There is so much in Proverbs 21 that I simply can’t choose one verse!
First, Proverbs 21 gives not just one, but two warnings about living with a quarrelsome spouse:
Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife (Proverbs 21:9) and better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and nagging wife (Proverbs 21:19).
Of course, husbands can be just as quarrelsome as wives! (When Proverbs was written, men were primarily the gender that received religious instruction, hence the focus on wives.)
When you’re evaluating dates, do you pay attention to red flags that they might be quarrelsome? Are they the type of person who always has to be right, always has to have his/her way? Does he/she get into debates with their family members or with customer service people? Do they have a short temper?
I have a friend who is married to a quarrelsome man and arguments have been a sad characteristic of their marriage. The first time he yelled at her was right before they got engaged. From that point on, she felt locked in, even as it became more and more clear that the yelling and arguing was not going to stop, but only get worse. The Bible says that it is better to live on the corner of a house or in a desert than with a quarrelsome spouse!
Next, Proverbs 21:2 says “A person may think their own ways are right, but the Lord weighs the heart.”
Are you this person? Do you tend to follow your own advice rather than the wisdom of the Lord? In dating, this is so easy to do – we know that we should date someone who is also a believer, but heck, there aren’t that many of them out there! Maybe someone who is just spiritual is enough. Or, we know that we should be pure in our thoughts and actions, but man, being a virgin in your 30s feels so embarrassing and out of touch with our friends!
Throughout the Bible, humans supplant God’s teachings with their own wisdom – it’s nothing new. But beware – the Lord weighs our hearts and knows when we are making decisions out of obedience or rebellion. What he cares about, truly, is our hearts above our actions. Where is yours right now?
Last, the final verse in Proverbs 21 is perhaps the most profound:
The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the Lord.
You know, we can do everything that we can – and I encourage an active approach to dating and finding Mr. or Mrs. Right! – but at the end of the day, victory is from the Lord. Rest peacefully in that knowledge.
Join the conversation! Do any of these strike a chord in your life? Or what struck you from Proverbs 21!