• ABOUT
    Did you know?
    All of our earnings go to Christian charities.
    Click to learn more about us!
  • SHOP
    View the latest sales and promotions going on now!
    When you shop, you give.
  • GIVE
    See our latest Giving Challenge.
  • GROW
    Our blog shares devotionals, interviews, contests & more—all to help you grow in your faith.

  • Prebuy the Identical

Tag Archives: Proverbs

  • God is Not Worried

    Posted on November 1, 2013 by Karen Ehman

    Karen Ehman

    "You can go to bed without fear; you will lie down and sleep soundly. You need not be afraid of sudden disaster or the destruction that comes upon the wicked, for the LORD is your security." Proverbs 3:24-26a (NLT)

    As a little girl I loved being outdoors. I could often be found playing kickball with the neighborhood kids or riding my bike around the block. I liked to splash in puddles and jump in piles of leaves. There was one aspect, however, about being outside that I didn't particularly care for: the critters.

    Spiders were scary ... dogs terrifying. And I couldn't even bear the thought of snakes. My intense fear of these creatures often kept me from fully engaging in play.

    Unfortunately, even when I didn't encounter creepy-crawlies outdoors, they occasionally wound up in my dreams at night. I would have the same reoccurring nightmare of snakes slithering toward me while I stood frozen, unable to run away. When I would wake up, I would be in a panic, heart wildly beating, palms sweating. I never thought my fears would go away until the one summer when I had no other choice.

    The summer I turned 20, I took a job at a nature center teaching four-year-olds. It didn't cross my mind that keeping company with critters would be a part of my duties.

    I had to capture insects to examine and release, scoop tadpoles to study pond life, and even hold the snakes that were kept in glass tanks in the main building.

    Although everything in me wanted to run away, there were little eyes on me. So, I whispered a prayer for strength, pushed past my fears, and made those kids think I was a critter-lovin' instructor whose calm demeanor (and lack of screaming!) showed them there was nothing to fear. If their teacher wasn't freaking out, why should they?

    Even though I worked through my fear that summer, as an adult now, I'm still tempted to "freak out" with fear. My imagination concocts all sorts of scenarios peppered with dread and doom. Sometimes I can't shake fear as I try to fall asleep.

    But I have come to trust this perspective-shifting truth: God is not worried. He's not in heaven wringing His hands, wondering just how everything will eventually turn out. He is in control. He is loving.

    God longs to use the circumstances of our lives to mold our mind, craft our character, and chase away the fears that threaten to slither in, paralyzing us and rendering us ineffective. Ever the patient and wise teacher, if He isn't freaking out, why should we?

    Proverbs 3:24-26a is a sweet promise to us, "You can go to bed without fear; you will lie down and sleep soundly. You need not be afraid of sudden disaster or the destruction that comes upon the wicked, for the LORD is your security" (NLT).

    Now that passage doesn't promise that we won't ever encounter sudden disasters in life. But it does reassure us that we have no need to fear them. Why? Because the Lord—our gracious and wise teacher—is our security. He will be there to comfort and to guide as He teaches us the lessons we need to learn.

    With God as our security, we can have calm in our present. With God as our security, we can face the future without fear. And we can share this confidence we gain to inspire others, helping to keep them from unnecessary fret and worry.

    Why it even helps me deal with little critters that get inside my house without squirming. Well . . . without squirming too much.

    Dear Lord, help me place my fears in Your hands, knowing You alone are my security, both now and in the future. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources


    Reflect and Respond:
    What is your greatest reoccurring fear?

    Turn it into a prayer by asking God to be your security in the midst of uncertainty.

    Power Verse:
    Psalm 112:7, "They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the LORD." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Karen Ehman. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    630 Team Rd., Suite 100
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Proverbs 31 and was tagged with Proverbs, Worry

  • My Super-Sized Reactions are Hurtful

    Posted on October 25, 2013 by Glynnis Whitwer

    Glynnis Whitwer

    "Whoever would foster love covers over an offense, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends." Proverbs 17:9 (NIV)

    My teenage son took an extended mission trip this summer with a friend. It was the longest we'd been apart. By the time he returned home, my mama's heart was looking forward to spending time alone with him.

    I envisioned it all-he would have missed me and be overflowing with stories. We'd lounge on the couch, talking and laughing, going through his photographs.

