In Christian circles, you hear much about the "Proverbs 31 wife". Proverbs 31, the last chapter in that book, ends with a lengthy description of a "wife of noble character." The verse which begins this epilogue (Proverbs 31:10) sets the tone for and summarizes the twenty verses that follow:
A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.
Now, my daily Bible reading schedule hasn't brought me to Proverbs 31 yet, so why does it appear that I'm skipping ahead? Because my reading has brought me through the first twenty-seven chapters of Proverbs, where we learn much in tightly packaged little metaphors about the wrong kind of wife.
After coming across the term "quarrelsome wife" for what felt like the hundredth time today, I wanted to review all such references I'd hit so far. As it turns out, there really aren't that many of them, but this brief collection is enough to get the point across:
A wife of noble character is her husband's crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones. (Proverbs 12:4)
A foolish son is his father's ruin, and a quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping. (Proverbs 19:13)
Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife. (Proverbs 21:9, and again in Proverbs 25:24)
Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and ill-tempered wife. (Proverbs 21:19)
A quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping on a rainy day; restraining her is like restraining the wind or grasping oil with the hand. (Proverbs 27:15-16)
Now, these verses will probably send feminists into a tizzy. But I post them here not because they sound like the type of grumbling that husbands do about their wives over beer and pizza (albeit, a little less eloquently). I post them here because I'm thankful for the wife God gave me, and just want to encourage other husbands to love their wives. Just love your wives. Check your love against one famous description of true love found in 1 Corinthians 13 — does it pass muster? Are you loving at full capacity?
I'm guilty of not loving my wife Amy at full capacity all the time. Sometimes I'm not patient, kind, unselfish, and so on; that's something I need to work on. Thankfully, after nearly ten years of marriage (April 25 will mark our first decade as husband and wife), Amy is still all of those things. She's a Proverbs 31 wife, and gracious enough to be mine. The only "constant dripping" I have to suffer through comes from the toilet tank in our master bathroom.