Proverbs – God’s practical guide to a joyful life
Good day friends! I pray your week and weekend went well.
I must say that I was really torn up over whether or not to include these verses with last week’s devotion and just gloss over them, or give them their own devotional time of reflection. Well as you can see, here they are on their own.
Ultimately, the reason I chose to give these words of Solomon their own time of reflection is because I feel they touch on a very important aspect of our society – marriage and the family unit. Let’s top up our coffees and dig into what Solomon has to say today…
Wisdom will save you also from the adulterous woman, from the wayward woman with her seductive words, who has left the partner of her youth and ignored the covenant she made before God. Surely her house leads down to deathand her paths to the spirits of the dead. None who go to her return or attain the paths of life. Thus you will walk in the ways of the good and keep to the paths of the righteous. For the upright will live in the land, and the blameless will remain in it; but the wicked will be cut off from the land, and the unfaithful will be torn from it.
I heard a saying the other day: The grass isn’t greener on the other side of the fence; it’s greener where you water it. Isn’t it true though? Yet, how often do we get caught up in wishing we were on the other side of the fence.
Isn’t it easy to give up where the burden of life is the heaviest and least colourful- at home with all the ‘stuff’ – the budgeting, the working, the household responsibilities, the tension of living with another person and children. Married life can be hard. So not only is it easy to not want to deal with it, it can keep us from putting any effort for joyfulness into it with our spouse and children. In fact, in our minds, we can even clump them into all the ‘burdensome stuff’. Then to make things worse for ourselves, we enjoy the common interests and moments of attention by another. Those fluttering feelings, that seem to have drowned in the midst of responsibility, seem to come alive and thrive when away from the burdens of ‘home’. Do not be fooled. The responsibilities and burden of life will follow you, except with a wake of destruction and pain behind you, that will weigh you down even more so, as you enter the same burdens of life elsewhere. Yet how many souls get sucked into these temptations and lies, and perfectly healthy, burdened but normal and healthy, marriages and totally innocent children are torn apart. Oh how my heart aches for these souls and their families!
May Solomon’s words today be encouragement to keep your eyes on the commitment you made with God; the commitment you made with him to fulfill your marriage vows which require you to fulfill your duties to your spouse and children. To let go of the ‘things’ that are creating such burden and gloom at home, and the mentality that things are greener and brighter elsewhere or with someone else. Take the time to water the grass where you live, your own grass. Take time to create opportunities to rekindle the flames you felt when courting. Communicate your feelings of the things that are burdening you. Chances are your spouse is feeling the burden too. Nurture the blessings you have right in your own home, and enjoy life, working as one team with your spouse, not seeing nor treating them as the problem. Make a conscious effort to walk together on the path God has for you. A path that includes you, your partner and God walking hand in hand, through the not-so-green parts of life. By doing so, you will be watering your own grass. Even if there is greener grass around, your eyes will be fixed on watering, maintaining and enjoying your own, that you won’t even notice the other, and these actions, my friend, will be blessed. Finally, may you be encouraged with these closing words of Solomon:
Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for God has already approved what you do. Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun—all your meaningless days. For this is your lot in life and in your toilsome labor under the sun. Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might. (Ecclesiastes 9:7,9-10a)
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, life can be hard and filled with so many burdens and responsibilities. Desiring the temptations that would pull us away from the life we have committed to you through the vows of marriage and parenting can be so strong at times. Help me to nurture the loved ones you have blessed me with. Help me to make changes to the stuff in my life that may be burdening me and keeping me from caring for those souls that are the most important in my life. Help me to walk in your wisdom and strength. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!