“A wife of noble character who can find?” This question was posed in the book of Proverbs; a book filled with wisdom. When the wise ask a question, you had better sit up straight and take notice. When you read on in Proverbs 31:10, it goes on to say that she is worth far more than rubies. We know that rubies are precious stones that are not found just anywhere. I’ve never heard someone say that they were just walking along a stony path and happened to stumble upon a ruby. Those who purpose in their minds and hearts to find rubies sit down and plan their strategy. So in effect, what was being communicated here is that finding such a wife would be a taxing (though not impossible) endeavour.
Many other examples could have been used to make it clear how hard it would be to find a good wife, why were rubies chosen specifically? Well, here’s the thing about rubies, and other precious stones that is; they are never found out in the open! Never! They are mined. So anyone looking to find rubies would have to be prepared to go deep underground in search of this gemstone. And so it is with you, my godly single brothers. When searching for a wife, you have to look beyond the obvious and go into the deep. This is exactly what Peter meant when he advised women thus, “your beauty should not come from outward adornment … Rather it should be that of your inner self…which is of great worth in God’s sight.” 1 Peter 3:3-5. So the emphasis is not placed on the visible and obvious, but on the hidden inner self.
I’d like to share something about women that I advise you to keep in mind during your quest for a help meet. When God took Eve out of Adam, he gave her a womb; hence the name woman (womb + man or man with womb). When God put a womb in Eve, he was giving her the ability to conceive and carry a baby to term. God also gave her breasts, so that she would be able to feed what she had borne; hence the term female (feed + male or male who feeds). As much as Adam was the ruler/guardian/caretaker or whatever title you’d like to give him; God saw something that was missing in him and so he brought forth Eve in order to complete the picture. In this article I’d like us to look at a woman’s womb and breasts in a spiritual context.
When a man marries a woman, his ministry in the Lord is transferred into her spiritual womb for incubation. When the ministry is birthed, she has to tend to it, nurse it and assist her husband in developing it. When you understand the importance of what I’ve just written, you will start to look beyond beauty, shape, size, skin tone and everything else that appeals to the flesh. I’m not saying considering these things is wrong, but the most important things are unseen, just like Paul said in 2 Corinthians 4:18; “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” Take the advice of Solomon who said, “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” Let physical attributes be add-ons in your search for a life partner, not the core agenda of your search.
Let me ask you something; what calling, ministry or mission has God called you to fulfil? What is your vision for you calling, ministry or mission? What are your dreams, hopes and aspirations for it? Are you wondering why I’m asking you these questions? The answer is simple really. When you get married, you and your wife become one; so she will also be a part of your calling, ministry and mission, because now she is your other half! Automatically, your vision, dreams and goals get imbedded in her spiritual womb and nest there. Now, she’ll have the responsibility of incubating them in her spiritual womb; will she be up to the task? We know that with a physical pregnancy, whatever the mother eats, the child eats also. At that stage, the foetus is so sensitive and vulnerable that even the environment the mother finds herself in, affects the child. And so it is with your calling. While in its developmental stages, your calling is just like that foetus. Will she protect your dreams, visions and goals? Will she be selective in what she takes in (the Word of God, people’s opinions, or the world’s view)?
Unlike a physical pregnancy where the baby must be born within nine months of conception, in this instance, there’s no definite time limit! God does things in his own timing, not ours. Will she stick it out with you for months, or years even? Will she not bail out on you when the birth is not forthcoming and decide to abort? Will she not get tired and start thinking and speaking negatively of the precious cargo inside of her? We also know that negative thoughts, attitudes and speech adversely affect an unborn child; the same goes for your things that are in your wife’s spiritual womb!
In the fullness of time, when what God has impregnated you with is birthed, will she be able to nurse it? Will she be gentle, caring and nurturing? Will her spiritual breasts be gorged with milk, ready to meet the needs of your ministry? Will she bear up under the weight of the demands of God’s work? I know you may argue that what your future wife does or does not do will not affect your work, but I beg to differ. I’ve seen and read of too many powerful men of God whose wives were not supportive of their ministries in the ways I’ve just described and their lives are miserable. They may go on with God’s work, yes, but the strain in the family front takes its toll. It is no longer a joy to do God’s work but an uphill battle, because now you have an ‘enemy’ in the camp. In the end you find them burnt out, uninspired, demotivated and resentful! It shouldn’t be difficult to understand why that happens; after all, when one spouse is indifferent to the calling of the other, because of their oneness in marriage, the other partner is sapped of fifty per cent of their energy!
As you can clearly see my brothers, when it comes to searching for your help meet, you are compelled to go deeper. When God appointed you to whatever service you have to render to the body of Christ, he had in mind that your wife would be your helper. Now as I’ve just shared, you have to choose wisely. Your choice of a mate is one of the most important decisions you will ever make in your life. You cannot afford to make a poor choice. There is no way you can be able to accurately answer the questions I’ve asked above on your own, no matter how much you research your future prospect. But thank God, for through the prophet Jeremiah, he assured us that He searches the heart and examines the mind; Jeremiah 17:10(a). The help of the Holy Spirit is clearly needed in this instance. This is where the powerful ministry of the Holy Spirit excels. Of him Paul said, “The spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them?” 1 Corinthians 2:10-11. As such, the only way I can guarantee that you, my dear brother, will find a suitable wife, is through being helped by the Holy Spirit.
In his book; Fasting for a Miracle, Elmer L. Towns recounts how after he got saved he took an interest in a young lady in his church. He had been praying to God for a spouse and to him, everything with her checked out; she was a devout Christian who loved God, served in church and had the personality of an angel. Having discovered his calling as a preacher, he felt that she would make the perfect preacher’s wife. So he went to God in prayer, and pleaded with Him to set her aside for him just until he came back from Bible College. He went away and not many months later, he was told that she had married someone else. He was so heartbroken and railed at God for months. A couple of years later, he found someone and got married. One time he went back to his home town for a visit and to his horror, he saw the same young lady whom he’d thought would be a wonderful wife to him; she was driving a rusty, old, beat-up Cadillac. Her plump arm hung out the car window, holding a beer; she was raving drunk and shouting profanities while driving her car! Elmer says he stopped right there and then and thanked God for not granting his request many years earlier. As you can see, what he thought was a good match would have been disastrous and it would have infested and even ruined his ministry!
In closing, we’ve seen, over and over again, in the Bible, how women have been the downfall of powerful men of God. Even in life in general, many a great man has seen great demise because of not having chosen well when it came to a spouse, and that wrong decision spilled over into every part of their lives. A wife will either stand by you, fuel your passion for God’s work and do all she can to assist you in your ministry or she will be ignorant of your vision, pull you down and make your life miserable. As such my brothers, I pray that as you contemplate the issue of marriage, you seek the counsel of the Holy Spirit who will be your eyes in the matters you cannot see; your ears where you will be unable to hear and your guide.