I told a friend yesterday that it is impossible to blog on a chapter a day in Proverbs. The chapters are tooooo full!
The ideas bounce from one great topic to another and, before you know it, you're tearing yourself apart trying to decide what to focus on!
Welp -- so goes Proverbs 19. It is so rich, I'm not sure where to start. Let's start with patience AND the porcupine!:
A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense. - Proverbs 19:11
Are you a porcupine? Do you have needles projected out all over so that, if a person bumps you, even in the slightest way, you react? I'm like that sometimes. I'm easily hurt.
But, right here in Proverbs is good advice: Don't be so sensitive!!!!!
Be patient and slow to respond to those little hurts and injustices. Quite often, people do not even know they have done anything to hurt you. Let's get rid of those porcupine needles. There will be a lot less ache!
OK, wives, brace yourself for the next verse. It actually fits quite well with porcupine verse.
A foolish child is a father’s ruin, and a quarrelsome wife is like the constant dripping of a leaky roof. - Proverbs 19:13
Are you like a leaking faucet? If we're a porcupine, we can also be a leaking faucet, always complaining about hurts and unmet needs! Let's try not to be constant complainer. Don't quench the spirit (as Proverbs has told us!)
This chapter of Proverbs is great for patiently pausing and thinking about how you react to people. Let's check out our actions and words with the Proverbs guidelines!
The first part of verse 13 talks about foolish children. Verse 18 tells us to discipline those children.
Discipline your children, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to their death.
This impresses on me the importance of training our children. We can't always be their friends. We HAVE to be the authority in our homes.
Don't spoil your child. Correct them. Proverbs pointedly says, if we don't, they will spiritually "die".
While we're talking to our children, let's teach them not to be lazy. Don't do everything for them. Proverbs talks about the importance of work:
Laziness brings on deep sleep, and the shiftless go hungry. - Proverbs 19:15
Do a work project with your child. Participate in a mission project together. Be sure your child completes chores.
You can create a work chart for your child. Even the younger children can do things. I was so impressed when my friend Liz's tiny kids pulled out their little brush/broom and swept the crumbs from their lunch! They were four years old and knew how to clean up!
Finally, Proverbs 19 gives us an anchor -- what should we hold on to:
The fear of the LORD leads to life; then one rests content, untouched by trouble. - Proverbs 19:23
In this case, "fear" is a positive thing. It is the reverence and honor which we give our Lord. Bottom line is, this will lead to a better life...one that rests, content and "untouched by trouble."
You may say....."Wait a minute! I fear the Lord and I have plenty of TROUBLE!" -- notice that it says "untouched" -- that means the Lord will shield you with His love -- Trouble will come -- but you will get through and God will not let you go, no matter how uncomfortable life gets.
So: No porcupines, No complaining, Correct those kids, No Laziness, ANDDDDDDD Fear the Lord !
Good stuff in Chapter 19!