Propriety elevates our words, our appearance, and our attitudes. Propriety means acting in a way worthy of the Gospel in dress 1 Peter , speech, and attitude Colossians If your behavior is worthy of the Gospel, the source of that behavior will be a heart authentically bowed in humble submission to Jesus as Lord. Faith in the goodness of God in the face of extreme adversity grows out of a discipline of perseverance in the day-in, day-out grind of everyday life.
It involves submitting to God in our trials while trusting him to be good, wise, merciful, just, kind, lovingly all-knowing, and all-powerful. How we care for others will be dictated by where God places us—in a home, in a hospital, in the inner city, wherever. Let us fill our days with good deeds. There is no contradiction between grace and hard work.
Sign In. Other Retailers. A good friend does not allow us to become intellectually stagnant, but prods us on to higher and greater thoughts. A plan in the heart of a man is like deep water, But a man of understanding draws it out Why should one of these friends not be your mate? Those whom we choose as friends should be marked by wisdom and thus have godly counsel to offer.
Think back for a moment to the account of David, Nabal, and Abigail in 1 Samuel David was angered because of the ungracious words of Nabal to his young men. He was determined to wipe out every male in the house of Nabal , I would simply point out that David was indeed wise to marry a woman who could offer such wise counsel.
And we would do well to marry one who offers wise counsel as well. Why is it, then, that husbands seem to think that the biblical instruction concerning the submission of the wife to her husband precludes her offering him wise counsel, if offered tactfully and in a submissive spirit? Let us learn from David and Abigail. While we should seek those with the above-mentioned qualities to be our friends, we must also shun those who have characteristics which would hinder our walk in wisdom.
If we are not to associate with the following kinds of people, certainly we ought not to marry them either. Here are some character traits which would seem to disqualify a person as a partner in marriage:. He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will suffer harm Leave the presence of a fool, Or you will not discern words of knowledge Do not associate with a man given to anger; Or go with a hot-tempered man, Lest you learn his ways, And find a snare for yourself Do not be envious of evil men, Nor desire to be with them; For their minds devise violence, And their lips talk of trouble He who is a partner with a thief hates his own life; He hears the oath but tells nothing My son, fear the Lord and the king; Do not associate with those who are given to change; For their calamity will rise suddenly, And who knows the ruin that comes from both of them?
A good leader is modest, not arrogant.
There are some who are always out to change things--society, government, other people. It is not wrong to try to improve things, but the revolutionary is more bent on removing than improving. The revolutionary wants change for the sake of change, not change for the sake of improvement. Incidentally, some seem bent on finding a mate who needs improving--a sort of life-long project. Proverbs does not recommend it. He who keeps the law is a discerning son, But he who is a companion of gluttons humiliates his father Some time ago I was arrested by the words of the Centurion in the Gospel of Matthew:.
Up until this time I had always understood the Centurion to say that he was a man of authority, not a man under it. Perhaps this is some kind of euphemism. But I believe that it is a biblical principle and one that is evident in life that no man is fit for authority who has not learned to be subject to it. After all, even our Lord learned obedience Heb. I believe that Proverbs teaches us that we can tell much about the character of a person by observing his relationship to his parents.
Note these passages:. A foolish son is a grief to his father, And bitterness to her who bore him He who assaults his father and drives his mother away Is a shameful and disgraceful son Listen to your father who begot you, And do not despise your mother when she is old The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice, And he who begets a wise son will be glad in him.
Let your father and your mother be glad, And let her rejoice who gave birth to you There is a kind of man who curses his father, And does not bless his mother All of these passages point to the fact that a good son is a godly man, and a godly man makes a good husband. Any man who is not a good son will not be a good husband.
What are the characteristics of a Christian?
There is one more proverb which has to do with parents. Frankly, I find it troublesome, but it informs us that we must seek to learn something of the home life of our mate before we marry him--or her:. Under three things the earth quakes, And under four, it cannot bear up: Under a slave when he becomes king, And a fool when he is satisfied with food, Under an unloved woman when she gets a husband, And a maidservant when she supplants her mistress There is a common thread which runs through each of these four unbearable situations--one gets something which he is unaccustomed to and which he will find difficult to handle once he has it.
