Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Proverbs: Tend your walls!

More grim news on the marital front.

I'd love to get away from this and paint pictures of pastel posies, but that's not what's happening in the world. Really, the entire purpose for starting this blog is for it to remind husbands that we are in a war. There is a very real enemy who wants to see you destroyed and neutralized in your relationship with God. One of the greatest ways to cripple you and destroy your testimony is to blow your marriage to smithereens. Consider these posts a bit of a STATREP (status report) on what's happening along the front and a tactics brief for countering the enemy wiles. Some grim markers today:
  • The general:  Baby-boomers are now divorcing at higher rates. Joy. That's older folks in longer marriages bit by bit putting their relationship with their spouse through the shredder. The dismal report here.
  • The closer-to-home: My bride is friends with a woman who shared that two couples she was close to ended their marriage. Both had been married for more than twenty years.
As our culture dismantles marriage one thread at a time, it becomes easier and easier for us to give in to the entropy and let our relationship with our woman erode like a sandcastle before the tide. Which brings me to the Proverbs.

It seems that every year I head back to the Proverbs for a season, starting on the first of the month and reading one of the thirty chapters each day for the entirety of the month, and then as the calendar page turns, I start again the next month. Usually, I'll do this for three months running because their is so much treasure in the Proverbs. I want these little nuggets to become part of the fabric of my being. Today's chapter ended with a crucial brick for establishing a marriage's foundation.

A man without self-control
is like a city broken into
and left without walls. 

~ Proverbs 25:28

Once again, brothers, the issue begins in the heart of the man in the mirror. There can be no success without self-control. Discipline. Going the right way. Doing the right thing. Speaking the right words. And really, you know this full well, if you don't administer discipline yourself, it will eventually be imposed upon you either from the world (1 Peter 2:13-14, Romans 13:4) or perhaps a friend (Proverbs 25:12, 27:17). In either case, discipline comes at God's hand (Hebrews 12:4-11).

If we do not maintain consistent discipline in our lives, like termites in our beams, the walls begin to be eaten from the inside out and often completely unseen.
  • Will you repeat that ribald joke?
  • Will you take a second look at the co-ed you passed in the mall?
  • Will you see where that enticing link will take you?
  • Will you let the words fly from the bow string of your lips deep into the heart of your wife in a moment of anger and frustration?
  • Will you take those dollars because no one will know, no one will see?
The warnings of Scripture abound. Truly, we are without excuse for the things that bring us down. As Rome was not built in a day, neither did it's demise come like lightning. The decay and rot takes root in a moment and grows and infects over weeks, months and years. Soon, the walls fall with nary a breeze.

Will we exercise the courage to say "No" or exhibit our love for God by fleeing when necessary?

Husbands, what have you entertained? Where have you not exercised needful self-control? Repent. Now. Only God can provide the strength and cleansing to rid your castle of the rot and the termites that have done their damage. Only he can restore our walls (1 John 1:9). Then, as you go through this day, choose to serve your Lord with each of your decisions. 
    Glorify him in your work. 
    Glorify him in your living room.
    Glorify him in your church. 
    Glorify him in your bedroom. 
    Glorify him at your keyboard. 
    Glorify him on the highway and in the mall.
    Glorify him with your children.
    Glorify him with your friends.
    Glorify him with your wife.
One great way to be a man of self control is to feed upon the Proverbs. As June draws to a close and July kicks off, would you consider reading a chapter of Proverbs each day through July and August, really letting God speak to you on issues of finance, marriage, work, parenting, the tongue, anger, etc.?

Open your ears to hear. Be a man of self-control so that the walls of your marriage will withstand the onslaught of the enemy and your castle will thereby bring honor and glory to God.

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