“Iron sharpening iron”- we are familiar with the expression. In its full form, as found in the Biblical book of Proverbs 27.17, it reads, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” (NIV). But, what is the scope of its application? Is it true where we work, where we work-out, where we worship, where we study, where we go for vacation, etc.?
A number of years ago, Mike Mason published a book that proposed that it is relevant for spouses. The book was entitled The Mystery of Marriage : As Iron Sharpens Iron.
Here are several quotes from Mason’s book –
Marriage is to human relations what monotheism is to theology. It is a decision to put all the eggs in one basket, to go for broke, to bet all the marbles. Is there any abandonment more pure, more supreme, more radically self-abnegating than that of putting one’s entire faith in just one God, the Lord of all, in such a way as to allow that faith have a searching impact on every corner of one’s life? On the level of human relations, there is only one act of trust which can begin to approach this one, and that is the decision to believe in one other person, and to believe so robustly as to be ready to squander one’s whole life on them.
Marriage is an invasion of privacy. No one has ever been married without being surprised, and usually alarmed, at the sheer intensity of this invasion.
Holy matrimony, like other holy orders, was never intended as a comfort station for lazy people. On the contrary, it is a systematic program of deliberate and thorough-going self-sacrifice. A man’s home is not his castle so much as it is his monastery.
It seems to me that Mason is a realist. To the degree Mason is correct, we do a disservice to those planning to marry if we don’t counsel them that among other things, marriage is where and when iron sharpens iron. Of course, if spouses don’t sharpen each other, things will get pretty dull!!!