Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.
Wives can be chosen three different ways. Two of them give horrible results, but one is gloriously foolproof. Young man, guarantee yourself a great marriage. Marry a woman that fears the LORD. Her acts of kindness lie, and physical attraction is worth little. The advice here is of great value. Consider it; understand it; remember it; teach it; require it.
This is clearly one of the most precious proverbs. In just eighteen words, the God of wisdom gives glorious and comprehensive warning and instruction for one of life’s largest decisions. Wise men will bow and tremble before this single sentence and know God wrote the Bible. There is more wisdom here than all marriage manuals combined.
Attraction and marriage usually occur for the two wrong reasons. Men love women for their friendliness and pleasing actions and/or for their beauty. Arranged marriages and political marriages are exceptions. Most men pick their wives by favor or beauty. They appreciate a woman doing things for them, and they lust for a beautiful body and/or face.
Favor is the way a woman treats a man. Favor is doing what the man wants, treating him kindly with responsive affection, and obeying his wishes. Women are experts at being agreeable, cheerful, friendly, feminine, and even submissive, when they want to be. Favor often includes sacrificing her virginity and having sex before marriage to please him. Favor is how a woman seduces a man. Favor is doing what he wants in order to win him.
Favor is deceitful; it is a lie. Anyone can treat another person nicely for a while to obtain something from them. Such women do not treat husbands the same once they are married, for the need to seduce is gone. She has her husband, and now her true character will show. Deceitful favor is a shock – men cannot believe after the wedding to find that dating was a lie. She is not nearly as happy, kind, and loving as she was seducing him.
The man who married for her lying favors must now stare at the truth (and most often listen to it), as his wife reveals what she was all along – a whining tormentor. Remember! An odious woman is only found after marriage (Pr 30:23). She was awesome on dates, you easily recall. But thinking about it now is too late. The trap has sprung; the rusty iron claws have grasped and pierced your heart; it will not let go. She has you for your life!
Beauty is a woman’s physical attractiveness. Men desire beautiful women, for God made them to be visually stimulated. God also designed every feature of a woman to attract the man’s sight, and a beautiful woman has these features in abundance and perfection. In an instant of time, a woman’s face, body, hair, or all three can smite a man. He is in love, or so he thinks. His vision says that marital heaven is beneath the wedding veil and gown.
Beauty is vain and worthless, without value or profit. It will not make a great marriage; it often creates more problems than pleasure. It does not indicate character. A perfect body often houses a deformed soul. You will only know too late. Beautiful women can be haughty, flirty, selfish, lazy, and shoppers. Husbands are often jealous, forced to support extravagance, forced to beg for favors, and may be limited to sexual looking and wishing.
Beauty also corrupts with time, distorts with sickness, and disappears with age, as the decaying effect of sin takes it away. The man who sets sail for marital heaven on the ship Beauty is in a vessel taking on water. The flower garden he chose for his life’s enjoyment is soon nothing but weeds. What will hold the marriage together when the beauty queen weighs 225 lbs., has sparse gray hair two inches long, and moles the size of grapes?
A beautiful woman without character is like a gold jewel in a pig’s nose (Pr 11:22). The beauty of the small jewel cannot make the pig attractive or take away the horrible odor (Pr 27:15-16). Such a man is doomed to twenty-five years of wishing he could make love to his wife and twenty-five years of wishing he did not have to. Remember, young man, when you see the beautiful gold, do not overlook the hairy pig wearing it. And if the odious wife is not beautiful, then you foolishly married without even getting any gold!
But a woman who fears the Lord shall be praised! Her husband and children will praise her for the great happiness, comfort, peace, help, and pleasure she brought them (Pr 31:28). They will honor her, for she fulfilled their lives with the wonderful blessings of tireless service, tender affection, selfless attention, devoted companionship, and diligent labor. Read carefully the detailed portrait of this marital queen written by a king’s mother, and see the character and conduct that makes her a very rare wife (Pr 31:10-31).
Her husband’s life is full of joy, for his heart can safely trust in her (Pr 31:11). She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life (Pr 31:12). He knows she would never betray him; he never has to beg or coerce her for anything; he knows he and his children always get the best; he is thrilled and proud to be seen with her in public; he knows he has the most affectionate and erotic woman ever; he knows she works harder than he does; he rejoices at her creativity and frugality; he is handsomely rewarded by her entrepreneurial ability and industry; her kindness is known by all; the beauty and warmth of their home provides the best in hospitality; and he is the envy of all other good men.
The fear of the Lord is a fervent and reverent desire to please God and hate anything that displeases Him (Pr 8:13; Eccl 12:13). It is much more than attending church: most churchgoers do not fear God. The perfect woman believes the Bible absolutely and fully, and she wants to obey it in every area of her life (Ps 119:128). Since it describes the perfect wife, she therefore has the highest motive to keep the highest standard for wives ever written. This criterion for picking a wife puts all others to utter confusion. Heed it!
