Proverbs 24 4-24-18

Kind words, kind deeds, and quality time are necessary ingredients for healthy relationships.

Proverbs 24:30-34 I went past the field of the sluggard, past the vineyard of the man who lacks judgment;

[31] thorns had come up everywhere, the ground was covered with weeds, and the stone wall was in ruins.

[32] I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw:

[33] A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest—[34] and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man.

Most of the time I apply this passage to our quiet time with the Lord, but today we will expand it to all relationships. Most failed marriages happen over time rather than all at once. There may be an event that triggers the divorce, but usually the relationship was in deep trouble long before that event occurred. Friendships work the same way: it takes time and effort along with cultivation to keep the garden of relationships healthy. We must never assume that things are fine. In fact, if that thought comes to us, we had better recognize it as the enemy and FIND OUT if things really are fine!

Calendars are great for keeping up with people with birthdays and anniversaries written on them. Prayer cards with family and friends on them are a solid way to remember loved ones in prayer. Many times, I am prompted while praying through my cards to contact someone with whom I have lost touch or something major has happened in their lives.

Let’s not allow the vineyards of our relationships to ruin. Let’s “apply our hearts” to this word of wisdom from Solomon and these words from Paul:

Romans 12:10-18 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. [11] Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. [12] Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. [13] Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

[14] Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. [15] Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. [16] Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.

[17] Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody [according to the Word]. [18] If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

NOTE: Your relationship with your spouse takes precedence over all others. Men, love your wives with kind words and loving actions. Wives, respect your husbands and speak to them accordingly. Your words (and actions) will bring about the fruit deserving of the tone and intent. Just sayin…

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