When I look closely at my life I am often tempted to ask God “why?”
Why do I have such excellent health?
Why am I still employed?
Why do my children and I have such good communication?
Why am I happily married?
Why have I never gotten a speeding ticket?
Have you seen what’s in my heart Lord? Why are you even still living there? It must be too small and dark a place for someone like you. I even tried to take credit for my blessings as if I could bring them about on my own. I’m not even cooperating with you half the time! Doesn’t that irritate you? Don’t you think you could have picked someone more deserving than me to pour all this out on?
I am not sure why you keep blessing me, Lord.
What have I done to deserve all this?
Proverbs 14:4 says, “Where no oxen are, the manger is clean, But much revenue comes by the strength of the ox.”
Marrying a man is a trade off, like having an ox around. Men are a lot like oxen, and I am speaking from experience. We are usually bigger and stronger and less astute than women. Again, my own experience. We are basic, and designed to work (whether we like it or not). We come with consequences, occasionally messy ones. Sometimes in the house-would-eventually-be-condemned kind of way, sometimes emotionally, financially, socially or spiritually.
Perhaps it’s more accurate to say that men generate mess as a byproduct of being men. We plow ahead, ox-like, stomping forward toward some goal and for us to do our thing, other things have to take a backseat. That can look really messy. This is true of women to some degree, but my experience has been that women are better balancers of the consequences of their work. I am more ox-like.
But the good news according to the proverb above is that there is great reward with an ox! We are worth more than the mess we create. An empty manger may be more convenient, but there’s less value in it than a messy one.