    The night he returned we planned a welcome-home celebration with the family of his travel friend. Holding plates of chips and salsa, munching on tacos and sipping icy soda, the night was wonderful until I overheard my son making plans to work out the next day ... with the same friend he'd just spent two months with.

    The wise-mama in me, the one who'd worked hard to come to terms with her children wanting to be with their friends more than her sometimes, tried to keep me quiet.

    But the hurt-mama in me ignored that good advice as something prickly started growing in my heart. Trying to appear jovial but still wanting to make my point, I said, "I might not let you out of my sight ... ha, ha, ha." The potentially awkward moment was laughed off. At least I thought it was.

    Later my son kindly asked, "Mom, please don't make a big deal if I want to work out tomorrow, okay?"

    Knowing in my head he was right, I promised, "I won't." I gave him a tight squeeze before he headed to bed exhausted.

    Collapsing in a chair, weary from an emotionally tiring day, I should have been overflowing with gratefulness. However, the prickly response I'd felt earlier started to grow again.

    Based on one comment about working out, I started to build a case. Well, if he'd rather be with his friend, then I'll let him. I won't say anything. In fact, he can just go spend the entire day with his friend. I'm not going to ask him to spend any time with me, that's just what I'll do!

    Staring across the room, tears banked like an infinity pool, threatening to overflow. Hurt and indignation swirled for a few moments.

    Thankfully the wise-mama didn't completely abandon me. Before my wayward thoughts could go further, I recognized the need to get to the bottom of my super-sized response. For heavens sake, my son only wanted to work out. Why was I acting so out of sorts?

    Digging into my thoughts and emotions, I realized I was hurt because my son hadn't met my expectations for how his return would be. The simple truth was he hadn't worked out in two months. It had nothing to do with his feelings for me-yet my reaction selfishly made it about me.

    Then clear as could be, I "heard" God speak to my heart: Can you love someone who doesn't meet all your expectations?

    Pondering this question, I had to acknowledge the many times I don't meet the expectations of others. I'd certainly let God down many times, and I hadn't met my son's expectations that day either. So why was I expecting him to meet mine?

    My unfair expectations led me to an unfair interpretation of his motives, which led me to a potentially hurtful reaction. My desire was to love my son; my super-sized reaction would have sent an entirely different message.

    Proverbs 17:9 say, "Whoever would foster love covers over an offense, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends." The only offense that day was made up in my mind. Yet the truth of this verse applied.

    The next day ushered in a fresh chance to react in a loving way. Having set aside unrealistic expectations, I was able to enjoy time with my son. And he was able to work out with his friend and come home to a much more gracious mama.

    Heavenly Father, thank You for loving me in spite of the fact that I'm not perfect. You continually see the best in me. Help me to see the best in others and stop super-sizing my reactions. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Do your feelings get hurt often by others? Dig into your thoughts and emotions to determine why.

    Can you love those who don't meet all your expectations?

    Power Verses:
    Colossians 3:13, "Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you." (NIV)

    1 Peter 4:8, "Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Glynnis Whitwer. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    630 Team Rd., Suite 100
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Proverbs 31 and was tagged with Proverbs

  • Proud Grandparents

    Posted on October 9, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Children’s children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children. Proverbs 17:6

    Grandchildren are a spectacular crown of God’s grace to be worn proudly and graciously by grandparents. They are a crown of joy and delight to the soul. They are a crown of purity to the heart. They are a crown of truth to the mind. They are a crown of energy to the body. They are a crown of worship to the spirit. They are a crown dedicated to Christ that is daily placed at the feet of Jesus. The crown of grandchildren sparkles in the moist eye of a grateful grandparent.

    Grandparents who are privileged to be in the lives of their grandchildren have an opportunity for influence. We sit on the floor with our grandchildren and develop little ones who want to sit on their grandparent’s lap. When we live and play on their level they feel safe. They sense we understand and care. It is an intimate invitation for them to venture into our secure space. A two foot tall perspective cannot be seen and understood by a five footer. It is only when we humble ourselves and get on the ground with them that we see their world. They need to see us kneel.

