"Since God has revealed himself as a Father, we would be guilty of the basest ingratitude if we
did not behave as his children. . .But our religion will be unprofitable if it does not change our hearts, pervade our manners, and transform us into new creatures. . .The Lord first of all wants sincerity in his service, simplicity of heart without guile and falsehood. . .The one condition for spiritual progress is that we remain sincere and humble. . .Let us not cease to do our utmost, that we may incessantly go forward in the way of the Lord. . .Though we fall short, our labor is not lost if this day surpasses the preceding one."-- Excerpts from John Calvin's "Golden Booklet of the True Christian Life", Chapter 1
1 - It is a man who speaks the wisdom of this chapter; a man well-taught by his mother (v1).
2 - The man's mother has warned him of the destructive influence of women and wine (v2-7).
3 - And she has taught him the significance of justice and righteousness (v5, 8-9).
4 - Verses 10-31 show the mother's choice of her son's wife. Instead of giving his strength to women (v3), he is taught to give himself to one godly wife (v10).
5 - The good woman's goodness and excellence is rooted in her fear of the LORD (v30). Such fear makes her fruitful (v31). This is quite significant. Jesus repeatedly condemned fruitlessness. He did not speak well of those who failed to produce. He says it's a symptom of unbelief (See Mt 13, for example).
6 - Finally, an excellent wife is precious (v10) and praiseworthy (v28-29). She has regard for the quality of her mind (v26) and body (v17). And she is disciplined (v15, 19, 27), and therefore productive (v31).
One of my pastors recently suggested this test of sinfulness: For one week, do not boast about yourself, do not defend yourself, and do not speak evil of others. After a week of failure, I sent my pastor a text briefly relating my experience. He replied that my guilt made me a great candidate for particular redemption.
I commend the experiment.
If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless - James 1:26