Summary: More important than finding the "perfect mate" is "being the perfect mate."

I read some time ago that a panel of women debated on who they thought was the perfect man. You’d have thought it might be famous actor or wealthy tycoon. But the final conclusion of this panel was that the Perfect Man was actually....MR. POTATO HEAD.

Their reasoning: He’s tan. He’s cute. He knows the importance of accessorizing. And if he looks at another girl, you can rearrange his face.

APPLY: Last week, we talked about having God help us find the perfect mate. This week, we’re going to talk about something even more important than FINDING the right mate.

What could be more important than finding the right person? BEING the right person. In fact, as far as God is concerned, it’s more important that YOU be the “perfect mate” than for you to find the perfect mate.

I. Consider: In the book of Proverbs, we find Solomon counseling his son on life.

He talks to his son about the importance of trusting God, listening to his parents, & respecting others. Solomon advises his son on finances, honesty, hard work and moral purity. Mostly it’s a book of do’s and don’ts. In other words, if you want to be wise: Do these good things and don’t do those bad things.

BUT right in the middle of this listing of what his son should do to be wise, we find these curious comments:

Proverbs 21:19 Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and ill-tempered wife.

Proverbs 25:24 Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.

Proverbs 15:17 Better a meal of vegetables where there is love than a fattened calf with hatred.

Proverbs 17:1 Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting, with strife.

Now, why would Solomon tell his son these things? Was it like some joke, between men, about crabby women?

ILLUS: Kind of like the joke about the man who had just celebrated his golden wedding anniversary. A reporter who was present asked him this question: “To what do you attribute your longevity and apparent good health?”

“Well,” said the old man, “when my wife and I were first married, we made a pact. We decided that if we ever became involved in an argument, I would leave the house and go for a walk to give us both an opportunity to cool off.”

The man sighed and then said, “And I’ve been living an outdoor life ever since.”

So, were these comments by Solomon just good natured humor from a father to his son: “you know how women are, son… he he he he!”

I don’t think so. Everything else Solomon said in Proverbs dealt w/ how his son could become wise. He’s not about to stop in the middle of Proverbs and tell his son how to be stupid.

No. My guess is that Solomon is telling his son that if he’s not a good husband, if he mistreats his wife, he’s going to end up creating a quarrelsome, ill-tempered woman.

How do I know that? Because, in the same book of Proverbs Solomon tells his son:

“When a man’s ways are pleasing to the LORD, he makes even his enemies live at peace with him.” Proverbs 16:7

Translation for husbands and wives: If your ways are pleasing to God, even your spouse can be made to be at peace with you. Isn’t that what it says? If having our ways please God would create peace between you and your enemies, wouldn’t also work for a husband and wife?

The world teaches that “the key to a good marriage is FINDING the right person!” God teaches “the key to a good marriage is BEING the right person!” And the key to being the “right person” is make sure your ways “please the LORD.”

That’s why this passage from Ephesians 4& 5 is such a great instruction manual for Christian couples. If you follow Paul’s teaching here in Ephesians

· you won’t grieve the Holy Spirit (4:30)

· you’ll be imitators of God the Father (5:1)

· AND you’ll be like Jesus (5:2)

The things Paul teaches here will make it so your ways please God.

(pause) So, what’s it this passage is telling me to do?

II. First off, Paul tells us what not to do in our marriages.

Ephesians 4:17-19 "So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more."

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