A slave has only known authority over him, yet when he becomes king his authority is absolute. His temptation will be to abuse his newly acquired authority. A fool would normally know only poverty and deprivation. With a full stomach he will hardly know how to behave. Certainly much of his incentive will be lost.
A maidservant who now has authority over her mistress will be inclined to get even by making life miserable for her former mistress. She who once felt abused and oppressed will give her mistress a taste of oppression. So too with an unloved woman.
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Since she has never known genuine love, she may very well presume upon it and by trying to drink this new cup to the full make her husband regret the day he vowed to be faithful in his love toward her. I realize that some of you have come from homes in which there was little or no love. You may wonder if this proverb condemns you to a life of loneliness. I think not.
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But it should warn us that those who have not known love in their childhood years will have a tendency to abuse it in marriage. A mate who has not been loved by parents should not take this out on the marriage partner. And the one who marries a mate who has been unloved should be sensitive to the kind of problems such a childhood produces. The sins of the fathers and mothers are passed along, to later generations Ex. Throughout the Book of Proverbs we have seen the teaching of the father and the mother, instructing and warning the child.
Unfortunately, that is not the way every home operates. I am sure most of us are not entirely happy with the way we are raising our children. This means that we may learn a great deal about our mate by giving thought to the home environment in which he or she was raised. Here is a factor we cannot afford to overlook.
Initially it seemed that Proverbs had little to say to the woman who sought to discern the qualities of a godly husband. I have come to see that this is not at all the case. In general, we can say that a woman should seek a man who is wise. Since we have already studied the characteristics of the wise, we will only summarize them here. These seem especially applicable to marriage:. A wise husband is willing to be corrected even by his wife and listens to counsel ; ,; ; A wise husband is faithful and reliable ; ; contrast ; A wise husband is a man who avoids excesses ; , ; A wise husband has a concern for others, especially the poor and the oppressed A wise husband fears God and is obedient to His Word ; ; ; ; As I look at these characteristics of the wise I am reminded of the qualifications laid down by the apostle Paul for elders and deacons in 1 Timothy 3.
I find a great similarity between the qualifications for church leaders and the characteristics of the wise in Proverbs. But should this come as a surprise? In this sense 1 Timothy 3 only summarizes what Proverbs has taught in greater detail. For prospective mates the implications of this message should be obvious.
In general, your mate should manifest the characteristics of one who is wise. More specifically, a godly husband or wife will not be the kind of person with whom Proverbs warns us not to associate, but will evidence the qualities of a good friend. Anyone who chooses to disregard the teaching of Proverbs on marriage will live to regret it. I find it distressing to admit that much of the force of the warnings of Proverbs concerning marriage has been nullified by a fact of 20th century Christian life--divorce has become an acceptable alternative to an unhappy marriage, even among Christians.
Even Christians do not tend to heed the warnings about a contentious mate because they believe that if their marriage does not work out they can simply walk away from their commitment and try again. That, to me, is a very sad commentary on contemporary Christianity.
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Why is it that our teaching on marriage, divorce, and remarriage differs so greatly from that of our Lord? Does he have a temper?
It is difficult to overestimate the damage caused when we lose our temper. Feelings can be hurt, relationships destroyed, property damaged—all due to uncontrolled temper. Of course, a woman who wants to marry a godly man must be developing godly character herself—becoming a Proverbs 31 woman. And if a man wants to marry such a woman, then he needs to become a Proverbs 31 man.
These five aspects of godly character are a good start and are essential ingredients of a Christian man of character. Tom Clark married his lovely wife, Mary, in They have three grown children and three grandchildren with more on the way! In addition to his pastoral responsibilities in the United States, he serves overseas as the senior pastor for congregations in Nigeria and Ghana, West Africa, where he has worked since He usually travels to Africa for pastoral visits three times a year, spending roughly five to six weeks there throughout the year.
Continue Reading. Whom does he follow? Whether he does so will become evident as you observe his daily conduct. No matter his cultural background, his level of education or his depth of experiences—if he follows Jesus Christ first, you will recognize it. Is he humble? What does his communication say about his character? Does he show appreciation, or is he sharp and critical, viewing other people as existing only to serve him?
Is he generous?