“Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still; teach the righteous and they will add to their learning.” Proverbs 9:9
When I was in my early twenties, a friend of mine became engaged. She walked on clouds, believing her fiance was the absolute finest man God had ever created. Despite what others told her, she placed her soon to be husband on a pedestal and refused to take him off. Her bridal shower came and every gift brought true joy. She would use these pans to cook Mr. Wonderful his dinner. These towels would be perfect for after Super Man’s shower. This candle’s scent would be a relaxing greeting when Prince Charming came through the door every night after work. Those of us in attendance at the shower couldn’t help but smile at her enthusiasm as she dreamed of setting up her new household. On the day of her wedding, my friend glowed. Her dreams were about to come true! The day was perfect and everything was as it should be. She couldn’t stop smiling. I remember waving goodbye as my friend pulled out of the reception hall driveway and headed off to her romantic honeymoon. I was still single so I remember thinking: Some day, I want to be this happy and have my day be this perfect.
Two weeks later, I headed to church 20 minutes early just so we would have a few minutes to see each other before the service started. I couldn’t wait to hear honeymoon stories and hear all about the new apartment set up. I waited and waited in the vestibule but she didn’t come. When she finally did arrive two minutes after the service started, I was surprised. She slid into our normal pew beside me and didn’t even make eye contact. The perfect bouncy curls were gone. Instead she had wet, uncombed locks hanging down her back. The normal trendy jean skirt and fitted shirt were missing and in their place, she wore a wrinkled T-shirt and old jeans. She never even glanced my way. She focused intently on the preacher and ignored everyone else. Not one hint of a smile peeped through her pursed lips. Her husband on the other hand entered the pew behind her and greeted several of the other young people sitting around us. He seemed oblivious to his new wife’s changes and smiled at everyone, reaching out to shake hands and chuckle at newlywed jokes.
I have to say, I didn’t hear one word the preacher said that Sunday. I kept surreptitiously stealing glances at my friend. Was this the same woman who had giggled, smiled and blushed non stop just two weeks before? What happened?!
In just a few days, my friend had found out that marriage is not easy. As soon as church was over, the groom disappeared with his friends and we were left alone.
“I haven’t slept in two weeks. He snores. And he shaves and leaves the mess for me to clean. He doesn’t pick up his dirty clothes, and boys stink so bad.” Tears slipped down her cheeks as she continued her tirade without taking a single breath. “He doesn’t appreciate me, and he expects me to keep the apartment like his mom kept their house. She doesn’t work and has been married 25+ years. I work and I’m just learning. Why didn’t anyone tell me marriage would be hard?”
I felt sorry for my friend who’s fairy tale had been so abruptly shattered. It wasn’t that no one told her. She just wouldn’t listen. I remember the warnings that the preacher’s wife, youth leader’s wife, and other women had given. But they fell on deaf ears. She ignored this advice in Proverbs 9:9, “Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still; teach the righteous and they will add to their learning.” My poor friend failed to learn this lesson, and she paid the consequences.
“Lord, in our daily walk with you, I pray that you would grow in us teachable spirits. May we hear the wisdom of others and apply it to our lives. May we be trainable, approachable and willing to listen. Please place the right advisers in our paths and guide them in the advise they give to us. And when we do fall short of this high calling of teachability, may we learn from our mistakes. Amen.”
What about you? When has NOT listening to other people’s advice landed you in hot water?