He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord. Proverbs 18.22
One of the most common or favorite quotes on marriage is this popular verse from the Bible. But what does it really mean and how does it apply to prospective couples in the 21st century. Let’s dive in and see if we can learn a thing or two.
“When we go against God’s plan and live our lives on our own terms and conditions, hope we’ll sort out the issues that come up when we run into trouble.”
… He …
The Bible leaves us in no doubt about who is referred to when the personal pronoun ‘he’ is used in this context. Even though the Bible often uses the male figure as a generic term when God refers to human beings or mankind in general, in this particular scripture, it’s not a general reference but a specific one to men.
“The man who will one day become the head of the home, should take the initiative right from the start.”
With so much transformation and transition from one gender to another in recent times by many who claim that God made a mistake creating them as a certain gender, God says, it’s the man who has the initial responsibility of finding a wife and if a man could be a wife, God would have made Eve a man.
The feminist agenda isn’t backing down especially with some who are uneasy about why the Bible was written in a certain style addressed to men and depending on who you speak to, there are many who think this verse is sexist or archaic and have revised their few sections of the Bible and assume that it’s now ok for a lady to make a proposal for marriage to a guy if she wants to.
When we go against God’s plan and live our lives on our own terms and conditions, hope we’ll sort out the issues that come up when we run into trouble and not run back to the God we abandoned in the first place.
Even though there maybe some men, particularly Phlegmatics and Supines who naturally are bereft of the requisite communication and interpersonal skills in a relationship to pursue and propose to the women who mean the whole world to them, but God’s expectation remains unchanged: The man who will one day become the head of the home, should take the initiative right from the start.
When we run ahead of God, let’s be prepared to pay the price for our impatience. There are women who made the proposal, paid for the wedding, bought their own ring and even his tuxedo. Many years later, they are overwhelmed and now want a break from bearing the financial burden of the home but there is no one prepared to step into those shoes as they have only succeeded in lulling their husbands to a state of laziness and mediocrity.
‘He’ also reiterates the fact that it’s a personal, intentional and voluntary decision made by a man who is mentally alert, stable and responsible. It’s not the pastors or the prophets who find, not the parents or friends who find, but a man who understands who is he, who has discovered God’s purpose for his life, who is aware that marriage is a risk and decides to add on a wife to his lists of assets to enable him accomplish God’s plan for his life and not a heavyweight liability that will drain him.
… who finds …
So God expects men to do the finding. Not hopping from one relationship to another, not manipulating and luring weak willed, insecure and vulnerable ladies to get under the sheets with them and we don’t break people’s hearts in our search for a spouse.
Finding a spouse is like mining for precious jewels. No one just stumbles on precious metals lying on the surface of the earth. No one also mines just anywhere and without a plan as that would result in a waste of resources, time and effort. No doubt there have been surprises but this is not often the norm. And if the search is so easy, the find might not be worth as much.
Every ‘finder’ must have a plan. Like a hunter, you must ask yourself a few questions. What are you looking for? What are your plans for you and her after your search is completed? What do you do when you find something that’s close to what you want but not quite what you want?
We will all find different things and none of our discoveries will be perfect and complete. Some are attractive on the outside but empty on the inside, others need a lot of refining and polishing to bring out their shine and value, and a few discoveries will leave the man a lot more different than they were before they began the search.
Marriage is a risk and so before we begin to find a spouse, we must return to the Architect of our lives and ask Him for the blueprint of our lives. Why are we here on earth and what sort of spouse would enable us fulfill His purpose for our lives. When we begin to search for a spouse before we discover our assignment, we may end up abusing, neglecting or even abandoning our spouse altogether when we realize they are quite irrelevant to where God is taking us to.
Finding would require lots of patience, watching and praying. We have no option than spend time in the secret place with God to receive the patience to find, the extra eyes to see who we should be looking for and the willpower and courage not to settle for less than His best but to walk away from anyone who isn’t quite what God has in mind.
The value and the quality of certain precious metals are dependent on a few things: how deep they are below the earth’s surface, how long the mining and purifying process will require.
If we are in search for a spouse who will add so much value to the relationship and who will go and grow with us to the destination God has in mind, they won’t just be readily available for everyone else, they will be God’s best secrets, they are being refined and transformed in the secret place of the Most High.
Please don’t begin find someone else when you haven’t discovered yourself yet. Don’t add more responsibilities to your list of tasks to get done when you neither have a vision for yourself and none for the other person. Sadly, like a new shoe or a new tie, getting married is just another thing to acquire and many men just woo a lady to their palace and abandoned her to live life below her potential with no purpose to wake up to pursue.
“Don’t just look for a sex toy or the mother of your future kids or an executive nanny to manage your mansion but look out for a vision partner.”
… a wife ….
The Bible doesn’t say he who finds a babe or a girlfriend or a fiancee but he who finds a wife. Are men really looking for a wife or something else? Many times we are looking for someone who meets our needs for today and not someone who will grow with us intellectually, spiritually and emotionally to lay hold of all God has in store.
Sadly many men expect a wife to hang out with them once in a while as trophies, manage the home and raise their kids and nothing more. Over the years and down the centuries, women have been reduced to a piece of commodity that’s valuable only on the day she’s given away as a bride. And even the educated, elite and exposed still hold on to this myopic view of who a wife should be.
If God says that men should be looking for wives and these women have not yet began to take on the roles and responsibilities of who we think a wife should be and do, then there must be more to being a wife than what we have come to believe.
