Over and over in Proverbs you hear the words “fear the Lord.” In fact, some of he references are Proverbs 1:7, 29; 2:5; 8:13; 9:10;14:26,27; 15:16 and many more. Below is a sermon by John MacArthur from the Book of Luke on 3 reasons we should fear the Lord. (I have posted John MacArthur’s amazing sermon on the fulfillment of Old Testament scripture before on my blog.)
One of the hardest things to do is to keep your speech clean. I have been on many sports teams through the years and many times the coaches of these teams are the worst offenders when it comes to cursing.
I never will forget sitting on the second row in 1987 in Pine Bluff when the University of Arkansas (UALR) Trojans beat California in a NIT playoff game. In 1986 UALR had beaten Notre Dame in the NCAA tournament and then lost in double overtime to NC State in the second round. Therefore, I was thrilled to pick up several tickets for seats on the second row behind the UALR bench. Little did I know that Mike Newell who was the head coach was a foul mouth jerk during the game.
It is my opinion that a coach can have just as big an impact on the game if he behaved like John Wooden or “Clean” Gene Bartow.Think of what other people think of you when you curse. THEY DON’T THINK MORE HIGHLY OF YOU!!! That is the big lie from the devil. THEY THINK YOU ARE ON A HIGHER LEVEL IF YOU DO NOT CURSE!!!! That is the fact of life that no one wants to admit but it is true. My former pastor Adrian Rogers used to call it the “fool’s sin” because you don’t get anything out of it. At least when you steal you get what you steal!!!! When you curse you get nothing!!!!!
Photo by Dave Darnell
Gene Bartow coaches the Memphis State Tigers on January 22, 1972.
I remember hearing Dr. Adrian Rogers say that if he had to do it over again he would read from Proverbs every day to his kids. They turned out to be great kids and they were raised right. Nevertheless, if he had to do it over again he thought a more emphasis on Proverbs is the way to go. That is why I am spending so much time in Proverbs with my kids today.
John MacArthur does a great job on Proverbs and here is a portion of his sermon on Proverbs.
There’s a flip side of that. You say, “Well if you teach him that too strong and then when he gets married he won’t appreciate the joys of marital sex, so you have to balance it.” Point number six, teach him, “Son, enjoy your wife.” While it is forbidden prior to marriage, it is exalted afterwards. Go back to chapter 5. This is so beautiful the way it is articulated. Verse 15 says, “Drink water from your own cistern,” and this is following on the passage about the harlot. “Drink water from your own cistern and fresh water from your own well.” When you’re thirsty, find your satisfaction with your own wife, that’s what it means. When you’re physically thirsty, find your satisfaction from your own wife. Drink water from your own cistern and your own well. Should your springs be dispersed abroad, streams of water in the streets?
You know, one of the things that people wouldn’t want to see in that particular part of the world in ancient times was just water flowing through the street. Nobody in their right mind would just take buckets of water and throw them across the street, just throw them down the pavement or the dirt. Why? Because water was very precious. And not only that there wasn’t much of it, it was hard to get at to get. And nobody was going to be just wasting water and he uses that as an analogy as people would be considered foolish who just threw water in the streets, you are considered an absolute fool if you just go out in the street and spread your stream everywhere and produce babies by other people. Don’t do that. A fool would do that…foolish and wasteful is a man who fathers children all over town, all over the street. Let them be yours alone, he says, and not for strangers with you. “Let your fountain…your procreative capacity…be blessed, and here it is, and rejoice in the wife of your youth as a longing hind and a graceful doe. Let her breasts satisfy you at all times, be exhilarated always with her love. For why should you, my son, be exhilarated with an adulteress and embrace the bosom of a foreigner?” And he reminds him in verse 21 that God is watching and sees everything. Enjoy your wife, be exhilarated with her love, let her breasts satisfy you at all times, rejoice in her…teach your son that.
Teach your son by the way you treat your wife and by the things you say to be totally fulfilled in his own marriage. Teach him what Proverbs says that a wife is a gift from God, more precious than jewels. Teach him that a wife is given to be his best friend and companion, that a wife is to serve his needs and that of the children and she is to be rewarded for her efforts and praised, as Proverbs 31 says. Teach him the beauty and the wonder and the blessedness of a gift of a wife and teach him to enjoy his wife. And you will teach him best if you enjoy yours.
The wife father, what is he doing? He’s saying to his son…fear your God, guard your mind, obey your parents, select your companions, control you body, enjoy your wife…those are the key lessons. Let me give you just a few more. Number seven, watch your words…watch your words. Teach your son to be careful how he speaks. Chapter 4 verse 24, “My son,” he says in verse 20, down in verse 24 he adds, “Put away from you a deceitful mouth, put devious lips far from you, make sure you don’t speak lies, make sure you don’t speak hypocritically, make sure you don’t speak perversely, make sure you don’t speak deceitfully, speak pure true words.”
Certainly one of the things that I grew up with was that lesson. I am about as far away from using any curse word, or one remotely related to a curse word as any human being in the earth because I had my mouth washed out numerous times for words I didn’t even understand or pronounce correctly. My mother used to wash out my mouth with Fel’s Naptha Soap if I come home and said, “Daddy, what does (blank) mean?” In went the soap. That’s what’s called aversion therapy. We have passed that on to our children so that what comes out of their mouth is the word hopefully of the righteous. Proverbs says, “The lips of the righteous speak wisely…the lips of the righteous are a fountain of life and a tree of life…the lips of the righteous are like choice silver, they’re satisfying, they feed others, they bring healing and deliverance. They are patient, kind, wise, truthful, honest, pure, soft, gentle, slow to anger and are mouth pieces for the Lord.” Teach your son to watch his words.
Chapter 5 verse 2, your lips may reserve knowledge. Chapter 6 verse 12, stay away from the one who walks with a false mouth. Chapter 10 is magnificent, look at verse 11, “The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life.” What a great statement. Verse 13, “On the lips of the discerning wisdom is found.” Verse 14, “The mouth of the foolish, ruin is at hand.” Quite a contrast. Verse 18, it says, “He who conceals hatred has lying lips. He who spreads slander is a fool.” Don’t do that. Don’t lie. Don’t slander. That’s another thing we taught our children was never to lie. Our children, and I am sure this is correct and Patricia and I have talked about this in recollection, never lied in their life that we know of more than once because the first time we caught them in a lie there was a major unforgetable event that took place…which event lasted long in their memory. And it told them, in effect, that is a very bad thing to do and attached to it is immense pain. They seemed to get the message. Teach your children to speak the truth.
Verse 19, “When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable.” “Teach them not to always talk. He who restrains his lips is wise. The tongue of the righteous is as choice silver,” it just goes on like this. Teach them to watch their words…to watch their words. That’s a major matter of wisdom. The mouths of fools pour out endless speech, crooked speech, foolish speech, violent speech, hateful speech, malicious speech, strife, ruin, slander, belittlement, gossip, disgrace, scorching fire, mischief, perversity, on and on it says in Proverbs. Fathers, teach your children to watch their words.
ONE FINAL QUESTION: WHAT DOES PROVERBS 4:24 MEAN?
Put away from you a deceitful mouth, put devious lips far from you, make sure you don’t speak lies, make sure you don’t speak hypocritically, make sure you don’t speak perversely, make sure you don’t speak deceitfully, speak pure true words