Perhaps I should offer an explanation to my Proverbs 17 header up there, lest anyone think we're some kind of dire, dour, doom-and-gloom Bible thumping family. I mean, I may be an aspiring Bible-thumper, but not a dire, dour, doom-and-gloom sort of one.
Many years ago, my husband received the good advice that if you don't know where to start reading the Bible, open it to the book of Proverbs and choose the chapter corresponding to today's date. There are only 31 chapters of Proverbs, so it works out perfectly.
Because I want to make reading Scripture a more prominent part of our family life, naturally I gravitated to the daily Proverbs when I was looking for a place to start with the boys. We didn't get to it every day (still don't), but it was always an extra-special treat when we happened to hit upon a day that included the word "numbskull." (That's in the Bible? REALLY??)
On the 17th of a month not long ago, somehow it seemed that everything we read was speaking directly to us and our specific weaknesses, as individuals and as a family Verse after verse made us hang our heads, chastened, again and again. So I made Powerpoint slides of the pertinent verses, converted them to .jpgs, and made a Picasa collage out of them.
>> Better a crust of dry bread, than a house full of feasting with strife. (Some dinnertimes at our table are truly miserable affairs. I still haven't resorted to feeding them dry bread crusts. Not yet anyway.)
>> Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam, so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out. (The quantity of bickering and quarrels around here is off the charts)
>> He who loves a quarrel loves sin. (Ditto)
>> He who covers over an offense promotes love, (oh, just overlook someone else's fault once in a while, won'tcha?)
>> but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends. (and don't keep bringing it up!)
>> Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent (you know who you are)
>> To have a fool for a son brings grief, and the father of a numbskull has no joy. (Uses the word 'numbskull.' Duh.)
I'd like to say that we've managed to eliminate those particular faults by now, but I don't want to break the sixth commandment.