GUEST POST: By Tami Boesiger
I squirmed in the driver’s seat. I was glad to have a reason to sway my thirteen-year-old from wanting a tattoo, but didn’t find his statement accurate.
“Our teacher showed us a verse that says you shouldn’t mark your body.”
I knew what he was talking about, but I also knew it was found in the Old Testament, part of the Old Covenant, a set of laws we are no longer bound to as new creatures in Christ. I had a decision to make. Should I let him believe tattoos were a sin and save myself a possible adolescent battle later or should I tell him the truth?
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.” Proverbs 31:26
A Proverbs 31 woman wouldn’t let it go, and though I fall short of her mark, I couldn’t either. I launched into a discussion about the Old Covenant versus the New Covenant and how “all things are lawful, but not all things are beneficial.” He listened intently (as did his little sister in the back seat) and we had a very mature conversation about the pros and cons of tattoos, all in a span of five minutes on our way home from church.
It was nearing 11:PM and my daughter still hadn’t brought her cell phone down to charge in our bedroom. She knew the rule and was supposed to be in bed, yet a call kept her up. Her dad already hollered up to her and got, “I know, Dad. Just a minute.”
We were tired and she is trustworthy, so it was tempting to ignore the situation and drift off to sleep. If she was exhausted the next day, it would be her own fault. Should I let her suffer the consequences of her own bad actions? Should I let her realize the hard way her parents know best?
and does not eat the bread of idleness.” Proverbs 31:27
My daughter is a mature kid who handles herself as an adult, but she is still a kid, who needs guidelines and accountability. So though everything in me wanted to sleep, I wandered up to her bedroom. I found her reasoning with a friend on the phone about not giving up, about trusting in God, encouraging him to hang on though it doesn’t make sense now. I sat quietly and waited without her objection and when her conversation was over, listened to her tearful concerns for her friend.
Had I put down the parental smack requiring her to get off the phone much earlier for my convenience, what would her friend have missed hearing? How could she have had the opportunity to defend her faith? And if I had stayed in bed, ignoring the affairs of my household, letting her do whatever, I would have missed seeing my daughter’s tender heart. I wouldn’t have been there to reassure and comfort her.
There is so much practical help from the Proverbs 31 woman! Why do I read about her and feel defeated? Why do I sigh thinking I’ll never measure up? I think it’s because I imagine a purposeful, Energizer bunny who does everything perfectly. For crying out loud, she’s probably a supermodel too! But what God is describing is a woman who is faithful, who does what is right, though it may not be convenient or timely or enjoyable.
I read these verses and think I must purpose to teach my children. I must sit them down and expel my vast amount of wisdom into their brains so they are prepared to enter life as well-informed, fully equipped, aware individuals. But in my experience, more is learned in impromptu moments, from split second decisions to find out what is going on with my kids. Discussions in the van about tattoos or late night talks about salvation make a bigger impact on my kids than my intentional lectures. In my house, the unplanned conversations are where my children gain understanding about life because they’ve brought up what they’re seeking to know.
A Proverbs 31 woman, then, is prepared to teach at any time, ready to discuss any subject, unafraid to delve into the personal lives of her children. But how can I prepare for the unexpected? How can I be wise on subjects I haven’t studied up on? How can I know everything when I am an ordinary woman?
There is only one way.
I must be plugged into the source of all wisdom. I must be in the Word consistently. I must read it and know it and have it stored in my brain for those unexpected moments. A Proverbs 31 woman is closely connected to Jesus.
Tami shares her life with husband, Kevin, a Creative Arts Pastor and their four children in Beatrice, Nebraska. Striving to be real and genuine in her writing, she candidly shares her struggles and asks the questions we all ponder, wanting people to see that being a Christian is not about being perfect or having all the right answers, but about living beyond our earthly existence. Get to know Tami at her blog, The Next Step.