“Listen to advice and accept instruction,
that you may gain wisdom in the future.
Many are the plans in the mind of a man,
but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.”
Wise Counsel At the recommendation of our pastor, we have been taking our children through no more than five Proverbs a night for a few nights each week. Two aspects that my wife and I have been emphasizing from Proverbs relate well to my ten and eight-year-old children’s stage of life and us adult men.
The difference between a wise and foolish person.
The importance of wise counsel and who you spend time around.
We have provided real examples of people displaying wisdom from Proverbs to make it visible and tangible. Although finding examples of individuals who have practiced foolishness would be too easy. We focus on examples of people they would know who have practiced wisdom from family members to friends. One cannot help their family of origin. However, they can control the friendships they have in their life. We see far too often that people just look for someone who will agree with their way of thinking regardless if their way of thinking is sinful and contrary to biblical instruction. The Holy Spirit or A Selfish Spirit? Some in the church will even claim the Holy Spirit led them to choose. Our sinful hearts will betray us. Therefore, how do we know if the Spirit is leading us or if we are just doing what we want to do? Recently I listened to Russell Moore interview Jackie Hill Perry on his weekly podcast. He asked her how one would know when the Holy Spirit was leading or when we were thinking about it so often that we think the Holy Spirit is leading in this way. Perry responded with the importance of wise counsel. She had recently felt led to do something she did not want. When praying to God, she asked that the Holy Spirit lead her husband, Preston, to the same conclusion. Not even two weeks later, she and her husband realized God had led them to do the same thing. In addition, they had spoken with Christian friends and asked them to pray for wisdom on this issue. God answered their prayer by confirming through conversations with wise friends and speaking to their hearts separately. Follow the Scriptures We need wise counsel that will be honest and direct with us. Proverbs 28:26 says, “Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.” Additionally, Proverbs 15:22 says, “Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.” But how do we, as men, lead our family in wise counsel? #1 - Surround yourself with other God-fearing men who are seeking the Lord. I have been blessed by the men in my huddle group (formally called MD5 Lab). The men in our group have asked for prayer, counsel, and even encouragement with life and financial changes. I have also been blessed to run with three men (who have all gone through MD5) in the mornings before work. Not only do we combine friendship and finances, but we also can encourage and challenge one another. Often my friends and I discuss what God is doing in our lives and the lives of our families, the books we read, issues we see in the American church, and the challenges our children face. You do not have to run to do this. Invite other men to breakfast, fish, hunt, golf, ride bikes, or whatever common interest you may have. #2 - Surround your family with other God-fearing men so they can see authentic biblical manhood lived out by you and others. It will not be surprising when your daughters won’t settle for less than a man who lives out authentic manhood when they see it lived out more frequently. #3 - Consider seeing a Christian counselor. I often thought only people with “real problems” see counselors. After starting in 2019, I wish I had started ten years prior. My counselor at Christian Perspectives Counseling in Conway has helped me in my marriage, as a father with my kids, and in creating healthy boundaries with my extended family. He often reminds me that Jesus had incredibly healthy boundaries. My pastor said, “the wise person will not be easily led into foolishness, but is discerning and craves the instruction of the Lord submitting himself wholeheartedly to God.”
John Gore MD5 Facilitator