Prudent is not Prudish

Proverbs 19:14 says, Houses and riches are an inheritance from fathers, but a prudent wife is from the Lord (New Scofield)

In the Message Bible it is translated, House and land are handed down from parents, but a congenial spouse comes straight from God.

The New Living translation says,  Parents can provide their sons with an inheritance of houses and wealth, but only the Lord can give an understanding wife.

To me, all of these are very different takes on this one little verse!  I found myself quite curious about what the verse meant.  I remembered and old word “prude” and recalled that it was considered an insult to be called a prude and I knew that God would never insult. 

The definition of prude:  a person who is excessively proper or modest.

Prudent:  wise in practical affairs, discreet, careful in providing for the future

Congenial: agreeable, pleasing, compatible

Understanding: knowledge of familiararity

This was starting to confuse me- all completely different words.  I went to to find other translations of the Bible and see what words others used.  The amplified Bible used “wise, understanding, and prudent”.  So, I’m guessing that the original language must have used a word that could not be translated exactly.

Thanks for bearing with me here!  My goal in my studies today was to prove that God does not want a bunch of prudes walking around the earth offending people with their “holier than thou” attitudes that so often accompany the personality of those often thought of as being prudes.  When I hear the word prude, I often think of the Mrs Olsen’s of the world (Mrs Olsen from Little House on the Prairie)  Being prudent doesn’t imply that one must act as if they are better or more godly than anyone else.  Being prudent is a gift from God and a characteristic that is looked upon with favor by God and man.  Being prudent is being wise about all things in your life.  To me, prudent means:

Financially wise, not offensive in dress or personality, calm, understanding, empathetic, thinking before speaking, pleasing, discreet and not obnoxious, thinking of future outcomes instead of only the present moment.

As you think through my description of prudent, do NOT allow Satan the opportunity to make you feel guilt or shame for any of the characteristics that may be lacking in your life.  God does not place guilt or shame on you, Satan does.  God may convict you that there are areas for improvement but he IS love, remember!!  Thank God for the characteristics that come easy to you and ask him to help you with the characteristics that make you laugh at the thought of trying to be!

A side note, if you are a man reading this, please note that one translation used the term “spouse” and not just wife!  Men should be prudent too! 

A totally off the wall side note, any of you who think in terms of odd little things that would only be needed if you were a Jeopardy contestant (like me).  I believe it was Dana Carvey who portrayed George Bush with the “wouldn’t be prudent” phrase a few years back.  It was hard to focus today, with images of Dana Carvey as the first George Bush running through my head!  LOL

Heavenly Father- Thank you for all the translations of the Bible!  It is such a learning experience to be able to discover what different translators believe the meanings of words and phrases are.  It is so helpful to me!  Thank you for allowing some of the characteristics of prudent to come naturally to me.  I ask today that you will bless me with improvements in the characteristics that don’t come naturally.  Guide me, show me ways to make me more like you!  Thank you!  In your name, amen


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