The Path of Marriage
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips.
Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you.
Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways.
Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.
Proverbs 4: 23-27
I’ve heard that knowledge is having the facts, but wisdom is applying those facts. Proverbs provides practical Godly wisdom for those in pursuit of spiritual direction. The desire for wisdom, with all that our world is currently experiencing, has become like the longing for water in a dry and barren desert. Our lives depend upon it. Our marriages are thirsting for it.
Everyone is searching right now...searching for meaning, for change, for something more fulfilling. We’ve evaluated and re-evaluated our lives in the last several months. Close quarters and dwindling opportunities are causing chaos in homes and marriages.
You might be the one thirsting for a better “normal” in your marriage. If so, take a look at five short “wisdom filled” verses in Proverbs. If you apply them, they can turn your relationship around. You’ll find throughout this book that blessing, favor, peace, understanding, and life are given to those who accept and live by God’s wisdom. It’s true! We’ve tried it our way, and His way. Trust us when we tell you, it’s better His way!
Four Treasures of Wisdom
Our Heart - Solomon urges us in verse 23 to guard our heart. It’s the source of life. Years ago in college, a friend made the comment to me that people usually do what they really want to do. I didn’t like it at the time, but he was right. Whenever possible, most of us seek out what our heart really desires. We’ll talk about it, look for it, and travel to obtain it.
But what is “it” that has our heart?
Of course, our heart should be surrendered first to God. Next in line is our spouse! Jeff and I chose years ago to work this out. It was a conscious commitment every day to focus our attention on one another. We started submitting our needs to the other, but in the process, we both had our desires met. Trust me when I say this is a “win-win” way of life! We’re human, so we still get selfish, but we catch our attitudes pretty quick and get right back on track. It’s too good of a plan to veer very far off the path!
Our Mouth - Luke 6:45b states, “For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” That speaks volumes! It spoke volumes to us as well. We had to evaluate not only the way we spoke to one another, but how we spoke about each other to friends and family. Never use your spouse as a verbal punching bag. Always build them up to others, because love always values, it never devalues.
There is no way to dance around this. If you want your marriage to be fulfilling, get a handle on your tongue. No one looks forward to or gains wisdom from a harsh, spiteful, conversation. On the other hand, when speaking with grace, honor, and love, anything can be accomplished together. When I speak to Jeff with respect, he bends over backwards trying to please me!
Give it a try - For two weeks let only good come from your lips. Even in difficult conversations, build your spouse up, valuing them for all the good. Watch as God begins to move in your relationship, drawing the two of you closer together. It works. We did it!
Our Eyes - Have the two of you set God-centered goals and plans for your marriage? If that’s the case, keep focused. Psalm 119:37 tells us to turn our eyes from worthless things. In other words, keep your eyes centered on your objectives. Don’t get distracted, reaching for everything in sight. We know it’s no picnic watching everyone else buy all the newest and latest. We’ve battled materialism just like you. But there’s an old hymn that reminds us to turn our eyes on Jesus so the things of earth will grow dim. So much truth is in those simple words.
One more piece of wisdom about the eyes - keep them focused on your spouse. Guard what you allow yourself to see, whether in person or on a screen. Choose now to honor your marriage by keeping your eyes focused on him/her. And...dress in a way that never causes someone to stumble in their marriage by being tempted to focus on you. Dress for your spouse respectfully in public, then when you get home, have fun!
Our Feet - Solomon said to give careful thought to where you travel on your path. Don’t turn to the left or right - keep your feet from evil. Why? Because when we look off the path, we stumble. And choosing a detour can lead to sin against our spouse. Before we realize, our feet can take us to a place of regret. A path focused on God and marriage has no regrets.
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life,
and only a few find it.” Matthew 7:13-14
Seeking the Word,
Marriage by the Word
“Strengthen me according to Your Word.”