A Perfect Wife

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Proverbs 31:10-31

Psalm 1

James 3:13-4:3, 7-8a

Mark 9:30-37

 

A perfect wife—who can find her? She is far beyond the price of pearlsNJB Given no context, this passage suggests that wives can be all that is good, a useful quote for Mother’s Day or a wedding.

Nevertheless, the context is considerably more powerful. It is the opening of an alphabetic poem (21 Hebrew letters; Aleph to Shin) that concludes the book of Proverbs. In this poem, the perfect wife is the Messiah.

Notice that the wife always does what we know we should do. She is fair, does not complain, maintains a calm and peaceful attitude, and never puts herself first. She is much like the man of Psalm 1: Happy the man…who finds his pleasure in the Law of YahwehNJB

James stresses peace at the end of chapter 3. But the wisdom from above is, first of all, pure, then peaceful, kind, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. And peacemakers who sow seed in peace raise a harvest of righteousnessCJB It is good that he does because he opens the next chapter with war. Where do you think all these appalling wars and quarrels come from? MSG They are the result of all our little sins of lust, envy, sense of superiority, dislike, unconcern, and general uncaring about the other person.

Jesus states it plainly: Anyone wanting to be the greatest must be the least—the servant of all! TLB

As of this writing, the US has been involved in a two front war for 15 years, more than twice as long as any other major war. The question is often asked about most wars, could it have been prevented? The answer is Yes. But we are weak and foolish and we allow disagreements to blow up to full-fledged wars. And, I can only take care of my side of a conflict. If the other person wants to go to blows, there is little I can do to stop him. All I can do is defend myself.

 

Be righteous and do good.

Mike Lawrence

 

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