The Importance of a Good Wife – Proverbs 12:4

An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who causes shame is like rottenness in his bones. – Proverbs 12:4

A husband may not be responsible for his wife’s actions, but he certainly is seen differently by others in light of her reputation and character. It is a great joy to see a married couple who work together, who highlight the strengths of their spouse and resolve issues well. This proverb speaks of the importance of a good wife and stresses that her character is crucial.

If you were to list what your idea of a good wife would be, what would you mention? The Bible provides a list in Proverbs 31 for us, and I’ll paraphrase some of the things mentioned. Check out the full list here in Proverbs 31:10-31 (the link goes to Bible Gateway). Do these characteristics match up with what you have in mind for a good wife?

  • Her husband trusts her and her actions. (vs. 11)
  • She does good, not evil. (vs.12)
  • She purchases materials and makes clothes. (vs.13)
  • She is an early riser in order to serve he family. (vs.15)
  • She is a profitable land investor. (vs. 16)
  • She has strong arms. (vs.17)
  • She cares for poor and needy people. (vs.20)
  • Her actions help make her husband famous. (vs. 23)
  • She speaks with wisdom and kindness. (vs.26)
  • She fears the LORD. (vs.30)
  • Her deeds are praised. (vs. 31)

Does anything in this list make you uneasy? I’m slightly scared of this type of woman! Surely only men are supposed to strengthen their arms? However King Lemuel, the writer of Proverbs 31, and highly influenced by his mother, thought differently (“The words of King Lemuel, the utterance which his mother taught him:” – Proverbs 31:1).
Unlike our world’s idea of a wife having a demeaning role in the home and in society, Proverbs portrays an extremely positive and powerful picture of a married woman who is godly and wise. This woman has strength in many areas. She supports her husband’s work and makes him the talk of the town. People assess her, nudge the lucky husband, and say, “You did well with her, buddy! (or say it under Facebook pics of her!)”
The proverb we are looking at in 12:4 speaks of this type of woman crowning the head of her husband. This crowning seems to speak of honour, headship, and glory – all things that lift up the husband in the eyes of his community. He is truly blessed 2334811445_29e4083a9c to have such a wonderful wife, who supports him and doesn’t supplant his authority. The opposite type of woman mentioned has intent to cause unrest and pain to her husband. Her actions bring his status among the community into disrepute, since, as the argument goes, what wise man would have married her? A man whose wife constantly makes unwise and spiteful decisions will find his efforts to get anywhere in life severely held up. The proverb speaks of the shameful wife rotting her spouse’s bones. He is hampered in his efforts to flourish in life.
In a world where self-purpose is all important this ideal stands in clear contrast. This excellent wife is satisfied with bringing about God’s and her husband’s glory by excelling in all things in her area of service.
I certainly want to seek such a woman for marriage; as of October, 2013, I’ve yet to marry.
What can we learn from this?
One thing we learn at least is the importance of whom we choose to marry. They will be our closest companion and will help us in our work/ministry. If our spouses seek to be destructive it will be easy as pie for them to bring us down. Your spouse will know you better than anyone else. If, however, they are godly and servant-hearted, your spouse will know how best to serve you. Choose wisely. Peace be with you.

Thanks for reading! – Pedrozki (Pete)

More Reading:

Proverbs speaks of this topic elsewhere: Proverbs 18:2
I’ve written about a similar passage here: Guaranteeing, Honour, and Forgiveness – Proverbs 11:15-17 (verse 16)

5653798858_458f2d65ec_q

Thoughts or questions? Have your say in the comments section!

Note: All scripture is taken from Bible Gateway and is either the New King James Version or New International Version. I am using a commentary by John A. Kitchen for help with difficult concepts and words.

Main image courtesy of Kwadwo Kwarte and the “More Reading” image is courtesy of Vermont Historical Society / Flickr – Creative Commons

God is an Immovable Foundation- Proverbs 12:3

A man is not established by wickedness, but the root of the righteous cannot be moved. – Proverbs 12:3

 

Reading this verse do you feel, as I felt, that this doesn’t initially seem to be true in life?

We see dictators rise and flourish. We see corrupt businessmen take charge of companies. We see the easily persuaded fooled by schemes.

Since this proverb is God’s Word, however, we have to take it seriously. Lets try to understand what it’s saying and how it can apply to our world.

The basis of what a man believes affects his whole way of living. If he serves the God of the Bible, his trust will be in the ways of God, and his efforts will be for God’s glory.

An idol-worshipper, as in anyone who rejects God, will be engaged in a similar way with his god.

This proverbs seems to be saying those who seek to build security in life without God will have unsure footing. Those who live by God’s Word are promised a grounding that is sure.

