Ever met a childrearing expert? No, I’m not talking about the ones you find in a grandparent’s home who, through the tears of experience, the counsel of the Scripture, and the travail of prayer have poured themselves into their children to the point that they have reaped a heritage of godly adults who have risen up and called them “blessed.” No, I’m not talking about the legitimate experts, I’m talking about the ignorant ones.
You’ve met them. They are those people who have never had kids and may not have even been married but who know with metaphysical certainty exactly what you should be doing with your own kids. Someone very close to me used to be that kind of an expert. That’s right! He knew precisely what people were supposed to do when raising their kids and he wasn’t stingy. He loved to share that with others and he did so . . . regularly. Have a child who watched too much T.V.? Here’s what you should do. Have a kid who listened to the wrong kind of music? Take away their CD player (ok this was a few years ago). Have a kid with a smart mouth? Well, then, you obviously weren’t raising them right and he could tell you what you needed to change.
That all played out pretty well until, well into his 40's, he actually got married and had a child of his own. It’s amazing how things changed. As his son grew up, he did something I never thought he would do. He stopped giving advice! Metaphysical certainty was replaced by teachable humility. You might ask him a question, but that certainly didn’t mean he knew the answer and he might not even hazard a guess. He was an expert no longer, but he certainly was much easier to live with! What made the difference?
Well, it’s a principle that really works in all of life. It even works in your spiritual life. The principle is simply this: EXPERIENCE CHANGES PERCEPTION. That’s right. The things I experience change the way I view the world around me. Experience changes perception.