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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Where to Find Purity and Cleanliness (Proverbs 30)

Pro 30:5-6, 8-9, 11-12 NKJV Every word of God [is] pure; He [is] a shield to those who put their trust in Him. (6) Do not add to His words, Lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar. … (8) Remove falsehood and lies far from me; Give me neither poverty nor riches–Feed me with the food allotted to me; (9) Lest I be full and deny [You], And say, “Who [is] the LORD?” Or lest I be poor and steal, And profane the name of my God. … (11) [There is] a generation [that] curses its father, And does not bless its mother. (12) [There is] a generation [that is] pure in its own eyes, [Yet] is not washed from its filthiness.

Dear Daughter, There was a boy who was in the museum mocking one of the world’s greatest paintings. He critiqued the brush strokes, the colors, and the lighting. Everything about the painting that he could think to criticize he criticized. A crowed had gathered around. The listened with a half smirk as the boy went on and on. Finally the curator of the museum came to set things right. “Young man,” he said, “the painting isn’t on trial today. You are. In all your talk and critique of one of the world’s greatest masterpiece paintings, you have only accomplished proving to this audience your own ignorance of what is truly great art. This painting and the artist are already understood to be great and today you are understood to be a fool.”

So it is with God’s word. When we apply it, study it, and seek God through it we are rewarded to know God and find Jesus Christ. Yet when we claim that it is outdated, antiquated, add to it, or demean it in any way, we are proved to be fools. Generations have come before you and have trusted in God’s promises and proved them all to be true. Your generation nor mine could ever perfect the written word of God. We don’t judge it, but one day by it we will be judged.

The generation that imagines that it is pure in it’s own eyes will still wallow in filth. The only place you can go to really discover purity is through Jesus Christ revealed in Scripture. He is the only way that anyone can be made right with God. He is the messiah. The atonement. The greatest high priest. He is the one in whom the Old Testament finds it’s fulfillment and you will find true and lasting peace.

Father, Thank you for the grace of being a dad. I pray for your wisdom in raising my children. I pray that they see me in your word. I pray they hear your word on my lips. I beg that they might have an example of what it is to seek purity through your word. I pray they study and know it well. I pray they are blessed not just with knowledge, but with wisdom as well. I pray they know you and walk with you through the atonement of Jesus Christ. I ask that you be glorified in their lives. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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Trust in the LORD (Proverbs 29)

Pro 29:17-20, 23, 25 NKJV Correct your son, and he will give you rest; Yes, he will give delight to your soul. (18) Where [there is] no revelation, the people cast off restraint; But happy [is] he who keeps the law. (19) A servant will not be corrected by mere words; For though he understands, he will not respond. (20) Do you see a man hasty in his words? [There is] more hope for a fool than for him. … (23) A man’s pride will bring him low, But the humble in spirit will retain honor. … (25) The fear of man brings a snare, But whoever trusts in the LORD shall be safe.

Dear Son, whenever we set out on a trip our destination determines our path. We set out to go somewhere. So many in life are cruising through life with no clear destination in mind. They just hope to get somewhere someday. They react to the winds of culture and change course at the drop of a dime. We start out in one direction only to turn, turn, and turn again, the next thing you know we are just headed in circles. We are reminded that the Lord directs our paths. We always have a purpose and a direction to head.

When there is no clear destination, people cease to follow leaders. A man hasty with words brings about his own destruction because he is always backtracking and changing his mind. Trust the Lord. Sometimes you might not know the next step, but you will know who is going to get you there. There may be moments you don’t know how, but you can trust that where the Lord leads you, he will provide for you.

There is a way to begin a journey trusting in the Lord and end up afraid of men. Commit in your heart early that you will follow the Lord’s direction and no other. Walking in the fear of man will only bring about more anxiety, not less. Trust God. He will guide you.

Father, thank you for the grace of parenting my kids. I pray they follow you all the days of their life. I ask that they would earnestly seek you and your direction for their lives. I pray their decisions will be directly influenced by your word. I pray that they would seek you with all of their hearts and find fulfillment and satisfaction in you. Keep them from being afraid of what men may think and cause them to be confident in your word. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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Walk Wisely (Proverbs 28)

Pro 28:1, 6-7, 9, 13, 23-27 NKJV The wicked flee when no one pursues, But the righteous are bold as a lion. … (6) Better [is] the poor who walks in his integrity Than one perverse [in his] ways, though he [be] rich. (7) Whoever keeps the law [is] a discerning son, But a companion of gluttons shames his father. … (9) One who turns away his ear from hearing the law, Even his prayer [is] an abomination. … (13) He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes [them] will have mercy. … (23) He who rebukes a man will find more favor afterward Than he who flatters with the tongue. (24) Whoever robs his father or his mother, And says, “[It is] no transgression,” The same [is] companion to a destroyer. (25) He who is of a proud heart stirs up strife, But he who trusts in the LORD will be prospered. (26) He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, But whoever walks wisely will be delivered. (27) He who gives to the poor will not lack, But he who hides his eyes will have many curses.