I find the man who rejects God ends up finding there is a lot of uncertainty in life and clings to anything that promises to provide security. I’ve seen people trust in Science, their reason, a rampantly evil lifestyle, drugs, or even insurance. As much as they claim they are content and have no worries about death, when pressed I find they may honestly admit to the weakness of such gods.

The person, however, who trusts in the infallible, immovable, and all-powerful God, will claim that although life has it’s uncertainties, their life is secure in God, and it is Him whom they will live and die for.

So can an unbelieving person flourish here on Earth? Well, I believe it is possible, but they’re striving against the wisdom and law of God, on which His creation is built upon. They are bound to fall and time will tell whether that will be in this life or the next.

 

6827018401_9ed80646f4_zWhat can we learn from this?

God is the firm foundation on whom we put our trust. Any other ground is unstable and temporary.

If men have great success in gathering wealth and building godless empires, we have to trust that God laughs at their efforts, as He’s laughed throughout the ages at men doing just that. Egypt fell. Babylon fell. Persia fell. Rome fell. Nazi Germany fell. It is only by God withholding his judgement that such people can still stand nowadays.

We can know that trusting in anything but God is folly and idolatry. See Jeremiah 11:11-12 for what God said to disobedient and distrustful Israel.

Read also Isaiah 31:1-3 here:

Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help,
who rely on horses,
who trust in the multitude of their chariots

and in the great strength of their horsemen,
but do not look to the Holy One of Israel,
or seek help from the Lord.
Yet he too is wise and can bring disaster;
he does not take back his words.
He will rise up against that wicked nation,
against those who help evildoers.
But the Egyptians are mere mortals and not God;
their horses are flesh and not spirit.
When the Lord stretches out his hand,
those who help will stumble,
those who are helped will fall;
all will perish together. (NIV)

Thanks for reading! Pedrozki (Pete)

Thoughts or questions? Have your say in the comments section!

Note: All scripture is taken from Bible Gateway and is either the New King James Version or New International Version. I am using a commentary by John A. Kitchen for help with difficult concepts and words.

Image courtesy of  mikebaird / Flickr – Creative Commons

Come under Instruction – Proverbs 12:1

Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge,

But he who hates correction is stupid.” – Proverbs 12:1

Do you enjoy being corrected? Does it just make your day when someone shows you a better way of doing something?

This proverb’s first line points to an attitude that seems to be rare among us Australians. We like to be our own boss and not have people laying down teaching on us. We are more likely to have the attitude of the second line.

Is this proverb in line with how life really works out? Lets follow the logic of this. Suppose a new person on the work-site comes ready to listen and be taught properly the way the site runs, does he learn better and quicker then if he hadn’t that good attitude?

It’s pretty clear that the new guy would have an easier time than if he had rejected any attempt at teaching or correction on how he did things. If he did that he would have only so long in that job!

business people group working in customer and help desk office

If he is wrong in an area, a good attitude would be to eagerly listen to wiser and more seasoned work-mates and to alter his method.

The person who refuses to follow instructions from people who know better will learn the lesson the hard way.

So, are many people walking around being stupid because they reject teaching? Apparently so, but I don’t think this proverb is saying a person loses brain cells for not listening. Instead, it’s as if they were stupid and brainless, for not accepting teaching, especially when it comes from God’s Word. Anyone with a brain should accept instruction.

If instruction needs to be sought after in order to get to knowledge, a person’s attitude is extremely important. They must come with an attitude of humility, confessing that they don’t know everything and could well be wrong in some way.

Now, what can we learn from this?

Because this is such an open proverb we can apply its truth to all aspects of our lives. Whether we are still under our fathers’ authority, or are under a boss or pastor, we have a great opportunity to be taught well. Those in charge probably have had much more experience and knowledge in life.  It is wise to listen to them.

It is the same with God’s Word. We can’t learn anything from it if we don’t come under its teaching and acknowledge its truth. We need to humble ourselves to be taught to fear the LORD. As Proverbs 1:7 says “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Amen.

-Thanks for reading! Pedrozki (Pete)

Thoughts or questions? Have your say in the comments section!

Note: All scripture is taken from Bible Gateway and is the New King James Version. I am using a commentary by John A.Kitchen for help with difficult concepts and words.

Image courtesy of  zigzagpress

Sin affects the Righteous and the Wicked – Proverbs 11:31

If the righteous will be recompensed on the earth,

How much more the ungodly and the sinner.” – Proverbs 11:31

Even those living in faithfulness to God and His word will stumble and fall, and just like for any other sinner, there are consequences for them. Sin has a way of causing so much hurt and lasting problems, and it affects all people, whether or not they actively seek out evil deeds.

