So if you were going to seek marital advice, wouldn’t loads of experience be beneficial? Good question. Maybe. Maybe not. Today we’re looking at marital advice from Solomon- the man with 700 wives -(what Proverbs says about wives.) Just typing that gives me a headache.
This week I’ve been thinking about the book of Proverbs a bit more because I’m reading it as part of the Bible Reading Challenge. The author, Solomon,the wisest man who ever lived (I Kings 4:29-34), was also a “frequenter of wives,” shall we say. Interesting that in all of his wisdom, this area was one in which he didn’t obey the Lord’s Word. (I Kings 11:1-4) Collectively, he had 700 wives and 300 concubines and they ultimately became his demise in turning his heart away from the Lord in his old age.
But as I thought about his choices, I began to wonder what he collectively said about wives. After all, he certainly held the experience. I was a little surprised to realize that in all the book of Proverbs, the word “wife” only occurs nine times. Only 9! But these 9 verses- they are power-packed. So here we go:
1. Rejoice with the wife of your youth…. be intoxicated always with her love. (Prov. 5:18)
How does that apply to women? If I want my man to be intoxicated with my love, I’d better make sure he has something to be intoxicated about!
2. Unfaithfulness always bears consequences. (Prov. 6:29)
The consequences to unfaithfulness may be temporarily buried, but life complications rise to the surface when decisions go against God’s plan. Sin and shame always produce guilt at some point.
3. Excellent wives are like crowns; shameful ones are like rottenness to the bones. (Prov. 12:4)
The significance of Solomon using crowns in this metaphor is due to the glory that was associated with wearing a crown. The coronation of royalty brought the end of a celebration to a glorious completion- exactly what wives are to do with our lives. Oh the stark contrast Solomon uses here! If we’re not completing our husbands, then we are breaking them down at their very core. Wow!- now there’s something to reflect on.
4. Wives are “good things.” (Prov. 18:22)
It’s an honor to be a wife; it’s an honor to have a wife. When God created Adam, He created Eve because “it was not good for man to be alone.” Eve was Adam’s “good thing.” Have you ever had someone preface a statement with “Good thing you were here because…?” Yes,as part of God’s plan, wives are good things. (ummm, not 700 of them. yikes.)
5. Material possessions are inherited from our parents, but a prudent wife is provided by God. (Prov. 19:14)
Wives, consider common sense to be a gift from the Lord and act on it. 😉 Prudent means to be wise about handling practical matters. As I tell my kiddos every day “Make good choices!”
Now I have to pause for a second to tell you that these next two verses made me laugh. Because whenever I want to emphasize a point, I’ll often repeat myself in attempts to make it stick. So I found it interesting that Prov. 21:9 and Prov. 25:24 are the exact.same.wording. Look at this:
It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.
It’s like Solomon is telling his son… “I realize I told you this once, Son. But I really want to make sure you remember this…” or “Just in case you forgot it already…”
6. Sleeping in a closet on the roof is better than having a wife who wants to argue over petty junk.
Great entry here for my friend, Karen Ehman’s book and Bible study, Let.It.Go.- How to Stop Running the Show and Start Walking in Faith. Seriously. I’m learning to let it go.
And then as if one analogy wasn’t enough, Solomon goes on to say:
7. The constant dripping outdoors on a very rainy day is like having a quarrelsome wife. (Prov. 27:5)
Nag.Nag.Nag. It just gets old. Like the continual rainfall when you long for sunshine, when is it going to be over already? Poor Solomon- I’m guessing he knew firsthand what this one was like.
And the last verse about wives we are familiar with, from Proverbs 31:10.
An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.
Solomon sure left us with some wise words- too bad he didn’t follow his own advice! Another wise man, Martin Luther, sums up Solomon’s advice in this quote. I strive for it daily- I realize that many of you have different circumstances than mine and this may not mean as much to you literally. But you can still apply the principle, right?