The book of Proverbs is valuable because it provides wisdom from God to guide us in every realm of our lives. Whether it be family, business, social, or spiritual relationships, we can find inspired advice that enables us to walk in wisdom, "redeeming the time, because the days are evil" (Eph. 5:15-17).
The purpose of this message is not to present an exhaustive study of the Proverbs, but to demonstrate in a few lessons its practicality in providing wisdom for the Christian today.
I. Advice in selecting a wife
A. Much happiness in life depends upon choosing the right wife (Prov. 12:4). A good wife greatly enhances her husband's life, but the wrong wife can destroy a man from the inside out! It is folly to think that a mistake in this area can be easily corrected.
Many people think that divorce is an easy solution, but God hates divorce (Mal. 2:16), and remarriage may not be a viable option for the disciple of Christ (Matt. 19:8, 9); when it is, if you have children, your ex-wife will always be the mother of your children (for better or worse!).
B. Some guidelines for finding a good wife
1. Seek help from God (Prov. 19:14). Success in this venture may depend more upon God than we think! In view of the seriousness of this matter, dare we go about it alone?
2. Do not place priority on good looks alone (Prov. 31:30). Beauty is skin-deep and temporary; it is therefore a poor foundation upon which to build a lifelong relationship. Sadly, most marriages are built on little more than physical attraction. Instead, look for these characteristics in a woman:
a. The fear of the Lord (Prov. 31:30). Such a woman possesses the beginning of wisdom (1:7). Having a wife who is a devout Christian, then, should be a primary concern.
b. Discretion (Prov. 11:22). This is the ability to do the right thing at the right time. Without this, beauty is worthless and can even be the object of ridicule,
c. Wisdom (Prov. 14:1). A wife with this virtue will help her husband build a good home. Without wisdom, she will undermine her husband's efforts.
3. Avoid the woman who is contentious and argumentative! It is better to be single and alone than to be married to the wrong person. To be married to a godly woman, however, is a wonderful blessing from the Lord (Prov. 18:22). By following God's counsel from the book of Proverbs, we can increase our chances of finding a good spouse. The same is true for women seeking a good husband.
II. Advice in selecting a husband
A. There are many ways to learn about a man:
1. How does he treat animals? This reveals a lot about his character (Prov. 12:10).
2. Does he listen to the advice of others? That will tell you whether he is foolish or wise (Prov. 12:15).
3. What type of company does he keep? If he runs with the wrong crowd, you might be destroyed right along with him (Prov. 13:20).
4. Is he quick-tempered or is he a person of understanding (Prov. 14:29)?
5. How does he earn his living? You will be blessed or cursed by his business decisions (Prov. 15:27).
6. Does he feel like he always has to express his opinion? If so, he lacks knowledge and a calm spirit (Prov. 17:27, 28).
7. Does he have compassion for the poor? If so, his prayers will then be answered (Prov. 21:13).
B. Men to avoid
1. Thewomanizer(orflirter). He will destroy himself and hurt all those involved (Prov. 6:27-29).
2. A quick-tempered man. You will become like him and destroy yourself as well (Prov. 22:24, 25).
3. An alcoholic (Proverbs 23:29, 30).
One of life's most important decisions is choosing the right spouse. Divorce and remarriage are not options for the faithful Christian, with one exception (Matt. 19:9). Who shall be the father or mother of your children? This choice cannot be undone after your children are born. Dare we make such decisions without consulting the wisdom found in the Word of God? This certainly does not exhaust all that the Bible has to say about selecting a spouse, but God's advice is extremely practical and worthy of our careful study and application to our lives. Choose to follow Jesus and let Him help you make this important decision
General Conference Ministerial Association