Who Can Find a Virtuous Wife? (Proverbs 31)

Pro 31:10-12, 30-31 NKJV Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth [is] far above rubies. (11) The heart of her husband safely trusts her; So he will have no lack of gain. (12) She does him good and not evil All the days of her life. … (30) Charm [is] deceitful and beauty [is] passing, But a woman [who] fears the LORD, she shall be praised. (31) Give her of the fruit of her hands, And let her own works praise her in the gates.

Dear Son, the day I knew your mother was the woman I was going to marry was just an ordinary day. I knew your mom years before that moment but I had taken a year off of dating and started praying and seeking God’s will for my life especially as it was in relation to marriage. My year was up. Your mom and I attended a college ministry event together. She was babysitting a child and was putting him in the car seat. I looked up and the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart in that moment and whispered, “She’s the one.”

I’ve told you thousands of times in your life that you have a great mom, that God has blessed you with a good mom, and that she is worthy of your honor. Those words aren’t just true for you as her son, but they are true for me as her husband. There is so much to praise God for in the relationship between your mom and me. She is a Proverbs 31 woman.

These words were written from a mother to her boy about what to look for in a Godly woman. One day you will go looking for a wife. There is a lot to look for in a future spouse, you may be lured in by physical beauty, but a really beautiful woman isn’t just beautiful outwardly, but inwardly as well. When looking for a spouse, character counts more than curves and symmetry. Everyone ages, but a woman with a godly disposition and character will only grow better with age. She will be a blessing to you all the days of your life.

Father, thank you for the grace of being able to pray for and instruct my children. I ask for your grace in living the truth I’ve shared with them over these 31 days. I pray that they would be those who seek after you with all of their heart. I pray my daughters are Proverbs 31 women and are blessed by their labor, honored by their husbands and children. I pray my son searches for a Proverbs 31 wife and is blessed by her godliness all the days of their life. I pray my children have strong biblical marriages based on your word and committed to gospel truth. I pray their character of trust and dependence on you in all things is evident in their generations and generations to come (should you so choose to tarry). In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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To Smart to Work? (Proverbs 26)

Pro 26:12-19 NKJV Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? [There is] more hope for a fool than for him. (13) The lazy [man] says, “[There is] a lion in the road! A fierce lion [is] in the streets!” (14) [As] a door turns on its hinges, So [does] the lazy [man] on his bed. (15) The lazy [man] buries his hand in the bowl; It wearies him to bring it back to his mouth. (16) The lazy [man is] wiser in his own eyes Than seven men who can answer sensibly. (17) He who passes by [and] meddles in a quarrel not his own [Is like] one who takes a dog by the ears. (18) Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death, (19) [Is] the man [who] deceives his neighbor, And says, “I was only joking!”

Dear Daughter, I’ll never forget an article I read several years ago about a man who died in India trying to take a selfie. He stood on a ledge to get the perfect social media post and fell off to his demise. The article sited that a staggering number of folks died each year taking a selfie. Selfies in and of themselves aren’t lethal, it’s when the person taking them begins to imagine that the laws of physics or laws of the jungle don’t apply to them. They are “wiser in their own eyes” than the warning sign. They think they have it handled and under control… until they don’t.

There is no reasoning with someone who is wise in their own eyes. They will come up with reasons not to work, “that job is too dangerous, there is a lion in the road so I can’t get to work today.” They think they are the smartest person in the room and they will help you feel it too. They’ll even try to solve someone else’s problem by inserting themselves into a situation that doesn’t belong to them. They’ll criticize harshly and then say they were just joking… all these are the luxuries of a man who is always right in his own eyes. These narcistic lazy men are always right and can’t be corrected. If you find one, run! Don’t go on a date with one and don’t bring one home. He won’t be content to destroy his own life! He’ll destroy yours too if you let him! Men Boys like this aren’t to be given the time of day. Life has enough drama without them.

Father, thank you for the blessing of raising my children. I pray you watch over them today. I pray that you keep them from becoming lazy and that you would keep them from people who are always right in their own eyes. Lord, I know this culture seems to be shifting. I pray though that you would turn the tide. I pray that there would be enough folks who recognize the insanity of the current philosophies being absorbed into our culture to turn the tide. I pray that we would once again be an industrious nation filled with producers. In Jesus Amen.

