2. Peace and Patience
Fairness will produce peace and result in lasting security. (Isaiah 32:17)
Romans 5:1 states that inner peace is the result of what?
One of the first things you should find out about a man when you become acquainted or begin to date is whether or not he has faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as his savior. If he does, he will not mind telling you about it. Ask him! If he isn’t sure, offer to give him the name and phone number of your pastor, or introduce him to a man who can explain God’s plan of salvation to him and disciple him. If he doesn’t want to talk about it or isn’t interested in learning more, get out of the relationship before it goes any further.
Has your boyfriend been justified (declared righteous) through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ?
Read Luke 2:13-14.
The angels who announced Jesus’ birth to the shepherds near Bethlehem indicated that his coming would result in peace to _________________________________________________.
Read John 14:27.
Jesus said that He gives us His peace, which is not like ____________________________.
He described His peace as being the absence of two things: ______________ and _____________________________.
According to Philippians 4:7, what will the peace of God do?
A man who is at peace with God should also be a peacemaker. This may involve both maintaining peace in his own relationships and helping to establish or sustain peace among other people.
Read Romans 12:18 and Colossians 3:15.
With whom should a man live at peace?
How can this be accomplished?
Read Proverbs 17:1.
Will financial stability guarantee peace in a family? _______________ Why or why not?
Read Proverbs 6:16-19.
How does God feel about the actions of a man who stirs up discord among family members?
Consider these questions about your boyfriend’s conflicts with family members:
· Is he the source of the problem?
· Does he look for things to criticize in his family? _____ If so, what?
· Does he look for things to criticize in your family? _____ If so, what?
Solomon makes some interesting observations about peace. Match the following things that he associates closely with peace, or with the art of peacemaking, to their respective verses:
patience (slowness to anger)
life, energy, good health
According to James 3:18, what will be the result in your home and family if you marry a man who is a peacemaker?
In Proverbs 16:7, what does Solomon say about a man whose ways are pleasing to the Lord?
Compare Proverbs 16:7 to Hebrews 12:14 and Psalm 119:165.
What kind of man will live in peace and be a peacemaker?
Now answer these questions about your boyfriend:
· Does he make a conscious effort to get along with other people?
If not, whom does he not try to get along with?
· Do you see evidence that he desires to be holy (even though he sometimes falls short of holiness)?
What shows you this?
· Does he love Scripture (God’s laws)?
What shows you this?
Read Proverbs 26:21. There is a difference between being caught in the arguments of other trouble-making people and stirring up disagreements yourself. Carefully evaluate the dissensions your boyfriend has with other people.
Then answer these questions:
· What does contentious mean (check a dictionary)?
· In what situations is your boyfriend contentious or argumentative?
· Are his conflicts with others usually just the result of having a bad day (which everyone does now and then), or do they occur frequently enough to be considered a lifestyle pattern?
· Does he make quarrels worse? _____ If so, how?
· Does he make quarrels better? _____ If so, how?
· Does he desire peace, or does he really seem to want to argue or complain?
What evidence do you see of this?
Sometimes even our best efforts will not enable us to maintain peace with a person who chooses to be un-peaceful. We cannot control another person’s actions or responses. But God holds a man responsible to at least do everything he can to live and work peacefully with those around him. Watch for a willingness to work at that. No man will walk it out perfectly, but if the man you are dating consistently stirs up more trouble than peace or habitually complains about things he dislikes in other people, he may need some help to heal from past hurts or to break free from a bad habit that he has learned from family members or friends. If he cannot, or will not, do that, do not expect him to be a peaceful marriage partner.
I . . . urge you to live worthily of the calling with which you
have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience,
bearing with one another in love. (Ephesians 4:1-2)
James 1:19-20 provides an excellent definition of patience.
The writer instructs Christians to be:
· quick to __________________
· slow to ___________________
· and slow to ________________.
Look up the word “patient” in a dictionary. According to the dictionary definition, one who is patient
· is not:
Read Proverbs 19:11.
What is it that gives a man patience?
How does a patient man earn glory?
In Proverbs 14:29, Solomon contrasts a patient man with a _____________________ man. What does he say is the difference?
· A man who is slow to anger _________________________.
· A quick-tempered man _____________________________.
Look up “folly” in a dictionary. What does it mean?
When determining whether or not a man possesses godly patience, look for evidence of it in two key areas of his behavior: temper control and speech control.
In the following verses, what does the writer say about temper control?
· Proverbs 12:16
· Proverbs 16:32
· Ecclesiastes 7:8-9
Thoughtfully consider these questions and list an example for each of your answers:
· Is your boyfriend rude to people when he is annoyed?
· Is he defensive or quickly provoked to anger?
· Have you observed patient behavior in him?
Physical strength is highly esteemed in our current culture. Many men spend a considerable amount of time and energy developing strong muscles, and there is nothing wrong with that. Be certain, however, that the man you marry gives equal attention to developing the strength of character to control his temper. It is not an easy task and will not be mastered all at once. Watch for growth in this area over the course of time as you are getting to know each other.
What do the following verses say about patience in speech?
· Proverbs 18:13
· Proverbs 25:15
· 2 Timothy 4:2
Now answer these questions about the man you are considering:
· Is he a good listener?
· Does he use patient, gentle words or demanding, manipulative words to persuade people to do things he wants?
· Does he exhibit “complete patience and instruction” when he is teaching someone else about the Bible, or is his teaching harsh and accusing?
Read Proverbs 15:18 and 26:21.
According to these two verses, how does speech control—or lack of speech control—affect a man’s relationships?
· How has your boyfriend’s speech control—or lack of speech control—affected your relationship?
· Does this give you hope for a peaceful home and family in the future?
In Mark 13:13, Jesus addressed the believer’s need for patience in another area. What was it, and what response did Jesus encourage?
According to Revelation 14:12, what are the characteristics of steadfast (patient) endurance during difficult circumstances?
How has God responded in the past—and how does He promise to respond in the future—to a man who is patient?
· Psalm 40:1
· Hebrews 6:13-15
· Hebrews 6:12
· James 1:12 and 5:7-8
Be wary of a man who is patient with you but not with other people. When the newness of the relationship has worn off, he is likely to treat you and your children with the same degree of patience he shows others outside the family. Choose a husband whose patience will benefit your family and who will inherit what God promises to faithful men.