Proverbs 27:9–16 (NKJV)

9 Ointment and perfume delight the heart,
And the sweetness of a man’s friend gives delight by hearty counsel.

10 Do not forsake your own friend or your father’s friend,
Nor go to your brother’s house in the day of your calamity;
Better is a neighbor nearby than a brother far away.

11 My son, be wise, and make my heart glad,
That I may answer him who reproaches me.

12 A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself;
The simple pass on and are punished.

13 Take the garment of him who is surety for a stranger,
And hold it in pledge when he is surety for a seductress.

14 He who blesses his friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning,
It will be counted a curse to him.

15 A continual dripping on a very rainy day
And a contentious woman are alike;
16 Whoever restrains her restrains the wind,
And grasps oil with his right hand.

Relationships can be tricky.  While humankind is created with great capacity for relationships with others, often those relationships are fraught with intricate rules and reactions, some not even intended by the one who would be offended.  However, wisdom can help one navigate those situations and avoid trouble.  For instance, hearing the wise counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume.  When you are in trouble, seek the comfort and advice of a good friend rather than traveling afar to seek a family member.  Children should be wise, so that their parents don’t have to wonder if they should defend his or her child’s honor.

Avoid evil, unlike the fool who walks right into it.  Take collateral from those who are a risk or unknown to you if you are going to loan them money, AND take collateral from the one who would secure (co-sign) the loan.  Don’t be obnoxious with your friends.  Know your spouse before you marry, and marry wisely.  If you have a contentious relationship with your spouse, learn his or her ways and learn how to deal with him or her with love and kindness, even if it is very difficult.  Relationships can be treacherous, but can also be a blessing–especially in a time of need.  Plant, cultivate, and develop relationships in a Godly, wise way, and they will be a blessed resource.

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