A Prudent Wife
1. Children receive an inheritance from their parents.
a. A son might receive a portion—or even all of his father’s estate when dad dies.
b. This has always been the custom.
2. Of course a father could CHOSE to leave his estate to whomsoever he desired.
a. But that was normally his son.
3. This sometimes created a sense of uneasiness in aging parents.
a. Even Solomon worried about whom he would be leaving all his wealth to.
b. Ecc. 2:18-19 – Who could tell if one’s son would be a fool or not? Solomon hated to think of a foolish son wasting and destroying everything he worked so hard for.
c. In that case, he might want to put that bumper sticker on the back of his chariot: “I’m spending my kids inheritance.”
• This is actually the same sentiment as Solomon states… only in the form of humor…
• Solomon didn’t see any humor in it.
• He lamented over it—all is vanity… emptiness.
d. Prov.17:2 – Sometimes fathers KNEW their sons were foolish and chose to leave the wealth to someone else… even a wise servant.
4. But the NORM was that fathers left their house and riches to their sons.
a. The SOURCE of this blessing was their earthly father.
b. The father provided the son with this blessing… the blessing of the inheritance.
14b And a prudent wife is from the LORD.
A. A Prudent Wife
1. Prudent defined:
a. Wise, understanding, with insight, skilled.
2. Usage: The WAY that the term PRUDENT is used in various passages provides much good application to the wife.
a. Proverbs 1:3 – the purpose of proverbs is to instill wisdom (prudence) into young people.
• A prudent wife will want to meditate upon the practical truths revealed in proverbs!
• There are countless applications to the home, to child rearing, and to the marriage to be gleaned from this book.
b. Prov. 10:19 – In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise(prudence).
• Here prudence is described as refraining the lips…
• Proverbs speaks a LOT about the wisdom of controlling one’s tongue… limiting speech…
• A prudent wife will exercise self control with her use of the tongue.
c. Psalm 119:99 – I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation.
• Here the psalmist states that prudence comes by means of meditating upon the Word of God.
• Psalm 119 is a great place to start…
• A prudent wife is one whose mind and heart are saturated with the Scriptures… and she lives it out in the home.
d. Psalm 101:2 – I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.
• A prudent or wise wife demonstrates her prudence by walking in her house with a perfect—mature heart.
• Vs.3 – she sets no wicked thing before her eyes. She does not sit on the couch and watch soap operas.
• She meditates on the Word instead.
e. Joshua 1:7-8 – The word for “prosper” (vs.7) and “success” (vs.8) are the same word as translated “prudent” in Prov.19:14.
• Vs. 7 – by not turning to the right or the left one “prospers”… or prudent behavior is achieved.
• This means no extremes… but walking in the middle of the road… not turning off the straight and narrow way. That is the way of spiritual prosperity. That is prudence.
• Vs. 8 – Again, by meditating on the WORD, and observing to DO it… one achieves good “success”—a prudent life.
• Success in life is spiritual wisdom. Obtaining spiritual wisdom is success.
• These are needed in the home!
f. Isa. 41:20 – That they may see, and know, and consider, and understand together, that the hand of the LORD hath done this, and the Holy One of Israel hath created it.
• Here the word for prudence is translated understand.
• Here understanding is associated with recognizing the hand of the Lord in circumstances.
• Cf. Jer. 9:24 – understand here is the same word.
• Knowing God in a deep, personal way is prudence.
• This is what we should glory in throughout life.
• A wife that really knows God… is a prudent wife.
g. This idea of PRUDENT is so very important in the home… for the wife.
• It is God’s wisdom.
• It results in refraining one’s lips.
• It comes from meditating on the Word.
• It results in walking in one’s house with a perfect heart.
• It is associated with knowing God.
• It results in spiritual prosperity and success in the things of the Lord.
3. A prudent wife is quite a treasure!
a. In the proverb, it stands parallel to the house and riches in the first part of the proverb.
b. An inheritance is a great blessing… something highly valued and appreciated.
c. But a prudent wife is even better!
d. A prudent wife is to be even MORE highly valued… and more appreciated.
e. Prov. 12:4 – A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband.
f. Prov. 31:10 – her price is far above rubies.
g. She is far more valuable than the house and riches received through inheritance.
h. What a contrast to the nagging wife of Prov. 19:13!
• The nagging wife might think herself to be wise and insightful in her ability to point out all the errors of her husband… but it is really a display of her folly.
• Wisdom would cause her to demonstrate not loud, boisterous nagging, but a meek and quiet spirit…
B. Of the LORD
1. In that culture, it was often the earthly father who PRE-ARRANGED the marriage.
a. This was almost like a business deal between the parents of the prospective bride and groom—sometimes when they were only children.
b. The father would arrange for a wife for his son.
c. Here Solomon makes it clear that while the father might pass on an inheritance… and a father might even pre-arrange a marriage. However, if a man ends up with a prudent wife, it is really a gift from GOD… not dear old dad.
2. Proverbs 18:22 – favor from the Lord.
a. Favor: When attributed to God, the term expresses the divine goodwill which He extends to humanity as He sees fit. It is similar in meaning to the New Testament word for GRACE.
b. If you get a prudent wife thank God for her… and acknowledge that she is a grace GIFT… not something we deserved. So thank God for her.
3. God is actually the Author of ALL blessings… of every good gift. (Jas. 1:17)
a. If you have a prudent wife, thank God for her.
b. Don’t praise yourself for a wise choice. Solomon tells us that it was divine providence… not human insight.
c. This thought was especially important to make in the culture of Solomon’s day when the fathers often arranged for a wife for his son in a pre-arranged marriage.
4. This proverb may well imply that often the leading factor in making the choice between families was “houses and riches.”
a. But arranging a marriage on those grounds was fraught with trouble.
b. Godliness and prudence are much better traits to be looking for than houses and riches.
c. Look to GOD for a prudent wife.
5. There is always an element of surprise.
a. You never FULLY know what you’re getting.
b. So if you get a prudent wife, thank God for her!
c. Not all wives are prudent.
d. Many men have been deceived by women pretending to be godly and wise during the courtship.
e. If God is first in YOUR life… you will likely get connected with a woman with the same goals.
f. God providentially provides a prudent wife. Consider how God brought Ruth to Boaz. God arranged the steps all the way along… and at the core of it was the fact of two hearts that wanted to honor God.
g. When that is the desire of one’s heart, the Lord brings those two lives together.
h. If you are looking for a mate… look to God—not the internet. A wise mate is a gift from God…
i. Prov. 3:6 – In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.