Day 12–Building a Strong Family


Today’s devotion shared by Marie Dudrey, Director of Children and Family Ministry at Summit Church

When you drive down your street, more than likely, you can’t tell the difference between where the wise and foolish families live. It’s only if you get to know your neighbors or are invited inside that you can start to tell what a family’s priorities and how they live their lives. Another way you can get to know what a family’s priorities are is hang out with their 4-year-old – they tell ALL. You may find out things you don’t want to know about a family by having a lengthy conversation with a pre-schooler.

In our instant gratification culture, wisdom is usually not a popular concept. Many of us are looking for something more tangible – like a five-step program to keep our kids in line or praying for mind reading skills so you’ll always know what your husband’s thinking.

Yet, we’re given examples in the Bible of how wisdom is the foundation on how we build our homes. In Proverbs 24:3-4, Solomon says this… A house is built by wisdom and becomes strong through good sense. Through knowledge its rooms are filled with all sorts of precious riches and valuables. That’s pretty straight forward, but Jesus also said in Matthew 7:24-26, Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash. Where does your house sit? On a solid rock…? Or on sand…?

Now, some of you may still be waiting for wisdom and thinking of wisdom as something you get when you’re old – the wise old sage. But just because you’re old doesn’t mean you’re wise. If you had to be old to be wise, then wisdom wouldn’t be listed as a spiritual gift in 1 Corinthians 12. You can be in your twenties and be wise! A definition I came across says it this way – “Wisdom is the ability to see with discernment from God’s perspective.” How do we get wiser and build our homes on the foundation of wisdom? We go to God and ask for it. James 1:5 says, If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. And this is so true… He is faithful. He will show you if you persistently go to Him in prayer.

We can also gain wisdom through experience – that’s when age does come in. When we have been on journeys that have lead us through dark valleys and deep waters… hopefully, we have learned a few things along the way. Gray hair might be involved as well but our testimonies and foundations are built from the faithfulness of God. He is who He says He is. He will use what we have gone through and give us that wisdom and discernment that only He can give through his comfort, redemption and reconciliation.

Over the years, when it comes to parenting my kids and the relationship I have with my husband, not only do I seek wise counsel but I have asked for wisdom from God more than anything else. I try not to offer up my desires in prayer unless I’m confident they are in alignment with God’s will. I am very bold in standing down any spiritual warfare when it comes to my family, but when decisions need to be made, I just ask for wisdom. I ask for Him to show me. Each one of my kids has had to be parented differently and sometimes I didn’t know what to do. I want to have wisdom with any challenges in my marriage. I want to be able to have discernment from God’s perspective. I’m far from perfect and I make mistakes… my humanity gets in the way sometimes. But my heart is to seek a spiritual knowledge that can only come from His view.

A HOUSE built on WISDOM is true wisdom that comes from God. A house built on wisdom honors God. As we enter a time of prayer for the households represented here at Summit Church, seek your heart and pray for your own household as well. James 3:13-17 says this, If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying. For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind.

But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.

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