I recently did a book study about women and wives in the book of Proverbs, and I was blown away by the sheer volume of references to women throughout its 31 chapter. At the end of my study, I made the following four observations that every guy, regardless of season of life, needs to understand and apply:
Most of us know that certain smell we experience when we forgot to flush the toilet for a day. Even worse is when we forget to flush, leave for vacation, and come home to a surprise in the toilet. Or, maybe you’ve had the ‘privilege’ of having a rodent pass away inside the walls of your home in the middle of a Texas summer. The smell of death and decay is horrific.
The writers of the Proverbs compare marriage to those smells, only worse. Instead of being in your bathroom or in your walls, this type of rottenness lives in your bones. Proverbs 12:4 says, “An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who brings shame is like rottenness in his bones.”
Fortunately for us, the Proverbs are filled with wisdom on how to choose and be married to a woman who is the crown of her husband, rather than rottenness in his bones.
So how can studying the Proverbs help you and I experience the crown that comes from an excellent wife rather than rottenness in your bones? There are no guarantees when it comes to marriage, but here are four things we can all do:
Every one of us has two main choices of how to live. We can choose to be the fool, who lives in isolation, walks in the counsel of the wicked, and sits in the seat of scoffers. Or, we can choose to delight in the law of the Lord, upon which we mediate day and night (Psalm 1:1-3).
The decision of whether or not to follow God certainly plays out in the choices we make with regard to our sexual purity, dating relationships, and marriage. Choose to be one who lives in a healthy and right fear of the Lord, who trusts in The Lord with all his heart, and does not lean upon his own understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6).
For those of you who are single (or single again) and desire to get married one day, choose wisely.
Choose to date and marry a Proverbs 31:10-31 woman. In particular, note a few descriptions of this godly woman:
Do not marry the quarrelsome, nagging woman (Proverbs 21:9, 19; 25:24). Proverbs 18:22 says, “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.” Choose someone upon whom you can make this claim. Never make decisions about who you’re going to marry in isolation. Wisdom comes in the counsel of many (Proverbs 15:22).
If you’re already married, you still need to choose wisely. Choose to stay committed to your spouse and the vows you shared when you became one flesh. Proverbs 30:20 says, “This is the way of an adulteress: she eats and wipes her mouth and says, 'I have done no wrong.'”
Avoid this type of woman who sees no wrong in her sin.
Whether single or married, watch out for the wild woman. Whether she comes in the form of pornography, premarital sex, or an adulterous relationship as a married man, flee from all sexual immorality.
“Keep your father’s commandment, and forsake not your mother’s teaching…. to preserve you from the evil woman, from the smooth tongue of the adulterous.” (Proverbs 6:20, 24)
Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. (1 Corinthians 6:18)
Know that she will seduce you not only with her looks and her clothing, but with her words (Proverbs 2:16-19, 6:24, 7:5).
Finally, rejoice in the wife of your youth, let her breasts satisfy you, and be intoxicated in her love. Yes, the Bible says this! Check out Proverbs 5:18-19.
Love her like Christ loved the church (Ephesians 5:25-27). Lay down your life for your wife, by serving her and putting her needs before your own (Mark 10:44-45, Philippians 2:3-4).
Much more can be said, but if you want to know how to honor God, avoid the wild woman, and have a wife who is the crown of her husband, then make the decision to:
Follow God, choose wisely, avoid seduction, and love your spouse like Christ loved the church.
Ladies – thank you for reading even though this post addresses men. The four points above apply with equal clarity to women. Choose to be women who are more like the crown of a husband more than rottenness in their bones.
For you men who live in the DFW Metroplex, we’d love to have you join us at the Men’s Summit. This semester we’re doing an 8-week study on the book of Proverbs. Watermark’s lead pastor, Todd Wagner, will teach and you’ll get to learn about money, wisdom, and much more! Come join us in Dallas, Fort Worth, or Plano. Click here to get more information: Men's Summit
Scott Kedersha serves as the Director of Marriage Ministries at Watermark Community Church. He’s been married to Kristen since 2001 and together they are raising four boys. Scott writes about marriage, ministry, parenting and books at Scottkedersha.com, and is working on his first marriage book. You can follow Scott on twitter @Skedersha.