By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches. -Proverbs 24:3-4
In our culture, there continues to be a relentless attack on the family – to redefine it, to devalue it, and in the end, to destroy it. But by God’s grace, our families don’t have to be victims or statistics. Because of the work of the gospel in our lives, we are growing in our understanding of what a healthy home, and a healthy marriage look like.
I. Marriage and the Gospel
Before diving into the wisdom Proverbs would offer to married couples, we first must be reminded why God made marriage in the first place. And that is to be a beautiful illustration of Christ and the Church. (Read together Eph. 5:31-33). So for a marriage to reflect the gospel, it looks like the wife humbly, intelligently submitting to her husband. And the husband is to humbly, sacrificially lead his home by loving his wife and laying down his life for her. The man is called to be a servant-leader like Jesus.
II. Wisdom for Husbands
When it comes to the husband, Proverbs spends the majority of the time warning husbands against adultery. In fact, there are 3 entire chapters in Proverbs warning the young man against infidelity, and to beware the adulteress. (Read Prov. 5:1-5; 15-19). We are surrounded by a culture that encourages intimacy without relationship, pleasure without responsibility. True intimacy is mocked and promiscuity is seen as a badge of manhood. And as a result, marriage at best is unnecessary, at worst is despised.
But men who follow Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, must resist these lies with the truth. And that truth is God has called us to be men unspotted from the world. We are to hold purity high, we are to hold the honor of marriage high. If you are single, honor God with your purity, knowing that you are not your own, but you are bought with a price. And if you are married, husbands honor God and the wife God gave you by devoting your bodies and minds to that one woman.
III. Wisdom for Wives
-A wife is a gift from God (Prov. 19:14; 18:22)
-A wife can be a blessing or a curse (Prov. 12:4)
A godly wife is exemplified in Proverbs 31…
-She honors her husband (Prov. 31:10, 23; 11:22)
-She is wise with money (Prov. 31:16, 24)
-She is a wise teacher (Prov. 31:26)
-She takes care of her family (Prov. 31:15, 21, 27, 29-30)
These instructions for husbands and wives are tall orders. We could all be tempted to read them and only be aware of how far we fall short of them. But that’s not what God intends. He wants to show us what His plan and His standard is for marriage. As we see that clearly, we will also clearly see our need for Jesus and the grace He provide to live in a way that pleases Him.