Water Into Wine – Proverbs 14

Photo Credit: joeldyke.com

“Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean,
but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox.”

Proverbs 14:4

This verse makes us smile every time we read it.  God is saying if you want to bear much fruit for My glory, you need to know it’s going to be messy and smelly at times.  Are you in?

On a farm back in the day, it was good to have an ox.  They worked hard and pulled the plow through thick overgrown plots of land.  Without the ox the work would have been nearly impossible.  The farmer was willing to care for the ox – the feeding and the cleaning it required seemed like more work – yet, he knew the truth that there would be no harvest, no fruit without it.  He was willing to literally shovel manure in order to have an ox to help him do what he knew he couldn’t do alone.

Photo Credit: Ross Farm Museum

How many couples would sign up for marriage if they had this metaphor given to them as incentive?  Only those who are used to life on a farm and the benefits provided by working hard for something that matters would most likely be enthusiastic.

Sure we can have a clean house, but cold conversation as husband and wife.  We can choose to avoid conflict by ignoring sin issues and stuffing disappointments.  We can purpose to ignore all the hot topics in order to maintain “the peace”.  But peace isn’t simply an absence of conflict.  It is a deep abiding confidence that all is well between you and your spouse on all fronts.  If you consciously know of subjects to avoid – you are lacking peace.  Ken Sande, author of The Peacemaker, calls this type of person a “peace faker.”

We want peace at all costs and even at the cost of what is best.

Marriage is hard work.  It isn’t the rosey, romantic, happily-ever-after life we had hoped for.  No.


It’s better to deal with sin and disappointments as they happen.  It’s better to not let the sun go down on your anger.  It’s better to pull the weeds today and not let them go to seed.  Ignoring the weeds only multiplies them.  Ignoring conflict does the same thing.

What topics have you been avoiding?  If you are afraid to bring them up, then ask for help.  Go for counseling.  Talk to your pastor.  Don’t let another day go by where the health of your relationship is sacrificed for a false sense of peace.  If all isn’t well in the marriage, then do something about it.  God is able to accomplish more than we ever imagined, but we must be obedient to His Word:

“If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” – Romans 12:18

This includes your spouse.

How have you been a “peacefaker” in your marriage?  How has God helped you become a true “peacemaker” instead? 

For more on this important topic we encourage you to read Ken Sande’s book, The Peacemaker.

This entry was posted in Christian Marriage, communication, Difficulty, Forgiveness, Growing Strong Marriages, The Gospel & Marriage, Water Into Wine, Weekly Series and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Water Into Wine – Proverbs 14

  1. Thanks for the oh-so-timely post this morning. I’m struggling with some extreme fatigue and busyness of life that have been my excuse not to pull some weeds.


    • Debi Walter says:

      I’m right there with you Bonnie! Time to put on some gloves and get to work…if only I could remember where I put them. 🙂


  2. tommygirl says:

    My goodness I have missed you. My routine , as a teacher, was to take a few minutes during my prep time every day to read your blog and it absolutely set the tone for my day and helped to get me ready to be the best Christian Wife I could be that day. I love my summers but your blog sort of fell out of mymorning routine.

    What a delight to check in this morning and see that “Stuff Happens” but if you deal with it in the here and now it makes things better. There is one little issue I would like to bring up to my H and there is no time like the present. Thanks Debi it is good to be back in the vineyard!


  3. I love it!!
    The absence of conflict should be the avoidance of topic of conflict. This is what we tend to do we spouses, family and friends. We dont always have to be nice and avoid issues that has to be delt with so the relationship can move forward. Be yourself every realtionship we permit ourselevs to be part of should be geniue no ‘peacefaking’


  4. How can we grow if we are peace-fakers? I love the reference and inference.
    Oh, and I grew up on a farm 😉


  5. Andrew says:

    Excellent post! I have never heard the term “peacefaker” before, but it really does describe me, I really really hate conflict. Looks like I have some communicating to do!


    • Debi Walter says:

      Yes, Andrew. We know exactly how you feel. But you are in a good place for God to help you change. Thank you for commenting!


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