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Alcohol (Proverbs 23)

[Pro 23:29-35 NKJV] (29) Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has contentions? Who has complaints? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? (30) Those who linger long at the wine, Those who go in search of mixed wine. (31) Do not look on the wine when it is red, When it sparkles in the cup, [When] it swirls around smoothly; (32) At the last it bites like a serpent, And stings like a viper. (33) Your eyes will see strange things, And your heart will utter perverse things. (34) Yes, you will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea, Or like one who lies at the top of the mast, [saying]: (35) “They have struck me, [but] I was not hurt; They have beaten me, but I did not feel [it]. When shall I awake, that I may seek another [drink]?”

Dear Son, You have alcoholic’s on both sides of your family tree so you have seen everything illustrated here already in your life. Just in case you have forgotten alcohol takes more than it gives. It’s taken our family members. As a pastor I’ve seen families torn apart by alcohol. I’ve seen it put men in an early grave. I often wonder what type of grandfather I would have if it weren’t for alcohol and I often wonder if you wouldn’t still have yours if it weren’t for alcohol. I have tears in my eyes as I remembering these men reduced to slobbering drunks falling down, laughing, needing help, crying, saying stupid stupid things. Alcohol will quite literally make you a fool!

I probably ought not post too much here because I don’t want to say anything more than the scriptures on this point. It should be apparent that alcohol is not the way to wisdom. It will not help you make your best life decisions. It will not help you to be ready in an emergency situation. It will not enable you to put your best foot forward.

Father thank you for the gift of being a dad. I pray that my children are not lead astray by alcohol. I pray that whatever hurts they experience in life that they are able to process them through trusting in you and the counsel of many great friends. I pray that you would guard them from alcohol and its abuse. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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Flee Lust (Proverbs 7)

Pro 7:23 -27 NKJV As a bird hastens to the snare, He did not know it [would cost] his life. Now therefore, listen to me, [my] children; Pay attention to the words of my mouth: (25) Do not let your heart turn aside to her ways, Do not stray into her paths; (26) For she has cast down many wounded, And all who were slain by her were strong [men]. (27) Her house [is] the way to hell, Descending to the chambers of death.

Dear Son, a snare is a trap that is laid out by forming a loop out of rope or wire. The hunter will bate the snare with food and direct the animal on the path they want the prey to go down by making a funnel. So when the prey comes by it smells the bait, goes down the funneled path and catches itself in the loop. If the animal could see the end from the beginning of the path it wouldn’t get trapped, but as it is it’s appetite blinds it to the dangerous situation.

Lust is a snare. God has given you a natural sex drive for the purpose of sex inside of marriage. Sex is something you should enjoy with your wife alone. In our culture there will be lots of temptations advertised as cheep and easy thrills outside of that context. Pornography is available on every corner of the internet. It may seem like there is no consequence to a indulging your curiosities but do not be deceived pornography is a snare. It will lead you down a path that will ultimately take everything precious in your life away.

The best way to avoid a snare is to not even go down the path. We should flee temptation when it comes. It can be helpful to count the cost. I once had a woman proposition me in a joking matter, “oh we could have an affair.” Immediately my thoughts were turned to how much that would hurt your mom and you kids. Having just seen someone I knew lose their entire family over an affaire caused me to want to run from that situation as fast as I could!

Life is filled with cautionary tales. Sadly the tale shared in Provers 7 is all too common today. I could give you dozens of names of people we know who were seduced into sexual sin and it became a costly snare for them. The point of this chapter is that the place to avoid sexual sin is as soon as you sense it. Flee! Flee! Flee!

There have been occasions where an animal was caught in a snare and weren’t ultimately caught by the hunter. To get out of the snare they had to chew through their own leg. Falling for the snare cost them a limb, but it didn’t cost them their life. If you have already started down the path of pornography there is a way out, but you will need to take drastic measures. Jesus speaks to the drastic measures taken to avoid lust in Matthew chapter 5.

