Friday, October 20, 2023

Love Finds Love

He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favour from the LORD. Proverbs 18:22

Brethren, do you remember the effort it took for you to be where you are today as a husband and wife? Identifying a potential spouse is both very hard and easy, depending on your age and circumstances. But now that you are married, I would like you to remember the following; 

1) Kindle strong love by remembering your first love.

2) Consider the value of your wife.

3) Your marriage is a favour from the Lord.

1. Kindle strong love by remembering your first love 

He who finds a wife… When it comes to searching for the right spouse, the world has advise for you – look for the person that you are most attracted to by their physical appearances. In this worldly wisdom, the world does not realize that charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain (Prov. 31:30). There is also the common advice to seek them for what they have, that is, by their material possessions. How often we forget that one’s life does not consist in the abundance of one’s possessions? (Lk 12:15). Do not fall in love just because of outward, physical/material, temporal things – they will soon be gone. They will all fade away. 

Remember how she was the only lily in the valley, the only rose of Sharon, the only apple of your eye, the only fish in your lake Victoria, and the only bean in your githeri… she was the most beautiful among women (SS. 1:8). When you saw him, his voice was like that of an angel, his strength that of a stallion, his love, beyond compare.

He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favour from the LORD. (Proverbs 18:22).

Three things could be said from the dose of divine wisdom in this verse:

The Lord puts the responsibility of finding a spouse into the hands of the man

He (masculine singular) who finds a wife… Men are to be deliberate in taking leadership in the matter of initiating the process of marriage. To find is to deliberately seek in order to have. It is not to stumble upon or to receive, even though some may be fortunate, the norm is for men to find wives for themselves. Men are called upon to show their love for their wives in lovingly leading them and caring for them. This is the example set by the Lord Jesus Christ when from heaven He came and sought the church to be his holy bride. He gave his life for her.

 Women on the other hand need to be available and willing to be found by such men as are worthy the name. Be found in the company of the righteous, in the narrow and the strait path, in biblical churches, in the company of the Master and his church. That is the right context for beginning your love story. Christian men, thou shalt not go to Vanity Fair or down to Timnah among the Philistines, or among the heathens to look for wives. For there you will find Madam Fair Uncouth, and Delilah and Jezebel and what will become of you but what became of Samson?

Notice that the verse says, ‘… finds a wife.’ It does not say, he who finds a girl, or a virgin or a lady or a woman! The consideration is that by the time the man finds the lady, she is already worthy the name of ‘a wife’ even if she is yet unmarried. Otherwise this verse means that men are to snatch married wives from their husbands! Clearly the Lord does not say that you take a wife from her husband! This would be adulterous and contrary to the sixth commandment. Rather, to find a wife is to obtain a woman who is a ‘wifely’ or wife material. Matthew Henry puts it this way,

A good wife is a great blessing to a man. He that finds a wife (that is, a wife indeed; a bad wife does not deserve to be called by a name of so much honour), that finds a help meet for him (that is a wife in the original acceptation of the word), that sought such a one with care and prayer and has found what he sought, he has found a good thing, a jewel of great value, a rare jewel; he has found that which will not only contribute more than anything to his comfort in this life, but will forward him in the way to heaven. 

It is true, that wives are as rare Jewels – they are not found anywhere. Yet, the gracious hand of providence leads God’s sons to where God’s daughters are to be found. Therefore, as men carryout their business, as they work, as they study, as they go to church for worship, they need to have their eyes peeled. They need to pray with their eyes open. They ought to see such women who are worthy to be called by the name ‘wife’ in their conduct. Good wives can be found anywhere, if you are walking by faith and trusting in the Lord to guide you. Some obtained good wives from school, from work, and especially from church. 

Now, you married a person that you fairly knew well.  What is she like today?

2. Consider the value of your wife

A Wife is a Good Thing

“… finds a good thing … “ Do you notice that the woman who is a wife material is called ‘a good thing’? How has the wife changed from being a person to being a good thing? Well, she has not changed at all! It is only her description that has obtained a wonderful adjectival phrase which extols her value and worth. A wife is being compared to such good things as a rare jewel of great value. The wife is given to the man as a helper suitable for the man and such is a good thing for the man. This is like Adam saying, “This at last is the bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” (Gen. 2:23)

Consider the delight a man draws from of the virtuous woman in Proverbs 31. It begins with a question, “An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.” (v.10). Please note the language of the man finding such a rare jewel and the delight that ensues. The clear implication of this question is that just as there are not many rare jewels lying anywhere, so there is a considerable difficult of finding this type of a woman. Good women are very rare and scarce! Remember Jacob? He took seven years’ work to find Leah and to work seven more years to find Rachel! 

The description of this virtuous wife (Proverbs 31:1—31) is designed to show the kind of wives the women should strive to be. It is also designed to show what women the men should look out for, and as such the ‘good thing’! Therefore, this is a very significant passage for both men and women who are married. 

The New Testament in such passages as 1Timothy 2:9, 1Titus 2:10, 1Peter 3:1-6 agree with this passage as to what the duties of wives are. They show a woman who knows how to manage her own household. She is both reverent and industrious, so that is indeed a helper meet for a man. When a man finds such a wife, will he fail to love and cherish her, who is of such worth and value? Her price is far above rubies, and all the gold ornaments with which vain women may adorn themselves. The more rare such good wives are the more they are to be valued and cherished.

