By Nancy Virden (c) 2020
A man whose name you have probably heard, married for love. His sweetheart soon suffered a violent and tragic death. In his rage, the now widower sought revenge and found it.
Several years later, he married a second time for love. Governmental leaders who hated him due to those previous events, bribed his new wife with 28 pounds of silver (close to $5000 in today’s market) times the number of men who each pledged the same. The hapless husband was thus betrayed and did not realize his fate for some time.
His wife has a famous name. Though she lived in the 1070s BC, it invokes ideas of sabotage and cruelty to this day. She nagged constantly until her husband gave up the secret that would cost him his eyes, and eventually his life.
Do you think you recognize this pitiful couple? I will tell you in a moment. First, let’s use their example to help us discover fine gold instead of settling for silver in our future meaningful and trustworthy friendships, marriages, and other relationships.
1 Take the time to study and know a person before offering your deepest self. It’s old-fashioned but practical; enjoy this person’s company while among friends and family. By creating opportunities to observe how this potential friend or spouse treats others, you will know to expect the same. Is this the type of person you want to invite into your life?
Proverbs 14:15-16 Only simpletons believe everything they’re told! The prudent carefully consider their steps. The wise are cautious and avoid danger; fools plunge ahead with reckless confidence.
2. Outside influences are inevitable. Strive to find men and women of character whose loyalties and boundaries are fair to you. Friends who gossip will tell on you. Superficial romantic partners will cheat on you. Greedy companions will choose money over your best interests. Be selective.
Psalm 101:5-7 I will not tolerate people who slander their neighbors. I will not endure conceit and pride. I will search for faithful people to be my companions.
3. Avoid allowing distress such as loneliness to guide your decisions. It is difficult waiting while building the healthiest of connections. Experience has proven a tough teacher for most of us; there is no greater loneliness than betrayal or neglect. Save the decision-making for after numbers 1 and 2 of this list are accomplished.
Proverbs 19:2 Enthusiasm without knowledge is no good; haste makes mistakes.
4. Develop your worthiness of such a good friend, business partner, or spouse. Healthy minded people are better equipped at spotting a fake. Earn the privilege of being someone’s trusted friend, mentor, partner, or love. Let your character shine by becoming the person who has the best interests of those you care about at heart.
Proverbs 11:30 The seeds of good deeds become a tree of life; a wise person wins friends.
What about the couple in our story? You do not want to end up like them, so be aware of the cautionary tale of Samson and Delilah.
Today’s Helpful Word
Proverbs 18:23-24 (NIV)
One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin,
but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Always the Fight Ministries (ATFM) has been displaying compassion for those fighting mental illness, addiction, or abuse since 2012. Nancy is the founder and voice of ATFM and openly shares her emotional resurrection from despair.
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NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional, and speak only from personal experiences and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.
If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. In the EU call 112. (For other international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!
*Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright (c) 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.., Carlo Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.