Golf MIGHT Help Your Marriage



by David Lemmons

Once a month I get a free digital book on the basis of owning Logos Bible Software and being aware of the free offer. Sometimes they are of such little value to me that I don’t bother downloading them. This month, the free book is about communication in marriage. In this new book I read an interesting illustration which stresses the importance of good communication in marriage. The book is witten by Jay and Laura Laffoon, entitled: He Said. She Said: Eight Powerful Phrases that Will Strengthen Your Marriage. We will get to the illustration shortly. Unfortunately neither writer has yet discovered New Testament Christianity. For that reason, I could not give an unqualified endorsement of the book, but their golf illustration is worthy of remembering.

Before we consider the illustration, let’s be assured that the Bible has much to say about the great POWER of words!

If there is one chapter in Scripture that most could connect in their own minds to the proper use of words, that come from our “tongues,” it would likely be James 3. Consider James 3:5-6  Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!  (6)  And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.

In the Old Testament we have the especially practical and helpful section of Wisdom Literature. How much we can learn from these inspired proverbs and psalms that can bless our lives! Greatly stressed in this most helpful section of our Bibles is the value of proper communication.

Proverbs 18:21…  Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. Sutcliffe comments thus on this verse: “A good conversation is as ointment poured forth; while, on the contrary, sins in the heart lie concealed, but the tongue discloses them, and sets the world on fire; yea the fire of hell. The life of the body and the life of the soul lie therefore in the power of the tongue; and a man shall eat the fruit of it, whether it be bitter or sweet.” In the most undeniably critical use of words, the spread of the gospel, surely the wise man’s words in this verse ought to be cause for great rejoicing and intense effort. We have a saving message which must be communicated with words. Likewise, in the most critical human relationship (marriage), there are vitally serious consequences/blessings for the words used or not used.

Proverbs 13:3  He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction. One of the classic commentaries on Proverbs is written by Charles Bridges. On page 182 of his book, he writes of this proverb: “Keep thine heart (Proverbs 4.23). This guards the citadel. Keep thy mouth. This sets a watch at the gates. If they be well guarded, the city is safe. Leave them unprotected—Thus was Babylon taken.” Even such a mighty city as Babylon needed protecting walls with gates that were kept. The words that sometimes rush out UNKEPT lead to similar destruction in homes and marriages.

Psalms 139:4  For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether. The omniscience of God needs to be understood and appreciated by every soul. What if more husbands and wives would memorize this text, let it impact their lives, and respect its true meaning? I am totally convinced there would be fewer problems that inevitably come from poor communication in the home.

Now for the illustration. How might golf help your marriage? It seems that Jay Laffoon was talking with the golf pro at the course he uses about a fellow golf enthusiast. Jay was complimenting his friend, Scott Davis, regarding the size of the divots he produces. Evidently this is evidence of properly coming down on the golf ball. When a large clump of sod goes flying, you have struck the ball well.

The golf pro, Billy Watchtorn, began to talk about the crucial importance of replacing the divot immediately. If it is properly replaced, and done quickly, the ground will “heal” in as little as 24 hours. However, if one waits an hour to replace it, it can take up to a week for the ground to get back like it was. If a day passes before attempt is made to put it back into the ground, it becomes impossible for the root system to reattach.

Can you make your own application to the use of words spoken to your husband/wife? How many WORD “divots” do you allow to pass the point of being able to be restored? Let’s appreciate the words of Ephesians 4.26!


Less Hope than a Fool


Men with Less Hope Than a Fool

by Wade Webster

It is a terrible thing to be classified as a fool by God.  Through His word God warns that the fool will perish (Psalms 49:10), fall (Proverbs 10:8, 10), be put to shame (Proverbs 3:35), receive stripes (Proverbs 19:29), be afflicted (Psalms 107:17), and die (Proverbs 10:21).  All of these punishments make clear that God has “no pleasure in fools” (Ecclesiastes 5:4).  To be a fool is to be without hope.  Yet, Solomon points out two men who have even less hope than a fool.

The Man Who is Wise in His Own Eyes

Solomon wrote, “Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him”  (Proverbs 26:12).  Throughout the Bible, God warns man not to trust his own wisdom.  Earlier in Proverbs, Solomon wrote, “Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil” (Proverbs 3:7).  Isaiah declared, “Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!” (Isaiah 5:21).  In like manner, Paul penned, “Be of the same mind one toward another.  Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate.  Be not wise in your own conceits” (Romans 12:16).  One only has to remember the examples of Nadab & Abihu and the children of Israel to see the devastating effects of choosing one’s own way (Leviticus 10:1-3; Judges 17:6).  We must realize as Jeremiah did “that the way of man is not in himself” and that “it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps” (Jeremiah 10:23).  We must learn to cease from our own wisdom (Proverbs 23:4).  Likewise, we must learn not to think of ourselves more highly than we ought to think (Romans 12:3).  Unless we follow God’s wisdom and not our own, there is more hope for a fool than us.

The Man Who is Hasty in Words

Solomon wrote, “Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words? there is more hope of a fool than of him” (Proverbs 29:20).  The man that is hasty in his words is going to say many things that he ought not to say.  In the book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon wrote, “Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few” (Ecclesiastes 5:2).  Likewise, James wrote, “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath” (James 1:19).  The “heart of the righteous studieth to answer” that he might not sin with his mouth (Proverbs 15:28).  He realizes that the tongue has the power of “life and death” within it (Proverbs 18:21).  Although he realizes that the tongue can be controlled, he knows that he must never become over confident in his ability to control it (James 3:8).  He is careful not to be hasty with his tongue because he realizes that the man “that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life” (Proverbs 13:3).  He remembers that “every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment” (Matthew 12:36).  He knows that if he is hasty to speak, he will sin with his mouth, and that there will be more hope for a fool than for him.

How sad it is that many people in our world today have less hope of enjoying eternal life than a fool does.  As we have noticed, those who are trying to find their own way to heaven and those who are hasty with their mouths are worse off than a fool.  May men learn to forsake their own way, choose the Lord’s way, and to keep their mouths and their lives from evil.

Source: The Searcher, November 9, 2008.