Marriage Missions International

SCRIPTURES Dealing With Seeking the Counsel of Others

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“Balance is what God teaches us —the balance between [scripture] verses that say it is a wise person who seeks the counsel of many others and verses that warn if we listen to too many people we will go astray. Somewhere in between is the balance. God wants us to be open, listen to people with the same value systems, but not follow their direction for our lives too closely; rather, use it cautiously —as counsel in finding God’s direction.” (Dr Larry Burkett, from the book: The Word on Finances)

Acquiring wisdom and knowledge can’t be underestimated in it’s importance when you have vital decisions to make. The Bible says in James 1:5, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” In asking God for wisdom you partner closer to God as you listen first and then take His counsel.

From the scriptures, you can be assured that God will give you the wisdom you need when you lack it, but sometimes He uses other people to also participate with you in this process.

Below you will find scriptures from the Bible (the New American Standard version, unless noted otherwise —the references will be linked to the ESV) which talk about obtaining the counsel of others (both good and bad), giving counsel to others, as well as listening to and obtaining the wisdom and knowledge God can give you as you ask Him for it.

As you read through them pray for the discerning spirit you need to deal with the problem(s) you’re facing, whether you should seek the counsel of men before making your final decision or not.

• How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of the scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. (Psalm 1:1-2)

• A wise man will hear and increase in learning, and a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel. (Proverbs 1:5)

• Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning. (Proverbs 9:9)

• The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Proverbs 1:7)

• Do not despise the Lord’s discipline and do not resent His rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those He loves, as a father the son he delights in. (Proverbs 3:11-12.)

• How blessed is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding. For its profit is better than the profit of silver, and its gain than fine gold. She is more precious than jewels; and nothing you desire compares with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, and happy are all who hold her fast. The Lord by wisdom founded the earth; by understanding He established the heavens. (Proverbs 3:13-19)

• Wisdom is protection just as money is protection. But the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom preserves the lives of its possessors. (Proverbs 7:12)

• Listen to my instruction and be wise; do not ignore it. Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway. For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the Lord. (Proverbs 8:32-35)

• Whoever corrects a mocker invites insult; whoever rebukes a wicked man incurs abuse. Do not rebuke a mocker or he will hate you; rebuke a wise man and he will love you. (Proverbs 9:7-8)

• Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser, teach a righteous man, and he will increase his learning. (Proverbs 9:9)

• He who heeds discipline shows the way to life, but whoever ignores correction leads others astray. (Proverbs 10:17 NIV)

• Where there is no guidance, the people fall, but in abundance of counselors there is victory. (Proverbs 11:14)

• The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he who listens to counsel. (Proverbs 12:15)

• He who speaks the truth tells what is right, but a false witness, deceit. (Proverbs 12:17)

• Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. (Proverbs 12:18 NIV)

• Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid. (Proverbs 12:1)

• Anxiety in the heart of a man weighs it down, but a good word makes it glad. (Proverbs 12:25)

• Through presumption comes nothing but strife, but with those who receive counsel is wisdom. (Proverbs 13:10)

• Poverty and shame will come to him who neglects discipline, but he who regards reproof will be honored. (Proverbs 13:18)

• He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm. (Proverbs 13:20)

• Leave the presence of a fool, or you will not discern words of knowledge. (Proverbs 14:7)

• The naive believes everything, but the prudent man considers his steps. (Proverbs 14:15)

• The naive inherit folly, but the prudent are crowned with knowledge. (Proverbs 14:18)

• A mocker resents correction; he will not consult the wise. (Proverbs 15:12)

• The discerning heart seeks knowledge, but the mouth of a fool feeds on folly. (Proverbs 15:14)

• Without consultation, plans are frustrated, but with many counselors they succeed. (Proverbs 15:22)

• He who listens to a life-giving rebuke will be at home among the wise. He who ignores discipline despises himself, but whoever heeds correction gains understanding. (Proverbs 15:31-32 NIV)

• The fear of the Lord teaches a man wisdom, and humility comes before honor. (Proverbs 15:33 NIV)

• How much better it is to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is to be chosen above silver. (Proverbs 16:16)

• Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers; blessed is he who trusts in the Lord. (Proverbs 16:20)

• The mind of the prudent acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge. (Proverbs 18:15)

