Introduction: The Bible is filled with all sorts of practical advice.
Last week we studied Biblical advice about how to teach our children
about God. This week we move on to advice for grown children in
their marriage. Having a good family requires a good relationship
between husband and wife. Our lesson this week starts with advice for
those who are married. After studying those potential problems, we
consider how some of these problems can be avoided by being alert
when dating. Let’s dive into our study!

  1. Honey and Gall

    1. Read Proverbs 5:1-2. Who is being taught in this Bible

      1. What does the Bible say is the “payoff” for children
        paying attention to the Bible-based advice of their
        parents? (“Maintain discretion” and “your lips
        preserve knowledge.”)

        1. What do you think it means to “maintain
          discretion?” (It means you are going to save
          yourself from evil. The result is that you will
          not be embarrassed. Want to maintain your
          dignity son? Want to avoid falling in a pit?
          Then pay attention to this!)

        2. What do you think it means to have “your lips
          preserve knowledge?” (People will listen to your
          advice. They will learn important life lessons
          from seeking and taking your advice – as opposed
          to learning important life lessons from seeing
          how your actions wrecked your life.)

    2. Read Proverbs 5:3-4. Oil and honey. No one in my office
      has oil and honey oozing out of their mouth. Even if they
      did, it would not be attractive. What does this mean? (It
      means that when you begin an extra-marital affair it seems
      like a lot of fun.)

      1. How does it end? (It hurts you (double-edged sword)
        and it feels terrible (bitter as gall).

        1. Why is that? (Affairs are irrational.)

        2. How many times have you seen someone have an
          affair with another person who is not as
          desirable as their spouse? (This happens all the
          time. What is “fun” about an affair is that it
          reminds you of when you were dating. The reality
          of actually living with the “other” person – a
          person you now know is probably willing to
          “cheat” on you is a different matter.)

        3. Years ago I needed a new secretary. The (female)
          office manager came to my office and announced,
          “I’ve got the perfect candidate for you. She is
          beautiful and she married her last boss.” It
          turned out the manager was not joking about
          either of those facts. (She was joking about my
          job qualifications.) Not too long after we hired
          her, guess who came to visit me? Right, her new
          husband/ex-boss. He wanted to see what I looked
          like. Guess why?

    3. Read Proverbs 5:7-8. How would you apply the “do not go
      near the door of her house?” (It obviously means “do not
      be alone with her in her house.” But the “near the door”
      means a lot more.)

      1. How many of you like to flirt? (I do. It is a
        wonderful ego boost (especially in my old age) to
        have a pretty lady flirt with me.)

        1. Is flirting “going near the door?” (This is an
          area in which you need to be alert. I believe
          the “near the door” phrase certainly includes
          our mind. It is critically important to avoid
          thinking about the “oil and honey” of an affair
          with someone else. Our words reflect what we
          think. Therefore, if the “flirting words” cross
          the line to describe improper conduct, pay
          attention because the alarm bells are ringing.
          Turn away. Better, run away.)

    4. Read Proverbs 5:9-10. Why should we run?

      1. Does Proverbs 5:10 describe divorce lawyers? (Toby
        Keith is probably my favorite Country singer. He
        sings this sad song about driving by the place where
        he used to live and seeing his house, his kids, his
        wife, his truck and his dog – and a stranger who now
        possesses all of his stuff! His song asks, “Who’s
        that man running my life?” If you have an affair, the
        likely result is that strangers will “feast on your
        wealth,” they will be “running [what used to be] your

        1. Why would the Bible be talking about the
          financial side to infidelity? (The Bible is
          telling us to be rational – not emotional –
          about marital fidelity.)