    May the Lord bless you...May you live to see your children’s children. Psalms 128:5-6

    We lower relational barriers when we invest time, love and money in the children of our children. Their little hearts open wide when they feel total love and acceptance. Thus, we love a grandchild well by learning what they like and offering them opportunities to experience their interests. Perhaps it’s a swing at the playground or a swim in the pool. Or maybe a small toy car for a boy or a doll for a girl. Grandchildren gravitate to grandparents who get to know them.

    Lastly, honor your child in the presence of their child. Be careful not to ignore or dismiss the parental guidelines defined by your grandchild’s mom and dad. Use your influence as a grandparent to build up and brag on your grand baby’s mother and father. Your child will want you to be with their child when they see you support and respect their expectations. Parents are meant to be the pride of their children, so facilitate this feeling. Proud grandparents help out.

    They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green. Psalm 92:14

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me humility to be a proud grandparent who loves well my adult child and grandchild.

    Related Readings: Genesis 48:11; Job 42:16; Psalm 103:17; Isaiah 46:4; 2 Timothy 1:5

    Post/Tweet today: Your child will want you to be with their child, when they see you support and respect their expectations. #grandparents
    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Proverbs, Grandparents

  • A Remedy for Loneliness

    Posted on October 9, 2013 by Van Walton

    Van Walton

    "... those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed." Proverbs 11:25 (NLT)

    I've spent much of my life as the new kid on the block. My daddy's job took him to numerous foreign countries, so I grew up living in far-away and strange places. When we returned "home" to put down permanent roots in the United States, I felt like a lonely outsider.

    This nomadic childhood followed me into my adult life as my husband's career moved us cross-country many times.

    As the newcomer in school, women's Bible studies, and jobs, I experienced not having friends, being excluded, and feeling different.

    Though these isolating seasons were tough, something wonderful grew out of them: my relationship with God. Spending time with Him, I gained a new perspective on loneliness while reading Scripture. One verse in particular stood out to me: "... those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed" (Proverbs 11:25).

    Reading this challenged me. Rather than cast responsibility on others to reach out to me, I could reach out to them. By doing so, I found I could bless them and revive myself! It took some time, but over the years I've discovered several key elements to living out this verse: learn to be a good friend, intentionally include others, and develop an interest in diversity.

    Last year during the annual family night at the school where I teach, I spotted a mother sitting alone in a large room. God nudged me, and I knew what to do. I wasn't surprised she was by herself, because as I drew closer, I recognized her as the mother of one of our international students.

    We definitely had our differences: a gap in our ages, language barriers that made us struggle to understand each other, and our different cultures. But we persevered and after a while we found common ground. She admitted to being lonely as a stranger in a foreign country. That I understood. Also, we were women, wives, mothers, friends. Most importantly we had a common faith.

    That night, I gained a new friend.

    We began to meet regularly. She told me about her recent conversion to Christianity and asked lots of questions. She had a few friends, like her, who had come to the United States to expose their children to an American education. These women also wondered about Christianity, the Bible, and Jesus. Could they join us?

    We began huddling once a week around God's Word, talking about the creation, King David, and grace.

    School ended. Summer started. They flew home. We promised to resume our studies this fall.

    As this new season begins, I'm anticipating our weekly meetings; I miss my new friends and the happiness and laughter they bring.

    Loneliness, if left unchecked, can lead to isolation, which may produce weariness, sadness and discouragement. This is not God's plan for our lives. He has called us to live in community, reaching out to others, serving, comforting, and fellowshipping.

    Let me encourage you to be aware of others–in your neighborhood, your children's school, your church. Ask God to lead you to other women who are lonely. We long to be included, to feel like we belong, to have caring friends. One of the best ways to do this is to refresh someone else! You'll never experience that woman's amazing friendship, or be revived by her, until you reach out and invite her into your life.

    Father God, You are a friend to the stranger, the wanderer, the lonely. Forgive me for sitting in my comfort zone and ignoring those around me who long for community. Remind me to practice hospitality, not just with my friends but with outsiders also. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    How has loneliness robbed you of life's joys?

    What are some ways you can practice hospitality? Perhaps become involved in welcoming newcomers to your church or neighborhood.

