Read Part 1 first.
True confession: I love helpful hint books.
When I was a kid, I’d find an old Hints from Heloise book at the thrift store, and I’d learn all about how to get wine out of your tablecloth and gum out of your hair. These days, I’ve found hint books on parenting to be enjoyable reading: Get your children to enjoy vegetables, potty training made easy, and 5 essential methods of quieting a fussy baby.
Watching or reading how other parents handle spiritual problems can be useful, too. I love to watch my sister-in-law use questions to help her children handle interpersonal conflict. “Did you grab the toy, or did you ask for it?” “How did you ask? What did you say?” I enjoy hearing mothers pray with their children, and I pay close attention to what truths they convey and how they word those truths.
Wisdom does not mean that we should not learn from each other. It doesn’t mean we cannot benefit from another mother’s hard earned wisdom. Without God’s wisdom, however, mothers don’t know what advice to use or reject. They become incapacitated to make their own decisions without a reassuring word from a “wise mother” or mentor.
I need a fresh supply of wisdom in order to determine whether some other mother’s experience is beneficial for my own situation. And I must continually point to God’s Word as the indispensable parenting resource, for my own life, and those around me.