Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Marriage Preparation Instruction #3

A foolish son is the ruin of his father, and the contentions of a wife are a continual dripping.”---Proverbs 19:13 (NKJV)

Just a couple of days ago, I was teasing one of my friends about messing with “Philistine women”. That's what I call women who are outside of God's “love parameters”. What's the definition of “insanity”? Doing the same thing and expecting a different result, right? Well, while I'm sure most of my male friends have (unfortunately) partaken of a Philistine woman...or two...or 10, as my mother so often says, “Discernment prevents experience from being your teacher”. That is what the Bible is here for (well, one of the reasons): to help us discern so that we don't have to make such mistakes. Proverbs 15:21 tells us that, “Folly is joy to him who is destitute of discernment, but a man of understanding walks uprightly.

Well, if you're a Bible reading/believing man, then you have already been given a “head's up” of what the wrong woman can do to your life. You know, until now, I never really understood why King Solomon would mention the foolishness of a son and the contentions of a wife in the same sentence. Now that I'm penning this series, I think for a lot of reasons that it's because the two work hand-in-hand:

Now Samson went down to Timnah, and saw a woman in Timnah of the daughters of the Philistines. So he went up and told his father and mother, saying, 'I have seen a woman in Timnah of the daughters of the Philistines; now therefore, get her for me as a wife.' Then his father and mother said to him, 'Is there no woman among the daughters of your brethren, or among all my people, that you must go and get a wife from the uncircumcised Philistines?

And Samson said to his father, 'Get her for me, for she pleases me well.'”---Judges 14:1-3 (NKJV)

Certain translations of the Bible says that God allowed this to happen because God was looking for a way to challenge the Philistines, and because we know how God operates when it comes to aligning purpose (Romans 8:28), I certainly wouldn't doubt it. But, we also know that because beauty, sensuality and risk-taking seemed to be like aphrodisiacs for Samson, his outcome didn't turn out well (well, as well as it could have...he still defeated the Philistines). BEING WITH THE WRONG WOMAN CAN NOT ONLY HUMILIATE YOU, BUT POSSIBLY KILL YOU---MIND, BODY AND/OR SPIRIT. Samson choosing “outside of the camp” hurt his parents (they wanted so much more for him than a 'heathen woman'), but it also caused him great harm. And so here is where the male/female head's up for this chapter begins.

Men: As we all know, King Solomon had his hands full when it came to women as well. The Bible tells us that he had 700 wives, 300 concubines (a woman who cohabits with a man to whom she is not legally married, esp. one regarded as socially or sexually subservient; mistress) and HIS WIVES TURNED AWAY HIS HEART (from God). (I Kings 11:3) Watch the chicks who want you to make them your top priority...over God and then your purpose. When Adam was on the scene, his relationship with God came FIRST, his purpose SECOND and the Woman THIRD. (Genesis 1-2) All three made him complete (things happening in threes often do), but everything about God's system is orderly. (I Corinthians 14:40). If you're dating a woman now who wants you to hang out with her when you need to spend time with your Father, who is always calling/texting you at work, who feels you should be spending money on her like she's already one with you...FLEE FROM THAT CHICK. It doesn't matter how fine she is. Proverbs 11:22 (NCV) says, “A beautiful woman without good sense is like a gold ring in a pig's snout.

AS A MAN, a part of your purpose is to seek out God to find out who your helpmate is; a woman who loves (and obeys) God...who shares your values...who honors order...who lives by (godly) principles...who will allow God to bring her to you. To select a woman without godly counsel (with God being first on the list) or someone who loves mostly in word (you know a lot of us will tell you ANYTHING just to get what we want, right? It's called a “Jezebel spirit”) rather than deed (I John 3:18), could very well become the ruin of you. The Bible first introduces a wife under the description of a “helper”. (Genesis 2:18) That means that we are to be giving you assistance and support....we “contribute to the fulfillment of a need”...we are to be the FURTHERANCE OF AN EFFORT OR PURPOSE. If you are in a relationship right now, it would be good for you to have a “coming to Christ” meeting about whether your girlfriend is equipped to further you and your purpose. Here's three huge signs that she's not:

  1. If she has no relationship with God.

  2. If she doesn't respect your time, talents or other priorities.

  3. If she doesn't have a life outside of trying to build one with you.

How do I know? Because if we are supposed to be helping you in your purpose, if we are what brings you favor with God (Proverbs 18:22), then that means there are some gifts/talents/abilities within us that complement you and what you do. I mean, unless you're a porn director or strip club manager, I'm not so sure how a “she's pretty, can hold it down and that's it” chick is gonna assist you much; besides, you are here, not to be entertained (solely), but to work in furthering GOD'S KINGDOM. A GODLY WOMAN will build a relationship with you based on GODLY PRINCIPLES. One principle will be that she will love you as herself (Mark 12:31), which means she won't comprise you (mind/body/soul) in any way and two, she will respect you: your life, your family and friends, your feelings, your needs, your priorities. If she can't do that now, I don't see why you would believe that marriage would change that. Actually, to believe so is pure foolishness, which brings me to the ladies.

Women: Do you see what the second part of the lead verse says? To be contentious is not only to be “quarrelsome” and “argumentative”, but to be someone who is always stirring up controversy. In other words, something is ALWAYS an issue with you. Something that my Baba (my mother's husband) says is that he doesn't do emotional roller-coaster rides. He will watch and wait for us to get off and then help us with the “post-nausea”, but he has no interest in the drama. Now, I always knew that a contentious/nagging wife was annoying, but it wasn't until today that I REALLY saw the root cause of it: WHEN YOU UNITE YOURSELF WITH SOMEONE WHO IS NOT IN PURPOSE OR YOU ARE NOT TO BE ONE WITH IN PURPOSE, THERE ARE ALWAYS GOING TO BE PROBLEMS.

I was recently talking to a military wife with 30+ years of happy and healthy marriage under her belt about a newlywed couple that I know. The (also military) wife appears to be really struggling with the lifestyle. “She needs to get over it,” said the marathon-marriage wife. “Find some things to do on base...get involved in church...find some sense of community.” She said it so casually that it kind of seemed insensitive---to my physical ear. Oh, but discernment revealed what she meant. This wife who spoke those pearls of wisdom is a wife in purpose with her husband's calling. She can roll with it, because she was called to it.

So many women want a doctor, but then become a wife and are mad about his schedule.

So many women want a musician, but then as a wife are always jealous of the back-up singers and paranoid by the groupies.

So many women want an entrepreneur, but as a wife can't seem to handle the “feast or famine” lifestyle.

SO MANY WOMEN ARE MARRYING OUT OF PURPOSE. And when you do that, yes, life makes it really hard to respect/submit to your husband no matter what (Ephesians 5:22 & 33); life makes it easier to be argumentative (because you don't really get what going on) and yes, the combination of the two will probably be that you will be one to stir up a lot of controversy.

OK, so you did catch that King Solomon compared a controversy-prone woman to Chinese water torture, right? Not good, not good. As a single woman, this is the time to really focus on you...what you like/dislike...what you are good at and what you're not...what brings you joy/passion/fulfillment and what doesn't because once you figure out who you are, who “he” is will become more apparent. You won't just love who “he” is, but what he does and you will be more than inspired to help him out.

Truth be told? If you are having a hard time loving what he does now, there's a great chance you could end up loathing it (and him) later...and you're both so much better than that.

Single men and women, love is a choice. With God's help, CHOOSE WISELY.

©Shellie R. Warren/2009

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