Proverbs and the Gospel

26 posts

Instruction: Blessing or Curse?

Most memories of being corrected don’t evoke happy or pleasant thoughts. Often correction means stern or harsh warnings, even when given with the best of intentions. However, in the Proverbs instruction is to be received as precious jewelry, something to be worn with honor. How does this disconnect happen? Why is something that is intended for good and blessing become the equivalent of a curse? Proverbs 16:20-24 provides a guide for how to make instruction valuable. Solomon stresses the obvious, but neglected value of instruction. Those who pay attention to instruction do well. Understanding is like a fountain of freshwater to those who are thirsty. Instruction flows from wise lips and is to be desired. This description of loving understanding […]

Pleasant Words, Healing Words

There is a prescription available that will improve the physical and spiritual health of your family.  This prescription is what the Proverbs call “pleasant words” or “gracious speech.” The Holy Spirit says this kind of talk will bring spiritual and physical health to your family. Failure to use this medicine as directed may result in frustrated parents, children who resist instruction, drained emotions, as well as the physical and spiritual exhaustion for the entire family. Yes, pleasant words are that important! However, there is a heavy cost for this prescription. Parents have to relinquish their pride and embrace the path of humility. God’s remedy to heal the evil that plagues your children is not anger, intimidation, control, or force of […]

Are you helping your children to despise themselves?

Are you helping your children to despise themselves? It is simple thing—you asked your 8-year-old boy to take out the garbage. He doesn’t respond. You reason that maybe he didn’t hear you. So rather than cause a scene, you just ask him later. Then, later comes. So you ask him again, a little more loudly this time. This time he responds and says he will, right after he finishes his game. You tell him you’re good with that and move on. A half-hour later, you see he is still at the game and the garbage is still in place. You walk over to him and demand that he take the garbage out NOW.  He says okay and does it but he is […]

Gentleness is grace and power

Gentleness is God’s answer to conflict. Gentleness is the quality you need to present God’s truth fairly, accurately and effectively to your children. Gentleness is part of the Holy Spirit’s fruit which stands in direct contrast to the works of the flesh. In Proverbs, gentleness turns aside wrath. Paul tells Timothy to instruct his opponents with gentleness. James describes being gentle as displaying wisdom from above. Jesus describes himself as gentle and humble of heart. These are five robust examples of the power of gentleness Gentleness stands against the deeds of the flesh. Gentleness turns aside wrath. Gentleness instructs those who oppose you. Gentleness demonstrates wisdom from above. Gentleness describes the heart of Christ. Gentleness is an underused tool in […]

Friend or enemy?

A loving friend is one who cares about you enough to say what is true. This truth may be about dangers you face and even character issues that you need to examine. But failing to be truthful may also have an aggressive, nasty, secretive component of which to be aware. God has provided a way for you to be able to recognize enemies disguised as friends. Proverbs provides the insight you need to protect yourself and your children. Proverbs 27:5-6 combines two real life examples to help you discern between friends and those who would hurt you. Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy. In verse […]

Personal Conflict

The origin of many personal conflicts comes from the inability to distinguish between opinion and objective fact. If it is only your opinion, then ask God for the grace and humility to hear and understand the opinions of others. Maybe they have something of value you need to hear. If it is only your opinion don’t value your own worth so much that you are willing to cause relational damage just to make your point. A fool finds no pleasure in understanding, but delights in airing his own opinion. Proverbs 18:2 If what you are presenting is factual then ask God for the patience to present what you think with a quiet and gentle spirit. Pleasant words promote instruction, not […]

Do you have the courage to be gentle?

A gentle response to an angry or defiant act seems weak and out of place. The Holy Spirit has a different perspective: A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1 The Hebrew word for gentle here means the quality of being tender, soft, delicate in substance. This is not exactly the first response that comes to mind when someone you know or your teenager opposes you. There are two natural responses when this happens. Both are equally wrong and destructive. The first is to fight fire with fire, to let others know you won’t stand for their behavior. The second is to be hurt and withdraw either in fear or humiliation. But the […]

The problem with things

We are often surprised when our children become unhappy with their toys. It is easy to forget that toys are merely things, material things. In this sense we are often like our children. We are surprised when things don’t make us happy. The miscalculation of this age, of any age, is to look for hope without looking for God.  A culture rich with material things is a culture that will be dominated by bitterness and disappointment. Why? Because things never satisfy. Ultimately, they will always disappoint. Your children can have a closet full of toys. You can have more things than you imagined. The result is the same. When you live for material things you measure happiness by what you can see, […]

Wisdom without passion is not wisdom

Biblical wisdom is designed to transform lives. As the Proverbs teach, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, fools despise wisdom. Wisdom is not neutral or passive. Wisdom thrives on passion and love for God. Take this example from Joseph’s life. The woman provocatively grabbed Joseph’s clothing with such force it was clear that only one thing was on her mind. Joseph’s response was also swift and passionate. He tore himself away, leaving her holding on to his cloak. Such a passionate response is not simply an academic decision. Joseph’s response was like Job’s. Job feared God and shunned evil. Wisdom driven by passion protected Joseph. This same dynamic is true for your children. If there is […]

Five Proverbs essential for biblical parenting

Proverbs 16 offers key, comprehensive insights about establishing authority on the basis of righteousness; this kind of authority encourages. Here are five selected Proverbs from this chapter: Proverbs 16:3 – You must be sold out to God! Commit to the LORD whatever
you do,  and your plans will succeed. Your commitment to God must be total. You are committing all of your life to honor God. In parenting this means a commitment to use God’s methods to accomplish God’s purpose. Authority without this commitment is destructive and frustrating! Proverbs 16:11 – Your word as a parent must be consistent and trustworthy. Honest scales and balances are from the LORD;
all the weights in the bag are of his making. This couplet stresses […]