Mat 5:28-30 NKJV “But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (29) “If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast [it] from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. (30) “And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast [it] from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.

In our context drastic measures to avoid pornography may mean staying off the internet. Using a filtered web browser. Letting someone else set up and password protect settings on your smart devices. Making sure you are in regular community with other believers.

Father, I pray that you guard the hearts of my children from snares the devil sets in our culture. I pray for their purity. I pray for the ability to confess and repent if they should sin against you in this way (Psalm 51). I pray that they would flee temptation and pray against it themselves. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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Trust In The LORD With All Your Heart (Proverbs 3)

Proverbs 3:5-10 ESV Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. (6) In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. (7) Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil. (8) It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones. (9) Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; (10) then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.

Son, There are things that I wish I knew at your age. If I knew them then, how differently I might have behaved and how differently my life might have been. In our yard we have a tree that has grown up with the vine around it. If someone had the foresight to cut the vine early, the tree would have grown up to be straight and flawless. As it is, the vine was cut and pulled down years later than it should have and now the tree has the scar of where the vine cut into its bark. The tree will forever carry the mark of negligence because we didn’t cut the vine when it was young. There are habits/ thoughts in my life that I didn’t unlearn early in life and have warped me and as a consequence will take years to change.

Your life in a lot of ways is also like that tree when it was younger before the vine took hold. You are young and there are a lot of thoughts and voices that will try and steer you in all sorts of directions. You have the capacity to develop detrimental lifelong habits and thoughts that will hurt you. But you also have the opportunity to cut ties with those thoughts/ voices and pursue the things that will help you grow into godly womanhood.

The one thing you can do is commit to trusting in the Lord with everything. Commit to following Him. This will be displayed in a lot of different ways in you life. Do you trust God with your time? If you really do, you will form the habit of being gathered together with a fellowship of believers to worship Him on a weekly basis. You will spend time in His Word often. Do you trust God with your finances? If you do, you will habitually seek to be generous. You will set aside a regular tithe and offering to be budgeted before you pay your bills. To really trust the Lord is to follow Him and His Word above your own thoughts and desires.

Father, I pray for my children today. I pray that they would trust in you and lean not in their own understanding. I ask LORD for your grace to be multiplied to their lives. I pray that they learn quickly and easily from their parents about what it is to trust you in every area of LIFE. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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Diligently Seek Understanding (Proverbs 2)

Pro 2:1-9 ESV My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, (2) making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; (3) yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, (4) if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, (5) then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. (6) For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; (7) he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk in integrity, (8) guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of his saints. (9) Then you will understand righteousness and justice and equity, every good path;

Dear daughter, when you were little we used to watch a Disney animated cartoon series called Duck Tales. It was all about Scrooge McDuck and his pursuit of wealth. He would do anything (short of cheating) to make more money. He would win races, search for lost treasure, and fund crazy inventions. His pursuit was always the same, to make or keep money. He was so shrewd it was laughable.

The writer of Proverbs reminds us today that more than seeking to gain or keep money our most diligent pursuit should be understanding and ultimately understanding of what God might be up to. Understanding isn’t found just by reading about something, but in treasuring the commands of God, listening to godly authorities in our lives, and searching diligently to see God at work. With each pursuit in life we should seek to find out what the Lord is doing.

There are many moments where the people around you will sense or try and create the cultural current by telling you that to “be on the right side of history,” you need to join them in doing what they are doing. They want to tell you what righteousness is from their perspective or even worse tell you to define it from yours. Righteousness isn’t for us to define, it’s for God. All of us who seek to define our own righteousness will one day find that all of our righteousness is just filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6).

Father, I pray today for my children and ask that they would diligently seek You and seek understanding. Let them be those who are able to discern truth from error. I ask that they would listen to the commands of their parents and other godly autorities that you have put in their lives. Give them grace to resist the temptation of fools to define their own righteousness. Let them be ready to meet you on the day of Christ’s return and not caught off guard because of their laxity. Bless me as I age to be one who grows in discenment and understanding. Let me be a blessing to my children and grandchildren. Preserve us in a culture that is shifting beneath us. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

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