Proverbs in 365 Devotions
Proverbs 21:9 It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.
Best Is Better Than Better
You know, like today's text says, some things in life are just better than others.
Eating wholesome food is better than eating junk food. Being active is better than being a couch potato. Maybe you’ve heard the saying: Better late than never… but I don't know… never might be better if it came to… jail time… or your own hanging…
Anyway; all these better than statements have a context to them… and we must be careful not to interpret them to our own liking's.
Ecclesiastes 7 has a number of better than type proverbs… Ill read a few from Ecclesiastes 7 and notice how each has a context and if interpreted wrongly they send a bad message. Then we’ll come back to today's verse.
Ecclesiastes 7:1 A good name is better than precious ointment, and the day of death than the day of birth.
Notice how someone who was suicidal could read this wrongly.
2 It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting, for this is the end of all mankind, and the living will lay it to heart. 3 Sorrow is better than laughter, for by sadness of face the heart is made glad.
These all have context that must be addressed in understanding them.
So to find the context we might ask questions about the statement like how and why… in what way is something better than another. With today's verse… for example what is the context… Or how is it better to live in an attic than with a quarrelsome woman? And what does Solomon want his sons to do if they are ever in this situation? If I remember correctly a Pastor told me he counseled someone for marriage and the man used this verse to support him getting a divorce. Solomon is not saying that.
There must be some context to it right?
Proverbs 17:1 says: Better is a dry morsel with quiet than a house full of feasting with strife.
Now, if your house is full of strive does God want you to leave your spouse and your children and go somewhere quiet and eat dry bread crumbs? Of course not… Although that would be better in some way God wants us to go for the greater and even better way… That is to work for a home where your family can dwell together in unity and love and peace.
Its the same with today's verse… Solomon is not advocating divorce.
When a spouse is being quarrelsome we would rather be somewhere else right? And the truth is that until there is a softening of hearts… until doors begin to open or even cracks begin to be seen through… there are times when it is better to leave the room or take a walk or even sleep in the guest room or garage… But not to give up. Solomon is not saying that. And w cannot let the problem lie dormant. Just as we must address the sin in our own life and not let it fester, we must address it in our own homes but it is imperative that we do it with love.
Well, peace in a home is a good thing we would all agree… But when there is not peace in the home it has to be addressed right? There are issues that must be resolved for there to be peace…
We know divorce is not Gods plan for us… Even when there is much difficulty and sin is present… which there always is on all sides… divorce is not the first or even the second option for us. Still, as a last resort… and realizing it takes both parties agreeing to stay together it may be necessary. Work for the good our your spouse and your family and to glorify God and not towards our own self centeredness.
Consider that even for yourself to stay in a difficult marriage may be one of the greatest gifts you will ever receive. Some of the great preachers of old had difficult marriages.. This kind of strife can drive us to our knees… it can draw us closer to God than we have ever been… it can lead us to love his word more than ever before… It can point us to the greatest peace and satisfaction and joy we have ever known in the Lord.
Falling out of love is not an acceptable reason to divorce. You know, although there are different kinds of love, they all have intentionality associated with them. We all choose to love others. We can choose to love someone as a friend even if they don’t think of us that way. You can choose to love someone like your own child or choose to disown them.
Last year while in India where there are 1.35 billion people (one out of 6 people in the world live there), I learned that divorce was scarce in their country… not only that but most marriages are still arranged by parents of both sets of spouses and many time the two who will be married have never met at all… And yet they choose to love one another… they work out their issues and have families… and stay together. So no I'm not saying everything is good in these peoples lives broken by sin like we all are… Most of them have not even heard the fullness of the Gospel how Jesus is good news for their brokenness.. I'm just saying that if they can abide together with marital love one for another how much more so if even one of the spouses know the Lord in America.
Don't let satan tell you who you can and cannot love. Don't agree with satan when he tells you to give up on your marriage. Gods word even tells us to love our enemies… and that need not be your spouse. Work towards righteousness and peace.
1st Corinthians 7 sheds some good light on discernment for these things.