Proverbs 31

proverbs 31 d proverbs 31

Those of you who read the Bible know that there are 31 chapters in the book of Proverbs. Yet recently I was introduced to Proverbs 32. I would like to recommend this book entitled God on Sex by Daniel Akin. I can’t wait to read it over again. That is most definitely the trait of a great book. Proverbs 32 is recorded in this book.

The Husband of Noble Character

A husband of noble character who can find? He is worth more than winning the Publisher’s Clearing House Sweepstakes.

His wife has full confidence in him and lacks nothing of importance. He brings her good, not harm, all the days of her life. He  works hard to provide for his family. Getting up early he helps get the kids ready for school, then dashes off to work.

With his shoulder to the grindstone, he works with energy and vigor, as one who is working for the Lord. And while busy he always finds time to call his wife during the day just to say, “I love you.” He promptly comes home from work and immediately pitches in with the chores, helping the children with their homework, or with making dinner. While hot dogs and baked beans are his specialty, he doesn’t fear heating up a TV dinner or even making a meat loaf. He does this with such ease that all are amazed and in awe.

When his wife prepares a meal, he always eats with gusto and, when finished never forgets to smile and tell her how great it was. Of course, he is always the first to volunteer to do the dishes or at least to volunteer the children to complete the task!

All in all he is a joy to have in the kitchen.

As a father there is no equal on the face of the earth. No matter how exhausted from work or other responsibilities, he always takes time for his children. Whether it is making funny faces at the baby, tickling the small child , wrestling or playing with an older child or making pained and disbelieving expressions at his teenager, he is always there for them. He is a whiz at math, science, spelling, geography, Spanish and any other subject his children are studying at school. And if he should be totally ignorant of the subject at hand, he skillfully hides his ignorance by sending the children to mother.

He can fix any problem from a scraped knee to loose bicycle chains, from interpreting rules for a kickball game to refereeing sparing matches between his kids. More importantly, he is also the spiritual leader in the family. He always takes the family to church. He shows his children by life and example, what it means to love the Lord Jesus and be a Christian.

( I like that part. )

He teaches his children how to pray and the importance of knowing and loving God. He often rises early to pray for his wife and children, and he reads from his Bible  at night before falling off to sleep. He disciplines his children with loving firmness, never yelling or with humiliating words. He is always more interested in teaching a lesson and building character than simply punishing.

During the day he meditates on God’s Word and on how to live it. He shows Christ in all his dealings with others and is considered a valuable employee by his bosses. His co-workers respect his hard work, his integrity, and his kindness.

He always shows his wife the utmost respect, even opening the door for her. He is always quick with a word of encouragement and is constantly telling her how beautiful she is, even when she isn’t wearing any makeup. A day seldom passes that he doesn’t tell her of his love for her. Praise for her is always on his lips. Anniversaries and birthdays are never forgotten, and gifts and flowers are often given “just because.” And he even makes superhuman efforts to be nice when her family is visiting.

He is full of compassion for the pain of others and willingly helps those in need. Whether it is changing  a stranger’s flat tire, helping with a friend’s home improvement project, or feeding the poor at the local soup kitchen, he is the first to volunteer. He is not afraid to shed a tear with a friend in pain or to be rowdy in laughter at another’s good joke.

He loves life and lives it with passion.

His children, while not always calling him “blessed”, have no doubts about his great love for them. His wife also calls him many things, among them, “the best,” and she thanks God for him. Many men do many great things, but he surpasses them all.

Flattery is deceptive and good looks, like hair, are fleeting; but a man who fear the Lord is to be praised. Give him the reward he has earned, and let his deeds bring him praise.

Michael M. Jones

Louisville Kentucky 1996

Although there are cultural disparities and the cynical may roll their eyes, this passage from Proverbs 32 gives the men a standard to keep. Just the same for Proverbs 31. It is not about perfection. It is about living a purposeful life which is pleasing to God.

proverbs 31 a proverbs 31c

As you all know, this year of 2015 marks achievement and accomplishment. Still a work in progress but God is continuing the work that he begun in me. On Sunday, I will be celebrating my 31st birthday and I have a tall order to live up to. My proposal is to live according to the principles of Proverbs 31. Why you join me in living an abundant life in the love of God?

proverbs 31 e

Grow Up

Though life may be fraught with failures, we have the power to transform them. We can only do this through God’s help. Through our troubles, we can depend on God’s strength to sustain us when we are tired. We can depend on God’s guidance to help us make difficult decisions. We can trust in Him and take refuge in His arms when life becomes overwhelming. Through the pressures of life, God makes those things which we deem impossible an endless possibility. We have that gift by means of His presence which is characterized by love, hope, peace and joy.

grow up 1

This song by Harry Chapin entitled, “We Grew Up a Little Bit”, resonated with me and I hope that you can ask yourself this question, no matter what age you are: “Can we grow a little bit this year?”

