Before I continue I need you to ask yourself something. “Am I willing to listen to someone based upon principles and not experience?”
Why would I want you to ask this before continuing? Well, many of you that read my thoughts have children and I am posting at this point regarding parenting. While this question pertains to all of my posts (that you ask the above question), it definitely should be asked while I treat the issue of parenting. Why? Well, truth be told…I am not a parent. In fact, I have only been married for two years.
So the question remains…will you listen to what I have to say? Will you not simply because you will say to me, “Man, you don’t understand. Wait ‘til you have kids!” I was meditating on this line of reasoning people give when someone who is not in the same place in life wants to help with biblical principles to live by. I think much of it rests in pride. But perhaps sometimes people genuinely think that someone who has not gone through various experiences they have nothing to offer to the conversation.
I remember when people continually told my wife and I that we should wait ‘til we were married to make comments on things. In essence, they said, “After you’re married 10 years you’ll understand.” This rationale is malarkey (yes, I used that word…). The principles will hold true whether I am single or married for 50 years.
My desire for us to receive instruction with those who may not have the life experience is rooted in Paul’s instruction to Timothy. Timothy was pastoring the Ephesian church…which like many, was full of elderly people. However, within Greek culture wisdom and age were considered interdependent. “Wait-til-you’re-older-” thinking pervaded the churches. So Paul encourages Timothy that he can be confident of what he teaches because 1) he knows from whom he has learned the principles and therefore 2) he should not let anyone despise (or look down upon him) because of his youth.
However, the example should be lived out when life presents you with the opportunity. So, Lord willing, as we have children I will implement the principles that I mention here for the glory of God and the witness of the Bible’s sufficiency for parenting and all of life.