Proverbs 31 Man
(Sermon Notes)
By Warren Zehrung – August 6, 2005

Where can a good man be found?

We had a sermon on the Proverbs 31 Woman that was received very favorably – with the request that we have a “counterpart” sermon for the men.

Where can a good man be found?

It is fully God’s intention that the “man of God” be made perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works (2 Timothy 3:17).

That is a tall order.  That is a rare man indeed.

We might ask the parallel question from Proverbs 31:10  Who can find a virtuous man?

Where are the real men in God’s Church today?

Church women ask the questions: "Where are the men?" "What is wrong with them?" "Why are they not able to commit to marriage?" "Why are they such wimps?"

Have we lost our sense of what constitutes genuine manhood in our secularist culture?

It is fully God’s intention That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

That is a tall order.

How does a man develop into the kind of man God seeks?

Genesis 2:

18  And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. [A helpmate suitable to his needs.]

God did not put all godly traits into Adam, and God did not put all of His godly traits into Eve

God fully meant for men and women to complement one another.

Where Adam was strong – Eve was the weaker vessel.

And where Eve possessed clear feminine traits – Adam was lacking.

God made then able to Fill-up, round out, develop, Godly characteristics and personality in the other – even Godly character.

Genesis 2:

21  And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;

Eve was of the same blood type, exact same DNA, same immune system… But a vastly different being.

Genesis 2:

22  And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made He a woman, and brought her unto the man.

23  And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.

“Bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh,” has deeply significant Spiritual implications pointing to Christ and His Bride, the Church!

Genesis 2:

24  Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

“One flesh”???  What does that mean?

Brethren, do we realize that…

Becoming one flesh, is a lifelong job and responsibility – for each partner?

Colossians 3:

19  Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.

Some men are confused – not knowing what women need from them.

The women are often disappointed and frustrated too.

Ephesians 5:

25  Husbands, love your wives [not only with candy and roses, but], even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it; [Jesus Christ died for the church brethren for us to have salvation – and husbands are to love their wives equally.]

Ephesians 5:

26  That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

What must a man do to be worthy of a glorious wife?

Ephesians 5:

27  That He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

28  So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loves his wife loves himself.

God has not given men a chapter in the Bible similar to Proverbs 31 for women. 

But I’ll just paraphrase two verses that mention the Man and turn them around – because it certainly works both ways –

If fact the Scriptures are clear…

*  The greater responsibility – is on the Man!  Just as Jesus is the head of the Church.

The man is the leader, the protector and the provider – it is the man’s duty to do all to develop the marriage relationship.

Proverbs 31:

11  The heart of his wife doth safely trust in him, so that she  shall have no need.

12  He will do her good and not evil all the days of his life.

When he is an older and mature Man of God…

Proverbs 31:

23  He will be known in the gates, when he sits among the elders of the land.

What part did the man play in nurturing the kind of woman his wife became in Proverbs 31?

What did he do that made her so full of love for him that she diligently watched over all the matters of their household and made it run so smoothly?

What attributes does he display that fills his wife with confidence about their future – financially, emotionally and even spiritually?

What does God expect of Christian men?

Who is the Proverbs 31 man?

This exceptional man had not only the respect of his wife and his community but the approval of God as well.

The man was the one responsible for the success – of the family.

If he had not been a man of God – the family and wife would have never developed into the exemplary family of Proverbs 31.

He did not diminish the glory or strength of his wife; he supported it, and in so doing, he created a strong family unit that was a tribute to God's design for marriage.

He is the counterpart to the Proverb 31 woman.

How many men have set their life's goal to be an eloquent man? 

How does God view such a man? 

Is it possible for a man in today's world to rise above the tough, macho stereotype, and truly be a Godly man? 

The Scriptures show what standard of character men should seek to attain.  This is the truth of God.  The Bible is our Marriage Manual.

How does a young boy mature into a Godly man in the sight of God and man? 

Does this man exist today - who is he? 

Is he in God's Church?

How can each of our young men set a goal for themselves, at an early age, of becoming a Godly man

 And our young Ladies – how can they avoid the pit-falls and mistakes that soooo many make in choosing a good husband?

Discerning women need to know what to look for in a husband.

How can you tell when you are young and just starting out – if your husband will be a good one – truly a man of God in the future?

You can tell - but you must go to God and your parents to know for sure.

For example:

*  How does he treat the Holy Things of God?

Sabbath starting – does he stop his own pursuits, working, playing…

Does he walk all over the holy things of God?

Does he tithe faithfully?–

Give donations on Holy Days?

How does he treat the old folks, the sick and the needy?

What does he say about his parents – in their absence?

What does his language say about his character?

Does he live up to the family standard his parents set – or does he break the rules?

There are hundreds of tell-tale signs that clearly indicate – before marriage – what kind of man he is going to become.

Listen to what others say about his fledgling reputation.

Girls make the mistake – the big mistake- of falling head over heels “ in love” --- and then convince themselves that Love conquers all.

In the Song of Solomon – there is a warning “ ye stir not up, nor awake love” ahead of time (2:7).