    Power Verses:
    Romans 12:10-13, "Be devoted to one another in brotherly love...practicing hospitality." (NASB)

    Hebrews 13:2, "Don't forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it!" (NLT)

    © 2013 by Van Walton. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    630 Team Rd., Suite 100
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Proverbs 31 and was tagged with Proverbs, Loneliness

  • Me and My Mama Mouth

    Posted on September 30, 2013 by Karen Ehman

    Karen Ehman

    "She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue." (Proverbs 31:26 ESV)

    The other day my son, a smart preteen, was up to the challenge of washing the dishes. He didn't give me an attitude when asked. He wasn't disrespectful. He didn't drag his feet. So why was I battling the urge to harshly point out how he was doing it all wrong?

    Because he wasn't doing it my way.

    He started with the grimy pots, then moved to the plates and silverware. Finally, he had to bubble up more water to spit-shine the glasses. While working, he stacked plastic cups in a pyramid.

    Irritation welled up. An unkind reaction was itching to come out. I could easily have let my momma mouth take over: It uses way more water to wash the dishes in that order. Plus the water is filthy now! Stop playing with those cups while you work. You're so slow.

    I wanted to be a control freak. I wanted to fire off the unkind words hidden in my unspoken thoughts: The only way to do the dishes is my way. I see different as wrong. I interpret a preteen being a preteen—with a slight distraction of fun—as "slow."

    But when I unload on junior, or anyone, it has the potential to damage our relationship and plant mental seeds of his mom's view of him, whether verbalized or implied (lazy, wasteful, distracted, and slow). It does not, as Proverbs 31:26 states, come close to resembling a woman who "opens her mouth with wisdom and speaks with kindness on her tongue."

    It's better if these potentially frustrating scenarios play out differently. So let's replay that scene with a Spirit-controlled response.

    As I see my son doing the dishes, I can make a mental note to explain how to do it next time in a way that will save water, money, and time. I can praise his efforts, keeping in mind his age and abilities. I can acknowledge his unique method. I saw the clever way you stacked those dishes. You always make work fun.

    I can ask myself questions that will help keep my mama mouth in check. Questions like: Does it matter now or will it matter tomorrow? Will it affect eternity? Is God trying to teach me something? Can I pause and praise instead of interrupt and instigate? Is this really an issue that needs addressing? Am I being a control freak? Do I need to let it go?

    The interaction wouldn't damage; it would nurture. It would be wise. Kind. And there would be no lost time, regrets, or need to call in the United Nations peace-keeping forces for intervention.

    This mama would be less control-freakish and more Proverbs 31-womanish. It might not come easily—trust me, it usually doesn't—but with the Holy Spirit, it is possible to speak with kindness.

    Dear Lord, may I purpose to temper my words with Your Holy Spirit as I interact with my family today. In Jesus' name, Amen.

    Remember
    My mouth can be a powerful tool of encouragement or a weapon of destruction.

    Reflect
    Which of the questions posed in the devotion (Does it matter now or will it matter tomorrow? etc.) do you most need to ask yourself when tempted to over-control?

    Respond
    Think of an incident from the past where you did not use your words in a way that was kind or loving. Revisit the situation. How could you have spoken in a way that would honor God? Could you have used a different tone of voice? Word choice? Timing?

    Power Verses
    Psalm 139:4; Psalm 37:30

    Taken from Encouragement for Today: Devotions for Everyday Living by Renee Swope, Lysa TerKeurst, Samantha Evilsizer and the Proverbs 31 Ministries Team. © 2013 by Proverbs 31 Ministries. Used by permission of Zondervan. www.zondervan.com.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    630 Team Rd., Suite 100
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Proverbs 31 and was tagged with Proverbs

  • A New Way to Process Conflict

    Posted on September 6, 2013 by Amy Carroll

    Amy Carroll

    "When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say, and she always says it kindly." Proverbs 31:26 (MSG)

    It was like we were speaking two different languages. Even though my friend and I were both talking in English, we couldn't seem to understand each other. I started the conversation with the assumption we would see things the same way, but emotions rose, opinions conflicted, and wounds were inflicted. How did we get to that frustrated place?

    After cooling off, I called a wise, truth-telling friend. I told her the basic outline of the conversation, trying to keep it neutral. Finally I asked, "What do you think went wrong?"

    She astutely turned the question back to me. "What could you have done differently?"

    Initially, I couldn't think of one thing. After all, the conflict wasn't my fault! But then I took some time to reflect, and God began to soften my heart, revealing my part in the conflict.

