Friday, February 4, 2011

Wisdom's vitality

Wisdom is expensive.  It costs you something to become wise; perhaps a comfort or something you were use to having or doing.  Yet how often do we get on our knees and pray “Lord, give me your wisdom,” not really understanding that cost?  I am sure I could stuff myself full of knowledge.  I could fill my children's heads with facts and figures.  I can ensure that they have a lexicon of scripture from which to draw.  None of these things alone will bring wisdom. 

What is Wisdom?  Why is it so vital that my daughter has it?

Wisdom is the ability to discern, use good judgment, be perceptive, be insightful, truly understand, see the big picture, see through to the heart of the matter, sift through the lies, use logic, and think objectively.
Without wisdom our daughters would:
  • believe any telemarketer or commercial
  • fall prey to worldly predators (and teenage boys too!)
  • lose themselves in the Hollywood dream of what romance looks like
  • be labeled naive and gullible
  • basically get crushed by the world
I imagine you have already had opportunity to discuss with your daughter that, "No, the toy doesn't really do that when you get it home.  They just make it look that way in the commercial so you will want to buy it."  But have you had the conversation that starts out, "I would love to know what you think of [insert latest best-marketed book here]," and been prepared with some revealing questions you could ask when your daughter mumbles, "I dunno,"? 

Wisdom is necessary for daily life, not just for shopping and figuring out boys.  Wisdom is the choices you make about the little daily stuff when no one is looking.  But wisdom doesn't just happen.  The thing is, you have to go looking for wisdom and it's a life-long journey.  Becoming wise can't be an afterthought. 

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.   Proverbs 4:23

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

...for gaining wisdom and instruction; for understanding words of insight; 3 for receiving instruction in prudent behavior, doing what is right and just and fair; 4 for giving prudence to those who are simple, knowledge and discretion to the young— 5 let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance— 6 for understanding proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise.    Proverbs 1:2-6

What's with the name?

Solomon's daughter.
How Solomon's daughter found her husband.

by Ilil Arbel, Ph.D.

King Solomon's favorite daughter was of mysterious origin. She had no mother in the court, and some say she was the daughter of the Queen of Sheba, left to Solomon care, while the queen took her twin brother to be her heir in Sheba. The princess was extraordinarily beautiful, clever and sweet, and Solomon planned a bright future for her, probably as the consort of a king of an allied country.

Solomon read the stars each night, and much of the future revealed itself to him clearly. To his dismay, the stars told him that his beloved princess would marry a poverty-stricken young man. The circumstances were not made clear, and in his desperation to change fate he decided to hide the princess in a faraway retreat. He explained the circumstances to the princess, and she trusted her father and consented to follow his plan.


     This Midrashic legend goes on to explain how Solomon attempted, and failed, to prevent his daughter's union with this poverty-stricken young man.  He tried to protect her from the world, and God's plan, by pulling a Rapunzel act...minus the long hair, witches, or Flynn Ryder.  Needless to say, Solomon's plan didn't work and God's plan came to pass though Solomon did have the good grace to admit he was wrong and blessed his daughter's new marriage.

     When my eldest daughter suggested the name "Solomon's Daughters" for my new blog I was very intrigued but not sure if others had already used the idea.  So I did what any woman these days does, I Google'd it.  (I also Bing'd it but I am not sure that Bing has merited its own verb yet.)  This Jewish legend is what I found.  While I may not be Jewish I thought the comparison between my goal for this blog and the story was wonderful.  My greatest hope is that this blog will give more moms the tools to talk with their daughters about how faith in Christ is very much a part of their daily walk.  I hope that we are able to discuss and develop a plan together on how to give our daughters the tools they need to discern what seems good in the world and what is good.

     I think we need to be purposeful in reaching our daughters' hearts.  The world would love to have them believe that parents just don't understand them.  The world is fighting to influence our daughters and silence us.  If we don't have a goal in mind the world will be happy to supply its own.  I know better than to think that I get it right most of the time with my own daughters, but I have come to a point where I am comfortable discussing my mistakes just as much as my successes.  I didn't set out on this path with the goal of getting noticed, starting a blog, or anything that puts me out there for the world to critique.  But this is the path that God is calling me to and here I am.

     I have been influenced by many great writers in my journey as a mom.  I plan to talk about some of those books that I think are relevant to our topic. I really don't feel comfortable with "church speak" and try to avoid what I see as clich├ęs that have lost their meaning to anyone who wasn't raised in the church.  Well, I at least cringe on the few occasions that I can't avoid them.   I also plan to outline better how we will address this topic of teaching wisdom to our daughters.  I wish we could all just sit around and have a big discussion on this, but I will have to settle for a virtual version instead.

     I hope you feel comfortable leaving comments and asking questions.  Enjoy the ride. :)