The Counsel of a Friend
Ointment and perfume delight the heart, and the sweetness of a
man's friend gives delight by hearty counsel. Proverbs 27:9
When I (David) was growing up, John Wayne was considered the archetypal American male. Strong, self-sufficient, and an independent thinker, he never admitted he needed anyone's help, least of all a woman's. In those days, these were the hallmarks of a "real man."
Well, let me put it in print for all the world to see: By John Wayne standards, I am not a real man. Why? Because I readily acknowledge that I want and need counsel from others, particularly (horror of horrors!) from my wife.
I thank God for the many times Teresa has given me her views on an issue or problem I was facing. I often need my wife's counsel because she sees things from a different perspective. She sees things in ways that I don't, and on literally hundreds of occasions that has made the difference between good and bad decisions on my part.
Spouses need one another's counsel simply because each marriage partner has the advantage of differing perspectives on an issue. Listening to what our spouse tells us about a problem is often one of the wisest ways to go about solving it.
Today's scripture reminds us that sound counsel—counsel based on the Word of God—is a gift of friendship. It is in God's design for friends to freely give and receive this kind of counsel. And there is no greater potential for that to happen than in the blessed friendship God has designed marriage to be.
So seek your spouse's counsel and offer yours. And when you receive that counsel, make good use of it. You need one another's wisdom daily.
In what areas of life could you use counsel from your spouse today?
God, help me listen to my spouse’s wise counsel, and help me offer him or her wise counsel in return.
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