Introduction: Families are under attack. The definition of marriage
and family is changing in the popular culture. The pressure of
culture has both spouses working hard so that “family time” is
limited. Even when the family is all together, they are often looking
at screens and not talking with each other. The idea is to pass
Biblical principles down to your children. How much time is spent on
that? Culture also promotes marital unfaithfulness. Let’s explore
what wise words the Bible has to protect families against the popular

  1. Faithfulness

    1. Read Proverbs 5:1. Who is speaking? (This is written like
      a father speaking to his son.)

    2. Read Proverbs 5:2. What will listening to these words and
      putting them into practice do for us? (It will help us
      with discretion and preserve knowledge.)

      1. What does it mean to “maintain discretion?” (I think
        it means you will choose wisely.)

      2. What does it mean for “your lips” to “preserve
        knowledge?” (Your children will listen to what you
        have to say on the topic.)

      3. Do you think that this advice is gender specific?
        (The language is, but I think the advice is not.)

    3. Read Proverbs 5:3. Will you be attracted to an adulteress?

    4. Read Proverbs 5:4. Will the end of your relationship be as
      pleasant as the beginning? (No, it will be bitter.)

      1. What does the “double edged sword” reference tell us?
        (We will get badly hurt.)

    5. Read Proverbs 5:5-6. Does the person who desires to have
      an affair with you think that she (or he) are doing the
      wrong thing? (They don’t think about it. They look at the
      excitement of the moment, and not the “way of life.”)

      1. If the person seeking the affair thought about the
        way of life, what would that person conclude? (It
        leads to bitterness and death.)

    6. Read Proverbs 5:7-8. What is the best approach to avoiding
      problems? (Stay far away.)

      1. Is that what the natural heart desires? (When someone
        who is not your spouse says that you look great or
        sexy, it is a great boost to your ego. These are
        things most people love to hear. You want to spend
        time with the person who praises you.)

        1. What is the obvious conclusion for those who
          are married? (Compliment your spouse!
          Compliments from others will mean less.)

    7. Read Proverbs 5:9-11. What starts out as a great ego boost
      ends how? (You lose your wealth. Your life ends in a
      groan. You ego sinks.)

      1. Why does your life end in a groan? (“Your flesh and
        body are spent.” The affair is focused on your “flesh
        and body.” You no longer are attractive.”)

    8. Read Proverbs 5:12-14. What is the main failure? (To
      follow advice. To accept correction.)

    9. Read Proverbs 5:15-19. Where should we direct our
      attention? (Our spouse!)

      1. Re-read Proverbs 5:19. What does this say indirectly
        to the spouse? (Don’t “let yourself go.” Don’t say,
        “I’m married. It no longer matters how I look, dress,
        or act.”)

      2. How many times have you seen an affair involving
        someone who is worse looking than the spurned spouse?
        (This happens because the appeal to ego is blinding.
        But, you should still try to remain attractive.)

      3. How important is selfishness in marital
        unfaithfulness? (Proverbs points to a failure to take
        advice. A major theme of the Bible is self-denial.
        The unfaithful spouse says, “I prefer myself over my
        spouse and family.” As we age, self-denial is
        involved in exercise and proper diet.)

    10. Read Proverbs 5:21-23. God affirms that He sees all. How
      does He view marital unfaithfulness? (He calls it “great

      1. It is hard for us to realistically evaluate our
        actions. Can you see why God calls it not simply
        “folly,” but “great folly?” (From the point of view
        of wealth it is folly. From the point of view of your
        relationship with your children it is folly. From the
        point of view of living a peaceful life it is folly.
        It can also create peril for your job. God is right!)

  2. Parents and Children

    1. Read Proverbs 13:22. Is this saying that if you are a good
      person you will leave an inheritance for your children and
      grandchildren? This is a goal if you want to be called
      “good?” Or, is this saying that a natural result of
      obedience to God is accumulating enough money to help your
      family for two generations? (I think it is the second
      meaning. God blesses the good person. The sinner will lose
      his wealth to those who are righteous.)

      1. Recall that we just discussed the financial downside
        of marital unfaithfulness? Is that part of the
        reason why the “good” will have more money to leave?

    2. Read Proverbs 13:25. How can you make sure that your
      children are properly fed? (God will look out for those
      who are faithful!)

      1. What does it mean to be “faithful?” (Read Proverbs
        27:23-27. (Proverbs links faithfulness with attention
        to duty. It teaches that we should pay careful
        attention to our business, because wealth is not
        guaranteed to continue. For the farmer, each year is

    3. Read Proverbs 13:24. Notice that two forms of guidance are
      mentioned: the “rod” and “discipline.” They have two
      meanings. One can literally mean a “stick” and the other
      means to “chasten.” Why do you think two terms were used?

      1. Read Proverbs 29:1. It is unpopular in some circles
        to spank a child. My wife, a retired elementary
        teacher and an expert in discipline, points out that
        there are many creative ways to discipline without
        striking a child. What should we be concerned about
        if we do not properly discipline our children? (When
        they get out in the world, they will be destroyed. In
        the debate over spanking, this is an important

      2. Let’s go back and look at Proverbs 13:24 again. What
        is the motive for disciplining your children? (Love.
        If you are striking your child because you are angry,
        you have completely missed the point. Proper
        discipline is motivated by love, not anger.)

  3. Wife

    1. Read Proverbs 31:10-12. Earlier we studied texts that
      specifically referred to the husband being faithful. We
      looked at them as being applicable to both spouses. What
      does this tell us about a faithful wife? (She brings her
      husband good and not harm. Her husband has “full
      confidence” in her.)

    2. Read Proverbs 31:13-15. How would you label a wife like
      this? (Hard-working! Industrious. This is certainly not a
      lazy person.)

    3. Read Proverbs 31:16-18. Equal opportunity for women was
      not part of the culture when this was written. What lesson
      does this teach us about women working outside of
      “traditional” jobs? (I’m not an expert on the culture of
      that time, but I believe that owning property, purchasing
      property, planting a vineyard, and trading goods were all
      activities generally reserved to men. The Bible, once
      again, is counter to the popular culture!)

    4. Read Proverbs 31:21-22. We discussed earlier how
      diligence in work results in having enough food for your
      children. How does this say a mother can contribute to
      security for the children? (A diligent mother results in
      properly clothed children.)

      1. For those of you who think the Bible promotes plain
        dressing, what kind of clothing is praised here?
        (“Fine linen,” “scarlet,” and “purple” all signal
        expensive clothing. There is some debate about
        whether “scarlet” should be understood as
        “double”(warm clothing). But, the entire sense of
        this cannot be missed: the mother and children are
        well dressed.)

      2. How should we understand 1 Timothy 2:9-10 and 1 Peter
        3:3-4? (Peter tells us that your character, and not
        what you wear, should be your true beauty. If we
        assume that there is no conflict among the texts of
        the Bible, that would mean that wearing beautiful
        clothes is fine, but should not be considered the
        basis for evaluating your worth as a person.)

    5. Friend, do you see a theme in what the Bible has to say
      about families? I think that theme is faithfulness to God,
      self-denial, diligence in our work, and love for each
      other. These create a great family atmosphere. If you find
      that your family is not meeting these standards, why not
      pray that God will help you to come closer to these

  4. Next week: The Royal Love Song.