Ecclesiastes 1 & 1 Timothy 3

Ecclesiastes 1

    The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.

    Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher,
        vanity of vanities! All is vanity.
    What does man gain by all the toil
        at which he toils under the sun?
    A generation goes, and a generation comes,
        but the earth remains forever.
    The sun rises, and the sun goes down,
        and hastens to the place where it rises.
    The wind blows to the south
        and goes around to the north;
    around and around goes the wind,
        and on its circuits the wind returns.
    All streams run to the sea,
        but the sea is not full;
    to the place where the streams flow,
        there they flow again.
    All things are full of weariness;
        a man cannot utter it;
    the eye is not satisfied with seeing,
        nor the ear filled with hearing.
    What has been is what will be,
        and what has been done is what will be done,
        and there is nothing new under the sun.
    Is there a thing of which it is said,
        “See, this is new”?
    It has been already
        in the ages before us.
    There is no remembrance of former things,
        nor will there be any remembrance
    of later things yet to be
        among those who come after.
        I the Preacher have been king over Israel in Jerusalem. And I applied my heart to seek and to search out by wisdom all that is done under heaven. It is an unhappy business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind.

    What is crooked cannot be made straight,
        and what is lacking cannot be counted.
        I said in my heart, “I have acquired great wisdom, surpassing all who were over Jerusalem before me, and my heart has had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.” And I applied my heart to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also is but a striving after wind.

    For in much wisdom is much vexation,
        and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.

(Ecclesiastes 1 ESV)

1 Timothy 3

    The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God's church? He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.

    Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain. They must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. And let them also be tested first; then let them serve as deacons if they prove themselves blameless. Their wives likewise must be dignified, not slanderers, but sober-minded, faithful in all things. Let deacons each be the husband of one wife, managing their children and their own households well. For those who serve well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves and also great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.

    I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these things to you so that, if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth. Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness:

    He was manifested in the flesh,
        vindicated by the Spirit,
            seen by angels,
    proclaimed among the nations,
        believed on in the world,
            taken up in glory.

(1 Timothy 3 ESV)

1 Timothy 3: The home is the training ground and practice field for those who look to be spiritual leaders over God’s people. How can we expect a guy to lead the church well if he struggles to lead his own family? So we’d be wise to observe the households of those around us who offer us advice on what a husband should be like, what a wife should be like and how we should raise our kids.

Ask yourself: “How are the marriages of the people in my life that are offering me advice on my marriage?” And what about those who offer you advice on parenting? What are their kids like? Do they even have kids?

When listening to people give advice on how to lead and guide our family, we must make sure that we’re listening to people who in their own life have proven themselves worthy of being listened to in the first place. Are they truly a husband, wife or parent worth imitating or admiring in our own life? And if not, then we must carefully discern the advise that they may have to give us.