NY Times Best-selling Author
Author of 40+ books, latest, The Way of the Wise (2013)
Founder/ president of Couples of Promise
Former Consulting Psychologist for Good Morning America.
Has appeared on The View, Oprah, Live with Regis, etc.
Married to Sande for 44 years
5 children and 2 grandchildren
Kevin Leman's Proverbial Wisdom
The 700 Club
CBN.com- WISE GUY
Dr. Leman admits he had little going for him early in life. “Let’s just say wisdom was not my middle name and nobody on the planet would have called me wise.” In high school he was kicked out of class for chasing his teacher out of the classroom with his antics. He graduated fourth from the bottom of his class in high school. After applying to over 160 colleges he was finally admitted to North Park University in Chicago where he maintained a C- minus average his freshman year. After the first quarter of his sophomore year, Dr. Leman was asked to leave. When his parents relocated to Arizona, Kevin was 19, got a job as a janitor at a local hospital and met his future wife Sande. “I was a punk. I dressed like a punk. I smoked Salem cigarettes.” Dr. Leman says he had no use for God. “Christians turned me off in more ways than you can imagine.” His mother was a devout Christian who dragged him to church every Sunday growing up. He admits he knew all the Bible stories in his head but didn’t apply them to his heart. He began going to church with Sande because he loved her. “She didn’t beat me over the head with her religion,” shares Dr. Leman. Sande quietly lived out her beliefs in front of him. At the age of 21, Dr. Leman returned to the teaching he thought he had forgotten as a child and it transformed his life.
WAY OF THE WISE
As a child, Dr. Leman’s mom wrote in his Bible the words of Proverbs 3:1-6. “They lingered there until at last I opened that Bible and was ready to consider the words seriously,” shares Dr. Leman. As he pondered the words of those verses he realized Proverbs 3:1-6 is a road map for a successful spiritual and personal life. In six verses, King Solomon squeezed ten simple life lessons. “The words are so simple and so straightforward that even a guy like me could follow them,” reveals Dr. Leman. Listed below are a few of those lessons:
- “Do not forget my teaching.” (Proverbs 3:1) -- to accept teaching, you have to be a student who is open to being taught. Dr. Leman says these words pack a wallop. As a kid he admits he wasn’t teachable. He cut class and didn’t do well in school. The first teachable moment he recalls is when a teacher said to him his senior year, “Leman, did you ever think you can use the skills you have to do something positive?” The words of this teacher stayed with Dr. Leman. “God had his hand on me long before I knew who he was. I could never forget his teaching, because his teachable moments followed me all along the way…and carried me in my darkest moments.”
- “Keep my commandments in your heart.” (Proverbs 3:2) – the heart is the center of a person. It reveals the way you treat others, and the way you view yourself and God. Dr. Leman says all the words you say won’t mean squat if your heart isn’t focused on the big picture of what really matters.
- “And bring you prosperity.” (Proverbs 3:2) – Thank God for his blessings and then bless others. Dr. Leman says, “We do not serve a Kmart ‘Blue Light Special’ God. Or a Wal-Mart God. He’s not discounted. He’s not cut-rate.” When we do the right thing, not the expedient or cheap thing, we become more like Jesus, who gave lavishly.
- “Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck.” (Proverbs 3:3) – love by itself is not enough, because love wears thin. You must choose to love. You must be faithful to love. Dr. Leman is thankful his mom never gave up praying for him. “She was convinced I would make it – even when I didn’t know if I’d make it.” She was loving and faithful. She spent her married life putting up with Dr. Leman’s dad, who didn’t stop drinking until he became a believer at age 56. Many times Dr. Leman would find his mom in the morning, sitting and praying, with the Bible on her lap after she had worked all night trying to hold their family together financially. Faith in God is what carried her through the tough times.
- Trust in the Lord with all your heart.” (Proverbs 3:5) – there are two sides to trust – giving it and receiving it. “For all my running away from my mom’s faith, in the end, her trust in God caught up with me…and it stuck. And since then I’ve passed on my mom’s trust in God to my own children as well.”
Dr. Leman encourages people to live their life now as a legacy for the generations to come. “What you do in life matters. It matters to you. It matters to those around you. And it matters to God.” As Proverbs 3:1-6 promises if you don’t forget God’s teachings, you keep his commands in your heart, you trust him with all your heart, and you acknowledge him in all you do, then you’ll receive these things: a long, fulfilled life; prosperity; a good name; and straight paths.
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