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Seeking Wisdom, Day 5 -Mate for Life

February 1, 2016

Swans mate for life. I believe they must be among the happier birds. Humans could take wisdom from them.

In Proverbs 5, Solomon seems worried that his sons will follow the path of the unrighteous, a concern shared by many parents. “For the Lord sees clearly what a man does. An evil man is held captive by his own sins …they are ropes that catch and hold him. He will die for lack of self-control because of his own foolishness.” 5:21-23

This admonishment comes with a stern warning that, although the lips of an immoral woman taste sweet, she is as bitter as poison and as dangerous as a two-edged sword. He advises his son to stay away or he will lose honor and wealth. “You will groan in anguish as disease consumes your body.”

Solomon warns against adultery. “Drink water from your own well. Share your love with your wife. Don’t have sex with just anyone.” Was any father so wise? He could have issued the same warnings to his daughters, but I believe girls were more carefully guarded by the family against such temptations in Solomon’s time.

Perhaps in our time, we need to re-read Proverbs. The warnings are specific, but the repercussions from ignoring them are horrific. We see people who do not choose their mates wisely, nor stay committed to the spouses they choose, and divorce rates escalate, causing chaos in the families. Humans are social animals, and society requires strong families.

In August my husband and I will celebrate 60 years of marriage, a big deal. It is the result of some compromises, but a marriage is based on trust and fidelity. I don’t believe, when we made our choices and chose each other, we were aware of the length of a lifetime and the importance of this commitment. Choices have consequences, but like the swans, we were able to glide on smooth marital waters together.

On a lighter vein—

When our daughter was little, she liked her meat cooked well. At a barbecue, she picked the largest hamburger on the grill. I could see it was not well done, and tried to get her to choose another patty, but she insisted, “That one,” and bit into it. When a little blood appeared, she began to fuss in front of her grandparents. “Well,” I scolded, “you chose it.” Her grandmother thought I was being too harsh, but my daughter got the not-too-well hidden message. Some things you cannot take back.

It’s never too soon to learn some truths. The Dutch say, “Too soon oldt, too late schmart.” Even as children, before we make the really tough decisions, we need to consider possible results. Fortunately our daughter has made many excellent choices.

Solomon set parameters for his sons. I wonder if they heeded his counsel.






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