Wisdom in Relationships - Part II
Last Sunday we talked about “Wisdom in Marriage” looking at Proverbs 5. You can watch it here.
A question that I have received several times since Sunday:
“How could Solomon give advice to his son to only have one wife, when Solomon himself was recorded to have over 700+ wives?!”
This is an excellent question! In fact, it was a question I was meaning to address within my message on Sunday and somehow, I skipped right over this point in my notes as I preached! There are a couple of possible answers to this question of Solomon’s hypocrisy. One, it is possible that Solomon wrote this book towards the end of his life and is instructing his son in Proverbs 5 not to follow the same destructive path that he chose to go on. In 1 Kings 11, Solomon’s sinful sexual choices are commented on, “In this way, Solomon did what was evil in the Lord’s sight; he refused to follow the Lord completely…” (1 Kings 11:6 – NLT). Proverbs 5 could be Solomon’s attempt to steer his son away from the same sinful choices.
A second possible scenario is Solomon wrote Proverbs 5 with earnest conviction before compromising in marriage. Sadly, this conviction would be abandoned as Solomon grew older. A third possible answer is Solomon, in Proverbs 5, is giving his son wise advice, but advice that he either doesn’t take seriously for himself or somehow has deceived himself that he is an exception to the rule.
Any of these 3 scenarios don’t exonerate Solomon. King Solomon’s only hope for restoration, healing, and forgiveness from God for his sexual sin, is also the only hope we have for restoration, healing, and forgiveness from our own sin. It's the grace of God seen as a foreshadow in the sacrificial system of Solomon's time and in the ultimate sacrifice of the "Lamb of God" and cleansing work of the “Living Water" - Jesus Christ!
In John 4, Jesus addresses a woman who is stuck in the chains of sexual sin. He gently but truthfully calls her out on her sin, but then offers the hope that he is the “living water.” Interestingly, Jesus uses the metaphor of water with the woman just as Proverbs 5 had done. But the “water” Jesus gives satisfies our true thirst and our true need to be cleansed from sin. In John 7, Jesus says it like this, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! Anyone who believes in me may come and drink!” (John 7:37-38 – NLT).
Last Sunday night, in our second Wisdom Lecture of the summer, we had Dr. Chris Grace, the Director of Biola’s Center for Marriage and Relationships share with us. It was so good! Dr. Grace talked about how to grow in emotional and spiritual intimacy with your spouse. He gave us the simple but profound encouragement to “be interested rather than interesting” and “understand rather work to be understood.” And he contrasted a Marriage with 2 Christians vs. a Christ-centered marriage:
Marriage with 2 Christians
- Jesus is valued
- You are here for me (self-focused)
- Conditional love (contract)
- I Focus on Me and You
- I Hear You
- I Want to be Understood
- I Want to be Served
- I Assume the Worst
- I Pray Periodically
- Individual Spirituality
- Lord, Change Him/Her
- Jesus is Lord
- I Am Here for You
- Unconditional Love (covenant)
- I Focus on Us
- I Listen to You
- I Chose to Understand
- I Seek Opportunities to Serve
- I Assume the Best
- I Pray Without Ceasing
- Shared Spirituality
- Lord, Change Me
Dr. Grace also shared a great resource he and his wife Alisa have created to help couples and families: 32 Questions to Grow Together Spiritually. I encourage you to check that out. There are also a couple of episodes from their Art of Relationship Podcast that connect to the topics shared in Sunday's Wisdom Lecture:
This coming Sunday, we will shift our attention from the marriage relationship to looking at our need for friendship relationships and connection with others (Proverbs 27:17). Our own Doug Brown, former high school pastor at Calvary and current church member, who along with his wife Jesse lead the non-profit Uniquely Knitted, will be our guest speaker for this key teaching in the book of Proverbs. We look forward to seeing you this Sunday at 9:00 am at Calvary!
Also – Be praying for our 200+ 6th-12th grade students and adult volunteers up at Hume Lake this week. They return on Saturday and we ask you to join in on praying for God to soften and grow minds and hearts for Jesus this week!