    I had called my friend during an extremely busy time in her life with a suggestion that would have added to her overloaded schedule. Instead of being sensitive, I pushed and pushed my own agenda. As our emotions escalated, my defensiveness increased, making my responses sharp.

    The friend I had called for advice gently prodded, "How could you have listened more carefully? Would truly listening have made you more compassionate? How could you have responded with more grace?"

    For the rest of the afternoon, God etched a new way of interacting in hard situations on my heart. This is the truth He carved: Listen with compassion. Speak with grace.

    Listen with Compassion. Years ago my pastor shared an invaluable method for re-adjusting his attitude when dealing with conflict. He asks, is this behavior consistent with the person's general character?

    Wow! If I had applied that question in the conversation with my friend, I would have remembered her kindness, her servant’s heart, and her calm nature. Then, I might have wondered what was changing her normal response. Compassion would have flooded my heart toward her and the stress she was under. My heart would have been positioned to serve her, rather than insisting on my own way.

    At its core, listening with compassion is simply obeying the biblical commands to die to ourselves (John 12:24-25) and to consider others more highly than ourselves (Philippians 2:3).

    Speak with Grace. Proverbs 15:1 says, "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger" (NIV). There is no downside to a gentle, grace-filled answer. I'm embarrassed to admit that I've often viewed responding this way as losing or giving in. That's simply not true. Needed truths can be told in kind and gentle ways. Just think about how my wise friend treated me when I sought her advice.

    Before I called my friend to ask for forgiveness and clear up the misunderstanding, I prayed for a Jesus-sized dose of compassion and grace.

    Since then, I've been rehearsing "Listen with Compassion - Speak with Grace" over and over in my mind. Last week I had a chance to put it into practice when I received a difficult email. My first response was defensiveness, but then I started to repeat my new way of processing until I could hear the needs in the email with compassion and respond with grace.

    I love how God gave me the chance to practice what He had taught me after I had time to take a breath, pause, rehearse my new motto and then respond. Life and relationships are filled with conflict, so I have no doubt I'll have a chance to practice again. Next time, I'm praying I'll be ready!

    Dear Lord, sometimes it seems like conflict pops up out of nowhere. One minute the conversation is going fine and before I know it, hurtful words are being said. Please help me listen and respond as You would. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:

    Reflect and Respond:
    Who are you focused on during a hard conversation? Are you trying to understand the person speaking or already working on your defense?

    If you feel yourself becoming defensive, make yourself pause and put yourself in the other person's shoes.

    Power Verses:
    Proverbs 17:27, "A truly wise person uses few words; a person with understanding is even-tempered." (NLT)

    Proverbs 18:15, "The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge; for the ears of the wise seek it out." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Amy Carroll. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    630 Team Rd., Suite 100
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Proverbs 31 and was tagged with Proverbs

  • Your Easiest Day is Always Tomorrow

    Posted on September 3, 2013 by Glynnis Whitwer

    Glynnis Whitwer

    "The appetite of the lazy craves, and gets nothing, while the appetite of the diligent is richly supplied." Proverbs 13:4 (NRSV)

    Numbers intimidate me. So I put off doing anything that involves counting more digits than are on my hands and feet combined. This approach tends to have significant consequences, especially when those numbers are connected to dollars. Hence a few bounced check charges in my banking history.

    Avoiding uncomfortable (but necessary) parts of life is a dangerous habit to develop. With very few exceptions, problems don't resolve on their own, no matter how long we procrastinate in fixing them. A leaky faucet never stops leaking by itself. A root of bitterness toward my husband will grow. The squeal in my car brakes will get louder. And putting off medical tests is never a good idea.

    I've also delayed pursuing dreams because there's discomfort involved. Maybe you've done this too. Your dream could be to write a book, take a vacation or find a new job. But you know it will involve sacrifice, so you put your dream on the back burner while time slips away.

    Sometimes God tells me to wait while He initiates a solution, but usually, the reason for my delay tactics is my own fear of the work, or the possibility of failure, or the inconvenience and self-sacrifice it will take.

    A few years ago I read a book by Josh Riebock that helped give me perspective when I want to postpone a difficult assignment. In it, he says, "Everyone can change tomorrow. Everyone solves problems tomorrow. But the only changes that matter are the ones I make today. Tomorrow is the easiest day I'll ever live. Today is the scary one, which is probably why I've spent so much time avoiding it."