• He who gets wisdom loves his own soul; he who cherishes understanding prospers. (Proverbs 19:8)

• Listen to counsel and accept discipline, that you may be wise the rest of your days. (Proverbs 19:20)

• There is gold, and an abundance of jewels; but the lips of knowledge are a more precious thing. (Proverbs 20:15)

• Prepare plans by consultation, and make war by wise guidance. (Proverbs 20:18)

• There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the Lord. (Proverbs 21:30 NIV)

• Pay attention and listen to the sayings of the wise; apply your heart to what I teach, for it is pleasing when you keep them in your heart and have all of them ready on your lips. So that your trust may be in the Lord, I teach you today, even you. Have I not written thirty sayings for you, sayings of counsel and knowledge, teaching you true and reliable words, so that you can give sound answers to him who sent you? (Proverbs 22:17-21 NIV)

• Do not speak to a fool, for he will scorn the wisdom of your words. (Proverbs 23:9 NIV)

• Apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge. (Proverbs 23:12 NIV)

• Listen to your father, who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old. (Proverbs 23:22 NIV)

• Buy the truth and do not sell it; get wisdom, discipline and understanding. (Proverbs 23:23 NIV)

• By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; and by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches. A wise man has great power, and a man of knowledge increases strength. (Proverbs 24:3-5 NIV)

• By wise guidance you will wage war, and in abundance of counselors there is victory. (Proverbs 24:6)

• Like an earring of gold or an ornament of fine gold is a wise man’s rebuke to a listening ear. (Proverbs 25:12 NIV)

• Like one who seizes a dog by the ears is a passer-by who meddles in a quarrel not his own (Proverbs 26:17 NIV)

• Oil and perfume make the heart glad, so a man’s counsel is sweet to his friend. Do not forsake your own friend or your father’s friend, and do not go to your brother’s house in the day of your calamity; better is a neighbor who is near than a brother far away. (Proverbs 27:9-10)

• A man who loves wisdom makes his father glad, but he who keeps company with harlots wastes his wealth. (Proverbs 29:3)

• Every word of God is flawless; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. Do not add to His words, or He will rebuke you and prove you a liar. (Proverbs 30:5-6)

• I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you. (Psalm 32:8 NIV)

• A poor, yet wise lad is better than an old and foolish king who no longer knows how to receive instruction. (Ecclesiastes 4:13)

• Do not pay attention to every word people say, or you may hear your servant cursing you —for you know in your heart that many times you yourself have cursed others. (Ecclesiastes 7:21-22 NIV)

• Words from a wise man’s mouth are gracious, but a fool is consumed by his own lips. At the beginning his words are folly; at the end they are wicked madness —and the fool is consumed by his own lips. (Ecclesiastes 10:12 NIV)

• When a righteous man turns from his righteousness and does evil, and I put a stumbling block before him, he will die. Since you did not warn him, he will die. Since you did not warn him he will die for his sin. The righteous things he did will not be remembered, and I will hold you accountable for his blood. But if you do warn the righteous man not to sin and he does not sin, he will surely live because he took warning, and you will have saved yourself. (Ezekiel 3:20-21 NIV)

• Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, “Let me take the speck out of your eye when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. (Matthew 7:1-5 NIV)

• Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. (Matthew 7:7-8 NIV)

• If your brother sins, go and reprove him in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed. And if he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax-gatherer. (Matthew 18:15-17)

• So then each of us shall give account of himself to God. (Romans 14:12)

• Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.” (1 Corinthians 15:33)

• Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:1-2 NIV)

• Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, wither in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:16-17 NIV)

• We command you, brethren, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep aloof from every brother who leads an unruly life and not according to the tradition, which you received from us. (1 Thessalonians 3:5)

• Now we must ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else. (1 Thessalonians 5:12-15 NIV)

• See to it that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. (Hebrews 3:12-13 NIV)

• The wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. (James 3:17)

• I heard the voice of many angels…and the living creatures and the elders saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing. (Revelation 5:11-12)

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20 Responses to “SCRIPTURES Dealing With Seeking the Counsel of Others”
  1. Christie says:

    (N. IRELAND)  Hi, I’m 46; married for 21 years this December but for the past 5 years my marriage has been under a lot of pressure to the point where I want to leave my wife. So any help would be welcome.

