If you have been a single Christian man for any length of time at all you have read the verse in
Proverbs 18:22 NKJV
He who finds a wife finds a good thing,
And obtains favor from the Lord.
When I first read this verse I thought it was saying that I should start a search for a wife. I think most men do.
Since most of us are geared to be problem solvers, we start working out ways to become "He who finds a wife". So I put out my ads on all the online Christian dating sites, flirted with every woman who said anything to me on Facebook, and figuratively had a blazing neon sign saying "If you want to be a wife, I am your man".
Unfortunately this did not work so well and so a a few years ago I stopped and decided to do some research to find out why.
This article is an attempt to share with you guys the meaning of Proverbs 18:22 and what is the biblical definition of the term "He who finds a wife" plus some practical application of that definition.
Hebrew - Matsa
to happen upon, meet, fall in with
The Hebrew word for finds is the word "Matsa" It means to happen upon, to come upon, to encounter, to fall in with.
So in light of that you can better understand this verse if you read it this way.
"He who happens up, or stumbles upon, or happens to come upon, or stumble upon a wife has found a good thing."
It does not mean that you get the mission impossible team together for one last invasion of the feminine stronghold of available women to conquer the task of getting a wife.
In fact, if you do this, you run the risk of not only making a huge mistake, but ending up with someone that was completely out of God's plan for your life.
Trust me I know and I did!
If you are going to find a wife along life's journey then you need to really know who you are yourself. How will you be able to tell if a woman is meant to be your wife if you do not know if she will be that helpmate talked about in
18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.”
You will end up choose a wife based on criteria that comes more from the world's standards or the standards you grew up with than what are God's standards unless you know who you are personally.
In my own life for instance, I am a shepherd of God's people. There are certain things that go along with that calling that are just part of the job. To invite a woman into my life as a wife who would not be a good fit would be to invite disaster and many hurt people, including myself.
The same is true for you. You need to know who you are and what type of woman will be that helpmate for you.
You need to understand the role of attraction.
When I was young and hormones raged in my body, all it took was a pretty face and all the curves in the right places and I was attracted.
In fact we are bombarded with worldly images of what they say a man should look for.
A Christian man needs to dig a little deeper. You need to know what is personally attractive to you beyond the initial physical response. I have found that this comes more from what type of women we grew up around than it does from what the world tells us is beautiful and attractive.
You need to learn to discern the difference between what is so called "hot" and what makes your heart adore.
When you find someone that when you look at them they cause your heart to adore them, then you are experiencing biblical attraction and not lust. I truly believe God wants us to have a wife we are attracted to in the right way.
When we go for "hot" rather than adore, it will eventually fade and all you will be left with is the fading outer shell that you are no longer attracted to.
You need to understand the role of gender.
Feminine characteristics are different than masculine ones. The wife that God has for you is supposed to be your helpmate not your clone.
Again this is why you need to know yourself so you can see those areas that you need a helper in. You are called by God to be the leader of the family. She is called to help and enable you to be the best leader you can be.
A smart leader does not always have people around them that always have the same gifts and abilities. He sees the need for people that are not gifted the same.
Be wise and choose a woman who is gifted different than you that compliments who God has made you to be. Recognize that God's best for you is to bring you a woman with feminine characteristics that compliment your masculine ones.
You need to understand the role of character.
My grandmother had a saying that is so true. She used to say that "Beauty is skin deep but ugly goes clear to the bone."
Pay attention to the character of the ladies around you. Watch how they treat their fellow sisters in the Lord. Do they talk about people? Do they get jealous? Do they scheme and try to control?
God has a lady for you that is a woman of character. If you don't pay attention and only go for outward beauty you will be sorely disappointed later in life when the outward beauty has faded and the inward character is all that shows.
Take a look at the older women in your church that glow with the love of Jesus, who have had happy marriages all their life. Find a woman who has that same inner glow although maybe in the rough, and be the man that makes that woman shine.
Finally gentlemen, get busy serving Jesus. Proverbs says that finding a wife shows that you have received favor from the Lord. It is a gift of grace.
So instead of focusing on finding that wife, focus on pleasing your Lord. He will find you that wife in due season.
Get busy serving Jesus, blessing His people, and being faithful in the things He has given you to do today.
Remember the parable of the faithful steward. What little things He was faithful over showed the Master that He would be faithful over greater things.
Nothing can be greater than being given a daughter of the King. So place your trust in God. Let Him be the one that causes your wife to come across your path and trust that He is big enough to cause you to recognize the event when it happens.
Now that is something to think about!
Author's note: It has been 5 years since I wrote this post. Since that time I stumbled upon my wife. I wasn't looking. I was just faithfully serving my Lord by pastoring his church.
We were set up on a blind date to a ministry function in our community. The rest is history. I found my good thing.
Pastor Duke Taber is the Senior Pastor at The Vineyard Church in San Carlos Ca. He is an alumnus from Life Pacific College and Multnomah Biblical Seminary. He is a husband, father, and grandfather.
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