    Scripture also offers wisdom about dealing with procrastination. Proverbs 13:4 uses some challenging words, but it also includes hope: "The appetite of the lazy craves, and gets nothing, while the appetite of the diligent is richly supplied" (NRSV). This verse gets to the heart of the matter, which is my hunger. While I bristle at being called lazy, the reality is when I procrastinate, I am hungering for comfort or safety. I might be busy, but I'm never accomplishing anything when my goal is ease.

    It's easy to know I shouldn't procrastinate, but it's much harder to do something about it. That's because my reasons are mixed. Sometimes I am afraid like Riebock says, and sometimes I am lazy like the Bible says. Other times I'm overwhelmed and can't think straight.

    Whatever the cause of my procrastination, I've found some approaches that help combat my reticence to tackle an assignment. And it starts with something easy:

    I present my concerns to God with honesty. I tell God why I don't want to do something and ask for His help, strength, wisdom and courage. When I'm honest about my hesitations, God can start to build up my weak places. But then I get practical.

    I keep my to-do list short and manageable. Long to-do lists discourage me from doing anything. That's why I keep two lists going at all times: A master list of projects and a to-do list for the day or week.

    I divide big tasks into smaller tasks. For example, I needed a better filing system for organizing receipts for taxes. So the next time I went to the office product store, I purchased hanging files and a desktop organizer and moved that project forward.

    I assign small tasks to a specific day. Instead of doing a lot of things I don't like on one day, I'll spread them throughout the week.

    Whether it's numbers or words that intimidate you. A relationship that needs to be addressed, or a dream that needs to be followed. There is nothing we have to handle alone or in our own power. The truth is God has already gone ahead of us into these scary places. He knows the future and He's already got it under control.

    Heavenly Father, thank You for going ahead of me when I want to hold back. Help me to deal honestly with my reasons for procrastinating and allow You to work in my heart and life. In Jesus' Name, amen.

    Related Resources:


    Reflect and Respond:
    Consider one project or task you've delayed starting. What are some of the real reasons?

    Power Verses:
    Proverbs 31:17-18, "She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night." (NIV)

    James 4:17, "If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn't do it, it is sin for them." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Glynnis Whitwer. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    630 Team Rd., Suite 100
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Proverbs 31 and was tagged with Proverbs

  • The Day My Fragile Identity as a Mom Melted

    Posted on August 29, 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst

    Lysa TerKeurst

    "Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it." Proverbs 22:6 (NIV)

    She had the most angelic sweetheart lips. Eyes blue as the most tranquil oceans. Blonde ringlet curls. Chubby cheeks begging to be kissed over and over. Little hands that instinctively curled around my finger while simultaneously melting my heart.

    Pure sweetness wrapped in a pink blanket.

    And then came the day this little creature pursed those lips, gripped the toy in her hand, tilted her pigtailed head and screamed, "Mine! Mine! Mine!"

    The fuss was over a small red toy my friend had let her borrow. My friend who was much more organized than me. She had brought along toys and baggies of Cheerios to keep the kids entertained during our coffee date. The plan to use this toy as temporary entertainment had worked beautifully. Until it was time to go.

    I could feel a burning flush of embarrassment rush from my chest to my face.

    Of course my friend's child was shining her halo with one hand while happily handing over her yellow toy with the other.

    "Mine! Mine!" My daughter screamed as every eye in the small java joint stared at me.

    I pried the toy from her hand, thanked my friend, and hoisted my kicking and screaming daughter out of the wooden highchair. And then in slow motion, I watched in horror as she knocked my paper coffee cup from my hand and sent it careening across the floor.

    I felt my fragile identity as a mom melt into the puddle of spilled coffee. What happened to my angel? My beautiful daughter was ... not so angelic.

    It's been many years since that day in the coffee shop.

    But oh how I wish I could go back and sit with my little inexperienced mommy self on the drive home.

    I would say, "Your daughter is a child in need of a parent. She needs to be taught. And some of your best teaching opportunities will come when she puts her sin nature on display. Don't fear or fret or feel like this is some sort of failure on your part. Her outside demonstrations are an internal indication of her need for guidance. So guide her. Love her. And always remember to be the parent. Not her friend. Not her buddy. The parent."

