Proverbs


Part 1

“And the LORD God said, “It is not good that a man should be alone; I will make a helper comparable to him…Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:18,24).

My wife and I recently celebrated our sixth wedding anniversary – this in combination with the constant stream of bad news in the realm of marriage and the general pandemic state of the home have given me a desire to write the following posts.  Let me state up front that my primary intended audience for this one are the males readers – but ladies – please feel free to pass this one along to hubby, dad, brother, future hubby or friend.  So men whether you are single, happily married, in a distressed marriage, or in a marriage that isn’t your first, it’s time to strap on the helmet and get ready for some big hits!

Proverbs 21:19, states that it is better to sleep alone on the roof than in a house with a contentious woman.  It was true when it was written thousands of years ago and it is true today.  No one wants to live with a woman like that.  So men, what actions are you taking to help lessen the possibility that you will wake up one morning and realize that your wife is miserable, that you are miserable and that your marriage is a marriage on paper and that’s about it?

The reason I say this is because when things don’t work out and the woman appears to be contentious either one of two things happened.  Either the guy didn’t do his job or he picked poorly.  And even if he does pick poorly if he does the right things in the Lord’s strength then the marriage still has a chance to turn out well.  Of course what I am writing is much like the wisdom literature in the Bible – it tells you what is generally true – though there are exceptions and therefore the truth here is not a 100% guarantee but it has you fighting the battle for your marriage from a position of victory instead of defeat.  Obviously we have great sympathy for those who have really sought help from the Lord and generally have done the right things yet would legitimately be better off sleeping on the roof.  Remember that the Lord Jesus is gracious and compassionate whenever being gracious and compassionate is called for, and we should seek to be like Him.

In the next couple of posts I will talk about several basic categories of men and what godly men do to give their marriages the best chance to be long and joyful.

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Just because it’s Valentine’s Day, doesn’t mean you can assume your wife prefers roses!

We woke up, got ready, and headed out for our first of two adoption training classes.  We stopped at chick-fil-a on the way and grabbed one of our favorite breakfast meals – a chicken biscuit with cheese and a cherry coke.  We were fueled up for our 9 AM to 4 PM class.

I must say that the hardest part of the training is hearing about all of the abuse children are put through – beatings and burnings, sexual exploitation, and emotional destruction.  My personal emotions run back and forth between sadness and anger.  One moment I want to cry, and the next I want to beat the ever loving snot out of something or someone.  To “be angry and sin not” is quite a challenge for me when I hear about these things.

After the training, we came home and Claire took a nap.  I took the opportunity to grab some last minute Valentine goodies and prepare dinner.  While at the store I ran into one of the college students  I play hoops with.  He saw me standing there with a hydrangea plant with a bunch of huge blooms.  We had a nice talk about relationships, and I got to drop a little wisdom and speak a little about God’s love to him.  We had a good time cutting up and laughing.

After dinner we relaxed and then went downtown to see “Step into Africa”.  It is 3500 square foot exhibit set up to put you in a village in Africa.  You step into the character of a child and live their story.  It was very well done and highlights the devastating affects of AIDS among children in Africa. You can see a very short video that tells you about the experience by clicking this sentence.

It was not a typical Valentine’s Day, but today we grew closer together, and I believe closer to the heart of God.  I am so thankful to be married to a woman who is so full of love and who has such a great capacity to give that love away! “An excellent wife is the crown of her husband” (Proverbs 12:4).

Claire and I laughed and laughed when we saw this giant ladder on this little Mazda Miata as we were driving on the interstate.  When the engineers at Mazda were designing the Miata, I highly doubt they were thinking, “It can be a utility vehicle to carry around large ladders.” 

Yet many people in life find themselves in a similar predicament.  What they were created for and their current life do not match up at all.  Ephesians 2:10 states, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”  You see God has created each one of us and has given us unique places in time and history and unique gifts to use.  When we are living life according to our own rules and desires we step outside of God’s plan and go out on our own.  How foolish to think we could know better than God what is best for the future.  

So how can we make sure that we do not go through life like a Miata carrying a ladder?

1.  Make sure you truly know God through faith in His Son Jesus.  Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” 

2.  Read the Bible consistently with an open heart and mind.  II Timothy 3:16-17, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

3.  Pray daily seeking to grow closer to God. Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” 

4.  Repent of things in your life that you know don’t please God.  Ephesians 4:22-24, “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”

5.  Be involved in a local church where you have godly fellowship and accountability. Hebrews 10:24-25, “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”

6.  Seek Godly counsel.  Proverbs 15:22, “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.”

7.  Act on what you know is right.  James 1:22-25, Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.”

If you know Jesus and are consistently doing 2-7, I believe you will get on and stay true to the plan God has for you.  Remember in that great exchange we get to give Jesus the unwieldy burdens that we have picked up along the way and only carry what He gives us.  “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).

We must come to the realization that unless we are living according to God’s plan, then we cannot fully love Him and love our neighbors as He created us to do.  If your life does not line up with what God created you for, will you give up your plan and take on His?