Solomon’s wives led him into idolatry. Samson lost his eyesight because of the woman he loved, Delilah. David committed murder because for Bathsheba. David’s wife Michal despised him for worshiping the Lord. Job’s wife wanted him to curse God and die. Haman’s wife wanted to hang Mordachi. Ahab’s wife Jezebel enticed him to do evil. Proverbs 18:22 says, “He who finds a good wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor of the Lord.” Doesn’t sound like these guys found a good wife or obtained favor from the Lord! I’m not sure that verse means marriage itself guarantees God’s favor. These guys made their own choices to do right or wrong but their wives didn’t help steer them toward honoring the Lord.
The inclination of Proverbs 18:22 is “He who finds a good, true, and noble wife”, not just a wife. How does one find a good wife (or husband)? I think God found her for me. I found a good, true and noble woman in Haley. Haley and I met in the church preschool. I have a picture of her chasing me at a young age (glad she caught me!). We grew up in church together. Her family started attending another church around her 6th grade year and we lost touch for a couple years. I spent the night with a friend and went to his church the next day – the church Haley was going to. I like to say I started going to Family Church because of a girl – and I married her. Now we pastor this wonderful church. God brought me to my bride at Family Church and in doing so brought me to His bride in Family Church. What wonderful, undeserving, favor!
To find a good wife, one must be a good man who is following God. If a man seeks God with his whole heart and desires, God will guide him to the right person so they can serve the Lord together. “A good man obtains favor from the Lord but a man of wicked devices will be condemned” (Proverbs 12:2). “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord and he delights in His way” (Psalm 37:23). A selfish, prideful, man consumed with the ways of the world and void of God’s Spirit and mind will choose a woman out of those same reasons.
What is a good wife? Proverbs 31 tells us she is virtuous and trustworthy. People often marry for the wrong motives and stop the blessings of God. The first quality to look for in a spouse, as a Christian, is a person fully devoted to Christ and in love with His ways exhibited by their character, virtue, and lifestyle. I still call marriage “holy matrimony” and advise couples not to enter into it lightly. That means, “Have you asked the Lord about this? Have you prayed? Does this union please the Lord or just myself? Is this God’s plan and timing? Will this marriage be a blessing to others and is our intention to serve the Lord and serve others?” Some would say, “But I don’t want to be lonely!” Worse than being alone is being out of God’s will.
Does the person you want to marry feel the same way about the Lord you do? Marriage should never be entered into without much prayer and counsel. I am a firm believer in long engagements. Why? How well do you know this person? Have you seen them angry? Are they jealous, selfish, lazy, bitter, or rude? Are they generous, kind, compassionate, and loving? How do they respond to pressure and stress? What is their true personality and character? What do they value? These and many more questions can only be answered as you watch them over a period of time. I see so many who love the Lord, rush in to marrying someone who doesn’t love the Lord, and slowly stray away from serving and even being at church. They chose a person over the Lord instead of choosing a person in the Lord. Remember not to be unequally yoked by marrying or dating an unbeliever (2 Corinthians 6:14). Marry someone in the Lord (1 Corinthians 7:39). Delight in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4).
Stephen and his wife Haley have called Arkansas home all of their lives. Stephen has served in several ministry roles over the last 25 years and as a lead pastor for the last 8 years. Stephen attended Williams Baptist College and earned a BA in Biblical Studies from Ouachita Baptist University, an MA, MDiv, and DMin in Christian Leadership and Pastoral Ministries from Liberty University. When not pastoring, Stephen enjoys running, cycling, reading, writing, camping, fishing, and spending time with his family.