Proverbs 18:22: Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD.
Imagine the perfect man’s world. Work is easy; you and all things are perfect; there is no sickness, pain, sin, or trouble; great food is everywhere; you have the world to yourself; it does not rain; you are very intelligent; the LORD is your friend; and you can live forever!
What is wrong? Adam did not have a wife – a woman of his own. The Lord said his “perfect” situation was not good (Gen 2:18). Adam needed a perfect companion. So God made a woman from a rib, introduced her to Adam, and arranged the first marriage.
Two are better than one. Regardless of what good is written about the single life, God said it was not good. Two are better than one for at least five reasons (Eccl 4:9-12; I Cor 7:2-5). They share the results of labour, help each other through difficulties, complement each other, help fight enemies, and have a regular and committed lover. If this superiority of marriage were true in perfect Eden, how much more in our sinful world?
But not any wife will do, and Solomon did not teach any wife will do. He warned against odious women (Pr 30:21-23). He knew a bad wife was worse than being alone (Pr 19:13; 21:9,19; 25:24; 27:15-16). For though he tried 1000 women (I Kings 11:3), he found them all bad and more bitter than death in the pain they caused him (Eccl 7:26-29).
But it does not say “good” wife. How can you prove the ellipsis/gaps? You know by her being a good thing, by God’s favour in the matter, by all the teaching of Proverbs, by the use of the adjective (Pr 19:14), and by such ellipses in 15:10,23; 16:10; 29:4; and Ec 7:28.
Solomon intended only a virtuous woman (Pr 12:4; 19:14) in the Lord (I Cor 7:39). And who can find her (Pr 31:10)? She is so rare, he did not find her. Only God’s blessing will find her (Pr 19:14), so set your heart to seek her, and trust Him to direct your steps (Pr 16:9).
How should you measure young women? By the fear of the Lord (Pr 31:30)! Young man, put away foolish lusts of beauty first (Pr 11:16,22). Listen to Samson’s parents (Judges 14:3). Search in the right places, with fervent prayer to God, and trust His providence (Genesis 24).
How thankful are you, reader? If you have a wife that fears the Lord and fulfils her role, you are a very blessed man. Does the Lord know your thankfulness? Does she? If she is not perfect, it is your fault; for it is your privilege and duty to perfect her (Eph 5:25-29).
And sister, you must ask, am I truly a good thing and a blessing from God? Or a curse?