A man chooses a wife based on character; a boy chooses a wife based on looks.
“He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.” ~ Proverbs 18:22
“An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.” ~ Proverbs 31:10
The most important decision you will ever make in your life is what you do with God.
The second most important decision you will ever make is your choice of a wife.
Solomon talks here about “finding” a wife. Now there are two ways to find something: by accident or on purpose. Solomon is talking about searching for the right woman to marry until you find her. He’s talking about being intentional and purposeful in seeking a mate. That’s a decision that’s way too important to be left to chance. Great marriages don’t just happen; they are built by design.
So how do you find the right woman to marry?
First, ask God for his help. Solomon says, “A prudent wife is from the Lord” (Proverbs 19:14). God wants you to find the right wife even more than you do. Trust him to lead you to the right woman, and constantly ask for his counsel and guidance in all your relationships. He knows everything about everything, so he will see things that you don’t. Ask him to show you everything you need to know to make a good choice.
Seek counsel from your father and your mother and seek counsel from your friends. Ask them to be honest with you. They love you enough to want you to make a good choice in a mate almost as much as you do; in fact, your parents want you to make a good choice even more than you do. Sometimes they will see things that you might miss because love truly is blind. Be very reluctant to move forward in a relationship without the support of those closest to you, and especially without the blessing of your dad and your mom.
Second, only marry a woman who loves God more than she loves you. In fact, don’t even date a woman who does not love God more than she loves you. Why is this important? Because there will be times in your marriage where your wife may not even like you very much, and you may not be very happy with her. What will get you through the rough patches in marriage is your commitment to God and the commitment your wife has made not only to you but to God.
Third, don’t base your selection on looks, as tempting as that might be. Solomon says, “Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman without discretion” (Proverbs 11:22). Outer beauty on a woman without inner character is about as attractive as expensive jewelry on a wild hog.
The father of one my college buddies always told him, “Beauty is skin deep, but ugly goes right to the bone.” There’s a long list of men who wind up unhappily married because they chose a wife simply for her looks with no consideration of her character.
Solomon puts it this way: “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised” (Proverbs 31:30).
Solomon says, “A wife of noble character is the crown of her husband, but she who brings him shame is like a rottenness in his bones” (Proverbs 12:4). A good wife can make a man look good and bring public credit and honor to him - she can be his “crown” - or she can be a woman who embarrasses him.
“A quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping” (Proverbs 19:13). Now disagreements and arguments in marriage are inevitable but a woman who is constantly picking fights and is argumentative is not a woman you want to marry. In fact, Solomon says it is better to “live in the desert” or “in the corner of a roof” than “with a quarrelsome and ill-tempered wife” (Proverbs 19:9, 19).
Read Proverbs 31:10-31 sometime. It tells you to look for a woman who is not lazy but willing to work hard, a woman who makes good decisions, who has compassion for others, a good sense of humor and strength of character, and a woman whose “children will rise up and call her blessed” (Proverbs 31:28).
How to identify such a woman? The last phrase in the last paragraph leads to the key question. What kind of mother will she make? This question cuts through all the surface stuff and gets right to the issue of heart and character. The single most important question to ask yourself is this: Do I want this woman to be the mother of my children? When the answer to that question is “yes,” you’ve found the woman for you.
That’s how I recognized Debbie as the woman I wanted to marry, and she has been everything I could have hoped for as a friend, partner, companion, and mother to my children. I would happily marry her all over again. Marry wisely and one day you will be able to say the same thing about your bride.
Father, I pray that you will bring the woman of your choice into my son’s life when the time is right. Please grant him the wisdom to recognize her when that time comes. Protect him from his own folly in his choice of a mate. Please bless him and lead him to a woman who will be his lifelong companion and best friend. Please lead him to a woman with whom he can build a beautiful family. In Jesus’ name, amen.