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.

Join us in reading a Proverb A Day through the Month of May (or any month you want)

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.

Join us in reading a Proverb A Day through the Month of May (or any month you want)

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.

Join us in reading a Proverb A Day through the Month of May (or any month you want)

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.

Join us in reading a Proverb A Day through the Month of May (or any month you want)

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.

Join us in reading a Proverb A Day through the Month of May (or any month you want)

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.

Join us in reading a Proverb A Day through the Month of May (or any month you want)

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.

Join us in reading a Proverb A Day through the Month of May (or any month you want)

Better To Be In A Deer Stand In A Blizzard Than At Home With An Angry Woman By The Fire (Proverbs 21)

Pro 21:9, 19 NKJV Better to dwell in a corner of a housetop, Than in a house shared with a contentious woman. … (19) Better to dwell in the wilderness, Than with a contentious and angry woman.

Dear Son and Daughters, I knew a man who married a woman who had a lot of problems. He thought he was her knight in shinning armor and he’d fix all her problems. He thought if he married her he’d take care of all her problems. But marriage doesn’t work that way. After they were married she still had all her problems. Finally he was so exhausted of trying to be everything for her that he simply quit trying. He just bore her nagging and complaining. To this day he is a bitter old man who is married to a nagging wife who still expects him to do everything for her. There is no peace in their house, even when company is over. He’d rather be outside, in the elements than be home with a woman who is angry all the time.

I suppose both the man and the woman could have gone about things differently. This woman wasn’t likely to change, her husband would always be picking up the pieces, and one day he never envisioned the day that he’d get tired of picking up the pieces. He didn’t see it then, but he sees it now. Marriage doesn’t fix or change people it amplifies the character traits and flaws we already have. The only one who can change how they behave is you.

I also know of a man who worshipped his job. He felt valued and appreciated there and so he worked all the overtime he could. He left his young wife at home with their young children. She rarely ever had any other adult conversations and it seemed like he was never home. When he was home she was bitter all the time. He had done an excellent job providing for his family, but he had done a poor job caring for his wife and children. He didn’t realize the contention at home was something he created. Rather than home being a haven, home became hostile because he forgot to nurture the most important relationships in his life.

The home should be a haven for both husband and wife. It should shelter and nurture both partners. You should seek to make the environment of your home a place where you want to be with your spouse. Too often one partner chases the other out of the house by creating a hostile environment of nagging, nitpicking, and rage. There is something wrong with both husband and wife when a man would rather be outside in the bitter elements than at home with his wife. The way out of that situation is to avoid it to begin with. Before you get married make sure you can navigate difficult issues together and once you are married seek to nurture your relationship with one another.

Look up and agree to Ephesians 5 as being a baseline for your marriage.

Father, Thankyou for the gift of raising my children. I pray that they live in households filled with love built on the solid rock of Jesus Christ. Give them grace to find the right sort of spouse and grace to live in peace and harmony with one another. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Join us in reading a Proverb A Day through the Month of May (or any month you want)

Any Fool Can Start a Quarrel (Proverbs 20)

Pro 20:3-5 NKJV [It is] honorable for a man to stop striving, Since any fool can start a quarrel. (4) The lazy [man] will not plow because of winter; He will beg during harvest and [have] nothing. (5) Counsel in the heart of man [is like] deep water, But a man of understanding will draw it out.

Dear Son, It’s easier to start a fight than it is to walk away. I know because I started too many and walked away from too few growing up. The middle knuckle on my right hand hold a scar left by the tooth of one of my friends. A fool told me that my friend had pushed me into my locker on purpose. I chased him down the hall to ask why he pushed me and another fool said the word, “Fight!” By the time I caught my friend it seems like the whole school crowded around and chanted that word, “Fight! Fight! Fight!”... I should have walked away at that moment because there was no real reason to fight. That would have been the honorable thing to do, or perhaps not even walk down that hallway. But I didn’t do the honorable thing that day. I struck my friend in the mouth, cut my knuckle, was sent home, got suspended, and still carry the scar to this day.

Fights aren’t just physical. Some folks can create tension in regular work environments by what they say. They offer verbal jousts trying to get a rise out of others. They pick at you and pick at you and should you give into your baser instincts you’d punch them back, but you may have enough resolve to want to keep your job that you don’t physically retaliate, but you offer your own verbal jousts in return. Any fool can enter into such a war of words or picking, but it takes a man with character to walk away when he is being verbally assaulted.

Sometimes you’ll be the one who in your heart of hearts wants to start a quarrel over a minor issue. Maybe someone else left a project incomplete or has made your job harder. You’ll be tempted to curse their name loudly, to gossip about their irresponsibility, or malign their character with your words. You’d do well to remember that any fool can start a fight, but it takes a man to walk away from one. These fights are best avoided when they are never started.

Sometimes its actually harder for fight for peace by walking away than it is to punch someone or say something. The ultimate model we have of a man of peace like this is Jesus who even though he was reviled and mocked willingly went to the cross for our sins. My prayer is that you grow to be more like Jesus every day.

Father, thank you for the grace of speaking to my children. I pray that you will cause them to be a men and women of peace. Let them be so filled with character that when I fight comes to their doorstep they are able to pursue peace. I pray that you give them cooler head and a greater perspective. I ask for a character of godliness to be developed in each child. May your grace ever be present in their lives. In Jesus name, Amen.

Join us in reading a Proverb A Day through the Month of May (or any month you want)

Finish What You Start (Proverbs 19)

Pro 19:16, 24 NKJV He who keeps the commandment keeps his soul, [But] he who is careless of his ways will die. … (24) A lazy [man] buries his hand in the bowl, And will not so much as bring it to his mouth again.

Dear Son, follow through. The world if filled with people who start something but never finish. The word we use for that today procrastination. Some people even take pride in the fact that they are procrastinators. Don’t be a procrastinator. Procrastinators use the excuse, “I’ll get to that later.”

Procrastinators begin a project with gusto ready to conquer the world. Their heads are full of ideas ready to be worked out. Yet when they choose one and start to work on it, they feel bored and boxed in. They don’t want to actually do the work to bring their dream to a reality. You see procrastinators are actually lazy.

You never get “the best” from a procrastinator because they wait until the last minute to meet a deadline. They actually then turn that around and use it as an excuse for why something is broken, missing, etc. They imagine that the world is full of sympathy because they had this issue, or something came up, etc. Certainly the ills of life do happen, but they happen to a procrastinator on every project, every time.

Be someone who has follow through. If you commit to do something, do it with all of your might, even when it get’s boring in the middle. Be someone who delights in a finished product (not just ideas). Be one who holds yourself to a higher standard (not one who thinks everyone should empathize because after all you just threw this together 30 minutes ago). Don’t be Lazy.

The reason I guess I’m so hard on procrastinators is that I’ve been one. I almost didn’t graduate college because I procrastinated on delivering my thesis for nearly a year! I always found something more interesting, urgent, fun to do and put off writing my paper until it could be put off no longer. I wonder how much quicker things would have happened if I had the discipline to sit down and work when it wasn’t fun. The irony is that I’ve actually come to enjoy the writing process. It just took work to get me there.

Father, thank you for the grace of speaking truth into the lives of my children. I pray that they wouldn’t be lazy. I pray that they finish what they start. I pray that whatever they put their hand to has purpose and meaning and they feel the pride and joy of hearing “job well done!” when they have completed a task. I ask for your grace to move in their lives to cause them to be productive not just with tasks, but for the kingdom of God. Let them be those who aren’t afraid to attempt the great things that you are calling them too. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Prayer

Join us in reading a Proverb A Day through the Month of May (or any month you want)