Thursday, February 3, 2011

Preparing for Your Future Spouse

Proverbs 24? Yeah, it's BRILLIANT and I think you should read the whole chapter :) Today, He pointed it out to me, and taught me how to prepare for my "life-long valentine." It's actually fitting, since V-day is around the corner ;) (I thought about saving this post for Valentine's day, but hey, since it's my parents' anniversary [Feb. 4th], I'm posting it anyways.) Here's the main body of the chapter:

"By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures. A wise man is strong [...] and victory is won through many advisers [...] So shall the knowledge of wisdom be to your soul; If you have found it, there is a prospect, And your hope will not be cut off. Prepare your outside work, Make it fit for yourself in the field; And afterward build your house. I went by the field of the lazy man, And by the vineyard of the man devoid of understanding; thorns had come up everywhere, the ground was covered with weeds, and the stone wall was in ruins. I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw: A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest -- and poverty with come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man."
(Proverbs 24:3-5;6; 14; 27; 30-34).

Okay, first, let's state (what should be) the obvious: we're all imperfect. Meaning we all need lots of work to become a better -- not perfect -- person. This Bible passage, to me, can relate extremely well to the dating/marriage/all relationships. I've broken down the gist of the passage below:

1) You're Kind of Stupid
Sorry, it's true. In some sense or another, we're not smart. In every relationship, there are some sort of disagreements and what you have to do is talk it out. Everyone has to do it! Whether that's a sibling, boyfriend/girlfriend, mother/son, mother/daughter, father/son, father/daughter, friend, aunt, uncle, cousin, enemy, your mother-in-law (jk) -- you name it! -- no relationship is perfect; they all take work (granted, some relationships work better, but that's beside the point). The fact is: relationships take work. To make them work, you have to communicate, and the best way to communicate effectively, is to use God's principles. The best way to utilize God's principles is to love, "for the entire law is fulfilled" by keeping that command (Galatians 5:14). Therefore, gain wisdom to love, as the first few verses in Proverbs 24 lay out. They are the ones who will reap "rare and beautiful treasures."

2) Keep an Open Heart
As I established in point one, if you gain knowledge, you learn to be like Him. If you're loving others the way God calls us to, then you're becoming like Him (so good job! :) Now in this Proverbs passage, it says if we find God's wisdom, "there is a prospect, And your hope will not be cut off." Prospect can mean a candidate (maybe a future hubby or wife?) or a future. These can be used interchangeably and still give you hope either way! God will not cut us off from hope because we know He has a future and a potential special someone for us. But we have to be willing to let him impart His wisdom to us. I know, personally, I always set my mind on potential partners (because I'm a loser hahaha). But what God really wants me to do is just let Him be the matchmaker. So what's my job, if I'm not picking the person?

3) Prepare Yourself
How? Well, let's look back to the lovely Proverbs passage again :) It says we need to prepare the fields! ............ For some reason, I feel like I'm quoting some Lord of the Rings character haha. What does making yourself fit for the field, and afterward building your house mean? It's a simple concept, but a difficult task. Remember when you were proud of yourself for going off the tricycles? It feels like a big moment in your life. It's not easy, but after lots of practice, you succeed. The results are satisfying and exciting! By preparing a field for a house, it means preparing yourself as someone else's support. To lay the groundwork for crops, you have to fertilize your soil (not to be taken prevertedly lol); make sure the crops will have enough oxygen, sun, and rain; watch for pollution, etc. Then assembling a house takes a LOT of work (trust me, my family knows!). In other words, you can't expect to build a house (marry) if you can't even take care of your own crops (control yourself). God wants YOU to be ready before He even gives you an option worth endeavouring about.

4) Don't be Lazy
God doesn't like lazy people (Proverbs 10:4; Matthew 25:26; Hebrews 6:12). That should be enough reason to not be lazy. But it doesn't stop there. We can see that if we neglect the fields because we're lazy, then you'll (1) lack understanding, (2) grow unhealthy habits that are hard to uproot, and (3) eventually come to ruins, ending up with nothing [poverty -- aka, no special someone for you because you're not ready!]. Even when we are ready, we still have to handle the crops -- marriage isn't some special cure for your lonliness, problems, etc. That all starts with Jesus.

With these in mind, I hope that it helps you prepare for the person God wants you to be -- not even for the ones you love the most -- but GOD. If we love and trust Him, He will show us his plan and prospects. It may be nothing like we're expecting, but it's for our best. The Bible says, "An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips" (Proverbs 24:26). So, be honest with yourself: How do your fields look?

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