There are two times when it’s hard to get people to listen: when they want to get married and when they want to get divorced. Of course, these are the two times they need to listen the most since there’s so much at stake. This is one of the reasons God puts us in communities. He has given us both our immediate family (especially parents), and He has placed us in His church. There is wisdom in a multitude of counselors, and when those counselors are people who love us we’re especially obliged to seek their counsel and receive it. All wisdom doesn’t reside in me. No matter how badly I might want something, wanting it doesn’t make it right or wise. Part of trusting God is learning to trust the people He has placed in our lives. This will often require both humility and patience on our part, and it can certainly tests our faith. Yet God has provided these communities for our protection and sometimes what we most need to be protected from is ourselves.
For example, the in Westminster Confession of Faith, the chapter 24, “On Marriage and Divorce,” paragraph 6, speaking of divorce it says that the church and the civil magistrate together make judgments about the matter and “…the persons concerned in it not left to their own wills, and discretion, in their own case.”
Think back even five years. How much have you learned since then? Well, you’re going to learn that much more in the next five years. God has blessed you with many people who have lived longer and seen more than you. They know things you can’t know and thus can provide wisdom that you don’t have within yourself. It’s too common for people to seek only the counsel of their immediate peers since it’s easy to get them to agree with you because their wisdom is often equal to your own. The counsel of godly friends is frequently helpful, but on important matters a broader counsel is needed. Less than godly counsel is positively dangerous, and close friends sometimes have their judgment clouded by their own prejudice toward us. It’s also common for folks to simply avoid any counsel from those who they suspect will not tell them what they want to hear.
Wisdom, speaking in the Proverbs, says: “My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. 21 Do not let them depart from your eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart; 22 For they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh.”