My Favorite Proverbs: Seeking wise counsel when I don’t know what to do (Prov. 12:5, KJV).
“The thoughts of the righteous are right, but the counsels of the wicked are deceitful.”
I love this proverb for its practicality. Many have been the times of my life when I’ve reached out for the mature advice of faithful Christians in whose judgment I place trust. It has always benefitted me to hear, not only the answer to my question, but the sound, Scripturally-anchored reasoning it took to reach the answer. Just now, the faces of these people—my “great cloud of witnesses”—flood my mind. Many of them have now gone to the other side.
To seek advice from a man or woman who has no Bible-based compass is a mistake. Many have listened to worldly counsel and made life-altering mistakes.
Go from the presence of a foolish man, when you do not perceive in him the lips of knowledge (Prov. 14:7).
I’ve occasionally encountered people who, in their hearts, knew the right decision at some crossroad, but foolishly chose someone who would say the opposite. The person seeking the advice already knew he’d be told exactly what he wanted to hear and, on that very basis, chose the counselor. This often happens in reference to marriage problems when people deliberately choose counselors who are not Christians. I’ve heard people in such problems say it plainly to their spouses, “I’ll go to counseling with you so long as it isn’t a member of the church.” That’s a sad mistake.
Titus 2:3-5 has always seemed so practical for young women: “The older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things— that they admonish (other translations: train, teach, urge) the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.” Imagine the foresight of a teenage woman knocking on the door (or even popping up in the email) of an older Christian woman and asking, “Can we talk about a decision I need to make?”
Are you struggling with some dilemma or some difficult question about life or marriage or child-rearing, or a relationship at work, and you need sound advice? Choose someone you know will be objective, balanced, and above all, someone who knows the Bible. That’s the person who can see the future best. “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psa. 119:105).
Family Bible Time with Glenn and Cindy
Read or paraphrase 2 Samuel 11: 18-24. Explain the tragic event to your children. Tell them, for now, that Joab had Uriah killed in the battle, just like David had asked him to do. Then Joab told a messenger to go back to David and let him know, for sure, that Uriah was dead. He told him to tell David in crafty terms, so that the servant would not realize, as he was telling David, that they had murdered Uriah. Joab wanted everyone to think it was just one of those things that happens in a war.
Make some memorable points as you talk about this horrible decision and death of a good man.
- Joab found a crafty way to let David know that Uriah was dead. He even acted like he thought David would be mad because of the decision to fight close to the wall and because they had lost a valuable soldier like Uriah. There was a lot of pretending going on here. Joab knew that David would actually be very relieved (in a sick kind of way) that Uriah was dead. Explain this to all of your children.
- Have older kids turn to Judges 9:50-55 and read for themselves the account of Abimelech that Joab told the messenger to rehearse to David. Tell them that Joab was trying to both hide the sin of murder from the messenger and make David feel better about the “casualty” of war that Uriah was on that day of battle. “After all, sometimes it has been a great thing to fight up near the wall.” All of this little speech of the messenger was a huge “code-speech” for “Your plan has worked. Uriah is dead and it all looks good. I believe you (we) can get away with this murder.” Tell them that Joab and David’s friendship had been ruined now by their joint commission of this horrible sin. Their days of innocent friendship were over. There would always be the memory of this terrible sin between them. Encourage them to always keep friendships pure and holy. Never have sinful secrets between friends. It forever ruins great relationships.
- Try to make a list, at this point, of all the people that David has involved in his sin. He is hurting people all around while trying to protect himself. The list will be something like this:
Messenger who got Bathsheba
Servants when Uriah came to place
The other soldiers who were fighting alongside Uriah and retreated
The other soldiers who died beside Uriah
The messenger sent by Joab back to David
4. Make a strong point to your children that sin hurts good people and bad people. It does not discriminate. Ask them if they can think of good people who are hurting because of bad things that other people have done. Older kids may think of friends who are hurting because parents are alcoholics or unfaithful or abusive. They may think of people in the youth group who have hurt others by saying unkind things or by being disloyal to each other in relationships. Help younger kids think of how families might be hurt when one of the members of the family has to go to jail or even of innocent people who are hurt by wicked people in fairy tales. Examples are Geppetto being hurt in the story of Pinocchio or how Cinderella is hurt by the wicked stepmother and by the stepsisters or how Snow White is hurt by the wicked Queen. (It’s interesting to tell older kids that the name Geppetto means “Jehovah has added.” It’s a Hebrew name.) Choose one of these stories to read tonight and have the kids listen for someone who is innocent being hurt by someone wicked. Sin hurts other people. (If you have teens and younger ones, have the older ones read to the younger ones. But stick around for helping with applications.)
Quote God’s ideal for marriage: One man, for one woman, for life.
Quote the KidSing rule: Do the right thing.
Pray with your kids.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.