Have you ever met someone who had “zeal without knowledge?” Solomon reminds us that this person is dangerous, because he/she can easily miss “the way” and lead others to do the same. Zeal is attractive to people; they are looking for something that drives their passion and gives them a hope for a better future. Zeal with knowledge can do just that, but zeal without knowledge will lead people way off God’s best path for their lives. How many single people do you know who are zealous for marriage? Solomon reminds us that having a spouse is not the only goal — we must seek a “prudent” (wise, understanding) spouse who will love us through our rough patches and support us as we find God’s perfect will. We need a spouse who listens to God’s Word and understands how it applies to everyday life. We need a spouse who is able to discern good from evil and lead our children in the right path. Zeal for a marriage partner without knowledge of that partner or without knowledge of what to look for will many times lead us down the wrong path in life. Zeal without knowledge pushes us to give our greatest gifts away in order to “hold on” to the one who supposedly loves us. Zeal without knowledge causes us to focus only on the external and not upon the internal qualities that are needed to make a marriage work. Zeal without knowledge causes us to marry someone we do not really know and creates a difficult situation for two people to handle. Zeal with knowledge, however, does the exact opposite, because we are passionate and focused upon the right things and make wise decisions that come directly from God and His Word.

Help me, Lord, to be zealous but with the knowledge of this life You have called me to live. Help me to apply that knowledge as I look for or continue to love a spouse and lead us toward that perfect path that You have already prepared.