Tag Archive | Dating

Proverbs 4:23

Let’s start by reading Proverbs 4:23 in context.

Proverbs 4 (ESV)

1 Hear, O sons, a father’s instruction, and be attentive, that you may gain insight,

2 for I give you good precepts; do not forsake my teaching.

3 When I was a son with my father,  tender, the only one in the sight of my mother,

4 he taught me and said to me,  “Let your heart hold fast my words;  keep my commandments, and live.

5  Get wisdom; get insight; do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth.

6 Do not forsake her, and she will keep you;  love her, and she will guard you.

7  The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight.

8 Prize her highly, and she will exalt you; she will honor you if you embrace her.

9 She will place on your head a graceful garland; she will bestow on you a beautiful crown.”

10  Hear, my son, and accept my words, that the years of your life may be many.

11 I have taught you the way of wisdom; I have led you in the paths of uprightness.

12 When you walk, your step will not be hampered, and if you run, you will not stumble.

13  Keep hold of instruction; do not let go; guard her, for she is your life.

14  Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not walk in the way of the evil.

15 Avoid it; do not go on it; turn away from it and pass on.

16 For they cannot sleep unless they have done wrong; they are robbed of sleep unless they have made someone stumble.

17 For they eat the bread of wickedness  and drink the wine of violence.

18 But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day.

19  The way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know over what they stumble.

20  My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings.

21  Let them not escape from your sight;  keep them within your heart.

22 For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh.

23 Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.

24 Put away from you crooked speech, and put devious talk far from you.

25  Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you.

26  Ponder the path of your feet;  then all your ways will be sure.

27  Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil.

 

Notice something missing?  The word “guard” is not there.  As far as I can find the NIV is the only version that uses guard.  The other translations use the word “keep“.

So what might Proverbs 4:23 mean by “keep” or “guard your heart“?

Look back at Proverbs 4:1 “Hear, O sons, a father’s instruction, and be attentive, that you may gain insight,“.  The chapter begins with a Father speaking to his son.  Proverbs 4 verses 10 and 20 reference “My son“.  Proverbs chapter 5 also begins in a similar manner “My son, be attentive to my wisdom;  incline your ear to my understanding,”.  So obviously this verse is not directed specifically to young ladies as many might imply.  Nevertheless the general principles of the verse does apply to all believers.  But it isn’t particularly in reference to guarding your heart in relationships, unless you are speaking of your relationship with Lady Wisdom (Proverbs 4:5-10).

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Guard Your Heart series

 

 


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Guarding Your Heart

What does the saying “Guard your Heart” mean to you?

A lot of that may depend on your age.  When I was young (a long, long time ago), I don’t think I ever heard that expression.  But often today you will hear that phrase tossed around usually directed toward our youth and especially toward our young ladies. Most often in the ideology of “guarding your heart” during relationships in dating.

Where does that phrase originate?

Proverbs 4:23 has the expression “guard your heart“.  Now probably all of us have read that verse many times especially since Proverbs is a book of the Bible that is easy to read and is full of essentially sound bites of information.  Sound bites is about all of the Bible, or even any reading, many today do.  But unless you are younger, a part of homeschooling or a part of the “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” generation you may not have thought much about that phrase beyond the level of any other verse.

What might surprise you is this verse is one of many verses in the Bible that are often taken out of context and given meaning beyond what was intended in the Bible and by the Lord.

Take some time reading Proverbs 4:23 and we’ll look closer at it later.  You might be surprised. 😉

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Guard Your Heart series

 


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Courtship is Like Potty Training …

First the disclaimers …

No, I don’t have anyone courting anyone.

No, I don’t have anyone interested in courting anyone.

No, I’m not trying to push my kids into courting.

No, I don’t have any experience with courting.

So yes this is all in theory.

Now hopefully that will limit the rumors. 😉

Had to get that out of the way for my kids sake.

 

Anyway back to the topic.  Spring has sprung around here and with it came some weddings and wedding showers plus a multitude of other things.  And kittens …  (Anyone want kittens?)  Thus we have had lots of opportunity to discuss the matter and watch how others have proceeded.  Some have been the typical public school and dating process while others have been the homeschooling and courting method.  Guess what? They are equally just as married when everything is said and done.  It is the process that is the interesting part and this has been part of our discussions.

 

Courting Is Like Potty Training

1)      Everyone has an opinion on how it should be done and many are eager to share their opinion.

2)      Sometimes everyone is ready except those who should be.

3)      May involve tears.

4)      May take lots of time or be rather quick.

5)      Many things sound great in theory but do not actually work in practice.

6)      There is no magic age.

7)      Patience is a virtue.

8)      Watch for cues of interest.

9)      Requires physical (fiscal) and emotional readiness.

10)   Although the parent maybe ready, the child may not be ready or maybe the child is ready and not the parent.  Sometimes everyone else but the parent and child are ready.

11)   May be messy.

12)   Pressure from others “Isn’t it about time … ?

13)   You can have read all the books but that doesn’t necessarily help in your particular case.

14)   Sometimes observing others makes things easier.

15)   In the end you often look back and think “Why was that a big deal, it wasn’t that bad?

 

But like I said everything is in theory until you’ve put it into practice. 😉


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Would Your Children Take Your Advice About A Spouse?

In Would You Have Taken Your Parents Advice? I shared that I wouldn’t have taken my parent’s advice about a potential spouse.  However, I could honestly at this point say that at least my oldest two children would listen and consider advice from my husband and I.  They are the only ones who are teens and mature at this point.  The others will remain to be seen.