A wife is a partner in accomplishing God’s vision that has been entrusted to that couple. If a man is able to stand alone and can fulfill God’s purpose for his life (like Elijah, Paul & John the Baptist), they don’t need a wife.
But if God’s purpose for them is such that they need a support, then God’s challenging all men out there, don’t just look for a sex toy or the mother of your future kids or an executive nanny to manage your mansion but look out for a vision partner.
It’s mind boggling when a lady is excited and over the moon about plans to get married to a man who has neither shared his vision nor life’s goals with her. It’s similar to hopping aboard a train that’s offering first class seats, a buffet for lunch, reclining or sleeper seats but everyone is clueless about the destination of the train.
So ladies, while we are being found, God wants us undergoing the transformation process from ladies to wives. Nothing on the outside may appear to be changing. Our boobs, bellies and bums do not require an implant but our hearts, our minds and our perspectives are changing and aligning with God’s as He prepares us to partner with someone to accomplish His will on earth.
Ladies, refuse to live below your potential by just changing your last names, moving into a guy’s house and popping out as many babies. Jesus died for more than these, this world is waiting for you. If you decide to get married, let it be an intentional partnership with someone who is whole and healthy, and is committed to living an imprint on this world
Deborah, Esther and Mary were not regular female characters in the Bible, they refused to be just another statistic, they had on the inside of them a vision, they had received a heavenly assignment that will leave an imprint not just on their generation but many more yet unborn.
Women bring to the table what men don’t have. Don’t squeeze into places you’ve grown out of. Refuse to stay on in an unhealthy relationship where your voice is not heard and your opinions are not valued. If you will be found by a man who is on assignment, you’re surely bringing value not just to him but to your family, to your community and to God.
While you’re waiting to be found, how do you prepare to be that good thing? Spend quality time in God’s presence in prayer, worship and study of God’s word. Learn as much as you can about the journey ahead (read books, attend conferences, get counselling). Stay away from anyone who is no longer adding value. Identify your strengths and weaknesses and depend on God’s Spirit to change you from the inside out to become the best version of you.
… finds a good thing …
The assumption is that a wife is a good thing, so if your spouse is not a good thing, she was not yet a wife. Hmm.
If a marriage is struggling, could the good thing be missing or the good thing may have become bad? You don’t just want anything in your home, but a good thing. You don’t want a liability that drains you but an asset that adds value.
If the quality of your life isn’t any better with the spouse in your home, was that marriage a mistake? If your spouse keeps you up late at night thinking about a divorce or plotting your escape, then they may not be the good thing God’s referring to here.
Guys, spare yourself any heartache or depression, do what God says: find the good thing. Ladies, don’t be in a hurry to get married, allow God complete His work in you, changing you from the inside out so that you can be that good thing He has promised to the man who finds you.
You don’t want your spouse staying so late at work because they want you fast asleep before they return home, instead you want him rescheduling any late meetings because he can’t wait to come home to be with you.
When we commit to upgrade ourselves intellectually, spiritually and emotionally, we will begin the journey of marriage as that good thing that has been found but when we are waiting for our spouse to be the good thing before we can be good to them, it’s only a disaster waiting to happen.
When we commit our search to God at the start, and lean on His Spirit to guide and direct us and not our ever-changing emotions or unstable hormones, when we finally find the good thing, we know it could have been only God that made it possible and not our manipulation or tricks. But when we manipulate people to be the good thing, we will have to keep up with the manipulation at every phase and stage of the marriage as people can’t give what they don’t have.
A good thing doesn’t need to be cajoled or reminded to be good. Goodness resides in them. By their fruits we shall know them. Good people can’t and don’t pretend to be good, they are not a counterfeit, they are good. And out of the abundance of the goodness they consist of, they are good to their spouse, their kids and their communities.
Goodness is a fruit of the Spirit. You don’t need to pray for it, it’s a result of spending quality time with Jesus and the goodness of Jesus rubs off on you.
… and obtains favor from the Lord …
God says a wife is favor walking on two legs. If you’ve heard from God and and found that good thing, you shouldn’t just feel excited that you’re married but have an assurance that you have received favor from the Lord. Every time you think about your spouse, you must be truly thankful and grateful that God has shown you favor.
Favor is undeserved mercy, uncommon grace, God literally overriding the protocols on your behalf. When people look at you, your spouse and your family, they can see that you don’t deserve the woman you call your wife. Only God could have made that possible. You were not expecting it, it wasn’t about how much you prayed or fasted because others probably did too but God had mercy on you.
God showed Solomon so much favor, he wasn’t David’s first son, his mum, Bathsheba wasn’t quite one of the king’s wives but God chose Solomon to be king over Israel. God gave him uncommon wisdom and rest on every side, he fought no wars while he was king for four decades.
If your wife doesn’t stretch you, challenging, encouraging and supporting you to be all God has called you to be and do, if you can’t confirm that they have been the good thing that brought so much favor, are they really from the Lord?
Many times, at the onset of a marriage, couples are excited about the future and are certain that God has brought them together but often, it’s a bit too early to confirm that, instead let’s wait a bit longer, many years later, can you look back and see God’s hand on your marriage and see the good thing God brought into your life and how much favor they have brought your way?
In summary, guys, we’ll let you do the finding. Ladies, now is the time to prepare yourself to be the good thing to be found. Let’s partner with God’s Spirit and reduce the chaos in our world from unplanned marriages that are neither aligned with God’s purpose nor were never approved.