What does the word froward mean when in biblical context? What is a biblical definition of froward?
To be froward means to be habitually disposed to disobedience and opposition to someone or something like a law. Someone that is being f is being willfully contrary to someone or something and is not easily managed. Similes of the word froward are crookedness, to go wrong, go crooked, backsliding, twisted, distorted, or crooked so now let’s explore what froward means in the Bible and use it in the context in which is it written. Since the word “froward” is used more often in the King James Bible that is where I will try and biblically define the word.
A Froward Heart
Since we know what froward means we can see why God detests a froward heart as the psalmist writes “A froward heart shall depart from me: I will not know a wicked person” (101:4) because “the froward is abomination to the Lord” (Prov 3:22) so “Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee” (Prov 4:24). If “Frowardness is in his heart, he deviseth mischief continually; he soweth discord” (Prov 6:14). As far as Solomon is concerned “All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing froward or perverse in them” (Prov 8:8) because he realized that God hates a froward mouth (Prov 8:13) as “the froward tongue shall be cut out” (Prov 10:31b). For those who have not the Spirit of God it is normal that “the mouth of the wicked speaketh frowardness” (Prov 10:32). The point in this paragraph is “They that are of a froward heart are abomination to the Lord” (Prov 11:20).
A Response to the Froward
Peter wrote “Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward” (1st Pet 2:18) showing that even if someone is froward of heart and mouth to us, we should not respond in kind because then we lower ourselves to their level. David wrote that “With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself unsavory” (2nd Sam 22:27) so we have a choice. We can chose what comes out of our mouth and show ourselves as being pure or we can speak with a froward mouth and show ourselves unsavory to God. Regarding any nation or people and even any person God says “I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very froward generation, children in whom is no faith” (Duet 32:20) so a froward mouth or heart is an evil, wicked heart and means that they are habitually disposed to disobedience and God resists such people. For those who refuse to repent Solomon writes “Thorns and snares are in the way of the froward [but] he that doth keep his soul shall be far from them” (Prov 22:5).
God resists the proud (James 4:6) and the froward of heart and mouth is a proud heart and mouth and God is opposed to such a person or people. Anyone who is froward is constantly backsliding, twisted, distorted, or crooked and God will not accept such a person. If you’ve had a time in your life where you repented and trusted in Christ, then your natural tendencies will be to resist the froward nature of mankind and you will speak in love toward others and particularly toward God because you know that “They that are of a froward heart are abomination to the Lord” (Prov 11:20).
Article by Jack Wellman
Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Blind Chance or Intelligent Design available on Amazon.