    I needed to know what Proverbs 22:6 teaches, "Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it."

    That daughter is 19 years old now. And is an absolute delight.

    But growing her up wasn't always easy. There were many more times when she put her sin nature on display. And each time I had to choose to be the parent.

    It's not easy to be the parent. It seems less and less popular to tell kids no.

    As parents, we need to set biblical boundaries. Teach our kids the difference between realistic and unrealistic expectations. Not cater to their every whim. Draw lines between what's appropriate and inappropriate for language, entertainment, and the length of a hemline. Model manners. And what it looks like to seek a life of godliness, not just religious activity.

    Glory knows I've been so imperfect with all this.

    But holding the line on being the parent, even when done imperfectly, is good.

    And will be worth it.

    Even in those seasons where you feel as if they're doing everything the opposite of what you've taught them. All that parenting is in them. And the fruit of that will emerge one day.

    Yes, be the parent. Teach biblical truths. Stand strong in saying no even when it's not the popular choice.

    That's what our kids need so desperately.

    And be encouraged, friend ... you're doing better than you think you are.

    Dear Lord, You know better than all of us that parenting is hard. Help me to see each day as a teaching opportunity to raise up a child who loves You. In Jesus' Name, amen.

    Related Resources:


    A Life That Says Welcome: Simple Ways to Open Your Heart and Home to Others by Karen Ehman

    Reflect and Respond:
    Take a moment to think: how and what am I communicating to my children?

    Read today's power verses for a better understanding of just how important it is to raise a child to follow after the Lord.

    Power Verses:
    Isaiah 54:13, "All your children will be taught by the LORD, and great will be their peace. (NIV)

    2 Timothy 3:14-15, "But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    630 Team Rd., Suite 100
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Proverbs 31 and was tagged with Proverbs, Mothers

  • I Don't Want to Pick Up Any More Socks

    Posted on August 26, 2013 by Karen Ehman

    Karen Ehman

    "She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness." Proverbs 31:27 (ESV)

    As a teen I loved hanging out at Miss Pat's house. Hands down, she made the best homemade noodles in the Midwest. Often you could find the creamy-white strips of flour, milk and eggs drying on her kitchen counter, waiting to be tossed in a simmering pot of chicken soup. Or you might find a fresh fruit pie cooling near an open window, making her family eager for suppertime.

    Miss Pat took all aspects of her home life seriously. Her house wasn't perfect. Still, she kept it cute and clean and made it a haven for her own family and others.

    With as much energy as Miss Pat devoted to homemaking, you might think that was all she did. But it wasn't. She was also active outside her home, including volunteering at her kids' school, teaching a weekly women's Bible study and serving as a youth group leader. Her love for Jesus was evident as she introduced numerous teens and women to Christ, including me.

    However, she reserved her greatest energy and most creative ideas for her first line of ministry—her own family and home. Miss Pat modeled how to influence others for Christ not only with the words we speak, but also the heart with which we run our home.

    Sitting around her kitchen table, I learned Miss Pat's secret for getting things done. She had a method for doing laundry ... a routine for her cleaning ... a game plan for getting groceries ... and a cheerful attitude while doing it all. In fact, now that I'm older, I think she modeled the Proverbs 31 woman very well.

    Proverbs 31:27 tells us about an unnamed wife and mother (often referred to as the Proverbs 31 woman) who worked like this. "She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness."

    Now that I have my own home and family, I'm inspired by these women. Especially during those times I find it easier to be idle rather than tackle work around the home. The snapshots of organized spaces and fabulous foods on my computer screen tempt me to spend hours peering at them rather than doing them.

    When running my home seems overwhelming, I remember Miss Pat and the Proverbs 31 woman. Instead of hoping the house cleans itself or a hot meal materializes out of the computer, I'm learning to make a plan and get to work. It's helpful to keep the mindset that it's a ministry to care for my home and family.

    This perspective helps me pick up my son's socks and make dinner without frustration. It gives me strength when I've already put in a full day's work. While I am doing these things for my family, I'm also doing them for God.

    There's no doubt that making our house a home, and all that involves, can be tiring. We need to balance true rest with work, while being on guard against laziness and resentful attitudes. Important questions to ask ourselves are: Am I laboring with a glad heart or do I grumble about the tasks at hand? Do I view keeping a home as a duty or drudgery, or do I find it a privilege and pleasure? Am I in need of rest, or am I putting off what has to be done because I just don't feel like doing it?

