When I was a child I didn’t understand the principle of vacuuming. Because of ignorance of even the most basic mechanical concepts, I would pass the appliance as quickly as possible over the fibers, in jerky back-and-forth motions, thinking myself very efficient. As I got older, I realized that the apparatus has to be present over the spot I wish to clean at least long enough for the suction and brushes to do their work of dredging and sucking up the particles and crumbs.
In life as well as in vacuuming, it is necessary, for optimum efficiency and enjoyment, to know how things work. It is necessary to know how people are made by their Creator, and what makes them tick. The book of Proverbs does that, telling you things about human nature you need to know in order to have a good life. You may think you have people and life all figured out all on your own and do not need God’s Word to tell you, but Proverbs warns against that attitude, and I have found it to be good advice.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5).
For example, when I was in high school I thought that if you were too nice to a boy he would not like you. Therefore it was wise to be aloof and even a little mean. I don’t know where I first came by that notion (the devil is the ultimate source, of course), but it took me years and some pain to be disabused of it. Now I believe what the Bible says about beauty and attraction and relationship—that it is a gentle and quiet spirit that men find beautiful (at least the men worth attracting):
“[Husbands] may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct … let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit …” (1 Peter 3:1-4).
If you want to know “the way things work” when it comes to getting along with your husband, this tip from Peter is enough to chew on for a long time. If you want to know “the way things work” when it comes to pleasing God, we read from His own Word that it is faith:
“… without faith it is impossible to please him …” (Hebrews 11:6).
When we say that exercising faith is the way a relationship with God “works” best, it is not as though we manipulate the Almighty—or our husbands or high school boyfriends, for that matter. It is rather that we consciously and continually align ourselves with what is real and true, and thereby live a life that’s blessed.