Do not deceive yourself by saying things like…

“He doesn’t work – no problem – two can eat as cheaply as one.”

Girls say, “I’ll make every sacrifice to make it work.”

And they don’t know the half of it.

They’ll sacrifice alright – for the rest of their lives… Please do not gloss over the obvious tell-tale signs.

Find a man who will put a roof over your head and meals in front of your children.

Does he have a God-oriented identity – that’s how to recognize a Godly man?  Does he look to God and ask, “What would God have me do?”  Is he led by God’s Holy Spirit?

*  You've got to start with good material in order to emerge with anything of lasting value.

Prayer by: General Douglas A. MacArthur

Build me a son, O Lord, who will be strong enough to know when he is weak, and brave enough to face him self when he is afraid
one who will be proud and unbending in honest defeat, 
and humble and gentle in victory.

Build me a son whose wishes will not take the place of deeds; a son who will know Thee, O God - and that to know himself is a foundation stone of knowledge.

Lead him, I pray, not in the path of ease and comfort, but under the stress and spur of difficulties and challenge.  Here, let him learn to stand up in the storm; here, let him learn compassion for those who fail.

Build me a son whose heart will be clear, whose goal will be high
a son who will master himself before he seeks to master other men
one who will learn to laugh, yet never forget how to weep
one who will reach into the future, yet never forget the past.

And after all these things are his, add, I pray, enough of a sense of humor, so that he may always be serious, yet never take himself too seriously.

Give him humility, so that he may always remember the simplicity of true greatness, the open mind of true wisdom, the meekness of true strength.

Then I, his father, will dare to whisper, "I have not lived in vain."

Douglas A. MacArthur

Adversity helps to build Character.

Too soft a life – can spoil a young man.

Characteristics a Proverbs 31 man should possess

As we saw, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it.”  To do this - the Proverbs 31 man must have an intimate knowledge of God’s truth

Early Church – lots of people needed to be taught…

Acts 6:

1  And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.

Ministers should address division among the brethren.

Acts 6:

2  Then the twelve [apostles] called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reasonable that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.

The needs of some of the brethren were being neglected.

Notice the kind of men the Apostles would defer to for the day to day administration of these physical things.

Chose “Men of Faith!”

Also notice – it was not the Apostles who selected the men… it was the congregation.

What kind of men had the right reputation in the congregation?

Acts 6:

3  Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you [you pick] seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.

These are the attributes our young women should look for in a future husband.

Acts 6:

4  But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word. [anointing, counseling, Elderly duties…]

Paul to Timothy – because he needed a little boost here…possibly Timothy had gotten discouraged doing the work of the ministry.

2 Timothy 3:

14  But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;

Timothy learned them from God – through Holy Spirit.

2 Timothy 3:

15  And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

16  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

17  That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

The husband, also, must be putting it all together.

Acts 18:

23  And after he had spent some time [at Antioch.], he [Paul] departed, and went over all the country of Galatia and Phrygia in order, strengthening all the disciples.

Notice the potential a man of God should have:

Acts 18:

24  And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, [fluent orator] and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus.

Live the Scriptures – it is not enough just know them.

Acts 18:

25  This man [Apollos ] was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the Spirit, he spoke and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John.

The Christians kept the Sabbath with the Jews.

Acts 18:

26  And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.

Apollos will travel to another church area – where he is unknown.

Acts 18:

27  And when he was disposed to pass into Achaia, the brethren wrote, [“reputation” again] exhorting the disciples to receive him: who, when he was come, helped them much which had believed through grace:

1 Timothy 3

A man is to build a life time reputation over time.

1 Timothy 3:

1  This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desires a good work.

Now let us notice the Godly attributes of a “Man of God.”

1 Timothy 3:

2  A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

3  Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;

4  One that rules well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;

5  (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)

6  Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.

7  Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

8  Likewise must the deacons be grave, not double tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;

9  Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.

10  And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.

11  Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.

12  Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.

13  For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

Titus 1   (Just before book of Hebrews and Philemon)       ~ 63-63AD

Titus raised up churches – “Evangelist”

Titus 1:

1  Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness;

2  In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;

3  But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Savior;

4  To Titus, mine own son after the common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior.

5  For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou should set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:

6  If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.

7  For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not self-willed, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;

8  But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate;

9  Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince [convict from the Bible] the gainsayers.

10  For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision:

False Ministers – Oh we can’t say anything negative against a minister – notice Paul’s instructions.

Titus 1:

11  Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake.

1 Corinthians 12 – Spiritual Gifts Chapter – like we saw in Apollos

But this letter/ epistle to the Gentiles is written / answered early ~55 from Ephesus

1 Corinthians 12:

5  And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.

6  And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which works all in all.

7  But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. [Gifts must profit the entire congregation.]

8  For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;

9  To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;

Romans 12:

1  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

2  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

3  For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

4  For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:

5  So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.

6  Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;

7  Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teaches, on teaching;

8  Or he that exhorts, on exhortation: he that gives, let him do it with simplicity; he that rules, with diligence; he that shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

All of those are attributes of a “Man of God.”

