Thursday, June 6, 2013

Proverbs 20:6-7 Where's the Proverbs 31 man???

Most of us are very familiar with the idea of the Proverbs 31 woman. The description of that virtuous woman, whose children rise up and call her blessed begins with a question: An excellent wife who can find? (Proverbs 31:10). Then Solomon follows with 21 verses describing this amazing woman. I have always joked that there is no corresponding description of the “excellent” husband, because there is no such thing! { Okay, men I’m just joking here!!! }

So I was immediately shocked to find the corresponding verses about men in Proverbs 20: 6-7! Yes, that’s just TWO verses! :) They don’t quite meet the standard of the Proverbs 31 woman, however: 

Many a man proclaims his own steadfast love,

    but a faithful man who can find?   
The righteous who walks in his integrity—
blessed are his children after him!

Seriously, the world would have us think that there is no such thing as a faithful man. Satan loves to spread that lie that all men are unfaithful to their wives at some time (which, by the way, is also an indictment against women, since it takes two to tango). Actually, in our sphere of friends, we’ve only known a very few whose marriages have been hit with infidelity. Most of our friends have been together since high school and are still happily married forty-plus years later! However, when infidelity happens, the ramifications are so far-reaching, that it certainly SEEMS like it’s all around us! And statistics seem to bear out the claim that it is a problem in many marriages...

But rather than rip on those who fall, I’m going to focus on those amazing men who are righteous husbands and fathers, who DO walk in integrity! Not only among our friends, but also among the many parents who have passed through my classroom, these are by far the majority. And the blessings they bring on their children are many. I have been blessed to have several families in our community multiple times as each of the siblings ended up in my class. I love to affirm to the parents how important their modeling of a loving, committed couple is to their children.

There isn’t a marriage out there that doesn’t go through times of trial and struggle, when you look at each other and wonder, “How did I end up with you???” But those who persevere because they have made a COMMITMENT to stay married - to honor God in their marriage and allow Him to work in their marriage - these couples, over the long haul, enjoy such a sweetness. What a legacy they leave to their children and grandchildren.

Men and women are so very different - it’s amazing that we CAN live together! And, frankly, without God at the center of a marriage, it’s darn near impossible! I have a dear friend who joked. “Except for the sex part, I can totally get lesbianism, because women get it!” Our minds work in completely different ways than men’s. And you know what? God designed us that way! He knew what each of us needed in a marriage. His plan is to make us one in Him and to transform each of us into His image - mainly by the working out of our differences!

Our pastor is doing a series on marriage and this past week they showed us the perfect video that demonstrates the differences between men and women. It’s hysterical because it’s so true! Seriously, you need to see it, by clicking here! After you’ve had a good laugh, thank God for the differences, and then thank Him for your spouse - warts and all! And to my dear friends and family who have lived through the effects of infidelity, I know you know that eventually, healing can come - sometimes even within the marriage. But often, families are blown apart by it - and the healing may take years. May you, too, thank God for HIS faithfulness - because HE never leaves us nor forsakes us!  

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