Dear Daughter, I went walking several years ago and walked down a big path covered over by trees. I looked back and saw that just where I had walked was a giant rattle snake coiled up. I must have walked within just a few feet and never saw it coming. On the way back I was sure to give the serpent lots of room because I didn’t want to be bit.

The bible says that for those who walk righteously that we don’t have anything to fret or worry over. We can walk boldly as a lion through life. We’ve dealt in truth and so our lies haven’t gone before us as snares. We’ve trusted God and His promises are sure. We’ve kept good friends, listened to our parents, and honored the Lord in all things. Our steps are guided.

As foolish as it would have been to try and walk back by the snake as close as I could, so some people walk through life intending to do things wickedly (or near wickedly). You can’t go through life with that sort of deceit in your heart and not expect to get bit. Be sure your ways and your path will find you out.

Father, thank you for the grace of being a dad. I ask for my children that they would walk wisely. I pray that they seek to honor you in all things. I pray that they are bold as lions on the path you have set them on. I ask for your grace in confessing their sins and walking in integrity. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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A True Friend (Proverbs 27)

Pro 27:6, 8-10, 14, 17 NKJV (6) Faithful [are] the wounds of a friend, But the kisses of an enemy [are] deceitful. … (8) Like a bird that wanders from its nest [Is] a man who wanders from his place. (9) Ointment and perfume delight the heart, And the sweetness of a man’s friend [gives delight] by hearty counsel. (10) Do not forsake your own friend or your father’s friend, Nor go to your brother’s house in the day of your calamity; Better [is] a neighbor nearby than a brother far away. … (14) He who blesses his friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, It will be counted a curse to him. … (17) [As] iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.

Dear Son, It’s been said that if your five closest friends are millionaires, you’ll be the sixth. If you five closest friends are dirt poor, so will you be. The kind of folks you hang around will shape your character and you will shape theirs. It’s a good idea to hang around with smart folks. It’s a good idea to hang around folks who do good in this world.

If you ever wondered who your real friends are, they are the ones who will stick around when the sky is falling. The are the ones you will stick beside when something goes wrong. You’ll be over at their house with food. You’ll listen to them in their den and on their porch. You’ll watch their kids when they are struggling. You will go out of your way to bless your friends and they will go out of their way to bless you.

Pick good friends in this life. No one may have ever told you that you can do that, but you can sit down and list the folks who you choose to be your friends. Be a blessing, show yourself to be friendly and you’ll be surprise at how people respond.

Speak the truth to your friends and expect them to do the same for you. A word of correction in the mouth of someone who cares about you is higher praise than a stranger who pays you a compliment. Your friends want the best for you. Pick good friends and your friends will be there to pick you up on the day of calamity. They’ll be there to encourage and bless you and you will be there for them.

Father, Thank you for the grace of being a dad. I ask for wisdom in raising my children. I pray that they’d all love and honor you. I ask that you’d bless them to have great friends and that they’d prove themselves a blessing to their friends. 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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Self Control (Proverbs 25)

Pro 25:6-7, 14, 16, 27-28 NKJV Do not exalt yourself in the presence of the king, And do not stand in the place of the great; (7) For [it is] better that he say to you, “Come up here,” Than that you should be put lower in the presence of the prince, Whom your eyes have seen. … (14) Whoever falsely boasts of giving [Is like] clouds and wind without rain. … (16) Have you found honey? Eat only as much as you need, Lest you be filled with it and vomit. … (27) [It is] not good to eat much honey; So to seek one’s own glory [is not] glory. (28) Whoever [has] no rule over his own spirit [Is like] a city broken down, without walls.

Dear Son, I heard a story about a man who was supposed to be the rightful king of a nation but his brother held him prisoner and ruled in his stead. The brother was a clever man. To keep the rightful king imprisoned all he did was place him in a room with narrow doors that a regular man could fit through. Each day he ordered a large array of delicious food, sweets, and pastries sent up to the kings room and each day the king showed no self control and ate everything. The result was that he was too fat to leave the room. Certainly his wicked brother made sure the food was available, but the king had become a prisoner of his own appetite.

