When Aaron and I decided to get married, my parents did something pretty amazing. They got us a pre-wedding gift. It wasn’t anything wrapped up in paper and bows. In fact, it was the kind of gift that caused a few tears and even a little tension between myself and my future mate. They paid for pre-marital counseling.
When you first fall in love, it’s difficult to imagine ever being supremely disappointed in the other person or imagining that there might be an obstacle that you can’t overcome simply by staring into each other’s eyes. This of course, is exactly why pre-marriage counseling exists. To have another person, an outside party, ask you some hard questions and give you the tools you’ll need to prepare for the challenging, and also mundane, days that life will inevitably offer you.
When I think back to the weeks that Aaron and I sat together in a counselor’s office, answering difficult questions, discussing expectations, recounting the family atmosphere and parenting styles we had grown up in, I realize just how important that time and those conversations were. There were things we shared with each other early on that we probably wouldn’t have offered up on our own. We made decisions, declarations really, of what was going to be most important to us as a couple and what we were going to value. We were coming together to strategically set the course for our marriage and, ultimately, for the rest of our lives.
Proverbs 11:14 says, “Without good direction, people lose their way; the more wise counsel you follow, the better your chances.” (MSG)
Honestly, who doesn’t want to better their chances? We all do. In our marriages, our friendships, our careers, our parenting, our faith journey, our lives, to flourish.
Notice this verse says “Without good direction…”(emphasis mine). We don’t just need direction. We need good direction. After all, the world is constantly offering up advice as to how we should spend our money, time & resources. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good. We don’t need direction from just anybody. We need good direction & wise counsel. Christian counselors, pastors, and trusted friends are all great sources to receive wise counsel from BUT we have an even greater source to turn to. We have the Holy Spirit, our ultimate counselor. According to Isaiah chapter 9, one of God’s names is Wonderful Counselor.
In John, chapter 14:16-17, Jesus promises the Holy Spirit. “And I will ask the Father and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit who leads into all truth.” Verse 26 says, “But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative–that is, the Holy Spirit–he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.” (NLT)
Jesus is talking to his disciples in this chapter, preparing them for what is to come. He knows that he is leaving them soon and that the gift of the Holy Spirit will come. These verses show us three distinct ways that the Holy Spirit can help us. First, the Holy Spirit will lead us into all truth. Second, he will teach us. And lastly, he will remind us of everything Jesus has spoken.
Romans 8:26 also says the Holy Spirit helps our weakness. “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.” (NIV)
He is our wise counsel. He leads us, teaches us, reminds us and helps in our weakness.
Psalm 73:24 says this, “You will keep on guiding me all my life with your wisdom and counsel.”
Let’s not be people who lose their way. Instead, let’s be people who purposefully determine to ask the Holy Spirit for wisdom. Today let’s spend a few minutes asking for His divine wisdom in our relationships. May our marriages, families and friendships become strong and healthy as we trust God’s wise counsel.
A prayer: Father, thank you for the wise counsel that the Holy Spirit gives. Thank you that we have someone to turn to when we feel weak and need help. The leading and guiding of the Holy Spirit is a supernatural gift that we are so thankful for. May we learn to turn to you first when we are in need of wise counsel. Amen.