I Will Be Here
October 5, 2021
Friends love through all kinds of weather, and families stick together in all kinds of trouble. Proverbs 17:17 MSG
Do you ever read the Bible and shake your head and say, “What??” If we are honest, we all do sometimes. The collection of proverbs, mostly from Solomon, the wise king, are like that. They seem to be conflicting at various points because they address many aspects of life with different perspectives. For instance, one proverb will say to be patient and gentle with your son, and in another place says if you “spare the rod (physical discipline) you will spoil the child” (Proverbs 13:24). We can assume he was thinking of different situations demanding a different response.
Another reason we might wonder is that in many places the writer states the ideal, the aspirational value, as if it is already so. This is the case in Proverbs 17:17. The historical record shows that Solomon himself had friends who cut and ran when they disagreed or changed priorities. They didn’t love him through all kinds of weather. He knew his own biological family didn’t stick together through all kinds of trouble. Solomon had half-brothers who hated each other so much they killed each other, and his father David and half-brother Absalom warred with actual soldiers with each other. Absalom was killed by one of his father’s soldiers, even though David had ordered him not to be killed. So much for automatic loyalty.
However, Solomon is saying (from his own experiences, I am sure), “This is the way it OUGHT to be. This is what was intended.” Can’t you imagine the security and ability to thrive in such relationships? I hope you have it already—if not, get started! Declare and live your own loyalty.
Some people are fearful of this kind of love and loyalty. I was counseling a young woman who was engaged to a fine young man, and we were setting up pre-marital counseling. In this one-on-one counseling session, she divulged, “I keep him guessing. I keep him on his toes. I want him to work hard because he knows he could lose me at any minute.”
I was staggered and told her, “Oh, honey! We really need these appointments! That will never work as you hope. If you want him to love you beyond expression, he has to feel safe with you. He has to trust that you will be there.”
Every pair of eyes you look into this week needs the lasting love and loyalty through all kinds of trouble that says, “I’m here, no matter what.” Make sure every child you have is hearing and seeing with regularity, “When the whole world goes away, I will still be here for you—NO MATTER WHAT.”
- Jesus, help me love to the death—like You.