Day 21: Marriage
Let your fountain be blessed,
and rejoice in the wife of your youth.
Our boys always get a kick out of certain Proverbs. For example, “It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife” (21:9). “It is better to live in a desert land than with a quarrelsome and fretful woman” (v. 19).
“Why don’t you want to live in a desert?” “Because it’s hot.”
“Why don’t you want to live on the corner of the roof?” “It might rain.”
“Why don’t you want to live with a quarrelsome wife?” “Because she will make you sad.”
“Did you know that some mommies and daddies fight all the time?” “Really?”
It struck me as we were talking that my boys had never observed . . .
It struck me as we were talking that my boys had never observed a quarrelsome or contentious wife. They did not even know what one looked like since my gracious wife had given them no cause to revile God’s Word (Titus 2:5). Men, marry wisely so that your children will see the practical reality of your faith in God lived out. Marry well so that a lost world may be enticed by the gospel ministry of your family life. May they see Jesus when they look at your love for one another (John 13:34-35).
Now marriage began as God’s idea with an eligible bachelor named Adam (Gen. 2:7-8). He had a perfectly-sculpted body and a superior intellect untainted by sin. He never needed to work out to stay in shape and if he had worn clothes they would have always fit. Adam had hair in all the places he wanted and none in the places he didn’t. Nothing sagged, stretched, or ached when he woke up in the morning. He was never plagued by sickness, disease, or even death. Most importantly though, Adam had an intimate relationship with his Creator and a life of rest in a luxurious garden (vv. 9-16). He walked with God every day and talked with him on a personal level. Sure he might have been unemployed, yet he had plenty of work to do (v. 15). Thus Adam was the most eligible man on the planet.
Yet surprisingly, for the first time in the creation week, God said that something was “not good.” The language was extremely strong: “NOT GOOD it is that the man should be alone!” (v. 18a). This did not mean that creation was somehow imperfect, but simply unfinished. Man was created for relationship. Even though Adam lived in a perfect paradise with his Creator, a whole zoo of pets, and more organic fruit than a farmer’s market, God still said, “It is not good.” For man had been created with the ability to speak, the capacity for language, and the means for social interaction. He also had reproductive organs and the charge to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth (1:28). In the beginning, God had made the man for marriage.
Now, of course, God did not create Mr. and Mrs. Hippo and Mr. and Mrs. Giraffe and Mr. and Mrs. Orangutan, but forget to create the woman. Rather, he made Adam before Eve to intentionally highlight Adam’s missing “rib” and to set apart Eve as a special creation. “Then the LORD God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him’” (2:18)—a suitable helper and corresponding counterpart. The woman was no servant, but a partner—not the man’s clone, but his complement—not his weaker half, but the one who supplied strength where he was lacking. The word “helper” was in no way derogative, but rather meant to elevate the woman’s status. In fact, the same biblical term often describes God as the “Helper” of his people (Pss. 10:14; 118:7; see Heb. 13:6).
My wife, Amanda, has been my helper all throughout our marriage. She encourages me, supports me, and speaks the truth when I need to hear it. We talk about almost everything and her words mean more to me that anyone else’s. We also have a lot of fun together: talking, laughing, and cherishing our family. Like the first bachelor, I would be all work and no play, but my wife makes sure that we enjoy life. She lights up our house such that I would be lost without her. She is my helper who fits me perfectly.
Now when I married my wife, I knew from Scripture that God wanted me to find a Christian woman who loved the Lord (2 Cor. 6:14) and who attracted me both physically and emotionally—a wife of my youth in whom I could rejoice (Prov. 5:18). I knew what kind of character to seek and the values we had to share. I also realized I had to be actively looking (18:22) while preparing myself to be a godly husband. I had to grow in maturity and hold down a job to provide for a future family (1 Tim. 5:8). I needed strong convictions about church and ministry, children and marriage. I sought wise counsel while seeking a godly wife who would be a helpmate to me and a loving mother to my children (Prov. 31:10-31). Finding such a wife was hard work, but ultimately a gift of God. So I thank the Lord constantly for my excellent wife and pray that my children will be equally blessed in marriage.
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for the blessing of marriage and for my excellent wife. Help me to rejoice in her always as your gift to me. I pray for each of my children as they may one day choose a spouse of their own. Help them to marry wisely according to your will and to enjoy many years of happiness. In your Son’s name, Amen.
LifeWork: Write down one way you will apply today’s Proverb.
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