We always hear that there is no handbook to life. I challenge that statement, I believe there is a life handbook. I have just finished reading Proverbs for the very first time. What a great book. This book really is the handbook to life. Everything you need to live a righteous and Godly life is clearly spelled out in this book.
Proverbs 1: This chapter outlines the fact that temptations must be avoided by people of sin. They will tempt us or try to entice us. There will always be temptations in life, "come drinking at the bar with the group. It is only one drink. Everyone else is doing it". These are statements that we hear all too often. People don't always entice in a mean or destructive way. As the old saying goes "misery likes company". The best way to avoid temptation is to keep your eye on the prize-Christ. No matter how great the temptation sounds, the price paid will never be worth it.
Proverbs 2,4,8 & 9: These chapters discusses the value and security in having wisdom. The foundation to wisdom is "Fear of the Lord". To fear the Lord is a submissive form of reverence. He who fears the Lord will be granted wisdom and understanding. You should strive after wisdom and listen for words of wisdom. The wise will be careful to avoid evil, those that seek knowledge should also be seeking God.
Proverbs 3: Guide for the young. There are a few commands given in this chapter for the young and really all ages. Trust the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own knowledge and understanding. (Verse 5) Do not be wise in your own eyes, Fear the Lord and turn away from evil. In doing so, it will be like new health to your body. (Verse 7 & 8) Honor the Lord with all your possessions, and your yields will be increased. (Verse 9).
Proverbs 5,6 & 7: The troubles of Adultery . Adultery brings nothing but ruin, it is never worth the fleshly pleasure. This chapter just warns of the perils of adultery, it warns against lust of the flesh, false doctrine and idolatry. Pleasure should be found in the Lord and the spouse that the Lord has chosen for you. It also warns of taking on the debt of others, it becomes a trap.
Proverbs 10-22 & 25-29: The wisdom of Solomon. King Solomon was the wisest of kings. He only asked God for wisdom, but was also given wealth and health because of his selflessness. It is hard to summarize the vast amount of wisdom given by Solomon in these chapters. The jest of these chapters are righteousness in God is the key to life, wealth, knowledge and happiness. Dishonesty is an abomination to the Lord. Knowledge is important. It is important to produce good fruit. You reap what you sow. The tongue is a mighty weapon, be mindful of what you say. Strong drink can lead people astray. It is not good to be lazy or boastful.
Proverbs 30: The wisdom of Agur. Agur wanted to be free from lies and deceit. He only wanted enough to live off of and no more than that. Wisdom and righteousness was the key to happiness.
Proverbs 31: This chapter is often referred to as the chapter for a Godly wife. King Lemuel's mother had great advice on what to look for in a spouse. A wife should put her personal relationship with God before all else. Be a minister and encouragement for your husband. Nurture and encourage your children, raising them up in Christ. Keep your home and providing for your families needs. A wife should be a helpmate in the spiritual leadership of the family, this should include bible studies and prayer time. A Proverbs wife should also be caring, tender with words, love and physical touch. As well as sensitive and a willingness to communicate even when it is difficult. A wife should also have integrity, transparency, and a loyal devotion to her spouse and family. A wife is also a helper to the husband, helping him with spiritual ministry and fellowship.
Proverbs is filled with great advice on how to live a full, rich and rewarding life. Be righteous, honest, seek wisdom instead of riches, refrain from evil and evil doers. Be faithful to your spouse and refrain from adultery. Continually seek and fear the Lord.
The best part, the handbook is available whenever you need it and the author of all life is your guide.