So it is with a man who has no self-control. He could be free to live in the world, yet he is held captive by his tastes and impulses. He hasn’t leaned to say, “That’s enough.” It’s healthy to practice self control and place limits on your consumption. In my life there are times where I have fasted every Thursday for an extended period of weeks. There have also been times when I’ve given up sweets or coffee for 40 days. I wish I had learned these disciplines earlier in my life. The reason I do them now is that I don’t want my appetite for these things to rule me. It’s also true that I’ve limited my freedoms by my lack of self-control in the past.

Self control isn’t just about overeating. It is also about controlling your tongue and knowing when to speak and when to hold your peace. It’s about knowing the thoughts you have and being able to filter them to express yourself in a way that is appropriate for the moment. It’s about not spending the money that’s in your pocket and holding on to it to pay your bills or save up for a big expense. It’s about knowing who is coming behind you and making sure that there is room for them as well. My prayer for you is that you will be known as a man with self control.

Father, thank you for the grace of being a dad. I pray for my children to know how to control themselves. There is so much I wish I had leaned earlier about self control. I pray they all learn in now while they are young and practice selfcontrol for your glory and their freedom. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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The House of A Lazy Man (Proverbs 24)

Pro 24:12, 30-34 NKJV (12) If you say, “Surely we did not know this,” Does not He who weighs the hearts consider [it]? He who keeps your soul, does He [not] know [it]? And will He [not] render to [each] man according to his deeds? … (30) I went by the field of the lazy [man], And by the vineyard of the man devoid of understanding; (31) And there it was, all overgrown with thorns; Its surface was covered with nettles; Its stone wall was broken down. (32) When I saw [it], I considered [it] well; I looked on [it and] received instruction: (33) A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to rest; (34) So shall your poverty come [like] a prowler, And your need like an armed man.

Dear Daughter, It can be difficult to know when you are being lazy. Inside of our heads we all have different thoughts and ideas about things. One of the lies we are most tempted to tell ourselves is, “I’m tired, I deserve a break, I’ll get to that tomorrow.” If we aren’t careful our tomorrows will add up and we’ll end up in a mess or worse things will fall into disrepair. Better to do today the work that is in front of you. It’s amazing how little effort is actually needed to do a job that needs doing right away and how much effort it takes to comeback to a task that has been waiting for a few days.

Don’t put off your future. Do what needs to be done today. There is only one day of the week where you need to say, “That can wait until tomorrow.” That day is the Lord’s day where we honor Him by our rest and reflection, but all other days we are to honor Him by our work and productivity.

Father, thank you for the grace of being a dad. I pray that my children are all diligent to use the time and abilities you have given them to work in your world. I pray that they wouldn’t be lazy, but that they would be diligent to put their hands to whatever task you put in front of them. I pray they would seek after you in all things and not load their future with intentions, but live powerfully present lives. In Jesus’ Name, 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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TRAIN UP A CHILD (Proverbs 22)

Pro 22:6, 15 NKJV Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it. … (15) Foolishness [is] bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of correction will drive it far from him.

Dear Son, when the Corona Virus hit we were blessed with a bumper crop of blackberries and we set out to make a pie. I dumped a bunch of cumin onto the berries thinking it was cinnamon. Fortunately I smelled my mistake before it went too far. We took a ton of time to wash all the cumin off the berried and replaced it with cinnamon.

Raising children can be like that. A lot of what we put in them comes out later. We always tried to sow good habits into your life. We taught you to read your bible, be present with God’s people in church, love others sacrificially, and so on. As you grow I hope that stuff continues to show up in your life and pray that it gets passed down to your children for generations.

However, there were somethings we didn’t want to come out of your life later that we addressed while you were young. We tried to wash you of your bad habits. Hopefully you can face life with a good attitude, you don’t chew your fingernails, pick your nose, or pass gas in public. There are other foolishness’s we’ve addressed while you were young.

I pray one day you look back with gratitude for where we trained you up right and where we drove foolishness away. I pray that as you raise your own children one day that you prepare them for life by challenging the foolish behaviors and showing them the way to go.

Father, thank you for the privilege of raising my children. I pray that we lay a solid foundation of dependence and trust on Jesus Christ that my children will follow after. I pray that you will guard them from foolishness. Give me wisdom to know how to honor you in parenting them. Thank you for your immense grace. In Jesus’ Name amen.

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