    • Tolulope says:

      (NIGERIA) Though your story looks painful for it is but completely hurting not to enjoy one’s marriage. But as it may be and I believe you are a Bible scholar, I have a believe that divorce is not an option. Better still on the spiritual area, ensure you surrender all in totality to God for direction. As sometimes it is beyond human comprehension and understanding.

      To look at it on a human angle, I advise you call your wife to a round table discussion. Children should not be included, try as much as possible to remember all those old days when everything was smooth and fine. Try as much as possible to remember so many and relate it with her. Then in firmness ask her for the reason why all the trials are coming up at a time you are supposed to be enjoying more of your relationship as friend and not lover.

      Her response will tell you what next to do. However, firstly ensure you put everything in God’s hand. I pray God will assist you in settling your marriage and you will be happy once again. Amen.

  2. Cynthia says:

    (NIGERIA) Hi, I have been married for over four years now. My marriage has been horrible for me and my husband as we keep arguing and quarreling over every little thing. I want peace to reign in my home because I don’t want my marriage to break up. I have children who are still tender and I really want a happy home for them. I need honest advice and prayers from everyone. Thanks.

    • Waiting says:

      (SA)  I am in the same situation and all I can say is read 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 to understand what it takes to LOVE and then Galatians 5:22-23 so that you may know the Fruits of the spirit that you need to live out: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.

      And pray to the Lord that first you and then the other person may change their ways. Seeing the bigger picture of marriage to me is more important than the little issues. First both need to focus on Christ. This must be the centre of your marriage.

  3. Lo says:

    (USA)  Hi Cynthia, I know what you are going through. I went through that and realised it had to come to a stop. I did a lot of arguing, ultimatums, crying, moods and revenge early in our marriage. This is the world’s way of getting what we want. I thought if i said “Do this or else…” it will make him change. I know people say you have to fight for your rights and be firm with your husband. What if he says he doesn’t care whether you leave him or not? Think about it. These experiences bring you down low at the Lord’s feet and teach you peaceful ways of resolving conflict.

    From my experience, there are many opportunities to argue everyday. Even when you feel the need to put your point across, the other person may be too proud or opinionated to listen. Did you know that sometimes keeping quiet makes you seem wiser and the next time you open your mouth people will listen?

    Arguing and quarelling brings bad ideas like “I married the wrong person.” You are right, continuing this behaviour may cause your marriage to break up. Don’t let yourself or your husband find an “understanding” person “out there” because the atmosphere at home is hostile.

    Those who have read my previous posts know that i always emphasize on “husbands being won without a word.” This usually applies when dealing with arrogant people who are being unreasonable and you have tried but can’t find a way to get through to them (like unbelievers). Yet you want your marriage to work.

    So instead of going your way to try and sell him your opinions i suggest you let somethings go for now. Talking hasn’t helped you has it? Communicate your troubles to God in prayer and let your actions speak to your husband right now.

    It’s also important for you to appreciate that your husband is the head and should have the last word. God created it that way, that’s why your husband may feel the need to be heard and submitted to. I hope you agree with submission because that’s the secret to a man’s heart. Believe me i know what i am talking about.

    My submission and the quiet spirit i developed did wonders. Now my husband listens to me and respects me more. So if you humble yourself you get exalted.

    Check out these verses from Proverbs:

    Proverbs 20:3
    Proverbs 19:11
    Proverbs 17:28
    Proverbs 13:3
    Proverbs 21:23
    Proverbs 25:6-7
    Proverbs 26:4
    Proverbs 27:15-16
    Proverbs 29:23

    • Cynthia says:

      (NIGERIA) Thanks Lo for your advice. I must confess that I do argue a lot. My main problem is that by the time I realize that I am arguing things will have gone wrong. How can I always detect that an issue might lead to an argument, and stop before it is too late?

    • Cynthia says:

      (NIGERIA) Thanks Lo for your advice. I know that I have the bad habit of arguing. But how can I detect an issue that might lead to arguing and stop before it escalates?

  4. Lo says:

    (USA)  Hi Cynthia, I think you have the right approach to your problem. You need to prepare for the strikes of the devil before he attacks as it says in Ephesians 6:10-18. That means staying alert at all times everyday; like I said earlier, there are plenty of opportunies to argue.

