I fully agree with the truth of the proverb that says “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favor of the Lord.” Proverbs 18:22 (KJV). Here’s why: once a man findeth a wife, from then on she findeth all the things he hath lost.”
I don’t know if all women have a gene for finding things, but my wife, Jo, sure does.
Seriously, though, I fully agree with Solomon who collected all these proverbs that, as another version has it, “Find a good spouse, you find a good life—and even more: the favor of God.”
I can vouch for that since I have an excellent wife with whom I plan to celebrate our fifty-fifth wedding anniversary at the end of next month.
The favor of the Lord is not just evident in that she finds the things I have lost, she helps calm me down when I am frustrated or feeling harassed and ready to “lose my mind.” Although we have lived and worked together for well over half a century, we differ from each other. What upsets me does not affect her in the same way, and as she asks questions, she brings clarity to my thoughts and feelings.
She also encourages me when I am feeling dejected, fearful, or without energy. She reminds me of duties and commitments I have made, and talks over decisions I must make in my work and ministry life.
Back in 1937 when my father and mother were married the minister elaborated on the oft-quoted verses from Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up” (NIV).
Their marriage exemplified the truth of these verses as my parents lifted each other up during sixty-two years of marriage, which included the birth of six children, the death of one in infancy, five years of danger and oppression in Nazi-occupied Holland and five more years of hard work without progress. This led them to decide to leave their families and emigrate to Canada where they went through seven more years of poverty, hard work, and loneliness, during which time the family moved house eleven times in three different cities.
My parents often talked about these verses and, although they were not part of our wedding ceremony, Jo and I have had them in mind, and practiced them all our lives. We, too, left our families and traveled to Brazil to serve as Bible translators. And we, too, endured economic stresses. And, during our years there, we moved house thirteen times in eight different cities, towns and villages.
As I think of these times, I think of Jo as the “Proverbs 31 wife” who is worth far more than rubies. Jo brings me good and not harm all the days of her life. I have full confidence in her. While I was on an assignment in the West Indies, she sold our house and bought another without me seeing it until a month later when I drove the moving van up the driveway. She speaks with wisdom to me, our daughters, our grandchildren and their friends. Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting, but a woman like Jo who fears the Lord is to be praised. I honor her for who she is and what she does. No wonder I love her.
Thank you, Lord, for your favor in helping me find my wife, Jo.