Summary: Speak for those who can't speak for themselves.
Wisdom For the Family
Rev. Brian Bill
January 19-20, 2019
It’s probably not appropriate for a Packers fan to bring up the “double doink” field goal missed by Bears kicker Cody Parkey in the closing seconds of their game with the Eagles a couple weeks ago…but I’m going to anyway. Some fans were so upset they sent him death threats.
In contrast to this, I was struck by the words of life spoken by his teammate Kyle Long: “I just told him, ‘Dude, you had half our points today.’ At the end of the day, it’s a team thing. We lost as a team. We win as a team…we could have done better in a lot of areas.”
Another example of the power of words took place this past Sunday when the Eagles were driving against the Saints late in the fourth quarter. It looked like they were going to retake the lead when Nick Foles, the Eagles’ quarterback threw a bullet to one of his favorite targets, Alshon Jeffery. Jeffery, who hadn’t dropped a pass all game, had the ball sail through his hands and into the arms of an Eagle, the interception sealing the game.
Jeffery dropped to the ground, devastated and humiliated. Nick Foles went up to him right away and launched life into him. According to Jeffery, Foles “told me he loved playing with me and we wouldn’t have won a Super Bowl without me.”
I suspect some of you have missed the goal or dropped the ball in your family relationships and responsibilities. I pray this message will contain words of life to help each of us get up off the ground and in the process, that we would help those around us.
Two weeks ago we learned to be wise in God’s eyes, we must revere and draw near in the New Year. Last week we discovered our words have the power to lacerate a life or to give grace to people. What comes out of our mouths either assassinates or encourages. We were challenged to make this commitment: I will use my tongue to launch life instead of delivering death.
As we continue in our series on Proverbs, our focus is on discovering practical wisdom for the family.
Anthropologist John Unwin conducted an in-depth study of 80 civilizations that have come and gone over the last 4,000 years. He discovered each started with strong moral values and a heavy emphasis on the family, but these values eventually declined and the family began to fracture. Because the home hemorrhaged, all 80 nations imploded and eventually collapsed.
The Book of Proverbs is both a marriage manual and a parenting primer. We’re going to look at several passages and give a synopsis for each of the key roles on the family team: husbands, wives, parents, grandparents, and children. We’ll conclude by focusing on how we can protect the smallest family members, the preborn.
I recognize this topic may be difficult for some of you. Perhaps you’ve been deeply hurt by a spouse. Some of you are divorced or widowed, and others of you have never been married. Maybe you’ve not been able to have children or your kids have gone astray, and in some cases, your parents did some pretty bad things to you. My intent is not to make you feel guilty. I simply want to share what Proverbs teaches on the family so those who are currently married will treasure their spouses more, so grandparents and parents will take it up a notch, and so children and young adults will develop greater respect and honor for those God has put in authority over them.
Wisdom For Husbands
Proverbs provides at least three key challenges for husbands:
1. Rejoice in your wife. One of the best ways to honor your bride is to find joy in your relationship with her. Proverbs 5:18: “Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth.” Husbands, when was the last time you thanked God for your wife? Proverbs 18:22 says divine delight is poured out on a husband who recognizes God’s goodness in the gift of a wife: “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.” I included this verse in my vows to Beth over 33 years ago.
2. Value your bride. Proverbs 31:10: “An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.” Don’t take your gift for granted. Value her by spending time with her.
Proverbs 31:28 says, “Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.” Guys, does your wife know she is more important to you than anything else in your life? That’s a challenge during the playoffs, isn’t it?
3. Pursue purity and faithfulness. The Book of Proverbs provides some graphic warnings against adultery in Proverbs 5:22: “The iniquities of the wicked ensnare him, and he is held fast in the cords of his sin.” If you’re starting to stray from your marriage, don’t be fooled by the allure of someone else. One of the best ways to maintain your faithfulness is to be captivated by your wife’s beauty as you rejoice in her and value her for who God has made her to be. Proverbs 5:15: “Drink water from your own cistern, flowing water from your own well.”