DECEMBER 26

Follow the Instructions

The one who trusts in himself is a fool, but one who walks in wisdom will be safe. PROVERBS 28:26, HCSB

A number of years ago while Christmas shopping, we came across one of those wooden swing sets on sale. Dirt cheap. The kids were outspoken in their desire to have one, and Barbara and I caved in. So later that day I returned to the store—without the kids—and picked one up.

In the box.

It was Christmas Eve before I finally got both arms into that "some assembly required" project. For someone like me who is not a real whizbang working with my hands, it took hours to put together. Barbara frequently stood alongside, calming me down, helping me read and interpret the instructions, encouraging me every step of the way.

And it was worth it. It was the hit of Christmas Day.

Marriage is a lot like that swing set. Most of us get married and try to put the thing together without ever consulting the printed instructions. Or if we do check the Scriptures, we tend to select only those portions that we want our spouse to follow. And we ignore what the instructions tell us about our responsibility.

Marriage is hard work. And many people are making it more difficult by overlooking the fundamental truth that marriage is a spiritual institution designed by God for two imperfect people to be joined together in their dependence upon Him and each other. If each of you wants to be "one who walks in wisdom" (Proverbs 28:26), you cannot ignore His instructions on how you build and maintain a spiritual union.

DISCUSS

Describe what it's like living outside the Bible's teaching and influence. What are the benefits of building a marriage according to the divine instruction manual?

PRAY

Pray that God will instill in you a renewed craving for His Word, a hunger to read it, retain it, rehearse it through the day and apply it, both in your marriage and in your family.  

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