    First of all there are arguments caused by your spouse and others by you. I will start by identifying how your husband may start arguments:

    1. Previous disagreements help you realise the things you don’t agree on. So you will know when the same issue is brought back by your husband.

    2. If you see that your husband is in a bad mood, you should be careful not to get into petty arguments. For example, changing the TV channel could cause arguments. So you will handle the situation with care at such times.

    3. Sometimes your spouse knows the things that upset you and may just start to infuriate you. If your husband is the flirty type, he may make remarks about women on TV. Other times he may just say bad things about your family. So you will be prepared to ignore him before he does it.

    4. Your spouse may just argue to find out how much you respect his point of view or submit to him. (You will know when an argument is not really an argument.)

    And these are ways that you may start an argument:

    1. All of the above

    2. If you get anxious or entertain worries you may decide to “talk about issues” with your husband. Wait until you are calm enough to air your views properly. Be prepared to get bad responses and don’t let them escalate into “i knew you wouldn’t listen!”. There will be other opportunies to discuss your affairs.

    3. I’ve realised that certain unrealistic TV programs remind me of what my husband “is doing wrong”. These cause me to compare him and envy other men. Let the word of God be your only standard and don’t fill your head with worldly views of marriage. If you do, you will eventually lash out at him telling him how better the outside world is.

    When you have practiced how to avoid arguments, start on the restoration of your relationship by practicing to agree. Learn to be pursuasive, to listen, show that you value what he says. Your husband will learn and will do the same for you eventually.

    The first days may be challenging, but when he realises the new you, he will adjust and start listening to you more. Reading the Bible has a calming effect during your trials and it will teach you patience, longsuffering and faith on the good things to come.

    Do not grow tired or be discouraged when your husband takes long to respond to your new personality. Its a learning process for both of you and will eventually pay off. Galatians 6:9

    • Cynthia says:

      (NIGERIA) Thank you Lo, for your suggestions. I pray that I would gradually learn and perfect these skills by God’s grace. Remain Blessed.

  5. Cynthia says:

    (NIGERIA)  Hi, yesterday night I thought that there might be a quarrel between me and my husband, so I totally kept quiet completely. I just allowed him to keep talking alone and did not respond in my usual way. In fact, I started praying and reading through the Bible and you know what? When he realized that I wasn’t prepared to argue with him, he stopped talking. I now realize that peace in my house actually lies in my hands. With prayers I can change my attitude and that of my husband’s. Please pray for me so that I can sustain this peace that has even improved my health recently. Thanks to God and to everyone.

  6. Jo says:

    (NEW YORK)  Hi, I was also very stubborn and could not submit to my husband, until I read the book “Fascinating Womenhood ” by Helen Andelin. I was so upset the first time of reading, as it was all for the benefit of men and how to make sure that they come first. But after prayfully reading again, I put into practice becoming a fascinating women and the rewards were immense. God is still working through many issues in my marriage, but I am still standing strong by the power of his hand. I have found that when you cannot get through to your husband through talking and arguing, then I drop the rope, and duck down low so that God will deal with him.

    Please pray with me that other ungodly habits in my husband will soon go in Jesus name. I will also pray with you all women of God. We have a mighty saviour.

  7. Josephine says:

    (LIBERIA)  I am so grateful to be on this page and have to read all this good advice. It is true that submitting to your husband is problem in many marriages. But with God’s help and all the advice I think I will overcome and learn how to submit to my husband more often.

    Now my problem here is my husband complains more often that I don’t respect him and I don’t trust him. I am a bit confused because I know I trust and respect him. Can you please tell me what to do so I can reassure him that I trust and respect him? I am waiting for your quick response. Thanks

  8. Pat says:

    (USA)  I suspect that my husband has been cheating on me. He has been acting strange; he calls certain family members when he is out of my presence, goes outside when he talks on the phone etc. One lady that I suspected that he is been seeing I confronted him about her and he denied it.

    After I confronted him, his sister, a lady from church and a cousin have been treating me differently, and I don’t feel comfortable around them. He tells me that it is me. I have noticed him looking a certain way at other women and telling some of them that they are his wife. They would normally say that to their neices when teasing them he is from Africa. Like you may have heard, an uncle to his niece: “you’re my girl friend.” Well I think that when he tells another grown lady that in front of me in public that he is really disrespecting me. I need help.

