Pearls of Wisdom
Posted by August 15, 2018on
Years ago, I was taught some “pearls of wisdom” by my mother-in-law. I’d like to share some of those pearls with you.
My first Sabbath service in God’s Church was a new experience for me. While growing up, I remember occasionally visiting different churches with my mom. Most of these churches were missing an important element that I found refreshing on that first Sabbath—men in the congregation. The other churches were led and attended almost exclusively by women. Imagine my surprise when I saw men leading songs, giving the sermon, sitting with their families and helping with the children. It felt so right that I knew instantly I wanted to be a part of it.
It didn’t bother me that the women didn’t play a leading role in the service. It was my future mother-in-law who showed me how essential women are in the congregation by passing along pearls of wisdom to me.
She noticed ways I could grow and, in a loving way, helped me to correct shortcomings. She was practicing Titus 2:4-5: “That they [the older women] admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.”
The first three pearls that she gave me were to love my children, be good and be discreet. These three set a foundation that would allow me to add additional pearls to my spiritual life.
Pearl 1: Love your children
My lesson from this pearl: Stop yelling at your children.
Yelling was a habit instilled in me from a young age. My family talks loudly, and it was normal to yell at the children to get their attention and when disciplining them. I didn’t realize I was doing this until my mother-in-law lovingly, with a soft voice, said: “Why are you yelling? Don’t you think they can hear you?” Her comment caused me to pause and think, and then all I could do was say, “Yes, they can.”
I knew instantly that the yelling needed to stop and that speaking to my kids in a calmer tone would be more effective. My mother-in-law’s wisdom was based on Proverbs 15:1: “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” The soft words can describe both the content and tone of our speaking. Using the proper tone when speaking to children can help them tell the difference between when you are teaching, comforting, being loving, having a serious conversation or correcting.
Pearl 2: Be good
My lesson from this pearl: If someone gives you something, accept it and say thank you.
This lesson from my mother-in-law might be thought of as simple, but this can actually be difficult for people who have been given things that they wanted from childhood. Instead of being appreciative, I could easily say no if someone offered me something I didn’t want. This type of attitude can cause pain to the giver and can be perceived as turning up my nose to a gift, food or advice I was offered. It left me limited in discovering new things.
Learning to appreciate kind gestures has opened my eyes to new adventures in my life. I now try things that I would not have tried had I not received this pearl.
Pearl 3: Be discreet
My lesson from this pearl: Don’t repeat what someone has said about another person, especially if the comment is negative.
Proverbs 11:13 tells us: “A talebearer reveals secrets, but he who is of a faithful spirit conceals a matter.” When children hear things, they often repeat them to others, but as we mature, we are to become more discreet about what we share with others. Repeating another person’s misguided words can cause problems. When we find ourselves in these conversations, we should excuse ourselves, go to God and ask for His help for everyone and for forgiveness if we have been involved in gossiping.
My husband and I have been married for almost three decades. Through the years, I have learned a lot from his mother. Those early lessons have helped me maintain good relationships with our family and friends.
The teaching was not limited to me. During my husband’s parents’ 50th anniversary celebration, our sister-in-law honored my mother-in-law with a speech about the lessons she had taught her. It was great to know that through the years my mother-in-law has taught other young women biblical pearls of wisdom.
For more insight on wisdom, read “The Importance of Wisdom and How to Become Wiser.”