July 11, 2022 — Shouldn’t They Both Be Excellent?

“A couple of times over the past few weeks,” Stan began, “we’ve talked some about one of my neighbors and the impact the Bible has had on his marriage. You remember that?”

“Sure do,” I replied. “In the first instance, there was the story about how he came to faith through marriage [See the posting for June 1, 2020, “The ‘Just As’ of the Cross]. The other I remember is when you talked about how he rejoices in his wife [See the posting for June 16, 2022, “Rejoicing in Her”].

“That’s right on both accounts,” Stan said. “Last night my neighbor stopped by and he told me something else about how the Book of Proverbs has impacted his marriage.”

“What’s that?”

“It has to do with the last chapter of that book,” Stan replied, “the one that deals specifically with women.”

“Their role in the marriage?” I asked.

“Not so much,” Stan replied. “More about looking at certain words and applying them more broadly.”

“In what way?”

“The verses he was focusing on,” Stan responded, “describe what is called an ‘excellent wife’.”

“Excellent wife? How can that apply more broadly? More than one wife?”

“No,” Stan replied with a smile. “My neighbor says he, as well as his wife, prefer to read the description as applying to the ‘excellent spouse’.”

“Excellent spouse?” I repeated. “Like it applies to both the husband and the wife?”

“That’s it,” Stan replied. “Let’s unpack it a little.”

Continuing, he added, “At the beginning it describes the value of an excellent spouse as being far above jewels. Then it goes on to say that one spouse can trust in the other and neither of them lacks anything. Thirdly, it says they do each other good and not evil all the days of their lives.”

“Words to live by,” I commented. “Especially the parts about being trustworthy and being committed to doing good to and for the other person. Sounds kind of like that could apply to all sorts of relationships, not just to marriage.”

“Just kind of like?” Stan asked with a smile.

_________________________________________

Bible verses to consider:

An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life. Proverbs 31:10-12.

An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who shames him is as rottenness in his bones. Proverbs 12:4.

A prudent wife is from the Lord. Proverbs 19:14.

Prayer:  Thank you, Father, for your provision of reconciliation to you through the finished work of the cross. Thank you, too, for allowing me to know you in an ever-deepening personal relationship so I can apply the relationship you and I have to all of my relationships while you keep me on this side of eternity. I confess that too often I am not the person you intend for me to be in my relationships with others, I am not the person you can and will use for your purposes in another person’s life. Please, Father, forgive me of that foolishness. And please help me in following every step of your lead so I am only who you intend, only who you can and will use for your purposes. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Think on this: How is your relationship with God? Do you have such a relationship that you know you will spend eternity with Him when it’s time? If no, why? What’s in the way of accepting His free and gracious provision of life eternally with Him? If you do have the assurance of salvation and redemption, how are you doing with your relationship with God on this side of eternity? Are you growing closer to Him in an ever-deepening relationship? If you are not and you would like to, how is that going to happen? How about your relationships with other people? Are those relationships as good as you would like? As good as God would like? 

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