Advice for every aspect of life abounds. Not all of it is good or even makes sense. For example, baseball legend Yogi Berra once said, “When you get to a fork in the road, take it.” Huh?
In 1998, Marriage Partnership magazine offered some practical advice for married couples:
- Don’t hog the blanket.
- Husbands, think twice before complimenting your wife’s best friend on her new hairstyle.
- Wives, decide not to describe, in excruciating detail, every plot twist in your day.
- Stop fiddling with the thermostat.
- If you get up first, don’t sing in the shower.
- Don’t leave nail clippings anyplace but in the wastebasket.
The problem with good advice is that sometimes we don’t take it. That was the case with Pontius Pilate, Judea’s Roman governor, as Jesus stood before him, waiting for judgment. Pilate had the authority to set Jesus free, and he knew the charges against the Jewish rabbi were bogus. However, the crowd clamored for blood, and Pilate feared their reaction if his judgment went against their desires. If anyone needed advice, it was Pilate.
Enter Mrs. Pilate. While Pilate sat on the judge’s seat, his wife sent him a message: “Don’t have anything to do with that innocent man, for I have suffered a great deal today in a dream because of him” (Matthew 27:19).
But Pilate didn’t heed his wife’s advice. In a display of supreme indecision, Pilate let the crowd decide Jesus’ fate. When people clamored for Jesus’ death, Pilate washed his hands, symbolizing his own innocence in the matter.
The Bible doesn’t say much about Mrs. Pilate, her dream, or the reason why Pilate disregarded her advice and let the crowd decide Jesus’ fate. Even so, God used Pilate’s cowardice as part of his plan to bring about Christ’s death on the cross, which provided the only means of our salvation.
Giving and taking advice has its merits and dangers. In marriage, it’s wise to listen to a partner’s advice but wiser still to test it against Scripture. Is there a Biblical principle for or against what’s being proposed? Are there examples from Scripture that are helpful?
Besides holding advice up to Scripture, praying through a matter can give spiritual insight to a decision. If we bring our decisions to God in prayer—as a couple and as individuals—we can be sure God will guide us and provide us with the tools we need to make good decisions.
Taken from NIV Couples’ Devotional Bible