James 3:

1  My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.

Before we teach others – we must be on track ourselves.

James 3:

2  For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.

Here are more attributes of a “Man of God.”

James 3:

13  Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him show out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.

14  But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.

James 3:

15  This wisdom descends not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.

16  For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.

Don’t pick a husband who wants to fight.

James 3:

17  But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

He is fair and considerate to all – not just his friends.

James 3:

18  And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

Especially the portion of putting priorities first.

Some people are too emotionally immature to be a proper Proverbs 31 woman or men.

We all need the forgiveness and healing of God.

These Proverbs 31 attributes are something to strive for.

Because of upbringing and environment – the Proverbs 31 woman or man goal - was too high of an ideal to obtain.

Husband OR wives can abusively beat-up their mates emotionallypreventing them from becoming what God intends.

Yes, “sticks and stones can break your bones” – but contrary to the old adage, hateful words can destroy a person.

They cause their mates to think that they “never do anything right.”

Some have been beaten down by parents, spouse, siblings, etc…

That is abuse!

Some people go to their grave – having never attained the goal.

That, Brethren, is where the healing of Jesus Christ must be applied.

Men do not abandon your God given duty to your wife by mentally and emotionally abandoning her.

Be available to your wives --- and children.

Develop them into whole – confident people of character.

God gives us the time – that is what these 70 years are for.

It is never too late.

Setbacks – sure there are…

Start over with renewed vigor.

Through God’s Holy Spirit we beseech God to help us - as we strive to be true men- in the ways of God.

Character is choosing the right – it is hard – it is hard on the wife or the husband. 

Temporary gain is tempting. “I’ll cheat.”  “I’ll lie.”

Being unequally yoked to a mate who does not endeavor to be a Proverbs 31 partner is most challenging.

Often, being a good dad and husband, it is a thankless job.  There isconfusion, frustration, and pain that go along with the responsibilities.

Henry David Thoreau wrote: “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.”

Men must first establish a strong relationship with God, who alone reveals the way to successful relationships.

The women ask the questions: "Where are the men?" "What is wrong with them?" "Why are they not able to commit to a relationship?" "Why are they such wimps?"

Women need real men.

God’s Church needs real men.

Titus 2:

1  But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:

2 That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.

3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behavior as becomes holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things

4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,

5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

6 Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded.

7 In all things showing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine showing un-corruptness, gravity, sincerity,

8 Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.

*  In the marriage vow, the man and the woman each say, “I do,” vowing to one another to serve, love, etc., but among the people of God’s Church we also covenant with God to be the spiritual helpmate our spouse needs.

Proverbs 27:

17  says, "As iron sharpens iron, so one man [or woman] sharpens another."

*  A man and a woman sharpen and polish each other until they both shine as God intends.

It is the duty of the “Man of God” to see to it that his wife achieves the highest place in the Kingdom of God possible.

And, likewise…

It is the duty of the “Woman of God” to see to it that her husband attains to the highest place in the Kingdom of God possible.

Behind every successful man, the saying goes, there's a good woman.

But behind many a successful woman, there's a good man.

Women need to know how to nurture the character traits in their husbands

And visa versa

Men need to know how to nurture character traits in their wives.

Men learn tenderness and compassion from their wives.

Women learn to be honest and patient from their husbands, and many other necessary traits.

Some men and women do not understand the gift that God intended them to be to each other,

A lasting covenant in marriage centers on God and each other. No longer does one say ‘mine,’ but now ‘ours.’

Men have been told that they need to be a man of steel – a man of velvet – he has been told to be hard, soft, strong, sensitive, macho, kind, tough, and the list goes on and on…

The Proverbs 31 Man possesses the God-like qualities that men must aspire to have: honesty, integrity, compassion, purpose in life, faithfulness, diligence, kindness, wisdom and a close relationship with God.

Let’s close with a poem I used to read for the young men at Imperial High School on the Ambassador College campus at Pasadena, CA when I taught the Proverbs Class.


Men who are not for sale,

Men who are honest, sound,

Sound of mind – through and through,

True to the heart’s core,

Men with consciences,

Consciences as steady as the compass needle to the Pole.

Men who will stand for the Right,

Men who will stand for the Right if the heaven shake or the earth reels.

Men who can tell the Truth, and look the world right in the eye,

Men who neither brag nor shrink away,

Men who neither give up nor flinch,

Men who can have courage without bragging about it,

Men in whom the courage of everlasting life runs still, and deep and strong,

Men who know their message, and tell it,

Men who their place, and fill it,

Men who know the Truth, and live it,

Men who know their business and attend to it,

Men, who will not lie, shirk or dodge,

Men who are not too lazy to work, or too proud to be poor,

Men who are willing to eat what they have earned and to wear what they have paid for,

Men who are not ashamed to say, No,!  With emphasis,

And not ashamed to say, “I can’t afford it.”

God is looking for men.

He wants those who can unite together, around a common Faith,

Who can join hands in a common task,

And who have come to the Kingdom for such a time as this.

God, give us men.



Sermon:  "Proverbs 31 Man"