Words of Wisdom: Accountability Partners are Protect Each Other, Proverbs 27:12-17
The sensible see danger and take cover; the foolish keep going and are punished. Take his garment, for he has put up security for a stranger; get collateral if it is for foreigners. If one blesses his neighbor with a loud voice early in the morning, it will be counted as a curse to him. An endless dripping on a rainy day and a nagging wife are alike. The one who controls her controls the wind and grasps oil with his right hand. Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. Prov 27:12-17 (HCSB)
As we go through life there will be many challenges and temptations in which we may stumble and fall prey, but when we have an “accountability partner,” there will be far less chance of stumbling and becoming the easy prey of others. We all need someone who can have our back; who will be willing to walk side-by-side with us; and come face-to-face with us to challenge and encourage us, when it is necessary. With such an “accountability partner” will have a valued second opinion that we trust to help us from being tempted and from being caught in schemes of evil intentions. Our partner can keep us from becoming the unknowing fool who is blinded by life’s temptations, whose good intentions can bring harm to their self and others, and who has become a source of contention with your spouse.
Yes, as a sidebar comment, this passage about the nagging wife is not to bring a bad light upon your wife, but yourself. If you are wandering around acting like the fool; making poor choices, annoying everyone around you don’t you think she will be annoyed and embarrassed as well? What you perceive as nagging is her trying to assume the role as your accountability partner! So don’t support the notion that you are not only acting like the fool, but you are actually becoming the fool by believing you control and manipulate her. Her love for you will compel her to do whatever it takes to get you to stop being the fool, and return to seeking God’s will, God’s ways, and God’s wisdom according to God’s Word – just as you did when you first got married. Your wife should be your best “accountability partner,” so don’t ignore what you perceive as nagging.
However, in addition to a loving, caring and sensible wife, every man should have at least one other man in his life that can be free to say what needs to be said and take whatever action is needed to keep you from stumbling and falling prey to evil schemes. This last verse is instrumental to the success of every Christian man! An accountability partnership goes two-ways, and you and your partner must work together to protect each other. There may be things going on in your life that may be hard to share with your spouse, and your partner is the one you can share anything. Admit your temptations and challenges, and share your thoughts before they become actions, and discuss concerns and fears, long before they become actions you have to explain or seek forgiveness about. Open and discuss God’s Word together, and share prayer concerns.
In the end, the best of all the partners in your life is the Lord Himself. Make Him the three-way partner in your marriage relationship and in your accountability partnership, and you will most certainly avoid stumbling and falling prey to evil schemes. The Lord will guide all concerned into what it means to sacrificially give to protect the others you love. And, above all – never, never walk through this life alone, relying on your own wisdom! That is the path of fools.
Do not be mismatched with unbelievers. For what partnership is there between righteousness and lawlessness? Or what fellowship does light have with darkness? What agreement does Christ have with Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? And what agreement does God’s sanctuary have with idols? For we are the sanctuary of the living God, as God said: I will dwell among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be My people. Therefore, come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord; do not touch any unclean thing, and I will welcome you. I will be a Father to you, and you will be sons and daughters to Me, says the Lord Almighty. 2 Cor 6:14-18 (HCSB)