How to gain wisdom as a parent

One of the things that drive me crazy about getting older is I know there is a lot that I don’t know. Unfortunately, I don’t know what I don’t know! Can you relate? But one of the things that make me really really happy about getting older is realizing that knowledge is not nearly as important as wisdom. And friends, wisdom has nothing to do with what we know or don’t know, and everything to do with Who we do know!

God is not greedy with His wisdom. If you need it, He’ll give it. Here are three surefire ways to make wisdom your BFF.

1. Request Wisdom

First of all, ask God for wisdom. He won’t begrudge you for needing knowledge. The Apostle James tells us, If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. ( James 1:5)

This isn’t meant to be weirdly spiritual or complicated. It really is as simple as asking for wisdom and trusting that you will receive.

Our sons developed an odd habit when they were each about two years old. Whenever the phone rang, it signaled them to need me really badly. They could have been totally occupied, happy, and distracted until the phone rang. But when it did, they inevitably whined, got hurt, needed something, or simply wanted to be held. Something in the ring signaled a virtual meltdown in my kids.

Watch this: Kirk and Chelsea Cameron share their wisdom gained from 25 years of marriage and parenting

One day, my publisher made a surprise phone call to our home. Trying to sound as if he were the most important person in my life at that moment, I attempted to hush Connor while he pulled on my leg. “Sucker, Mommy. Sucker, Mommy,” he insisted. Because he asked, and because I knew the call was going to be a long one, I pulled a brand-new bag of Tootsie Pops I had purchased for Halloween out of the cabinet. I yanked it open and turned it upside down.

Like confetti at a parade, multi-colored lollipops fell all over the kitchen floor. I smiled as big and approvingly as possible at Connor and mouthed, “Have fun.” I then hid in the closet to finish my phone call.

The point is, he asked, and I answered.

Not just meeting minimal requirements, I gave liberally. That’s how God is when He responds to our request for wisdom. He doesn’t just meet minimal requirements. He gives liberally. He turns the bag upside down. He lavishes us with wisdom that will benefit us and those around us.

God made getting wisdom as simple as asking for it.

Just as simply as a child asks for a lollipop or as simply as I ask my husband to “please pass the potatoes,” we can ask God for wisdom. Amazing! And we receive an overflowing supply.

King Solomon echoed this thought: For the Lord gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. (Proverbs 2:6) So, my friend, before you read on, ask God for wisdom, and trust Him to provide. Ask and you shall receive.

2. Revere God

You can also receive wisdom by choosing to revere God. The book of Proverbs tells us, The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. (Proverbs 9:20)

To fear the Lord doesn’t mean to be deathly afraid of Him. No, He is good and kind. But He is also just and worthy of our highest regard and respect. To fear the Lord means we revere Him.

It means we regard God more highly than we regard ourselves. We esteem His truth more highly than we esteem our perceptions of truth. To fear the Lord means holding His knowledge and truth in higher regard than our own.

Examine your own heart and mind. Do you fear the Lord? Whose truth do you elevate most highly in your life? Yours, our culture’s, or God’s? Until you reverence God most highly in your life, until you acknowledge that He is the standard of truth, you will never experience Him as the ultimate source of truth — and you will never find true wisdom. Take a moment to reconcile those thoughts with your own. You will discover the wisdom you need when you choose to revere God. Whose truth do you elevate most highly in your life? Yours, our culture’s, or God’s? 

3. Receive Counsel

You will also gain wisdom through counsel. Once again, the book of Proverbs advises us that wisdom is with those who receive counsel, and the wise of heart will receive commands. (Proverbs 13:10 and Proverbs 10:8)

When we walk with wisdom, it will wear off on us.

Sometimes we just need to listen to others, learn from their mistakes and experiences, and recognize that others struggle the same way we do. Other people can teach us a lot if we’ll take the time to listen.

Do you have a wise guide? Do you have someone you can walk with in order to gain wisdom? Maybe you are a guide, and you will continue to gain wisdom as you give wisdom.

You will become well acquainted with wisdom when you simply request it, revere God, and receive wise counsel. When you do, wisdom will become one of your best friends.

Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” and call understanding your intimate friend. (Proverbs 7:4 NASB)

I love that. If wisdom were truly your sister, what would she say to you on a casual morning walk along the river? If understanding actually happened to be your BFF, what would she say to you in a gut-honest conversation at a corner table in your favorite café? You can count on one thing. You wouldn’t want to miss a single word.

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This post originally appeared on and was republished with permission.

Jennifer Rothschild has written 14 books, including the bestseller Lessons I Learned in the Dark and Me, Myself, and Lies. She’s been featured on Good Morning America and Dr. Phil and is the founder of Fresh Grounded Faith events. Jennifer became blind at age 15 and now helps others live beyond limits.

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