We can see examples of righteous people in the Bible being brought low with sin, and God allowing or bringing about consequences for the evil:

– Abraham slept with Hagar, his wife’s female servant, in order to get the child he feared he would never have with Sarah. Hagar had a boy, who was a source of jealousy for Sarah, and a threat to the first-born status of Isaac. (Genesis 21:8-11)

– God declared to King David that he would lose the son he conceived with Bathsheba, for his sexual sin with her, and his murder of Uriah, her husband. He was spared death himself, though. (I Samuel 12:9-15)

In these cases, we see a generally faithful servant of God suffering from the result of their sinful actions.

I believe the proverb is arguing that just as the righteous receive due reward for sin, so much more do the wicked for their lives of sin.

The Bible has examples of the wicked receiving punishment for their actions before God:

– Because he killed Abel, Cain was cursed to be a fugitive wherever he went, but was spared being murdered by his siblings with a mark given by God. (Genesis 4:8-15)

– Every human, but for Noah and his family, were drowned in a world-wide flood, for as the Lord said, “The earth is filled with violence through them.” (Genesis 6:9-13)

– King Belshazzar glorified himself and not the God of the Bible, and the Lord brought utter destruction on him and his line with the invasion of the Medes and Persians. (Daniel 5:22-31)

If it is the case that when even the faithful sin, they are punished, how much more so that those who utterly reject God and live life in complete rebellion will suffer.

Now, what can we learn as Christians?

4369650053_657b035122_o

Sin is not to be trifled with. It is destructive to every life, and God does not deal lightly with offenders. There is great mercy and grace in a believers life, though, and God does spare us from his punishment. He instead disciplines us as a father disciplines his children, wanting us to grow to despise the sin as He does. This idea comes out in Hebrews 12:3-9 (sorry for so many links!) where the writer argues that we should receive God’s chastening well.

While we should expect people who reject God with their lives to suffer a lot, I doubt we have any good reason to gloat over them. We were once like them, under God’s anger. May we not so easily forget our beginnings. Amen.

-Thanks for reading! – Pedrozki (Pete)

Thoughts or questions? Have your say in the comments section!

Note: All scripture is taken from Bible Gateway and is the New King James Version. I am using a commentary by John A.Kitchen for help with difficult concepts and words.

Image courtesy of dr.joe_sim

The Proverbs of Solomon. – On Proverbs 10:1-3

Pre-post Pointer:

The last 9 chapters of Proverbs have been intense, and they have probably been hard going for most of us. We have been brought through Solomon’s teaching to obey fathers, seek wisdom, flee immorality, avoid evildoers, and fear God, all in detailed form. That is the part of Proverbs that mostly gets ignored when we search for a quote from this book. We are much more familiar with most of the rest of Proverbs, I dare say. As you can see, this is why I chose to go through this book as it reads. This way we don’t leave out the hard or intriguing bits!

——–

Chapter 10 starts with all that’s familiar from Proverbs, and that’s the sayings. You know, Solomon’s little sayings that are logical and that present both sides of the coin, both for the wise and foolish, the righteous and wicked, the prudent and lazy, and so on. They are both frustratingly black and white and wondrously powerful. Having had the charge to seek wisdom and flee sin from the first 9 chapters, lets read and wrestle with these sayings with God’s help.

 

1 The Proverbs of Solomon: a wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish son is the grief of his mother.”

 

5969478944_c342204339_n

Lawrence OP

Let’s consider this Solomon’s catchphrase. Godly parents want their children to be godly themselves, and so when that is the result of their hard work and prayers, they rejoice. If their children are steadfastly disobedient and unwise, they will grieve over them as wasted time and tears. It’s not always the parents’ fault when their child is unrepentant, but they will feel responsible, nonetheless. It is a parent’s role to teach their child the fear of God and way of obedience, yet it is the role of the child to obey his or her parents. They are similarly responsible.

 

2 Treasures of wickedness profit nothing, but righteousness delivers from death.”

 

What are the blessings of wickedness? Diddly Squat. Living a sinful life does not profit in the long run. This is because God is holy, and since He gives life, living in evilness is rejecting our Maker and only accepting His blessings. This may seem to work here in this life, but God will judge us after this life, and condemn the unrepentant to Hell, where there are none of His blessings, only cursing. When God sees instead sees a repentant man clothed in righteousness, the man will be safe from that fate.

 

3 The Lord will not allow the righteous soul to famish, but He casts away the desire of the wicked.”

 

Our desires say a lot about us. They show where are hearts are at, and God notices. The man who seeks God and wants wisdom will be blessed by Him. The man who seeks his own ends and forgets God will not get aid from Him. God is always involved in this world. The whole Bible is clear on that. What we do has an impact on how God treats us. We couldn’t expect anything else. We need to rely fully on the grace God provides through Jesus if we ever expect to be seen as righteous. Amen.

———

Thoughts or questions? Write them down in the comment section below!

 

Note: All scripture is taken from Biblestudytools.com and is the New King James Version. I am using a commentary by John Kitchen for help with difficult concepts and words.