We got married early and just a little bit late
Baby came too early but some things just can’t wait
We were just beginning but it was very clear
We grew up a little bit that year

I caught on as a meter man, you were caught at home
When I started night school, you ended up alone
But you had another baby while I had my career
And we grew up a little bit, we grew up a little bit
We grew up a little bit that year

They put me in an office job, a young man on the move
We bought a house in Shaker Heights, you supervised the move
We were cashing checks, you were changing children
While I played engineer and we were growing ever faster every year

I got bored of kilowatts, you were tired of kids
I started staying out at night and soon that’s what you did
At parties we’d go separately, you’d wiggle and I’d leer
And we were growing faster, we were growing ever faster
We were growing ever faster every year

You learned to live in silence, I learned to live in lies
And we both ignored the empty spaces growing in our eyes
Your breath became a gin and tonic, mine became a beer
And we grew up a little more last year

Today at work they passed me by and promoted John instead
I came home to find you’d wrecked the car, I guess I lost my head
Well, I can’t believe I hit you but the rage came on so strong
Ah, where did we go wrong?

As you sit there crying, I wonder who you are
The partner, stranger, friend and foe who’s come with me this far
We stand here in the ashes and I guess it is quite clear
We did not really grow too much each year

So you say we’re going nowhere, well I know that’s where we’ve been
Still I can’t help wondering, can we begin again?
I feel so full of questions curiosity and fear
But could we grow a little bit? Could we grow a little bit?
Can we grow a little bit this year?

grow up 2           grow up

I Want To Make You Smile

“What is God trying to say to me through this tough situation? There is an answer here, and I mean to find it. I know that, with the help of God, I can handle this situation and turn it into happy results.” – Norman Vincent Peale (Reaching Your Potential p.14)

Being positive is not only smiling from ear to ear all of the time. Being positive requires a complete transformation and renewal of the mind. While I was reading Reaching Your Potential by Norman Vincent Peale, the Gospel radio station was playing this song called Smile by Jonathan Nelson featuring Purpose. The lyrics of the song held the answer to the question: What is God trying to say to me through this tough situation? Over and over the singer crooned the emotional sentence: “I want to make you smile.” A dual revelation presented itself. Not only do I want to make God smile, but God wants to make me smile.

smile 2

How do you know that God is smiling at you? What does God do in your life that makes you smile? I received the following responses:

God makes me smile when He answers my prayers in His perfect time. I needed a place to stay and just like that I was searching online and found the perfect house. The rent was a little high but the owner and I negotiated to an appropriate price. It was ready for me. I felt the tug of doubt all the way through but the voice of God told me that it was the right time and not to worry.

God makes me smile by giving me life and His angels to watch over me. When I think about the true meaning of grace and how wonderful the grace of God is, I smile.

God makes me smile when I look up in the beautiful sky and thank Him for giving me all of the things that I need.

smile 4

Now how do you make God smile? Some persons were reluctant to answer this question because they were unsure of how God looks like when He smiles. I believe that the blessings that God bestows on us are the evidence of Him smiling down at us. The Morning Prayer at the school where I teach, gives me the blueprint on the ways to make God smile. Allow me to share it with you.

Thank you God for bringing us to school today. Guard us this day. Help us to be attentive during lessons. To be respectful and obedient. To think clean thoughts, speak kind words and be kind to others. For Christ’s sake Amen.

This is how I make God smile: By being attentive to the life lessons that He is teaching me, respecting Him and obeying His Word. I do this through the cleanliness of my thoughts and the kindness that should exude from my speech and my actions. I try my utmost to make God smile.

smile

Have you made God smile today? Resolve in this New Year and for the rest of your life to be a source of happiness and joy. Just like the reflection of the face in water, so will your heart reflect who you are. I want to make You smile with my thoughts, words, actions, character and destiny.

smile 3