Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 18:22
"He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord"
The idea of verse 22 is that a woman who is a full-on wife is such an incredible blessing that only God could give you a woman who would minister to your soul-needs as a good wife can. The idea also seems to be that there is a difference between a wife and a woman to whom you are married. When a woman becomes a godly wife and meets your deepest needs – Respect, Adaptability, Domestic Leadership, Intimacy, Companionship, Attractive, Listener – then you have found a very good thing.
There are a couple of potential nuances and directions that this verse takes that should be explored:
One, in a culture of arranged marriages he seems to be saying something about more than just a marriage partner. It was not hard to find a woman to enter into a marriage covenant with, but it was a find to have a full-on wife who would meet your deepest needs in an arranged marriage. When a man wakes up in a marriage and finds that his wife actually is a real full-on wife, then he has great cause for rejoicing. It is not much different in the crapshoot that we call dating. All are trying to put their best foot forward and hide their weaknesses, so that once you’re married is when you find out what you are really married to. Will your wife really study hard at how to meet your deepest needs, or will she just be interested in her own comfort and pleasure? Will she throw herself into the role of being a wife or will she build a comfortable life for herself within the monetary perimeters of the husband's provisions? On the other hand, it is just as much of a crapshoot for the woman. Will the man who has wooed her continue to woo her and treat her with the respect and dignity that she deserves, or will he settle into a selfish little life in which all revolves around him and he has very little concern for her emotional well being?
The second nuance that affects this verse is the fact that it was written in a culture of multiple marriages. Solomon had multiple wives and many other men – especially wealthy, powerful men – had many wives. Solomon seems to be saying that amongst these wives you may be lucky enough to get a real wife, a soul mate, someone who will stick closer than a brother.
You have been graced by the Lord when you find a real wife and not a whiner or selfish or gold digger or other descriptions of foolish women who are selfish, impulsive, and rebellious. The idea seems to be that there are women out there and you even may be married to one of them, but you have really been graced by the Lord when you find a real wife among the bunch – one who will look to meet your deepest internal needs. It is this type of wife who is declared a good thing.
On a personal note, God reminds me somewhat regularly about how much He has blessed me with the woman He gave me. I see it when I need her encouragement and comfort. I see it when I seek to meet her needs and she works hard to meet mine in return. I see it when God gives me little glimpses of the other ladies that I could have potentially married. I have been truly blessed by the Lord and have obtained great favor by whom He has given me as a partner for this life.