Iron Sharpens Iron

26 02 2021

Prov_27-17_Horizontal_Web1_600x

Would like to know three secrets of our happy and blessed marriage of 53+ years? There are more reasons, but these three are non-negotiable: Faith, Equality, and Honesty. This post came out of a discussion Doreen and I had this Wednesday about this verse.

“As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.”  Proverbs 27:17

I always thought of that verse as “brother to brother” in a spiritual sense, which is true. But now I have seen a deeper meaning when it applies to the relationship of husband and wife. On the “brother” level, it certainly describes the value of  rubbing or sharpening off the rough edges between two believers. But, when applied to marriage, it is life and death. A blessed and successful marriage must embrace the “iron.” Doreen and I rejoiced to see this new understanding from the Lord on Wednesday. And just to make sure we “heard” the Holy Spirit, Doreen’s verse for the day popped up Thursday morning with Proverbs 27:17. How cool is that?

When we first started dating in October of 1964, at Berkshire Christian College, we sort of “stumbled” into three personal commitments that we now know were straight from the Throne of Heaven. We were married June 11, 1967 at the end of Israel’s Six Day War. These three foundation stones of our now nearly 56 years of friendship were laid during a few walks together in 1964.

  1. FAITH – Somehow, I am not even sure how it started, we began to say often: “You and me and Jesus.” We still say that in words and/or action virtually ever day since. We also say “I love you!” multiple times a day. We chose to make Jesus the most important One in our relationship, more important than each other.
  2. EQUALITY – From the beginning we saw the Ephesians order of relationships. Many study husband and wife starting with  Ephesians 5:23 about wives submitting to their husbands. However, to start there is a colossal error. The previous verse is the start point of our marriage: “submitting to one another in the fear of God.” We are equal before God. Jesus speaking through her has more authority than my own opinion, and Him speaking through me has more than hers. Once that is clear, we can proceed to the hierarchy of family structure that follows. It is in this functional equality that “iron sharpens iron.”  One of the first things that attracted me to Doreen was her strength of character and confidence is her beliefs. When we “discussed” anything it was with 100% conviction both ways and we still enjoy these free “discussions” today. We have never shrunk back from standing strong for our opinions. I value that highly in a person. How we reconcile the times we disagree is another story, but we started by agreeing to never go to bed mad.  “Be angry, and do not sin” Do not let the sun go down on your wrath.  Ephesians 4:26
  3. HONESTY – We had a third revelation on our walks. The armor of God in Ephesians 6 starts with: “Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth,” Ephesians 6:14  We mistakenly thought that referred to true doctrine, but it instead means honesty. Be honest. Tell the truth to one another. That is the preeminent piece of armor. If you don’t have truth, you are completely vulnerable to the enemy. On our second walk we vowed to be honest with each other. We even share our thoughts with each other when asked. Wow! That has been pure gold for a living relationship. Thank you, Jesus!

These three accidental vows have guided our marriage consistently. It helps that we had the godly examples of our own parents. My folks dated four years and were married 68 years. When Doreen and I celebrated 34 years, I turned to her and said: “Well, we are half way!” That long view is part of what I hope you get from these musings. One of my biggest heartbreaks is that we have not been better at helping others to find what we have found in our Jesus marriage. It is never too late. Follow Jesus!

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem and pray for Israel rain (and the March 23 election).

Les Lawrence, voice of Christian Zionists                      (Read more)





Romancing Jerusalem

4 07 2017

Les & Doreen June 2017

Light rail Jerusalem

There are those who warn about a romanticized view of Jerusalem, yet, it is possible to face the real threats of our day and still have a palpable love for this eternal capital.

Doreen and I have been here for almost three weeks celebrating our 50th anniversary, along with Jerusalem’s 50th. We love this city of God. We were wed one day after the Six Day War in 1967. We have been exceptionally blessed and are the first to admit it is far more than we deserve. Yet, we have tried to live with a measure of humility while setting an example of relational love. This is most obvious in a loving marriage, but it also available in all of our relationships.

The Kingdom of God is relational. This world keeps trying to make it religious and political. But Jesus warned quite sternly:

Then He charged them, saying, “Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.” Mark 8:15 NKJV

As they were crossing the lake, Jesus warned them, “Watch out! Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and of Herod.” Mark 8:15 NLT

The religious spirit is SELF-righteousness. The political spirit is SELF-interest. We certainly must beware of both.

Doreen and I have been living a dream of a marriage. Sometimes we are tempted to feel guilty for this blessing. Yet, we have learned one thing that may be an encouragement to those who have not been blessed with 50 years. We live each day and each year as if it was our last. We have always had a sense of the imminence of the Second Coming of Messiah Yeshua. But also, we have always been thankful for every single blessing in the present tense. From that we have reaped wonderful memories.

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Romans 1:20:21

Treasure your memories. This is our exhortation to those who feel you were slighted when God was blessing others. You have great memories of your own. Treasure them. Your memories may not be 50 years, but whatever the length, they are real. Remember them. Be thankful for them. If you have had a wonderful spouse, even for a short time, be thankful.

For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. We, however, will not boast beyond measure, but within the limits of the sphere which God appointed us—a sphere which especially includes you. 1 Corinthians 10:12-13

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!

Les Lawrence, Voice of Christian Zionists








<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: