Prov 24.3 Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established: 4 and by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.
5 A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength. 6 For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: and in multitude of counselors there is safety. 7 Wisdom is too high for a fool: he openeth not his mouth in the gate. 8 He that deviseth to do evil shall be called a mischievous person. 9 The thought of foolishness is sin: and the scorner is an abomination to men.
10 If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small. 11 If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain; 12 if thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? and he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? and shall not he render to every man according to his works?
13 My son, eat thou honey, because it is good; and the honeycomb, which is sweet to thy taste: 14 so shall the knowledge of wisdom be unto thy soul: when thou hast found it, then there shall be a reward, and thy expectation shall not be cut off. 15 Lay not wait, O wicked man, against the dwelling of the righteous; spoil not his resting place: 16 for a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.
Theater, play, roles, characters, actors
Proverbs is a book written to assist in the development of leaders.
Wisdom is rightfully seen as the gateway and defense of leadership.
It was through choosing wisdom over all else, that Solomon was promoted to King
He now wants to impart, not so much the details, but the love of wisdom itself
Anyone who desires or is called upon to be a leader should spend significant time reading
This includes all men who are married
The principle role of the man in marriage is Leader.
This might be the most politically incorrect position in the Bible.
It is seen as ‘Sexist’, ‘Chauvinist’, ‘Misogynistic’
However, it is a Truth that is reflected in the universal longing of both Men and Women
But especially Women.
Women want a strong man.
The corruption of this ideal results in a lot of damage for both men and women
But the ideal is universal
In scientific literature, this is known as Benevolent Sexism (BS) [(Glick & Fiske, 1996)]
It has been studied quite extensively, and to chagrin of researchers is real, universal
Not only in ‘backwater’ cultures
Surprisingly: The more egalitarian a society, the more women prefer BS
BS describes a relationship in which men cherish women
believe that it is their role to protect and care for them
Researchers point out: Is contingent on women conforming to trad. gender roles
– RIGHT! Men see their ROLE as traditional provided women see it that way also.
This is reciprocity.
Essentially: Men want women to need them, Women want men to lead them.
This doesn’t make the wife ‘needy’ nor the husband… ‘leady’.
The woman must learn to need her husband.
To allow herself to be completed by him.
The man must learn to lead his wife,
To think of her first and foremost, to adore her and protect her.
BS universally increases life satisfaction, and the more ‘enlightened, egalitarian’ = More.
Sage Journals study, New Zealand, 700 participants
What do I mean by ‘Lead’?
1. Taking responsibility – for himself and for his family.
2. Setting example
Proverbs is a book written largely to teach a man to lead himself
Until we learn what that means we will be unable to lead anyone
3. Providing purpose and focus
4. Build not destroy, Help not hurt
Our text assumes that the objective of the audience is to “Build their house”
Not just a home (a family)
A house is a body, an identity, an asset, a family, a heritage, a legacy
– All of these are built into the word “house” (both Hebrew bayit, & English)
When we build our home without wisdom, we build with our present circumstances, which is like building a snow-palace in the winter; it will melt away when the seasons change. — (paraphrase of Waltke, Proverbs)
Proverbs is a primary source for the wisdom that we need to be Leaders
This text concludes the main body, with 3 deceptively deep observations on Leadership
1. Composited. Layered. Laminated. [v5-9] (multitude of counselors)
Shallowness, uni-dimensionalism is universally undesirable
Depth and Thickness are not the same thing
Thickness is what happens when you pursue wisdom in isolation.
Depth is what is achieved by compositing countless layers of wisdom
That does not mean that we simply pile up foreign opinions indiscriminately
Who are we? (If we layer our self with so many opinions of others? Think for ourselves!)
Sounds good and noble, but not practical or logically sound
We are the Curator.
We weigh the wisdom of the many and layer it judiciously.
2. Courageous. Heroic. Selfless. [v10-12] (faint in the day, fail to deliver, knew it not)
This point is the proof of the previous.
