Pearls Go With Everything, Except Swine
Pearls-go-with-everything is a fairly well-known cultural belief here in the south. We love wearing them on our wedding day, with our jeans and flip flops and even our pj’s. They are the last thing to be removed before we lay our head on the pillow. And pearls are the first piece of jewelry our daughters fancy when it’s time to play dress-up.
Playing Dress Up
Our little princesses love to imitate Mom with high heels, oversized clothing, hats and jewelry. While we grab our camera and hope to catch every precious moment, we are also careful to protect grandmother’s pearls. They are an heirloom and we protect them so that we will someday stand before a prenuptial mirror, fastening them around this same sweet little neck. The faux pearls will do nicely for dress up.
Once our little royal daughter is all gussied up, the fun begins. She is the star of the show. And in many instances she is a double for her mom. She reenacts every scene we didn’t want anyone else to know ever happened. As we watch this little drama unfold, a deeper meaning comes to mind.
Pearls Go with Everything, Except Swine
“Our life, time, energy, opportunities and abilities are God’s pearls. They’re His! We are merely His stewards overseeing His possessions (1 Corinthians 6:19,20; 4:1,2; 1 Peter 4:8-11). We must show discernment as to what use we make of God’s possessions. It is possible to waste them either by using them when we should not as well as not using them when we should.”
The pearl has become a metaphor for something rare, fine, admirable and valuable.
This is best described in Matthew 7:6.
“Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.
They love to thrash around in the mud. Pigs get low-down and dirty. They can’t help it. It is how they were created.
Caution! Parasites in the Oysters!
Pearls are no different. They are actually created by an irritant inside the shell. Some say it is a grain of sand, but it is really some sort of parasite.
Pigs Do Not Wear Pearls
Swine are domestic animals. On the farm, pigs use their snouts to dig deep in the mud to find food. The adults have a total of 44 teeth and the rear teeth are used for crushing.
Hence, the warning to be careful around those who don’t appreciate the pearls the LORD developed in us. The Book of James encourages us to consider it all joy when various trials come, for in the end it produces perseverance. I think of trials as the irritants or parasites caught in the shell of life that over time turn into pearls. Pearls that God creates for us to share with others. Pearls of wisdom, discernment, forgiveness, service, love and faith. We are all blessed with gifts and talents that God gave us to enrich our lives as well as those around us.
Barnes’ Notes on the Bible offers this commentary on the subject of casting pearls before swine.
Do not offer your doctrine to those violent and abusive people who would growl and curse you; nor to those especially debased and profligate who would not perceive its value, would trample it down, and would abuse you.
The Wedding Day
He doesn’t desire abuse in our life. More importantly, I think He loves the result of seeing us share our gifts with those who receive them with gladness. Just like a bride receives on her wedding day.
He planned the wedding long ago. We protect Grandmother’s jewelry during the dress up party, and we protect the gifts given us for a very special occasion. As the church is His bride, we will meet our bridegroom adorned with pearls more valuable, more rare and more admirable than any gem on earth. Pearls not trampled or disregarded, but heirlooms with stories to treasure. Pearls to wear on our wedding day.