Jump Start # 2137
Song of Solomon 2:15 “Catch the foxes for us, the little foxes that are ruining the vineyards while our vineyards are in blossom.”
I’ve got a fox in my neighborhood. Its been hanging around my house. There are little foxes not far from us and I expect this is mama, out looking for food. This fox doesn’t stick around very long. She’s fast. All of this reminded me of our verse today, “Catching the foxes.” The natural setting of the passage tells us that the young foxes were tearing up the vineyards and ruining the blooms. In time, the harvest would be less than expected. All because of these foxes. But this passage isn’t about farming or harvesting grapes. It’s not about hunting or trapping foxes. It’s about marriage. In the context, the foxes were ruining the marriage. Catch the foxes! Save the marriage.
There are many myths about marriage. Some of these are harmful because they are misleading.
Myth One: everyone is supposed to get married. Most do, but marriage isn’t for everyone. It’s better to be single than to be in a sorry marriage. Some can’t leave father or mother, so they should never marry. Being single is not a curse. It does not mean that someone is gay. And, it shouldn’t be pushed upon a person. I remember, as a young single preacher, being invited to people’s homes and there was always an empty seat right beside me. Someone’s sister, niece, cousin, was coming and the host was doing their best to set me up. Not comfortable and not pleasant. It’s ok to be single. There are opportunities in the kingdom that are so much easier for a single person than someone who has a family at home.
Myth Two: Marriage is about finding the right person. There is a bit of truth to this, but actually marriage is more about being the right person. I met someone a while back. They just ended their third marriage. Her response to me was, “I just don’t pick good ones. I guess my picker isn’t working.” Could be a person is looking for the wrong things. Spirituality, godliness and a love for the Lord ought to be near the top of the chart. If it’s not, your picker may not be working well. The right person is concerned about helping you get to Heaven. Anyone not interested in that, isn’t the right person.
Myth Three: Marriage is supposed to make me happy. Again, there is some truth in this, but that’s not the goal of marriage. We don’t refer to marriage as “Holy Happiness.” Rather, it’s “Holy Matrimony.” Marriage is about honoring God. It’s about helping another get to Heaven. It’s about pleasing and serving another. When two people truly love each other and have their sights set on Heaven, happiness will come. My happiness sounds rather selfish and self centered. So, if that’s the foundation of a marriage, when the happiness goes, so goes the reason to be married. And, if someone else can make me more happy, then there is no reason to stay in the current marriage. That’s the problem with most marriages today. They begin with the wrong premise and it’s all about self.
Myth Four: Men cannot understand women. There are a lot of jokes about this. However, Peter told husbands to live with their wives in an understanding way. Something was to be understood. Sometimes us guys just don’t want to try very hard. We expect our wives to act like we do, and they don’t. You didn’t marry yourself. You married someone different than you are. Her perspective, insight and concerns are something that you need to listen to and understand.
Now, how do we catch those foxes that want to ruin things?
Start with having an attitude and a spirit like Jesus. Choose to think the best instead of the worst. Choose grace instead of expecting perfection. Choose forgiveness instead of holding grudges. Choose what God wants instead of what Satan wants. Attitude is a choice. Sour, negative, complaining spirits only open the gates for the foxes to come in. We can’t change the weather. And, we can’t change others. But we can change our attitudes. Foxes won’t find any room where there is love, forgiveness, patience and grace abounding. You want to drive out the foxes that are tearing up your marriage, begin by acting like Jesus.
Next, chase away the things that hurt your marriage. Accept God’s standard of morality. Maintain a proper relationship with others. Don’t flirt with someone you are not married to. Don’t spend time alone with someone of the opposite sex unless it’s your mother. Manage your mind. Be in control of your thoughts. Recognize the little ways Satan tries to work in impure thoughts. Help each other be pure. Be strong spiritually. Feed your faith. Worship together. Discuss spiritual things together. Pulling you away from Christ, is just an easy way for the fox to crawl under the fence and attack your marriage. Don’t be weak, be strong. Challenge each other spiritually. Help each other grow. The fox can’t stand to be around the Lord. The closer you both are to the Lord, the less likely the fox will show up.
Then, develop a support team at home. Be open, transparent with each other. No secrets. No hiding texts, emails or things like that. Pray with each other and pray for each other. View your mate as one of your greatest helps in keeping your marriage strong, pure and honoring God. Speak well to each other and about each other. Be glad you are married. Count it as one of your greatest blessings.
Catch those foxes. They are ruining things. It’s up to each of us to do this. The church can’t. Your family can’t. Just you and your mate.
No foxes allowed!