    Being an intentional homemaker is a tough yet rewarding job. We get to serve important people—our very own families.

    And the Boss? He's the best. What an honor it is to work for Him.

    Dear Lord, teach me to look well to the ways of my household and not be idle, knowing it is actually You I am serving. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    A Life That Says Welcome: Simple Ways to Open Your Heart and Home to Others by Karen Ehman

    Reflect and Respond:
    What areas of work around the home are you hesitant to tackle?

    How might knowing you are working for the Lord encourage you to work with more diligence?

    Power Verses:
    Colossians 3:23-24, "Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men, knowing that you will receive the reward of an inheritance from the Lord. You serve the Lord Christ." (HCSB)

    © 2013 by Karen Ehman. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    630 Team Rd., Suite 100
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Proverbs 31 and was tagged with Proverbs

  • Raising Sons

    Posted on August 2, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.” Proverbs 1:8

    Raising a son requires intentionality from a parent or parents. Wise are the father and mother who have a plan to instruct and teach their son how to make God-honoring choices and to lead like Jesus. Yes, being an excellent example is fundamental, but it takes more than modeling—sons need to understand the why’s, what’s and how’s.

    For example, they need life preparation in how to become a Christian, pray and study the Bible. Take them through the book of John to love Jesus, the book of Ephesians to grasp grace and the book of Proverbs to embrace wisdom. Boys and young men who grow up fearing God are prepared to persevere through adversity, success, marriage and parenting.

    “Listen to your father, who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old. Buy the truth and do not sell it—wisdom, instruction and insight as well” (Proverbs 23:23-24).

    Fathers show your son how to relate to girls and young women by loving and cherishing your wife; and wives be an example of the woman he will marry by respecting and following your husband. Parents who agree in their discipline and expectations provide a consistent environment that causes their son to grow in confidence and manhood.

    Anger does not work in molding your son’s will; rather use encouragement and calm correction. Lead him to be accountable to Almighty God and then he will behave well, even when you are absent from his presence. Teach him the value of hard work; let your son sweat through manual labor. Help him discover his God-given gifts and then invest time and money to develop his skills. Competence and character create confidence.

    “Listen, my son, and be wise, and set your heart on the right path” (Proverbs 23:19).

    What if your son strays from the truth? What if he makes a series of foolish decisions? It’s imperative dad and mom stay on their knees in earnest prayer for their wayward son. Pray for him to be influenced by those who love Christ, pray for him to grow weary of sin and pray for the love of God to draw him to Himself. Parent’s prayers are productive.

    Rules without relationship lead to rebellion, so keep your relationship growing and communicate often. Even if you are the only one initiating, stay the course in caring correspondence. Above all—start early instilling godly wisdom into your son, as it is easier to build sons than to fix sons. Lead him to be a leader who loves God. Indeed, joy awaits the parent or parents who by God’s grace are able to grow up godly sons.

    “The father of a righteous child has great joy; a man who fathers a wise son rejoices in him. May your father and mother rejoice; may she who gave you birth be joyful” (Proverbs 23:24-25)!

    Prayer: Am I intentional in how I raise my son in the ways of the Lord?

    Related Readings: Proverbs 23:15-16; 31:2; Philippians 2:22; James 2:21

    Post/Tweet today: Rules without relationship can lead to rebellion, so grow your relationships in grace. #relationships

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Proverbs

Items 31 to 40 of 105 total

Helping you find, grow, share and celebrate your faith
Who doesn't love free shipping!? At Family Christian, you can qualify TWO ways:

1. To your door (just $50 minimum)*

No coupon required! Simply add $50 worth of merchandise to your cart and select the "Free Shipping" option under "Shipping Method." Easy as pie.

* Valid on merchandise totaling $50 or more before taxes. Please keep in mind this is valid on domestic ground shipping to addresses within the U.S. only, not valid toward international delivery. Additional charges apply for express shipping. Terms subject to change without notice.

2. To your store (no minimum order required!)*

At checkout, select "Ship to your local Family Christian store" and enter your zip code to find our closest location. Not sure if there is a Family Christian nearby? Find your local store now.

* Valid on select merchandise only
Loading... Loading...