great schools that effectively impart wisdom.
The School of Wisdom has great teachers. It's teachers are people like Moses, David, Peter and Paul from the Bible. It also has on its staff parents, pastors, and people slightly older and wiser who have already been through what you are going through. The School of Wisdom is free; it doesn't cost you anything but the time invested into learning from it.
The School of Consequence is an equally great place to learn Wisdom. It's teachers are Life and Hard Knocks. The School of Consequence has varying fees, but it will always cost you something. Sometimes attending there can cost you a little, but sometimes it can cost you everything. Should you decide that you would rather not enroll in a school, you will automatically be enrolled in the School of Consequence.
The simplicity of this message can be applied to anywhere a person happens to find him/herself in life. I am constantly asking myself, "How do you want to learn, Amanda?" When it is so simply broken down, School of Wisdom seems like the glaringly obvious choice. I am not so sure I can afford the School of Consequence... I am not so sure I want to afford it. For me, at this particular moment in time, I am reminded that I need to be surrounded by people who have raised children and by people who have weathered a few storms in marriage. While I could pay the fees and go about it my own way, I think I should much prefer learning from Wisdom. It's way better on the budget! I don't want to look back on my child-raising years and just have a long list of things I wish I had done better. It's not just my life in the balance; I need wisdom for the sake of my children.
I did a bible study a few months back on parenting. I loved the first lesson. I paraphrased from the book 14 Secrets to Better Parenting by Dave Earley in a handout I made.
Think of the legend of Robin Hood. The guy is supposed to have an incredible ability to hit any target with a bow and arrow. But imagine the skilled marksman was blindfolded or didn't know what his target was... would he still be able to hit the target? Likely not!
It's the same way with parenting. Shooting in the dark and hoping for the best result is not a good game plan when raising children. You must know your target then practice hitting it. Know your goal, then hone your skills so you may achieve that goal. The goal? Wisdom! (Proverbs 1:1-4; 4:1-2; 4:5-7; 1:7; 3:13,18; 4:10-14)
We all want our kids to grow up to be happy and healthy, but those are a by-product of wisdom. For example, if you simply aim for happiness, you may over-indulge/spoil your child. But if you aim for wisdom, God PROMISES happiness and health will follow with wisdom (Proverbs 3:13,18; 4:10-14).
It seems in parenting it is important to know the target and practice hitting it. Not only do we want to achieve wisdom in our kids, but it requires us having some in us as well. I NEED to read my Bible more and spend way more time with WISE people... wise in the areas I need wisdom.