    5. We skipped a couple of verses before. Read Proverbs 5:5-6.
      Is this the spiritual advice side of this?

      1. Notice that verse 6 says, “she knows it not.” What
        does that suggest? (The other person in the adultery
        is not knowingly trying to cause you loss here and
        eternally. It is up to you to be careful even when it
        is a friend who is the potential source of your

  2. Married to Gall

    1. Read Proverbs 21:9 and Proverbs 21:19. Our discussion so
      far has assumed that marriage with the original spouse was
      good. We assumed it was excitement that lured one spouse
      into an affair. Assume you live with a short-tempered and
      angry spouse. What do these texts say about living with
      Mr./Mrs. Angry and Twisted? (It is not much fun.)

    2. Read Proverbs 27:15-16. How do you find the constant sound
      of dripping? (Annoying.)

      1. How do you like rainy days? (A quarrelsome spouse is
        like an annoying dripping on a rainy day.)

      2. The NIV seems to miss an important point here.
        Strongs says the Hebrew word “yamiyn” refers
        specifically to the right hand. What additional
        meaning does that add? (Your right hand is your
        strongest hand. All your efforts are insufficient to
        restrain this kind of spouse.)

      3. What hope does the Bible give us for restraining an
        angry and twisted spouse? (Not much.)

      4. Read Genesis 2:18. How did Proverbs get so far from
        the ideal?

    3. If you have a short-tempered and angry spouse, is it okay
      to dump them for someone else who is more pleasant?

      1. Should you move to the roof? How about the desert?

    4. Let’s not just describe the problem, let’s look at
      solutions so you don’t have to move to the roof. If you
      are not married, what should you be looking for in a

      1. How important is appearance as opposed to
        personality? (Before I was married, if someone
        suggested that I should date someone “who had a good
        personality” I took that as a signal to run because
        this potential date was going to be ugly.)

        1. Did I have the right attitude? (No. It turned
          out that God led me to someone who was both
          beautiful and pleasant – but if I had to choose,
          an angry and twisted beauty would be no fun.
          With the passage of time, she would likely not
          even be beautiful. All you are left with is
          angry and twisted. See Proverbs 31:30.)

    5. Let’s read a text that suggests what an unmarried man
      should be looking for in a potential wife. Read Proverbs
      31:10-11. Is this the goal? To find a spouse that will
      allow others to say that you “lack nothing of value?”

    6. Read Proverbs 31:12. How can you make a judgment about
      this while you are dating? (If your date is beating you up
      and causing problems while you are dating, you can be sure
      this will not end when you get married.)

    7. Read Proverbs 31:13. What characteristic does this
      describe? (She is not lazy. A lazy spouse is frustrating.)

    8. Read Proverbs 31:16. What characteristic does this
      describe? (That she has a business mind. She has a sense
      of money management.)

    9. Read Proverbs 31:20. What characteristic does this
      describe? (She has compassion – even for the less

    10. Read Proverbs 31:25-26. What characteristics do we find
      here? What does it mean to “laugh at the days to come?”
      (She is wise and prepares for the future.)

    11. Should you expect all of those qualities in your wife-to-be? (Ask yourself how many of those qualities are in you?
      These texts give you an idea of what to look for in a
      potential mate.)

    12. What if you are already married? Is there any solution,
      other than the roof, if you are currently married to
      “angry and twisted?”(Read Ephesians 5:28. You cannot, as
      Proverbs 27:16 tells us, “restrain” angry and twisted. You
      can, however, love “angry and twisted” into something
      else. I have seen this happen in a couple. Some mistakes
      impose long-term penalties. God gives us advice to
      overcome our mistakes.)

    13. Read Proverbs 15:1. What other advice does God give us for
      living with “angry and twisted?” (It is hard to be
      unbiased about our own failures. If you are living with a
      quarrelsome spouse, chances are that you are part of the
      problem. Gentle answers help to prevent arguments.)

    14. Friend, the best way to have a good marriage is to pay
      attention to the character of the person you choose to
      marry. If you are already married, God gives us advice on
      how to keep our marriage intact. Will you put forth the
      effort to keep your marriage together and improve your
      relationship with your spouse?

  3. Next week: The Royal Love Song.