Building a Long-Term Perspective of Wisdom (new podcast!)

sallypathway I've been pondering the value of perspective a lot lately, and so decided to share thoughts on this important topic with you in my podcast this week!

Looking back over my life, I realize I hadn’t ever really thought much about being a mom.  I wanted to marry, but never really brought children into the picture in my imagination!  You might say ... my view of the future lacked some perspective.  Perspective is a word with a Latin root which means one looks through a circumstance to see something—to perceive something.  When we say a person has perspective, it means they are looking at the world from a proper perspective, able to understand life and the various aspects of every situation. When I speak with moms I realize most of us come into motherhood lacking perspective.  Perspective would have helped us to know that all children would need lots of work, all marriages would be unions between two sinful people needing God’s grace, that all lives would require a lot of faith and longsuffering and grace.

To me, faith gives me the perspective of seeing life as long-term journey. Proverbs 31 gives us a beautiful picture of what a woman with perspective can be ...

An excellent wife, who can find?

For her worth is far above jewels.

The heart of her husband trusts in her,
And he will have no lack of gain.
She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life.
She looks for wool and flax
And works with her hands in delight.
She is like merchant ships;
She brings her food from afar...
She girds herself with strength
And makes her arms strong.
She senses that her gain is good;
Her lamp does not go out at night. ...
She extends her hand to the poor,
And she stretches out her hands to the needy.
She is not afraid of the snow for her household,
For all her household are clothed with scarlet. ...

Strength and dignity are her clothing,

And she smiles at the future.

She opens her mouth in wisdom,
And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
She looks well to the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and bless her;
Her husband also, and he praises her, saying:
"Many daughters have done nobly,
But you excel them all."

This is God's design for a woman with perspective! Over many years I've developed such admiration for Clay, my husband.  We are very different and both have our strengths and weaknesses and I know he appreciates what I am able to bring to our home as a woman who walks with God.

When my children were young, I used to feel insecure and guilty, sometimes.  I could feel like a victim when the kids made messes or when someone was very ill and it seemed to go on forever—too often, I found myself reacting rather than pulling up my sleeves and determining to have a good attitude and trust, to decide what my behavior would be even before the tough things happened.

The truth is, even if you sometimes are tempted to feel like a victim, God has given you great strength and you are truly able to accomplish much more than you think you can.  Jesus is praying for you. The Spirit is filing you. You can live in the grace of God! In order to do that, we have to study His word.

I taught my children Psalm 1 when they were very young.  It's one of our family favorites, and I especially appreciate verse 1:

How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!

In other words, blessed is the man who does not put him (or her!) -self in front of unwise people to receive counsel.  What voices are we listening to?  It goes on to tell us, don’t stand in the path of wickedness or evil—don’t tolerate those who walk that way.  Don't just overlook it or turn a blind eye and continue to spend time with those who are looking for life and wisdom outside and away from God's ways.

It also warns us not to sit in the seat of scoffers— those who judge and criticize; those who are cynical or display a denigrating attitude and caustic voice toward others.  That attitude does not please God, and we are told not to spend much time there, either, if we desire to develop a godly perspective.

Instead, we walk in the light of Christ.  We can ask Him to enlighten us, to give us His wisdom through Proverbs and the parables, and through the teachings of Jesus.  How does a woman gain perspective and confidence, and walk with dignity—all the things in Proverbs 31?  She walks with God and trusts in His leading in her life, and rejects the voice of the world.

Your pathway is a journey from immaturity toward strength, so you can be a woman who builds her house and extends her influence, who learns to teach the righteousness of God.

What’s your perspective?  Are you a victim of circumstances? Or are you aware that God is with you and helping you as you move through those things happening in your life to become more patient and faithful and strong, and model those things for your children?

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