Christian Living


Marriage 911 02/02/21

The Way of the Wise vs. the Way of the Fool

We just completed a Personal Intensive—three days— with a man estranged from his wife. Married for only two years, he was saddened and discouraged by his plight.

Jeremy, a 30-year-old businessman, came to The Marriage Recovery Center broken and hurt, frightened beyond words that he may not be able to save his shattered marriage.

Jeremy’s situation was tragic enough—a new marriage already on the rocks. However, it was worsened by the fact that much of the rift between he and his wife was of his own doing.

What was most striking about Jeremy’s Personal Intensive was how he could function well on a day to day basis and then, almost without notice, erupt into a style of thinking we have come to characterize as ‘The Way of the Fool.’

When threatened or feeling inadequate, Jeremy was unable to talk about those feelings and instead slipped into a series of ‘thinking errors’ that made matters so much worse.

For Jeremy, and many others we’ve worked with, ‘The Way of the Fool’ is characterized by the following traits:

  • Arrogance
  • Recklessness
  • Selfishness
  • Anger
  • Self-righteousness
  • Defensiveness
  • Judgmentalism
  • Unforgiveness

The result of these character traits, when occurring all together, leads to being alone. Who wants to be with someone who is accusatory, narrow-minded and angry?

Scripture says, “Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man; do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared.” (Proverbs 22: 24-25)

Jeremy had never stood back and considered what it was like to live with him. He had never put all the pieces together, learning why he became so angry, or why he slipped into such a caustic attitude. Certainly he had never considered the full impact on his wife.

As important as it was to understand ‘The Way of the Fool,’ it was equally important to understand the life in the Spirit, ‘The Way of the Wise.’ We considered how ‘The Way of the Wise’ was characterized by the following traits:

  • Grace
  • Respectful
  • Forgiveness
  • Taking Responsibility
  • Confession
  • Gentleness
  • Insight
  • Selflessness

The results of these character traits, when occurring all together, leads to connection. We all want to be with someone who is filled with these character traits.

Jeremy’s decision to change came after a significant loss—the loss of his wife. Often it “takes a breakdown to lead to a breakthrough”. He had a decision to make—would he take the way of the fool or the way of the wise? One would lead to aloneness and loss, the other to connection and life.

We are pulling for him to continue in the way of the wise—a path we recommend for you as well.

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