12 ¶ Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all sins. Proverbs 10:12 (NKJV)
By Bro. John L. Cash, “Country Preacher Dad”
When I was a little boy, I had an uncle that I adored. He was a devout Christian and an elder in the church. After he passed away, my aunt told me something I’d never known about him. For years he had been well-known in his congregation for his successful counseling of couples who were having marital problems. If your marriage was rocky and things weren’t going well, everyone knew that if you paid him a visit and followed his advice, things would drastically improve.
My aunt told me that my uncle always gave troubled couples the same advice. It was the teaching found in today’s Scripture lesson (at the top): “Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all sins.” (Proverbs 10:12). In the New Testament, the apostle Peter quotes from the same Old Testament passage and renders it another way: “And above all things have fervent love for one another, for ‘love will cover a multitude of sins.’” (1 Peter 4:8).
More than 500 years ago, the great theologian Martin Luther wrote that, because we’re all faulty human beings, it helps if both spouses in a marriage are a little blind. In a nutshell, if you want to have a happy marriage, don’t dwell on the faults of your spouse. Don’t broadcast his or her sins to the world. Instead, quietly cover them over with Christian love, and focus your attention on the strong points of your loved one.
In married life (as in all of life), everybody makes a typo now and then. Don’t circle those mistakes with red ink. Cover them up with the “Liquid Paper” of God’s Love.
Dr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 26 years being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. (On week days he has a desk-job at a public school and teaches Latin on closed-circuit-television.) He and his lovely wife, Susan, and his sons, Spencer (age 20) and Seth (age 17) live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church (where the Preacher likes the new Liquid Paper that comes as a little dry ribbon inside an applicator doodad.) He would love to hear from you in an email sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.