Solomon begins Ecclesiastes 9 by telling us that one thing is certain. We are going to die. This is not meant to ruin our day but rather to give needed perspective. Our life is not about staying on earth. It should be about living and leaving well. Chapter 9 ends with some uncertain things. There will be unexpected twists and turns along the way. Now, in the middle of chapter 9, Solomon addresses what followers of Jesus should do; straightforward actions that allow us to live and leave well.
Enjoy life with the wife whom you love, all the days of your vain life that he has given you under the sun, because that is your portion in life and in your toil at which you toil under the sun.
One of life’s greatest joys under the sun is marriage—the loving relationship between a man and woman for life. Solomon reminds us to enjoy every day with the one we love. The Hebrew word translated as “enjoy” is a rich word that means “to see, to understand, spy, reveal, look at, examine, inspect, show.” See and understand the beauty of your spouse and the relationship God has given you. Inspect and examine your relationship. See if there are needed areas to address and improve. If necessary, see a Christian counselor to help you work through any ongoing challenges. And show your love to each other every day.
Living well and leaving well demands that your marriage is tended to. If you are too busy to nourish and grow your marriage, you are too busy. Marriage is not only about a man and woman; in many cases, children are involved. At the end of the day, enjoying your family must be the highest priority on your list, right under your relationship with Jesus.
I can only imagine that Solomon wrote this verse with a sigh. Solomon’s insatiable appetite for political alliances and pleasure moved him to marry 700 women and keep 300 concubines. This unbridled passion turned his heart away from God. The Lord told Solomon that his kingdom, with all its wealth, houses, gardens, forests, and pools for irrigation, would be torn apart (1 Kings 11:9-13). Through his foolish actions, Solomon’s son and successor, Rehoboam, lost eighty percent of what once was a flourishing unified kingdom.
How many families are divided today by foolish decisions? Let that not be said of your family. Live well and leave well by following hard after Jesus.
Lord, help us to enjoy our marriages. We know every relationship has challenges and involves hard work. Help us keep our marriages and families strong so we can live and leave well. In Jesus’ name. Amen.