Friday, May 24, 2013

Proverbs 19:13-14 A curse of a blessing?

A foolish son is ruin to his father,

    and a wife's quarreling is a continual dripping of rain.  
House and wealth are inherited from fathers,

    but a prudent wife is from the Lord. (Proverbs 19:13-14 ESV)

Here’s the same passage from The Message, just for fun:

A parent is worn to a frazzle by a stupid child;

    a nagging spouse is a leaky faucet. 
 House and land are handed down from parents,

    but a congenial spouse comes straight from God.

I have to crack up at the parents “worn to a frazzle” by the dumb things their children do. Teachers, too, are worn to a frazzle, especially this time of year, by students who seem to be sleepwalking through life! And the idea of a house and wealth being inherited from parents? Not in this family! We received nothing from my side of the family. Mom and Dad barely had enough to cover themselves - nothing left for the children! We’re just praying that Don’s dad will have enough to carry him through. And our girls aren’t counting on getting any “wealth” from Don and me! :)

However, the main thought that jumped out at me in these two verses was the contrast between the “nagging spouse” and the “prudent wife.” Hmmm. . . I think sometimes I’m a bit of both! I’m certain there are times when Don considers me a curse - like when I’m in my “backseat driver” mode!

A couple of weeks ago we were heading to church, and we were approaching a newly reconfigured onramp to the freeway. As usual, Don was not making a timely lane change to get into the lane which merges onto the onramp. As he got closer, still making no attempt to get over, I just freaked out! Seriously! “Why aren’t you getting over??” I screeched. He just very calmly replied, “This lane also goes right.” I looked up at the new sign, and, sure enough, we were in the correct lane! Oh my goodness! I just cracked up and immediately apologized and confessed, “I don’t know how you have put up with me for 42 years!”

Now, I know Don would quickly confess that MOST of the time he considers me a blessing - the helpmate and “prudent wife” given by God! I am certain that, since I gave my life to Christ 37 years ago, I have been in a continual process of transformation by the Holy Spirit to be the wife God designed for Don. And I have always been convinced that we were absolutely purposed for each other. Even before I knew the LORD I understood that.

But it’s so easy to fall into the bad patterns if we aren’t alert to ungrateful attitudes. A few weeks ago, when I was at the women’s retreat for my church, we were given quiet time for individual Bible study and prayer - always my favorite part of retreat! As I was reading through Psalm 18, I stopped at verse 19:

He brought me out into a spacious place; 
   he rescued me because he delighted in me. (NIV 1984)

I had written sometime ago in the margin of the Bible, “Oh, LORD - I long for a spacious place!” I had not dated that comment, and I now have no idea what I was going through at the time - possibly great stress at school. . . earlier this year??? Anyway, as I read that verse this time, it struck me that I AM in a spacious place - it’s my marriage! My marriage has been a place where I can truly be myself and relax. Don has given me such a gift in the way he has always allowed me the space I need. He gets that, even though I’m very social, I truly need lots of alone time or down time. He also knows I need girlfriend time or time with my daughters. What a gift He has been to me! He’s my best cheerleader and has always been so helpful and supportive to me with any project I’ve undertaken. I see that in my girls’ marriages, as well, and just am so thankful that God has blessed them, too.

Unfortunately, my girls have just enough of their mother that they, too, need to be always on the alert against the tendency to be a “leaking faucet.” :) Help us, LORD!  

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