Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Christ in the Proverbs: Proverbs 19:13

Proverbs 19:13
A foolish son is ruin to his father,
    and a wife's quarreling is a continual dripping of rain.

I think it is true to say in most men's experience their closest male attachment is to their father, and their closest female attachment is to their wife.  A foolish son is a great sadness to a wise father, and in biblical times it could leave him without someone to care for him in his old age.  A quarreling wife is the result of the woman's tendency after the fall to control or rule over her husband (Genesis 3:16).  Left unchecked by grace in a wife's heart, this leads to anything but intimacy.

How do we move from the literal meaning of this proverb to its Christological meaning?  Jesus taught us that the Scriptures are about him (for example, John 5:39-40 and Luke 24:25-27).  Augustine taught us this meant that the Scriptures are about the whole Christ---both the head (Christ) and his body (his people).  With that in mind, in this proverb line one speaks of Christ, the all wise Son of his Father.  Line two speaks of Christ's body, his wife the church.   

As the eternal Son who took to himself our human nature, Jesus always did the things that pleased his Father.  He came to do the Father's will (Psalm 40:8), and he accomplished his will by perfect obedience that found its highest culmination in the cross (Philippians 2:6-11).  At the cross God's Son spread his arms wide to embrace his wife, paying the price necessary to bring her to himself.

As his church, united to him by bonds of faith, love, and the Spirit, a meek and quiet spirit is fitting for us.  Just as the woman's body is designed to be receptive, so we are to be receptive to our heavenly Husband, receiving the implanted seed of his Word, so that we might bring forth spiritual life and fruitfulness.  May the Holy Spirit cause us to give up our sinful desire to control and rule our Husband, but rather may we seek a meek and receptive heart that learns from the Son our soul has come to love.
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