There is a line in some marriage vows that goes this way, “ to love, to cherish, for better , for worse, in sickness and in health, for richer, for poorer, forsaking all others, to death do us part”. Does that really work in this culture? This is the part in the marriage covenant in which both woman and man promise exclusivity. There will be no intimate relationship with anyone else. That requires choices of acceptance and denial. I will remain faithful, loyal, and committed to my spouse. I will deny entrance of outside enticements. Why? Because I am in a mutually gratifying and increasingly intimate relationship with my spouse. It will work, if each person works it. So too, it is with God.
The meditation verse today speaks to that exclusivity and is relationship based, not merely behaviorally based. Read the context before going further (Proverbs 3:1-12). This setting is intimately a relationship one, no? Now listen to Proverbs 3:7 - Do not be wise in your own eyes. Fear the Lord and turn away from evil. The Message has it this way: Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to God! Run from evil. We tend to run into trouble when we think we have the ability to play with fire and not get burned. Or, to say it another way. We assume we know ourselves and the seductive process better than we do, insufficiently protect ourselves from it, and then suffer the devastating consequences, along with bringing those close to us in it. The protection is -because I am in a mutually gratifying relationship with God and my spouse, I will run to God and away from evil. What temptation are you facing that equates to “forsaking the one you chose instead of all others”?
Journal: Reflect on your experience and identify the times you felt lured away from your relationship for any length of time. How was your relationship at the time? Open, honest, authentic? Distant, deceptive, secretive? Bland?