Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Proverbs 31

First off, I must preface this with a few warnings. One, I’ve gotten myself into many a pickle in commenting on this passage in conversations. Second, I’m not an expert on wives by any means since I don’t have one. Lastly, I’m sure there is room for multiple positions on this matter; I don’t claim my position is the only one (or even the only Biblical one).

What is modern-American men’s obsession with looks? These definitions change with each culture and time. The Victorian age’s definition of physical beauty isn’t what we look for today. Physical beauty is not unmentioned in the Bible either. Sarai was beautiful and so was Rachel we are told. We are also told that “Leah's eyes were delicate, but Rachel was beautiful of form and appearance.” So we even have details down to the level that Leah had gorgeous eyes, but Rachel was all around beautiful; “in all the land were found no women so beautiful as the daughters of Job.” BUT, there is no exhortation to seek out a physically beautiful wife. It seems that God in his infinite wisdom figured men really wouldn’t have trouble with that aspect.

On the other hand, there *is* an exhortation to find a virtuous wife. Proverbs 31:10 “Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies.” In my thinking, this means that I ought to value virtue quite a bit above looks. The passage goes onto describe a woman that is clothed with strength and honor. She is a wise woman who knows how to manage a business well. She is also one that speaks with both wisdom and kindness. Then, as if the speaking on virtue wasn’t enough, the author goes onto say “charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.” Beauty is passing. This should be a sobering phrase. You are going to have to live with your wife long after she is not the 20-year-old hottie anymore. Consider that now! Are the few years of having a trophy wife going to be worth the many more years of having a quarrelsome wife? I think not. When you are old, you won’t be saying “Man, I wish I had a cute wife when I was younger,” you’ll be saying “Man, I wish I would have had more peace in my house.” Of course, this assumes you have a life long commitment idea about marriage.

If you manage to find a virtuous wife that is drop dead gorgeous--more power to you. It just seems to me that as in Jesus’ age, the gospel was hidden from the wise and prudent as seemed good in the sight of the father, that in our day and age these things have been hidden from the beautiful.


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