CQM Blog: Concepts That Build Christ-Likeness

Tools for those in serious pursuit

Concept Review | Proverbs 18:22 Word Study By Ken Nair

“Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing.”  Proverbs 18:22

There are two words in this Scripture that today, in our modern society, tend to lend themselves to potential misuse. The words are “good” and “thing.”

This seems then to be a passage that needs some clarification. I have heard men express gratitude toward their wives in many areas ranging from cooking to sex. But seldom, if ever, have I heard expressions of spiritually significant gratitude.

Without clarification, the words “good” and “thing” can be defined by whoever the reader happens to be, man or woman. And, too often, women’s frame of reference about what Scripture is saying is influenced by men’s thinking.

It is a shame when men think the “good” that God is referring to is that which will benefit our earthbound, physical lives. Yes, the “good” can also benefit our physical lives, but I believe that, God being spiritual, He intends that we would primarily derive mostly spiritual benefits from a wife.

Let’s do a word study to enhance our perspective as we seek to understand this important verse.

Findeth (Heb. Matsa, maw-tsaw) to come forth, appear, exist, to attain, find, acquire, meet

Wife (Heb. Ishshaw, ish-shaw) female, one together, wife, woman

Good (Heb. towb, tobe) good, better, best, in favor, fine

Thing (the word, “thing” is not in the original language. It is added to give definition to the word, “good.”)

Favor (Heb. ratsown, rat-tsone) delight, favor, acceptable, good, pleasure

As we reflect on this creation we call woman, while identified by God as Helper, it is important that we reflect on this “good” thing from God’s perspective. That way we can derive the benefits that God intends.

Many of the physical tasks we face require two people. Doesn’t it make sense, then, that having a constant helper in our spiritual lives would provide spiritual benefits? But, most people do not consider that becoming spiritually mature would require two people in order to experience greater success.

It is typical for men to think independently. Even Scripture tells us we have a problem with our thinking. The Bible says, “Every man thinks he is right in his own eyes.” (Proverbs 21:2)  So, it is possible that a man’s unChrist-likeness might not be apparent to him, at least as much as it would be noticed by someone else.

That being the case, considering the long-range and time-intensive investment necessary to accomplish the goal of Christ-likeness in a man, how likely is it that anyone besides a wife would want to make that kind of investment, or run the risks of reactions, to invest in a man’s personal, spiritual growth? Who but a wife would be willing to help a man in his own quest of putting his flesh to death so that he might become more and more Christ-like?

It seems that the person most likely to make such a commitment would be the person who would stand to benefit the most. That person would also have to be around that man so much that that man would eventually set aside all of his pretenses, resulting in the real man being exposed…the hidden, un-Christ-like man. And, if a man’s genuine goal is to discover his flesh, and put it to death in order to become more Christ-like, then it would indeed be a blessing to have his own personal, on-going revealer of his flesh.

This perspective allows a man to understand God’s purpose when He wrote Proverbs 18:22, paraphrased. Whoso, because of God’s generous, loving foresight made the attractions so strong that a man would want to acquire a female to be one together with, attains (gains) (is able to go) from good to better to best, and he also is issued, has furnished to him, has secured for him, as a part of God’s design for his life, delight, favor, pleasure and goodness in the spiritual realm as well as the physical realm. Why? Because a husband has someone helping him see his spiritual capacity to portray Christ (or not), so that he can attain that high calling in Christ Jesus. That man, becoming more and more like Christ, will be achieving a greater degree of spiritual maturity allowing him to care, as Christ would, for the spirits of all of those in his family for whom he is responsible.

A man who acquires a woman as his wife will, as a natural by-product, also acquire betterment for himself. This betterment is secured for him because it delights the Lord and gives the Lord great pleasure to favor a man in this way.