As we continue our chapter-by-chapter series on Proverbs we’ve come to a defining point in this book. The first 9 chapters are mainly devoted to the comparison of wisdom and folly. We have learned many ways to apply several scriptures to our marriages. It’s easy to read, not so easy to apply. In fact, obtaining godly wisdom is impossible, except by the active work of the Holy Spirit in each of our lives. This is our hope. No matter how much we see lacking either in our own lives or in our spouse’s life, we know that we know that God is faithful. He has promised to complete the work He’s begun. If you are tempted to lose heart because the path seems so long before you – use the Truth of Scripture to encourage your heart.
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:23
A good test is to look back as far as you can in your marriage – for some this may be decades for others it may only be months. However, all of us can see progress if we are seeking to grow in godliness. Thank God we aren’t like we used to be, and we aren’t yet who we will be either!
Chapters 10 – 31 are full of short proverbs on various topics. Many are only two sentences long. These verses are not meant to be promises or commandments that stand-alone. They are observations of one who was considering how to live rightly. We must look at these verses in light of the rest of Scripture. We believe this will be helpful as we take specific proverbs and seek to glean wisdom from them for our marriage.
The Proverbs the Lord highlighted in our heart this week are from verses 17 – 19:
“Whoever heeds instruction is on the path to life, but he who rejects reproof leads others astray. The one who conceals hatred has lying lips, and whoever utters slander is a fool. When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.”
There is so much in these three short verses, as is the case with most of the Proverbs. But here are several questions to consider regarding marriage:
- Am I teachable, approachable and willing to listen to my spouse’s opinion concerning me? Or do I lash back, argue, become defensive or shut down when my spouse makes an observation about my motives?
- Do I withhold anger in my heart towards my spouse that they aren’t aware of? Or do I talk about my spouse to others putting them in a bad light? Slander is repeating a matter or offense to another (whether it’s true or false) that puts your spouse in a bad light. Does the person you’re talking to about the matter have any part in the solution? If not, this is slander. If the person’s opinion of your spouse will be lowered as a result of your words – this is slander. We must not hide under the guise: “I was just being honest!”
- The more we talk the more likely it is our words will be full of sin. We used to quote this one to our teens when they wanted to talk for hours on the phone, texting or chatting on-line. The same applies for married adults.
In short, we must use our words in a way that glorifies God. When we don’t we must be humble and approachable, one who asks forgiveness and seeks to reconcile. God alone gives grace to change, and it’s the humble person who receives grace in their time of need.
How do these three Proverbs speak to you? Does it bring a situation to mind? Talk about it with your spouse and seek to understand rightly by asking good questions. This is the path to wisdom!
This is post #14 in the Ultimate Blog Challenge to post everyday in July.