by Jerry Woodfill
(To be read on Father's Day)

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Each Mother's Day, pastors throughout Christendom search the Bible for scriptures about the virtues of motherhood. The most popular verses are, of course, the 31st Chapter of Proverbs beginning at verse 10. The Scofield Bible titles this passage: the virtuous woman. Wives and mothers in the service are resigned to her appearance, this saint of God who is a composite of Mother Teresa, Joan of Arc, and Florence Nightingale. While pastors present her as the example of motherhood, all the women patiently endure the verse by verse comparison running through the minds of their husbands and children.

In the interest of fairness, I've come up with a way of compensating Moms this Father's Day - PROVERBS 32 - portrait of the man of integrity. No, you won't find a Proverbs 32 in your Bible, but if the Holy Spirit had inspired Solomon or David or Moses to pen it, perhaps, it would read something like this. In fact, its verses are actually taken from the other 31 chapters of Proverbs. I've simply put the ones about Dads together in one place, adapted the transitions a bit, and kept the Kings James "makeths" and "walkeths" to remind everyone it's from Scripture. The message to the Dads in the congregation is: PROVERBS 32 may not be in the Bible, but the qualities of that man of integrity are every bit as important as the woman of virtue.

Portrait of the man of integrity
32 Who can find a man of integrity? The just [man] walketh in his integrity: his children [are] blessed after him. (20:7 )
2 He is wise and will hear and will increase learning; and as a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels. (1:5)
3 He walks in the way of good [men], and keeps the paths of the righteous. (2:20)
4 Therefore, he finds favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man. (3:4)
5 His children hear his instruction and attend to know understanding. (4:1)
6 He avoids the strange woman (5:8) and rejoices with the wife of his youth. (5:18)
7 For he keeps the commandment of his father and forsakes not the law of his mother: (6:20)
8 Blessed is he for he heareth me[wisdom], watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. (8:34)
9 He receives [instruction] and becomes yet wiser: Because he is a righteous man, he will receive teaching and increase in learning. (9:9)
10 As a wise son; he gathereth in summer.(10:5)
11 His strength enables him to obtain riches. (11:16)
12 And his worthy wife is a crown to his life. (12:4)
13 For he even shows tender mercies to the life of his beast. (12:10)
14 Because he tilleth his land, he has stored up plenty of bread. (12:11)
15 Because he is diligent, his hand bears rule. (12:24)
16 Because he walks with wise men, he is wise. Fools are not his companions. (13:20)
17 He is good and leaves an inheritance to his children's children. (13:22)
18 For he hath so loved his son; that he hath chasteneth him. (13:24)
19 And his ways please Jehovah, so that the Lord maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him. (16:7)
20 Slow to anger , he ruleth his spirit as a victorious commander. (16:32)
21 In old age his children's children are a crown to him; and the glory of his children are his glory. (17:6)
22 His words are [as] deep waters; a wellspring of wisdom like a flowing brook. (18:4)
23 He knoweth his wife is a good thing because the Lord has favored him to have found her, a prudent wife. (18:22, 19:14)
24 Because he shows himself friendly, he has
friends, for he is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. (18:24)
25 Diligent in his business, he stands before kings and not before mean men. (22:29)
26 He holds not correction from his child; (23:13)
27 Neither is he found among winebibbers, nor gluttonous eaters of flesh. (23:20)
28 Yet, he hearkens unto his father that begat him despising not his mother when she is old. (23:22)
29 As iron sharpeneth iron; so he sharpeneth the countenance of his friend. (27:17)
30 Because he hideth not his eyes from the poor, he does not lack. (28:27)
31 As a husband, he is known in the gates, where he sitteth among the elders of the land. (31:23)

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