  9. Kath says:

    (USA) Amazing advice! It was just what I needed to hear. Thank you for those Godly words of wisdom. The peace of God surpasses all understanding.

  10. Daniella says:

    (NIGERIA) Hi Cynthia, I have this great book that will be of help to you, “Handling Quarrels in your Marriage”. Its been such a blessing to my friends and I. There is also an audio cd by the same marriage counsellors; “I Love You But Why Do We Always Quarrel”. Trust me, you will laugh, cry and learn from these avenues. You can get them at the Hub bookshop in Lekki or in Akowonjo if you are in Lagos.

  11. Naomi says:

    (COOK) Hi, I’m looking to divorce my husband but I want to make sure that this is God’s will. We started out in a rocky relationship from family members keeping up confusion, foster children and an ex that he dated for years. Now I just recently married him and the drama still continues now that there is no one but me and our child.

    All in a nut-shell I don’t feel respected. He talks to me any kind of way. I grew up in a home with both parents and learned that honoring your wife is the most important. This man is not doing that whatsoever. The belittling is getting to be a bit much for me and I have told him that these things hurts me. It still continues without any type of compassion. Now I’m really thinking that this is not something I want my child under because she will soon think it’s okay that a man does this to her. I don’t feel wanted, respected and protected. Please I’m looking for some type of advice.

  12. Ziah R. says:

    (USA) Good day all, I’m writing for advice and encouragement. My boyfriend and I recently experienced a setback. We have been dating for 2 years and were on a path to marriage. We are both Christian and desire a partner with whom we’re equally yoked and can build a loving Christ-centered marriage and family. I personally prayerfully considered the prospect of starting a relationship with him due to past mistakes. I wanted to seek God and make certain that it was/could be relationship that is pleasing to God. I felt the relationship met that criteria and I agreed to begin dating.

    I should point that my boyfriend and I are from different cultures. He is Nigerian and I’m black American. After about a year or so of dating we got some resistance from his mother about our relationship, with particular reference to the fact that I am American. She has asked several older people/family friends to speak with my boyfriend about our relationship and many have raised concerns that are based on stereotypes (e.g., American women are not respectful of their husband, they’re quick to divorce, they’re only concerned about money, they will cause you problems, etc.). She has also perpetuated untruths to others about our commitment to purity.

    Fast forward two years. My boyfriend’s mother recently revealed to him that she had a revelation that our relationship would be bad. He also previously received a call from a from a pastor who knows his mom who also suggested that a relationship with me was not a good idea. The specifics of why the relationship would be bad are not clear. He says that at the time he didn’t give it much stock but that coupled with his mothers’ comments now has him concerned… the fact that she/pastor are now bringing God into the situation (whereas before it seem to be based on preferences).

    Neither of us have felt God leading us apart or identified any red flags in the relationship to date that would make marriage impossible. We are now taking some time to pray and seek God on the matter. I am personally struggling with the “revelation” given the history. I’ve spoken to two pastors, both of him said that God can/will give us some confirmation directly if we go to him in prayer about this. Others also pointed to the importance of testing revelation and prophecy against scripture.

    I am just looking for advice, different perspectives on the issue from other Christians. I finally have peace about being obedient doing what God says, but still not sure what that is. Any thoughts?

  13. Cynthia says:

    (DURBAN) My problem is this. I’m staying with my husband and the situation is very bad. He is always shouting at me and his family doesn’t want me. My husband’s family calls me a witch. They hate me a lot.

  14. Amry says:

    (USA) Marriage On The Rock is the book to read. Satan came to steal and destroy/divide. Marriage is about compromising and having open communication. Married for 19 yrs and I can say that my husband and I love each other more than the first time we met.

  15. In addition to the wise words shared on this page with scripture I also recommend an excellent Bible study called Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs. Much scripture is presented in the book and in the study. Christians can gain so much strength by reading and applying the principles outlined by the Scriptures in this lesson.

    In the end let us not forget Acts 2:38, if we have obeyed the Gospel then we also have the Spirit of God dwelling in us.

Marriage Missions International