God’s Colorful Guide to Marriage
The outlook for a joy filled lifelong marriage is bleak without the Lord! To help us, God has left a colorful guide to marriage; it is a timeless list of personalities to be avoided at all costs, and personalities to be attracted toward. This list is in the Bible. Nestled among the 66 books of God's Word are the 31 chapters, 915 verses and over 15,000 words of the Book of Proverbs. This week I poured over this book and found there are over 200 verses that actually declare what good men and women, boys and girls look and act like, and what the ungodly opposites look and act like. Have you refreshed your understanding of what the Lord in His infinite wisdom has said about this very practical and relevant area?
Good Boys and Men Look and Act Like This
Listen to what God says we can be by His grace. This is what you should want to be, what we should want to be around, what we should be drawn toward:
Seek to become a man who is Wise (1.5) Proverbs 1:5 A wise man will hear and increase learning, And a man of understanding will attain wise counsel. The Lord has already told us in James 3.17 that this wise man has wisdom from above. He is characterized as pure, peaceable, gentle, and easy to talk things over with, full of mercy and wanting to do good.
Seek to become a man who is Happy (3.13) Proverbs 3:13 Happy is the man who finds wisdom, And the man who gains understanding. The Sermon on the Mount says it all. Happy are the pure in heart, Happy are the meek, Happy are the humble, Happy are the peace makers, Happy are the righteous seekers, and Happy are those who are hungry for God.
Seek to become a man who is Blessed (8.34) Proverbs 8:34 Blessed is the man who listens to me, Watching daily at my gates, Waiting at the posts of my doors. As Psalm 1 says the Blessed Man is rooted deep in God's Word, the Blessed Man is full of God’s fruit, and the Blessed Man is won’t walk, or stand, or sit with those who mock God. And on that point, parents are you aware that your teen aged children sit week after week whispering, passing notes, laughing, and doing everything but paying attention? They should sit with you until they are mature enough to act honorably and respectfully out of your presence.
Seek to become a man who is Just (9.9) Proverbs 9:9 Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; Teach a just man, and he will increase in learning. This quality of being just is like the English word ‘straight’. This man is straight – in his talk, walk, habits, convictions. You know who he is and where he is going.
Seek to become a man who is Merciful (11.17) Proverbs 11:17 The merciful man does good for his own soul, But he who is cruel troubles his own flesh. Hitler surrounded himself with men who were evil, and cruel. Together they made the darkest blot yet seen in history. Stay away from those who delight in cruel words, attitudes, and actions.
Seek to become a man who is Sowing righteousness (11.18) Proverbs 11:18 The wicked man does deceptive work, But he who sows righteousness will have a sure reward. What we plant we reap. Sow secret sins and they come back at harvest time. Sow in godliness and life gets sweeter and sweeter.
Seek to become a man who is Good (12.2) Proverbs 12:2 A good man obtains favor from the Lord, But a man of wicked intentions He will condemn. Remember real goodness is a fruit of God present within a person’s life. There is no clearer indicator of what a man will be like than his goodness level. Is he drawn toward what is good or evil? Few people turn out very far from where they are headed right now. Change your direction, turn toward the Lord who is good if you are not facing Him and headed toward Him today.
Seek to become a man who is Rooted in righteousness (12.3) Proverbs 12:3 A man is not established by wickedness, But the root of the righteous cannot be moved. As Psalm 1 and Jeremiah 17.8 both say, righteousness holds us firmly in the place where God can make us flourish fruitfully and securely.
Seek to become a man who is Righteous in every day life (12.10) Proverbs 12:10 A righteous man regards the life of his animal, But the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel. An animal might have been his transportation – so the Lord should be evident in your car. How you drive, keep up, and decorate your car declares a lot about you. Also an animal might have been his work. God says righteousness invades all of life even the barnyard (or work). A righteous man exhibits the Lord in how he treats the indefensible, the weak, the common.
Seek to become a man who is Prudent (12.16) Proverbs 12:16 A fool’s wrath is known at once, But a prudent man covers shame. Another fruit of God living within is self control. A fool lets it all out, vents, rages, carries on. The prudent man knows how to respond in hard, difficult or shameful times.
Seek to become a man who is Diligent (12.24) Proverbs 12:24 The hand of the diligent will rule, But the lazy man will be put to forced labor. Proverbs describes the lazy a.k.a. sluggards 14 times. That is a study in itself. How much heartache would be avoided if a lazy man was not an option. Laziness seems to only grow.
Seek to become a man who is Good (14.14) Proverbs 14:14 The backslider in heart will be filled with his own ways, But a good man will be satisfied from above. The surest sign of danger in a man is when you detect that he is full of himself. He talks about himself, shows himself off, promotes himself, and on and on he goes. This is a life that is sliding backward towards an abyss, don’t attach yourself to such a person or you will be pulled down and into his abyss.
Seek to become a man who is Wisely Cautious (14.16; also12.8) Proverbs 14:16 A wise man fears and departs from evil, But a fool rages and is self-confident. Brashness, overconfidence, and foolhardiness are not noble virtues.
Seek to become a man who is Following the way of the upright (15.19) Proverbs 15:19 The way of the lazy man is like a hedge of thorns, But the way of the upright is a highway. Here is another one of the 14 verses containing ‘lazy man’ warnings. The way of the righteous is a path that God designs, and the wise follow. It is an exhilarating life of adventure, excitement, and wonders – walking on the high places of the earth as Isaiah describes it. But the wicked in all their seeming gaiety are actually walking through a hedge of thorns. Like cut, scrapes, scratches, and tears them up with every step. Which path do you want to take?
Seek to become a man who is Wise son (15.20) Proverbs 15:20 A wise son makes a father glad, But a foolish man despises his mother. Watch carefully how a boy relates to his parents. What he was at home will touch his life with blessing or lacking all the days of his life.
Seek to become a man who is Humble (18.12) Proverbs 18:12 Before destruction the heart of a man is haughty, And before honor is humility. The key to God’s blessing is a humble life. Haughtiness invites disaster.
Seek to become a man who is Excellent (22.29) Proverbs 22:29 Do you see a man who excels in his work? He will stand before kings; He will not stand before unknown men. The mark of an excellent man, who will excel in whatever he does is that he practices, and perfects a skill in his life. There is no limit God says to what I can do with one who works hard at what he does.
Seek to become a man who is Upright (29.27) Proverbs 29:27 An unjust man is an abomination to the righteous, And he who is upright in the way is an abomination to the wicked.
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