December 30 – Friends in High Places

It’s better to be wise than strong; intelligence outranks muscle any day. Strategic planning is the key to warfare; to win, you need a lot of good counsel. Proverbs 24:5-6 The Message Bible

I have a book about child training that was written a hundred years or so ago. The insight in it is timeless. For instance, I learned from its author, Clay Trumbull, that there’s a distinct difference in how you teach a child and how you train a child.

Also, when Jen and I had our hands full with one of the stronger-willed children, we used some of the strategies in the book to steer them toward right attitudes…particularly about food and flavors.

But one of the most transcendent pieces of advice I got from the book was on the subject of friendship and counsel. Clay raised eight kiddos of his own and was a seasoned grandpa at the time he penned “Hints on Child Training.” So, I believe he knew a thing or two about the subject.

“The unfriendly criticisms of neighbours, and the kind suggestions of friends, are not to be despised by a parent in making up an estimate of his child’s failings and faults. Rarely is a parent so discerning, so impartial, and so wise, that he can know his children through and through, and be able to weigh the several traits, and perceive the every imperfection and exaggeration of their characters, with unerring accuracy and absolute fairness.”

In the process of rearing our “crew of a few,” this counsel has been invaluable. But not just in child training. In many areas of life, I have found I can cover most of the bases, but having good friends who add insight without insult is key for consistent success.

Smart is good and wisdom is kind.
But a counsel of good friends is a worthy find!