Proverbs 27:17 - Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend [to show rage or worthy purpose].
Proverbs 31:10-11a - A capable, intelligent, and virtuous woman--who is he who can find her? She is far more precious than jewels and her value is far above rubies or pearls. The heart of her husband trusts in her confidently....
Clanging swords and metal sparking sounds as you see two warriors sparring in and out of the forest trees. Their moves smooth, swift, planned. Until but a second delay and the opponent is found on the wet foliage with his life out of his hands, he has lost today's battle. It was a good thing it was only practice. His friend helps him to his feet, sharpened just a bit more by the consistent training.
As I read today in Proverbs 27, it talked a great deal about friends & enemies but I could not help but be drawn back to the familiar verse in verse seventeen. Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend. I believe when couples get married, one thing many long for marriage to be is an eternal friendship. To be able to say we are married to our best friend, who sees us in our good and in our bad. To be married to the friend who can finish our sentence where we left off, or know our thoughts without words coming out. For women, I believe we desire to be married to someone who 'completes' us, obviously without taking the place of the One who ultimately fulfills us. No man or woman can bring fulfillment like having a relationship with our heavenly Father, and when we begin to put that expectation on our spouse, we are often disappointed, but isn't it nice that God designed man & woman to come together and be one?! That ultimately the design was for us to be "iron sharpeners" for each other.
Reading in Proverbs 31:10, a question was posed in the first sentence. In essence, who is he who can find this virtuous woman? HE. Who is the MAN who can find this amazing, godly & virtuous woman? This woman who does excel all other women? It tells us of her worth, how precious she is, her worth & great value.
Who is HE who can find her? How can this godly man ultimately find the woman who was made to complete him? I believe verse 11 gives us a clue into how he finds her.... by his heart. As believers today, when we accept the Lord Jesus as our Savior, the Holy Spirit becomes our guide. I believe that this man of god is led & directed. His diligence to the Lord, draws him to this woman who will ultimately be his "one."
Like many places in Proverbs that talks of hidden treasure and having to search for it, Proverbs 31:10 also bears the same characteristics of value. This woman, this jewel, is like a treasure. Because of her faithfulness to the Lord and his calling on her life, she will be searched out! Her love for the Lord causes her to be that jewel, that treasure. She is far more precious than jewels. In the Hebrew, the word "far" breaks down to: remote, far, distant, distant lands, distant ones. To "find" is defined as: to find, secure, acquire, to get the thing sought, to be found, to be recognized. The Proverbs 31 man, RECOGNIZES what he is looking for when he finds it. The qualities that he has sought after and searched for are obvious when he finally comes across this virtuous woman.
And... how appropriate, that until death do they part, they can be iron sharpeners for each other. I know in my own relationship with Tyler, he is most definitely an iron sharpener in my life! He sharpens me by asking me questions, by challenging me. He sharpens me by loving & comforting me when I need it. He sharpens me by the encouragement that he gives me to pursue the unique gifts God has given me. He sharpens me by prodding me to follow the Holy Spirit even when it may not seem to make sense to the world. He sharpens me by spending quality time with me when he knows I need it. He sharpens me by his first love & devotion to the Lord. His continual pursuit of growth sharpens me.
Tyler McCart is truly my best friend. He is my iron sharpener. For that, I am thankful!
I'd love to hear from you! In what specific ways do you sharpen your spouse? How does your spouse sharpen you?
*Picture used with permission. For handmade swords, shields and products of the like, contact Tim at Forged in Time. Their website is informative about the historical background of Medieval weapons and the theme/graphics of the site draw you in to want to learn more!