Most of us have heard that Solomon was the wisest man to ever live. That being said, however, he didn’t seem too wise on his number or choice of all of his wives. I do think that he struggled with some of these decisions over time. This even comes across in one of his treasures that he left us, the book of Proverbs. It’s obvious that some of his wives were winners, and some were not.
In Proverbs, Solomon pours out his wealth of wisdom to his children. Advice to heed. As you read along most of us can glean so much from the words…and then, out of nowhere, you find these interesting statements that don’t always seem to fit.
It’s almost like you can see Solomon, sitting in his office or his chamber or a quiet room with a scroll and his quill…writing the most important lessons of life to the next generation. He’s focused…He’s deliberate…intentional…writing…writing…and then from behind him, one of his wives…in a loving, kind voice, encourages him or discusses something with him, and leaves him breathless…his train of thought now completely off-course…he finds some closure in writing about
his blessed wife. Things like “A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown…” and “he who finds a wife finds a good thing and receives favor from the Lord….” And he continues on…
Once again he gets back into his writing…pouring out his wisdom for his children and grand children…this time however, the interruption is different, and in a nagging voice, he hears, “Solomon…for the fourteenth time, can you please remember to not leave your sandals on the bed!”…he stops…his train of thought completely off-course…so to have closure, he interrupts his wisdom to add insight like “better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife”…and he continues...back to his wisdom he wants to pass on…about lust, power, debt, love…he writes about 10 more verses, and then once again, the voice returns, “Solomon…you forgot to pay the cable bill, and now I can’t watch the finale of Jerusalem Idol tonight! Why can’t you do anything right?”…he stops again…and writes, “better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and nagging wife.”
He presses on…back on track he speaks of serving, of humility, of the greater good…he makes through three or four chapters, and then…”Solomon…for the last time, can you please take me and mother to buy some new fabric”…he stops…and writes, “a quarrelsome wife is like the dripping of a leaky roof in a rainstorm”…and then he presses on in his writing.
As he gets to the end of his writing, the first wife comes in to check on him. She is kind and praises his writing for their children, and as she walks away, he writes, “a wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies…”
Isn’t it interesting…the contrast in his writings about a wife. Is he talking about his wives? Is it possible that he was talking about the same woman? I know all of us, men and women, could praise our spouse on one day, and complain about them the next.
Personally, I would love to have been a fly on the wall while he wrote this masterpiece…and see the events that led to his comments about his wife(s).
Most of all remember guys, that “he who finds a wife finds a GOOD thing and receives favor from the Lord”. I know I sound like Solomon a lot…one minute praising my wife, and then complaining the next. Shame on me!
After writing this post the other day, I have had a moment to reflect on it some more. I’m not sure what the thought process Solomon was using when he addressed a wife so differently, but in light of things Camille and I have discussed lately, and in light of marriages crumbling around us lately, I think the most wise thing to take from it is to use the approach that he was speaking of the same woman.
Isn’t it amazing how in one breath you are praising your spouse, and have such a Godly outlook and attitude, and one day, one hour, or ten minutes later, you’re nagging, and complaining, and have a poor outlook/attitude…
Marriage is tough. I often tell young couples that it is the best thing and the hardest thing you’ll ever do. Like the tide, you will have great moments and you will have terrible moments. But you press on!
Solomon started his writing and ended his writing praising his wife and thanking God for her. Yeah, he may have complained some along the way, but he started and finished strong! We should too!
This past week, we just celebrated 19 years as a married couple. Thank you Jesus for my blessed wife, Camille! She is worth far more than rubies! I know that we both could make claims about each other involving a desert or a dripping leak, but we must see the blessing we have in each other.
Most importantly, we must remember that marriage is an illustration of Christ and his church. And we are to love each other not because we ‘feel’ it, or because they deserve it. We are to seek to glorify God in all we do, and one awesome way we can do that is by loving our spouse with an abounding, unconditional, knock-their-socks-off love because by loving them, we glorify the Father. We get to illustrate Christ's love to our neighbors, to our children, and to the world around us by unconditionally loving our spouse regardless of how much they deserve it. Praise God that Christ loves us even when we don’t deserve it!
So tell your spouse you love them today! Love them unconditionally like Christ loves His church. Don't let your love be based on performance!