Consider carefully. She has the highest motivation, for she serves her husband in all aspects to earn the approval of her eternal God and Judge. She follows the only perfect guide for wives, written by man’s Creator, who made the woman for the man. There is no comparison to marrying a woman who fears the Lord. But consider further. Only this woman has the Holy Spirit bearing the wonderful fruit of love, joy, and peace in her life.
When the flames of romantic attraction die down, what motive to excel as a wife, lover, and mother do most women have? They are lost without the internal passion that once drove them. But this woman is daily seeking to please her God, Who has laid out clearly in Scripture every godly trait she must have to please Him. Her love of God and His love of her never vary, so the ebb and flow of marital affection do not affect her.
When marital difficulties arise, and her husband is foolish, only a woman who fears the Lord will remain unchanged. Her continued performance is not dependent on her respect or even love of her husband. It is entirely based on her love and fear of the Lord. She will not change, just because her husband shows his selfish, ugly side. She knows there is still a God in heaven, Who expects her to be a wife as unto Him. Hear, young man!
A wise man will require the fear of the Lord. He will check her love of God, her devotion to Christ, her esteem of Scripture, and her willingness to be taught. He will measure how she takes correction, responds to hard preaching, and makes personal changes to please her Creator. He will look for that extreme devotion to the LORD that will turn to be his greatest asset, when she will love and serve her husband in spite of any troubles at home. He will check her prayer life, not her tan, her spirituality, not her cooking.
He will look for her in church, rather than bars, and not just any church. He will seek a committed woman in an old-fashioned church that emphasizes sound doctrine and holy living. He will test her by the word of God, and he will expect cheerful, perfect, and immediate obedience. He will look for that meek and quiet spirit that God says is of great price (I Pet 3:1-6). He will look for opportunities to check her submission to authority in personal matters. If she will grow her hair because of I Cor 11:15, prepare your dowry!
At all costs, do not get near any woman emphasizing her favors or beauty to attract you, for these are the signs of the strange woman, the whore who is out to destroy you (Pr 2:16-19; 5:3-23; 6:24-35; 7:5-27; 9:13-18; 23:27-28; 30:20). Effort and energy to make you happy or to look good are the traits of a worldly woman. Demand fear of the Lord. Reject all imitations. Reject all hypocrisies. They will come back to destroy your life.
Christian woman, do you want to be such a praise-worthy woman? Humble yourself before your Creator and practice everything in this book of Proverbs written positively for you (Pr 11:16; 12:4; 19:14; 31:10-29). Avoid everything written in warning (Pr 11:22; 19:13; 21:9,19; 25:24; 27:15-16). Hate the world and its popular message of liberation for women, for they will destroy the very sex they seek to save by swallowing Satan’s perverting lies. Seek a church where the pulpit loudly proclaims the apostolic truth of God unapologetically, and where the women enjoy hearing it and practicing it at home.
The wisdom of this proverb works both ways. Fathers must help daughters marry men who fear God. Such a man has the highest motivation – pleasing His eternal Creator; and he has the perfect manual for husbands – the Word of God. Women, do not even consider a man who does not have a passionate and consistent fear of God, love for Jesus Christ, and holy zeal for every word of the Bible. A God-fearing man will take care of you and your children like no other. Measure wisely, for churches have many hypocrites.
Christian brother, if you have a God-fearing wife, praise her and reward her, privately and publicly (Pr 31:28-31). Thank the merciful God of heaven for her (Pr 18:22; 19:14; 31:10). He has greatly blessed you. Your Creator has brought you a woman far better than Eve, who killed her husband for a lie! He saved you from hell in this life by keeping you from marrying a woman with mere favor or beauty. To keep her fearing the Lord, take her to a church where His truth is plainly taught and lead her to Him at home.
The great religious whore of Rome seeks the souls of men by offering them her favors of spiritual fornication and the beauty of manmade garments and pagan temples (Rev 17:1-6). Be wise, Christian reader, to see the deceit of her treachery and the vanity of her pretensions. She has nothing but the form of godliness, without the substance. Look for the pure character of Christ’s kingdom in the simple churches of godly saints, who tremble in joyful fear before the throne of Christ Jesus, not the pope or any other man.
Your blessed groom, the Lord Jesus Christ, seeks a spouse who fears the Lord. Quit your deceitful favor (Rev 2:2-4; 3:15-16), and give up your vain ideas of beauty (Rev 3:17-18). Humble yourself in contrite repentance, and He will come in to you (Rev 3:19-22).