Proverbs 3:15 – Hard Way

“Good understanding wins favour, but the way of the unfaithful is *hard” – Proverbs 13:5

(*or does not endure)

What is a characteristic of a wise woman? This proverb focuses on good understanding.

What is good understanding?

Good understanding here seems to be to characterising people who learn the right thing to do and who also live it out. They are willing to be taught and to change. They are promised favour with God and with men.

The unfaithful are the ones who learn the ways of God but reject them, having a way of living that turns aside. They are not willing to change from destructive habits or behaviour. There is hardship and fleeting pleasure in that path, we are told.

If we can listen to people in our life who will guide us well, we might avoid a lot of sorrow.

Thanks for reading!

Similar Proverbs: 13:13

Photo Attribution:
KAPITAN ÑAÑO 

Used under Creative Commons Lic: BY-NC-ND 2.0

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)

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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

Are You Living Like a Fool? – Proverbs 11:29

He who troubles his own house will inherit the wind,

And the fool will be servant to the wise of heart.” – Proverbs 11:29

A household that is disjointed and divided against itself can’t function well, as Jesus Himself said, and the first part of this proverb seems to have a similar message.

A member of a household who brings down his family, either through wasteful use of assets, or through causing relational rifts between their parents or children, is shooting themselves in the foot.

How can someone expect good outcomes out of bringing trouble to the people who rely on you to either lead the family or to carry on their legacy?

The problem is that when someone goes down this path, they may not realise how much longer and more effort it will take to restore relations or assets back to where they were.

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His inheritance might end up being separate from family, with little hope of reunion. He might end up desolate on the streets, like in the story of the prodigal son.

Going on from there, more is said here on how unwise living can bring disaster to one’s life.

The fool is the person who has refused good teaching and has chosen instead the wisdom of men as a guide for his life. They have made decisions focused on their well-being, with little regard to others, and have accrued problems for themselves.

Proverbs tends to use extremes, and here we are told that the fool will serve the wise.

Proverbs aren’t to be taken as hard and fast rules, but rather general principles for life, and here we have indications that the wise of heart are fit for being in charge. The foolish person doesn’t stand much of a chance against them, and because of their choices in life finds themselves under their rule. Is this always the case? No, but if we live like fools, we’re asking for problems like these.

Now, what can we learn as Christians?

We are responsible for our attitude and actions in life. What we place priority on we grow in. If we seek in Christ to grow in holiness and to build up and love those around us, we can grow. It is actually the role of the disciple to seek Christ and to reach out to others with Christ.

Jesus’ last words to His disciples in the book of Matthew speak to this, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20 )

-Thanks for reading! – Pedrozki (Pete)

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

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

Image courtesy of hwanation