3. Your marriage is a favour from the Lord!

“… and obtains favour from the LORD.” God has done you a favour! He has done you men a favour by giving you a wife. And he has done you a favour by giving you women, husbands. Is it possible to obtain favour from the Lord? Favour is grace and it means unmerited favour. We do not deserve to marry the women that we eventually married! Why should God give us the privilege of calling a grown-up person to be ‘the bone of my bones and the flesh of my flesh’? Yet when you get married, you are given the wonderful favour and privilege of ‘owning’ someone to be yours. And this in and of itself is a great favour from the Lord who created the person who is your spouse.

A good wife is from the Lord. It is God who decided that Adam should not be alone. It is God who made Eve to be Adam’s helper suitable for him. It is God who brought Eve to Adam. Clearly, Eve was God’s gift given to Adam by God. It is the Lord who allows us the privilege of being married, and we know it when we appreciate the beauty of the woman God gave us. We do not deserve it at all. Yet the Lord out of his grace, sends us in the direction that we find a person who becomes the ‘helper’ suitable for him. 

 House and wealth are inherited from fathers, but a prudent wife is from the Lord. (Proverbs 19:14)

Notice that the verse tells us that a prudent wife, coming from the Lord is far more precious than houses and wealth.  The reason is because, by her efforts, she can help in building houses and in creating wealth, yet houses and wealth cannot bring or make a prudent wife. They may attract some kind of women, but they cannot make a good wife! You may rely on your parents to give an inheritance of houses or wealth, but they cannot give you a prudent wife and for such we must seek from the Lord.

A good wife is a great and wonderful divine gift of God's providence to a man.  In talking about a good wife, we are speaking of a virtuous wife, a prudent wife, a worthy woman. Such a wife has imperishable beauty which in God’s sight is very precious. Such a wife is quiet-hearted and of a gentle spirit. Such a woman is very precious in the sight of God. Such a woman is neither found by a keen eye nor by human wisdom. She is found from, rather, she is given by the Lord. It is God, out of his goodness and love, who can gave you the wife who will meet your deepest need and so be the helper suitable for you. Your wit and your skills or your relatives could not. God, who knows what you need in this life and in the one to come, is the one who unites the right man with the right woman and makes them no longer two but one! (Matt. 19:6).

Happy marriages are made in heaven by God. The servant of Abraham knew this and so he prayed with this understanding in Genesis 24:12. 

And he said, "O LORD, God of my master Abraham, please grant me success today and show steadfast love to my master Abraham. Behold, I am standing by the spring of water, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water. (Gen. 24:12-13)

He directed his petition to the God of covenant, the Triune God, the infinitely gracious God. 

 I love my wife as I learn how to love from my Saviour Jesus Christ who loved his church and gave his life for her. Two non-Christians cannot know the redeeming love of Christ. The only reason why I do not run away with some other women is because of the help of the Holy Spirit. The non-believer does not the help of the Holy Spirit. In the same way, the bounds of Christian freedom are best expressed in the community of Christ – the church. Non-believers cannot fully appropriate the blessing of the church in their lives. One of the great motivations for godliness in this life is because there is a day of judgment coming, it is because Christians shall soon sit at the feet of Christ. 

My dear friends, you are not a Christian and your spouse is not a Christian and you know you have tried hypocrisy and it did not work. You tried hiding in the church, and it backfired on you. There is hope for your marriage – if you turned yourselves in to the open, inviting arms of Christ and called out for forgiveness, then you would be saved and your marriage could be redeemed. The hope is not in therapy of the psychiatrist and psychology counsellors – the hope is found in Christ. Come to him and you will know the full blessings from the one who designed you for His glory and meant your marriage for his glory and therefore for your greatest good and joy.

1) Marriage is honourable and desirable. Marriage must be held in honour among all and the marriage bed must be undefiled. Remember that God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous (Heb. 13:4)

2) God delights in the love of his children and hates divorce. Being married means becoming one flesh and you must remain with the partner (1 Cor. 7:12) for life. Be patient to one another, kind-hearted and live in harmony with one another. Outdo one another in showing honour, so that your love is shown to be genuine.

3) Your wife is beautiful. I mean we should praise God for He made her fearfully and wonderfully (Ps. 139:13-15). I mean she is in God’s image. Remember that “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.” (Prov. 31:30). Look at your wife’s inner beauty of godliness (1Tim.2:9-10) and love her exclusively. Love her sacrificially. Love her purposefully to present her to Christ in splendour, without spot or blemish or wrinkle.  This beauty for a woman is found in the heart and it is imperishable. It involves gentle and a quiet spirit, which is very precious in God’s sight. It is daily demonstrated by a willingness to submit (1Peter 3:3-6). Wives, such is your calling. Stop those arguments then with your husband and listen to him.

4) Your husband is your man. He is yours by covenant. He is committed to you, and bound to you by cords of love that cannot be broken. He loves you. Believe him. Trust Him! Depend on him for leadership. He is loyal to you – therefore he married you.

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