By wisdom a house is built and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures (Proverbs 24:3-4 NIV)
Yesterday my wife, Becca and I enjoyed watching the outdoor wedding of a good looking young couple. The beautiful bridesmaids in hot pink dresses carrying white bouquets of flowers passed me on the sidewalk first. Then the bride: breath taking, gorgeous and draped in radiant white glowing in the sun. She wore a giant, sparkling grin of delight.
“Congratulations!” I told her. She answered with a giggling, and happy, “Thank you.”
Oh that groom was a very blessed young man! But I couldn’t help but wonder if he understood the work that was ahead of them both. If that is, they would successfully build the wonderful life together they obviously envisioned.
It brings joy to see young couples today, brimming with vigor and excitement as they set out to establish a new home together and build a family. Though heartwarming, it’s frightening when we look at the statistics on the number of marriages that fail. I believe every marriage will experience some rough patches of road. However, experiencing difficulty is not failure until we throw up our hands and give in to the mutually pain rendering option of divorce.
There are better options. And as in all aspects of life, God has the solutions we seek. It takes constant work: conscious effort to build and maintain a happy and successful home. Where do we find the wisdom the above wise adage stresses? Proverbs 1:7 reveals that source.
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
That fear of the Lord is acknowledging who God is, His divine authority as the giver of life, the Creator and the one to whom we must give an account of ourselves. Through Christ Jesus our relationship to God is reconciled. Through Christ and God’s word we come to know Him intimately, just as we grow to know every aspect of our spouse’s character.
First Corinthians 1:24 tells us, Christ (is) the power of God and the wisdom of God. It is through our relationship with Jesus that God teaches us wisdom and matures our thoughts in knowledge. He’s the power every couple needs to realize a secure and loving home in full bloom. And He is the ultimate instructor in wisdom.
BUT, how is our understanding of these very basic, yet essential truths going to help us when our relationship is strained, when sparks fly or tears are flowing?
Just last month Becca and I had a disagreement, a little tiff you might call it. She wanted to do one thing and I wanted us to do something else. The dispute began getting a little heated when we both decided to take the situation to the Lord. In separate rooms we each prayed. She reports receiving the same sense of God’s direction that I received.
We pondered what it was we wanted to do and why we wanted it. We discovered that we’d both lost sight of our original commitment to put the other first. I’d momentarily been thinking of my own individual happiness instead of Becca’s. We’d forgotten the sacrificial aspect of true love that God displayed so poignantly at Calvary. Suddenly it didn’t matter so much what we did that day as long as we did it together. We had a wonderful time!
Wisdom and love are a dynamic duo, a united couple that enhance each other the way a good wife enriches her husband’s life. The wisdom of love is revealed through God’s love for you and me. What we refer to as the love chapter of the bible: 1st Corinthians 13 describes this agape type of unconditional love. Its’ self-sacrificing nature demolishes all barriers in every relationship.
We receive the answer to every dispute by heeding God’s Spirit and His word. Of course, some difficulties aren’t so easy to find the solution to; and God may use another Spirit led Christian, such as our pastor, mentor or counselor to reveal the right course of action. The important thing is that we seek God’s wisdom first in every situation.
The above Proverb is the closest thing we have to a formula for good marriages, where unconditional love: sacrificial, patient and forgiving thrives. And where God’s word is our how-to manual. It’s a beautiful thing to see an elderly married couple deeply in love.
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