Read: Proverbs 21:9 & 19
Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife…Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and nagging wife.
Solomon has a lot to say about women. In fact, he seems to fancy himself an “expert” in all matters female; after all, he married over 700 wives and had another 300 concubines, according to I Kings 11:1-7. Hmmm…expert or an egghead?
Solomon, like each of the divinely-inspired authors of God’s Word, was deeply flawed, yet the Holy Spirit brought forth flawless spiritual wisdom through their writings. In Solomon’s case, he wrote the most brilliant guide to love and sexual intimacy in marriage the world has ever known in the “Song of Songs”, yet both his personal and professional life was destroyed, in large part, by the many politically motivated marriages and foreign wives who led him to worship other gods.
Throughout Proverbs, especially in the earlier chapters, Solomon warns of the dangers of allowing immoral women to entice naïve young men down the road of sexual gratification. I wrote a blog from chapter 2 entitled, “Immoral Women” (I thought it was actually a pretty good post, if I can say so myself; if you’re inspired, you can read it at http://raynoah.com/2010/11/02/immoral-women/). But one of my readers, a dear lady and a friend of mine, pushed back on the blog title when she wrote, “We often hear about ‘Immoral Women.’ Why do we never hear the verbal tag, ‘Immoral Men?’ We are all sinful according to God’s standards. We all need a Savior.”
That’s true! It takes two to tango. And it definitely takes the Savior to pull our collective bacon out of the proverbial fire. The fact is, when there is an immoral woman at work, it most likely means there is an immoral man helping her with her résumé. Likewise, when Solomon writes about a nagging and quarrelsome wife, we can easily expand his thinking to include both genders, as the Message version of Proverbs does so well:
“Better to live alone in a tumbledown shack than share a mansion with a nagging spouse…Better to live in a tent in the wild than with a cross and petulant spouse.”
So the question is, why did the Holy Spirit inspire King Solomon to write and include these words in the Sacred Scriptures? Here’s my take: I think God is very simply warning those who are hoping to enter marriage—a covenant that he expects married couples to faithfully honor throughout the life of their marriage—to enter into matrimony solemnly, with eyes wide open, and with a covenantal commitment to the happy-hard work required for a great marriage. While physical attraction and romantic love may propel a marriage off the launching pad and into orbit, Proverbs reminds would-be spouses that keeping the relationship a loving, growing, satisfying, enduring affair will require a daily dose of hard and holy work.
Sounds really romantic, huh? Well, the Bible would say that is the only way to stay romantically in love throughout the course of your marriage.
“What if God designed marriage to make us holy
more than to make us happy?”
Your Assignment, Should You Choose To Accept It:
Read and meditate on Ephesians 5:21-33. Whether you are married or contemplating marriage in the future, ask yourself whether your attitudes and expectations of marriage are aligned with God’s purpose for marriage as outlined in this passage.