The Five Dollar Masterpiece

He used only the finest materials. Each cog and each hand was delicately forged from the highest quality titanium. The meticulous placing of each precious stone upon its face consumed hours. His fingers trembled and his eyes grew heavy. But his passion was equal to the task.

image_lyj76bIt was a masterpiece. His unique design and masterful handiwork made it unlike any other. It was worth a fortune. An auction would bring its maker thousands.

He laid it on a purple silk scarf inside a large crystal display case at the front of his store. After arranging the display, the watchmaker labeled his beautiful creation with a price tag. It read: $5.

The reputation of the watchmaker’s masterpieces preceded him and only the most prestigious of men and women would even enter his store to do their shopping. Only moments after the new display was complete, a young businessman entered the store and immediately inquired about the five-dollar masterpiece. He asked how such a beautiful watch could be sold at such a small price. The watchmaker replied that this was simply what he was hoping to get for it. The young man asked, “Is there something wrong with the watch?” The watchmaker assured him that there was nothing wrong with it and that, in fact, he had just finished crafting it this morning. The young man hesitated and quietly left the shop without making a purchase.

Day after day, men inquired about the watch, but no one would make the purchase. It seemed that these prestigious men could not bring themselves to purchase such a masterpiece for so little because they feared that something must be wrong with it.

A few days later, a poorly groomed, unkept gentleman entered the shop and offered to buy the five-dollar masterpiece. When the watchmaker saw the man’s dirty hands and slouchy appearance, he held back the watch and informed the man that, “this particular watch is not for sale”. For the watchmaker could not bear to see his precious watch worn on the wrist of such an unkept, unclean individual.

Time went by…but the watch never sold.

Who can find a virtuous wife? 

      For her worth is far above rubies. (Prov. 31:10)

It is obvious that a wonderful masterpiece should not be sold for five dollars. Our immediate reaction is the same as the prestigious men in the story in that we wonder, “is there something wrong with the watch?” We can also understand the reaction of the watchmaker in that we would not want something we worked so hard on to end up in the hands of someone who would not treat it well.

The burning question in our minds right now is to the watchmaker: “Why are you selling your precious watch for so little?!”

Good question. God, as a watchmaker, has perfectly designed both our bodies and souls to be worth far more than we often “sell” them for. As young women, it should be our desire to be with a guy who takes care of us and treats us well, but as the prestigious men in the story, most Christian young men will hesitate to buy into a young lady who is selling herself for so little. On the other hand, the young men who are willing to pay so little, in the end, are not the men that will treat us for how much God designed us to be worth. Similarly, the watchmaker could not bear to see dirty hands wear his masterpiece.

So, how much are you selling yourself for?

A watch like the one in our story is worth a lot. But if it is taken care of, it will last a lifetime, and so it is worth the price. Similarly, someone that we can grow with and make it to heaven with is worth paying the price of the promise of “till death do we part.”

Marriage. 

How does that word make you feel? Does it sound old fashioned? Too traditional? Are you troubled by the thought of “one person for life?!”

Recently, I was listening to a local talk radio show where the topic was marriage and how people in the “new generation” feel about it. One young man called in and commented that he and his girlfriend had been living together for years and he wasn’t planning on ever getting married. He commented that some of his friends had gone and done the “marriage thing” but that it only ruined their relationships and half of them were already divorced.

So, is there truth behind his comments? Are we being naïve to think that two people can really be satisfied with each other for a lifetime? Is it too big of a commitment to make such a promise to another person?

The simple answer is no. Marriage is not an unreasonable commitment and we are not being naïve in making that decision. The bottom line is that most people just don’t want to make the commitment.

Marriage no longer has the same meaning that it once did because, well, folks just don’t see it as necessary like it once was. Years ago, casual sex was less practical because it meant REAL CONSEQUENCES. Now, with birth control and abortions being so prevalent, two people can engage in sexual activities with hardly any visible results. Sex has been reduced to an activity that two people can engage in without much remorse, because who is it really hurting? If you throw in the media’s portrayal of how casual sex with strangers can be, it’s no wonder people are so reluctant to marry. Why get married when I can have everything I need without it?!! Why work for and pay for something you need, when someone will just give it to you? We are doing ourselves and our society a huge disservice when we allow ourselves to become nothing more than a free handout!

Because our society has pushed the need for marriage by the wayside, a great number of youth in our generation see it as nothing more than an old-fashioned tradition that they might get around to when they are older. Many would assert that an official promise isn’t necessary to make them stay with someone forever. But no matter how much someone claims this, some of the real reasons that most people refuse to make the commitment are things like:“I don’t want to commit to this person because that will mean that I don’t have the “freedom” to choose something different after that. What if someone better comes along?

“I want to have a taste of every one of my choices before I settle down and yuck…get “married”.  What if I miss out on some experience because I went ahead and got married?”

I am afraid that one of the biggest problems facing our new modern generation is our selfish belief that we are entitled to freedom as a right and not a blessing. In regard to the “relationship game”, most people now believe that they have a right to absolute happiness all of the time and that when difficult or trying times come along, they count on having the freedom bail out.

To push it even further, marriage doesn’t always seem to be solving the problem lately, based on the fact that there is no longer any stigma attached to divorce.

The major point is that the price of an object is generally directly tied to its worth. The more it’s worth, the more it costs. The less it’s worth, the less it costs. This is not a new idea. In fact, it’s a concept that has been in play from the very beginning of time. In the same way, marriage was instituted at the beginning of time and yet it’s value is not depleted even today. No matter how much some people consider it to be “old-fashioned.”

When two people who love God also love each other, marriage is worth the commitment of “one person for life” because the worth of that one person’s love and devotion to you will constantly change your life as you both mold each other into the people that God wants you to be.

Sarah Hall
About Sarah Hall 5 Articles
Sarah is a graduate of Freed Hardeman University and has been married to her husband, Jeremy, since 2008. They have twin boys and worship with the Millview church of Christ, where he serves as the pulpit minister.

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