This week our city, Orlando, was most likely highlighted in every newscast in every major city around the nation and maybe even the world. Tuesday concluded the highly publicized trial of Casey Anthony vs. The State of Florida in the alleged murder of her daughter, Caylee. It has been a sad time in our state’s history. Sad because the life of Caylee will never be restored; the lives of everyone involved – even the jurors – will never be the same. Sad because sin is sin and death is death. We watched the Defense show contempt for the Prosecution’s statements and the Prosecuting attorneys show contempt for the Defense. At one point it became so blatant that Judge Perry threatened to call a mistrial. What they exhibited was not wisdom. It was foolish and unrestrained – something these attorneys know better than to do.
After six weeks of testimony on both sides of the aisle the case was finally given to the jurors to decide Casey Anthony’s final verdict . Many who watched the jury declare “not guilty” on all counts of murder and child neglect/abuse have expressed contempt at the outcome. The outrage was palpable on the social networks. Anyone entering the debate felt the utter scorn and contempt for this mother now made famous by her perceived guilt and her quite foolish actions.
We have witnessed contempt on display in the courtroom, and Proverbs uses this idea in describing a scoffer. A Scoffer is one who shows mocking contempt.
Chapter 9 showcases a similar scenario. The two opposing sides are Wisdom and Folly. After a lengthy debate in the previous 8 chapters, they are each making their final appeal to the same crowd – the simple ones. They are calling for them to consider well the straight path on which they are walking.
“Wisdom offers life with no mention of pleasure;
folly offers pleasure with no mention of death.”
As married couples, we have a responsibility to choose wisely the way we shall live. What looks like work actually offers the most rewards and what looks like sheer pleasure offers the worst judgment. Thus, we cannot choose our path based on what looks right or feels good. We must choose based on wisdom; the wise path is made clear to those who seek it.
Consider your marriage.
How often do you think of applying wisdom to the choices you make each day? Do you stop, think and ask? Or do you simply follow what feels right in the moment? How do you respond when your spouse challenges your decisions and/or actions? Do you listen and consider their concerns or do you react? Listen to what Proverbs says about this:
Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you;
reprove a wise man, and he will love you.
9 Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser;
teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.
Those who are wise never stop growing in wisdom. In fact most who are wise are the last ones to know it. What often happens is the more we learn of wisdom the more we realize we need more of it. It is a lifelong process and one with the greatest reward:
11 For by me your days will be multiplied,
and years will be added to your life.
12 If you are wise, you are wise for yourself;
if you scoff, you alone will bear it.
We believe if both husband and wife are committed to growing in wisdom then not only will years be added to their lives, but life will be added to the years of their marriage.
What does this look like practically in a marriage? Here are some things to ponder:
1. You finally have a free night with no plans:
- Wisdom considers what is best for their marriage and family
- Folly considers what feels good.
2. Your spouse corrects you again on the same old thing
- Wisdom listens and humbly makes necessary changes with God’s help.
- Folly gets irritated by the nagging and disregards the correction.
3. You can barely make ends meet and the bills are piling up.
- Wisdom says NO to whatever it is you’re wanting to buy.
- Folly puts it on credit only adding to the pile.
These are real life scenarios all marriages face. We pray this series won’t simply be something we read and agree upon, but Truths we will apply to our every day choices. Dave Ramsey says it best:
“For your own good, for the good of your family and your future, grow a backbone. When something is wrong, stand up and say it is wrong, and don’t back down.” – (The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness)
“A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went.”
In what areas do you need to grow in wisdom? In what areas are you experiencing growth already? Take time to talk about these with your spouse and pursue wisdom as if your life depended on it. In reality, it does!
This is Post #7 in the Ultimate Blogging Challenge to post every day in July!