It is amusing that God puts Proverbs 18:21 “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof” and Proverbs 18:22 “Whosoever findeth a wife fineth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord” side by side in the Word of God. The tongue is used when the man proposes to the girl. He asks her to marry him, and that is the proper way for it to be done; and death and life are in the power of the tongue. It is like the story of the old bachelor who had never met a woman whom he wanted to marry because he thought they all talked too much. He found what society, using an unkind word, called an old maid, one who seemed very quiet. He fell in love with her and asked her to marry him. The minute she accepted the proposal, she started talking. She talked about where they would go and how they would fix their house and on and on. Suddenly after an hour or so she realised that she was doing all the talking and that he was quiet. “Why don’t you say something?” she asked. He answered, I’ve said too much already!” – I have proposed! – Proverbs 18:22 “Whosoever findeth a wife fineth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord.”
From the Lord
Proverbs 19:14 “House and riches are the inheritance of fathers: and a prudent wife is from the Lord” (KJV). – Any man, worthy or not, may inherit the property from Progenitors; any man may bargain for a wife, or give a dowry to his son to further his matrimonial prospects. But a prudent wife is a gift of God, a proof of His gracious care for His people (Proverbs 18:22). Septuagint states: “It is by the Lord that a man is matched with a woman.” There is a special Providence that watches over wedlock (Malachi 2:13-17); as we say, “Marriages are made in Heaven.” But marriages of convenience, marriage made in consideration of worldly means, are a mere earthly arrangement, and cannot claim God’s Grace.
A prudent wife is from the LORD is emphatic. It implies that this gift is beyond both comparison and contriving. A good wife is necessary for the establishment of a happy home. She is not acquired, however, as are other possessions which may be worked for or inherited. She is always to be treasured as a Gift from The LORD.
The account of Ruth’s life beautifully illustrates God’s Providence in the Marriage. The Moabites married, contrary to all expectation, of that times, an Israelite. In this way she was brought into Naomi’s family. She had returned with Naomi to her (Naomi’s) land and then came to the attention of Boaz, who became Ruth’s husband. Often the wheels of the LORD’s working in this interesting matter constrain the admiration of men who are not used to observing spiritual matters (Genesis 24:50). And how much more endearing and secure is the Special Gift of God! – A Wife! Thus, a prudent wife is honoured as “a special blessing of God’s immediate choosing, and therefore to be obtained by our prayers at the hand of the Giver” (Bishop Hall).
Proverbs 12:4a “A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband.” A virtuous woman one whose portrait is beautifully traced in Proverbs 31:10-31. The term is applied to Ruth (Ruth 3:11). The Vulgate renders “diligent.” Virtuous (hayil), when relating to men, especially soldiers, means “strength.” Referring to a wife, it designates the womanly virtues, effectualness in the home and nobility of character, viz:
- Graciousness – Proverbs 11:16 “A gracious woman retaineth honour, and strong men retain riches.” The comparison intimates that what strength is to man in maintaining his wealth, grace is to woman for securing her position and influence. This is a “finger-post,” directing woman in her weakness to the place where her great strength lies. The winsome will win her way. The adaptation of the feminine character to be the companion and complement of man is one of the best-defined examples of that designing wisdom which pervades Creation.
- Wisdom – Proverbs 14:1 “Ever wise woman buildeth her house, but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.”
- Virtuous – The root idea of strength and worth. The modern phrase, “she has a lot in her,” expresses something of the meaning.
The expression means one of power either in mind or body, or both. The same idea is contained in the virtue. Such woman is not simply loving and modest and loyal but is a crown to her husband; is an honour to him, adorns and beautifies his life, making, as it were, a joyous festival. Paul (1Thessalonians 2:19) calls his converts “a crown of glorying.” She delights in seeing her husband honoured, respected, and loved; prudent in the management of her family (Proverbs 31:10-31). She is immovable in affection (Titus 2:4); Conscientious in the carrying out of her domestic responsibilities (Proverbs 31:27-28); kind and considerate to all around her (Proverbs 31:20, 26), and as the root of all, Fearing the LORD (Proverbs 31:30). She is not the ring on her husband’s finger, or the chain of gold around his neck. That is far too low. She is his crown; his brightest ornament; drawing the eyes of all upon him, as eminently honoured and blessed – Proverbs 31:23 “Her husband is known in the gates, (place of honour in the city), when he sitteth among the elders of the land.” Her husband is honoured because of her.
The allusion is to the crown worn by the bridegroom at his marriage, or to the garlands worn at feasts. The Sons of the Sirach has much praise for the virtuous woman: “Blessed is the man that hath a good wife, for the number of his days shall be double. A virtuous woman rejoices her husband, and he shall fulfil their years of his life in peace” (Ecclus 26:1-2).
The virtuous wife is an important influence in the happiness in the home. The word is literally “a woman of power (character-positive aspect), and the idea of force lies in the word and idea of virtue (asset). Her moral character and influence make itself felt in all the life of her household. She is her husbands’ glory and pride. The central figure in wisdom’s home is the virtuous woman. She is possessed with a moral power that manifests itself in her godly character and domestic activity. The crown, or garland, is an emblem of renown. She bestows honour upon her husband!!! – Proverbs 18:22 “Whosoever findeth a wife fineth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord.” & Proverbs 19:14 “House and riches are the inheritance of fathers: and a prudent wife is from the LORD.”