Why do I think my children would listen when I wouldn’t have?

I don’t really know except that their life has been so different from mine growing up that honestly it is like comparing apples to oranges.

  • Intact family
  • Homeschooling
  • Christian faith
  • Living out our Christian faith daily (although flawed at best)
  • Different type of church life
  • Less peer pressure
  • Parental guidance for choosing friends
  • Living life as a family instead of individuals together in a house
  • Friends with similar values
  • Seeing others who have valued their parents input
  • Preaching to support the concept of parental guidance

Although the proof is in the pudding, or in other words until the event happens we won’t really know what will happen.

Do you have any clue why your children might listen better than you would have?

Or do we as parents always self-deceive ourselves?



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Would You Have Taken Your Parents Advice?

In light of the post yesterday about the difference between Lot and Abraham in helping their children choose a spouse, what did or didn’t your parents do?

Would you have taken their advice?

My parents had very little input into my marriage, not that I asked for it either.  However, even if they had desired to give advice or share their wisdom I probably wouldn’t have listened.  I came from a broken family and between my parents there were a total of at least four divorces.  So needless to say I wouldn’t have considered their opinion important or useful.  Also neither were actively striving to live as a Christian nor attending church so that would have also played into my decision to not take their advice.  (Not that I had a good understanding of being a Christian myself.)

My experience shows that we as parents must earn the privilege to assist our children in choosing a spouse.

Would your children listen to you now?

What would you have to do to get your children’s heart so that they trust you and your wisdom?



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What He (or She) Must Be … Abraham vs Lot

In Genesis 19 we are first introduced to Lot’s daughters.  We see that Lot has misplaced priorities and lacks faith in the Lord to protect him and his family in Genesis 19:8 when he offers his daughters to the men of the city.  There is no need to try and validate Lot’s actions and make them seem less heinous than they are.  Lot’s family is obviously lacking in many points that make for a healthy family.

Next we are introduced to his sons-in-laws.

Genesis 19:14 (ESV) So Lot went out and said to his sons-in-law, who were to marry his daughters, “Up! Get out of this place, for the Lord is about to destroy the city.” But he seemed to his sons-in-law to be jesting.

That is the sum of what we know about them beyond the fact that they are destroyed with the city.  Question is why were Lot’s daughters even betrothed to these men?  They obviously lacked faith in the Lord.  They weren’t respectful and honoring to their father-in-law.

If you’ve read Voddie Baucham’s book “What He Must Be…”  you would realize the importance Father’s should place on whom their daughters marry.  Baucham’s book covers areas of faith, character, and responsibility, I wrote about it previously.  This quote is from the book.

“… I cannot give my consent to a man who is not a follower of Christ.”

But that is exactly what Lot did not do.  His sons-in-law made fun of Lot and his God who was going to bring destruction.  But Lot had no choice right?  What else could he do?

Look at what Abraham did.

Genesis 24:1-4 (ESV)

1 Now Abraham was old, well advanced in years. And the Lord had blessed Abraham in all things.
2 And Abraham said to his servant, the oldest of his household, who had charge of all that he had, “Put your hand under my thigh,
3 that I may make you swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and God of the earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell,
4 but will go to my country and to my kindred, and take a wife for my son Isaac.”

Abraham was not going to allow a pagan Canaanite to be the wife of his promised son.  So Abraham sent his servant back to his relatives to seek a wife for Isaac.  There is no doubt that Abraham’s heart was seeking to serve the Lord and do the best he could for Isaac.  The Lord had previously expressed that Abraham would “command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord”. (Genesis 18:19)

There can be no doubt that the Lord did answer the prayers of Abraham and his servant in providing Rebekah for Isaac.

What might have been the difference in Lot’s life and his family if he had done the same as Abraham and sought non-Canaanite husbands for his daughters?

As you see later in the life of Lot, he lost the heart of his daughters.  They did not trust their father to do the best he could for them.  They could not even count on Lot to find them another husband, believer or not, when they were living in the cave.

Like so many righteous men in the Scripture, Lot failed at his parenting and protecting of his children.  That failure has eternal consequences.



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Dating

When my older children (17 & 13) are asked about boyfriends or girlfriends they tend to give the same look that they give people when asked “What is Santa bringing you for Christmas?” Meaning – that is sorta a stupid question but I’m not going to be rude and say that.

American dating is just asking for trouble. It is practicing for divorce and remarriage. The heartbreak that is caused by youth in high school breaking up is often the cause of depression, suicide and other violent crimes. Children are not able to handle the intense emotions that accompany dating and “going steady.”

Unless someone is willing and able to get married right away there is no point in developing a romantic attachment to another. Most 12 – 17 year olds, especially now, are not ready to be married and support a family. So why date? Just seems like encouraging our youth to get into trouble. It is like giving a four year old a box of matches to play with but saying “Don’t start a fire!”

This sermon by Paul Washer is a good summary of what I have been teaching my children all along.


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Charo Washer – “Becoming Esther”

Don’t waste your singleness by just waiting for Prince Charming to come along. Prepare for your future life of service to God and future husband if God so desires.

Charo Washer

Singleness is not a waste of time or a sitting on the sidelines,but a time that God has set aside especially for the woman, to make her into what He wants her to be, and to use her in ways that just might be impossible after marriage. Singleness is a time in which a woman is to cultivate the virtues that pertain to being a woman of God, so that she can offer to her future husband and the world something more than just a pretty face.

Becoming Esther by Charo Washer pdf

Just a note:  I’m not Charo Washer. 😉 Just shared her testimony with others.


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