Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Defer to the "Older and Wiser"

 Yesterday's reading of Proverbs led us to consider this:

"By insolence comes nothing but strife, but with those who take advice is wisdom." Proverbs 13:10

There is strife in our home when our children are insolent, (proud, presumptuous, rude, or disrespectful). This often happens amongst our children. They are unwilling to give ground to each other and each wants to be right and have his own way. (Sometimes this sounds like, "no, it's not" and "yes it is" kinds of conversations.) Even though there are not many years between each child and the next, we endeavor and hope that they are growing in wisdom.

It is in this spirit that I think of the wise words of a friend of mine. She is a mother of six who seems to mother so intentionally with such grace and yet also with practicality and love. She told me once that she taught her children to say, "You are older and wiser than I am. I will defer to your judgment."

She had a specific purpose in teaching this and I think it was for a certain child's training for a season, but I have loved these words! When there is strife between my children because of their PRIDE, it has been GOOD for the younger child to defer to the older child and use this phrase: "You are older and wiser than I am. I will defer to your judgement."

Of course, the older child has the responsibility in these situations and will be held accountable to his parents. (They don't just choose what makes them happy, but what they really think is best). The strife usually arises in small matters of preference and the conflict should not merit parental energy. I've found that the distraction of these small scuffles disrupts our home's peace. I want to teach my older children to shepherd and be responsible for the younger children (under our authority, of course) and our desire is for all of our children to be humble and able to take advise and also seek the advice of wise counselors.

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