Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Wisdom plays "Hard to Get"

The wisdom literature of the Bible pictures "Wisdom" as being like a virtuous, yet attractive woman that any red-blooded male should pursue with reckless abandon. She simultaneously both calls out in the street so as to be found and remains hard to find among a thousand. All at once she's the picture of every desire and yet stands in stark contrast to the "easy" slut. She speaks truth that convicts the conscience, yet clearly differs from the contentious nag. She's feminine, but not sultry; romantic, but not trashy; dignified, but not snobby; knowledgable, but not a "know-it-all;" sophisticated, but not "stuck up;" relatable, but not simple; devout, but not judgmental.

Wisdom is the ideal "woman" to pursue above all others.

Yet she is a mysterious and demanding maiden/matriarch. When asked for a date, she may turn down the first, second or even third attempts, yet seems eager to reward the determined "suitor." Casual "come-ons" will be turned down flat, but even the slightest interest shown in sincerity finds an enthusiastic dinner date. Wisdom is tough to figure out. She doesn't conform to most formulas men try to construct. The buttons we push that seemingly work for "wooing" her today may be met with a cold shoulder tomorrow. She's a tough nut to crack.

For this reason, many in our society often abandon the pursuit. Wisdom may stand on the street corner and rightly declare herself the only woman worth your time, but most still choose to wander away dejected because they couldn't figure her out. Saddened that they give up so easily, she entreats, "I'm not difficult... just more complex than the 'Barbie Dolls' you've been dating up to now." Nevertheless, for many, courting a woman of this quality, this renown, this beautiful, this articulate, this industrious, this virtuous and this devout is just too hard for them. They settle for something less, convincing themselves over time that they're happy with what they got.

All around me I see evidence that Wisdom has been bypassed. In political circles, the insights of the country's Founders is ignored in favor of present popular feelings. In relational circles, timeless principles of marriage are ignored in favor of fleeting individual desires. In religious circles, sound principles regarding life's diverse nuances are eclipsed by a simplistic list of arbitrary rules. Those who cannot tell the difference between the negative of 'situational ethics' and the positive of 'firm ethics applied according to the situation' reveal that "Wisdom" was just too intimidating to ask to the prom.

In our own home, people ask what 'method' we have employed in rearing our children. At this point in their life, our children's behavior is pleasing enough that this question arises frequently (Yes, we know this could change anytime; but up to now, they're pretty descent people). It's an awkward question to answer though, because we have never employed a 'system.' Classes for "Love and Logic," "Basic Youth Conflicts" or "Growing Kid's God's Way" never had any appeal to us. Instead, upon learning our first child was fast approaching, we prayed for wisdom; that 'she' would help us observe our children closely, interpret their needs and apply ourselves accordingly; that 'she' would grant us insight regarding those moments with our kids that the other 'systems' will never address or even think to teach about; that 'she' would remain in our home and perform her work shaping my wife and I as she supervised our kids' development. We courted "Wisdom" instead of dating lesser "tarts" of rules, lists and behavioral 'laws' not explicitly given by Divine revelation.

For Wisdom never conflicts with God's law given in Holy Scripture since she is sent from God to give life and rescue from folly. Wisdom knows God's Word on a matter, yet assists in the moment when the application of that Word is not otherwise obvious. Wisdom stands beside the one of innocent ears, bristling at the profanity emitting from the conversation companion and whispers in the ear, "Listen to what they're saying - not just how they're saying it." Wisdom leans in and assures, "There's much to enjoy that is not sin. Consider enjoying more the people you know than the rules you invent." Wisdom is attractive and beautiful, sending tingles down the spine as she utters softly in the ear the secrets of sound judgment. Her words hone one's skills and make the hands bear good fruit. Her influence brings prosperity instead of destruction, dignity instead of debasement, honor instead of shame, life instead of death.

Though it may seem like Wisdom plays "hard to get," she is nonetheless the only 'woman' fully worthy of a man's passion (she is, by far, the finest 'matchmaker' for young people as well as a wife's best friend). Wisdom is clothed in God's glory, perfumed by God's grace, groomed by God's perfection, speaking insights from God's Word. She is none other than the Spirit of God remaining the close companion every young person should be looking as their "first love."

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