You know you are properly composited in the worst of times
Sadly, if you find out you are not, it will be too late
It is in battle that the soldier discovers if his training was good and adequate
A true leader quietly prepares himself for the day when all else faint
Cpt. Sully: Small deposits for 30 yrs in bank of experience, one big withdraw
Courage, especially as it becomes less personal
When the affliction is his own, less difficult to be ‘principled’ and ‘lion-hearted’.
Easy to ignore the plight of others, especially as their cries become distant
3. Resilient. Indestructible. Impervious. [v13-16] (falleth seven times, riseth up again)
A true leader falls often — like everyone else — difference is that he gets up every time
Humble, honest, unpretentious
This is contingent on 1 & 2: You can’t just pick one or two.
#1 = He has help
#2 = He has helped
#3 = So he can be helped
Women prefer Leaders because
1. God not only designed men and women according to that model,
2. But he also designed the entire plot that way.
What do I mean by that?
This life is best understood as a play, a theater production,
Everything is a prop, a character, or a narrative.
Some might not like this concept because they feel it means that life isn’t real.
But theater productions are very real,
the characters they portray are more lasting than the people who perform them.
In the same way, we are portraying a character that will long outlast our short life.
And we take part in a story that is far bigger than our small life allows for.
Let’s consider this as setting Biblical doctrine in modern terminology.
Why is this perspective important?
It is the only perspective that I have found that makes proper sense of marriage, and of the husband and wife relationship and how the Scriptures portray all of them.
– Marriage is an Act in the play of this world (one of the handful of truly important Acts)
– In this Act there are roles that have been created by the writer, producer, & director:
Each of these roles are filled by people who might or might not fully mirror the role.
This isn’t hypocrisy.
1. Church isn’t the stage; Life is the stage.
2. We don’t just ‘play’ the role. We inhabit the role.
Christians are the ultimate ‘Method Actors’.
We all alternatingly fall short and exceed our roles
We are both too flawed and too perfect, too carnal and too spiritual
In other words, if we were what we should be and what will be
The role we play now would still be a role: The role of the imperfect person.
It wouldn’t be our true self
In Christ there is neither male nor female, but now we play those roles.
…neither bond nor free..
…neither Jew nor Greek…
Both Men and Women might think, “That isn’t me. God is looking for someone better.”
He is casting you.
He has written the role exactly how he wants it,
and he wants you to play that role.
A woman submits to her husband for NO other reason than that the role is written
A man leads his wife for NO other reason…
These roles do not extend beyond marriage, and they don’t fundamentally define or change the person that we are.
Gal 3.28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
So why does God cast us in these roles?
Because they are a depiction, a portrait, of a real relationship wherein the participants are actually like that. We are playing real people.
That real relationship is Christ and the Church.
This was the Great Mystery that Paul revealed in Eph 6
We are being asked to step into a role.
And instead of focusing on how unworthy we are
We need to concentrate on understanding the character we are playing
What he was all about, what his mindset was, what his motivation was
That is what church is all about.
We talk about Christ because we are playing him in real life
He came and played a role.
He played the ultimate role.
He was God, who played man.
He was strong, who played weak.
He was immortal, who played mortal.
He was rich, who played poor.
And he did that so that you could inhabit a role
You were unjust, but not you are counted just
You were dead, but now you are quickened
You were a servant of sin, but now you reckon yourself dead to sin and alive to God
You were lost, but now you are found.
[Speaking of creation as a massive story with all the familiar elements:]
“And there it was: setting, conflict, climax, and resolution. As silly as it seemed, it met the requirements of the heart and it matched the facts of reality. It felt more than true, it felt meaningful. I was starting to believe I was a character in a greater story, which is why the elements of story made sense in the first place.” — Donald Miller, Blue Like Jazz
When you put on the role of Marriage, it will make sense, it will feel more than true, it will feel meaningful.
When you put on the role of Salvation…