I will never cease to repeat it, finding a wife is a delicate matter, it’s an endeavor that is not without its challenges. Remember, in Genesis 24:3-4, the patriarch Abraham sent his faithful servant to find a wife for his son Isaac, making him swear an oath, and he was guided in his mission by signs from the Lord. His words were as follows: “and I will make you swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and the God of the earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell, but you shall go to my country and to my kindred, and take a wife for my son Isaac.”

This same rigor, which appears here, was also evident in Genesis 28:6 in the advice Isaac gave to his son Jacob to find a wife:

Esau saw that Isaac had blessed Jacob and sent him away to Paddan-aram to take a wife from there, and that as he blessed him he directed him, ‘You must not take a wife from the Canaanite women,'”

From these texts emerges an important question for us, namely, “what must be done to find a wife?” or to be more precise, “what are the essential qualities a woman must possess to be taken in marriage?” On this subject, a clue is given to us in Proverbs 31:10; this passage says:

An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.

The question here is very clear and it does not mention finding a beautiful woman, a woman from a good family, elegant, intellectual, modern, or rich. One might wonder why physical beauty was not the primary pursuit in this demand? Proverbs 31:30 gives us the answer to this question and says:

Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

The majority of men in choosing a wife would consider criteria such as her smile, her height, her figure, her complexion, the color of her eyes, her chest, her family name, her money, her job, but from the passages previously mentioned, we must understand that beauty and these things are not indispensable criteria in the search for the woman with whom we would spend the rest of our lives; they are bonuses and the most important thing is that she fears God and is submissive to Him. Let us now take the case of Jacob by reading Genesis:

Leah’s eyes were weak, but Rachel was beautiful in form and appearance. Jacob loved Rachel. And he said, ‘I will serve you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel.’ Laban said, ‘It is better that I give her to you than that I should give her to any other man; stay with me.’ So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed to him but a few days because of the love he had for her. Then Jacob said to Laban, ‘Give me my wife that I may go in to her.’” Genesis 29:17-21:

Complete the week of this one, and we will give you the other also in return for serving me another seven years.’ Jacob did so, and completed her week. Then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel to be his wife. (Jacob went in to Rachel also, and he loved Rachel more than Leah, …)” Genesis 29:27-29

Through these passages, we see that Jacob loved Rachel because she was beautiful in appearance, and he was willing to do anything to marry her but ended up with her sister Leah, who was not as physically attractive as she was, but God had planned to use Leah, and from her comes the lineage of the Messiah. They (these passages) also reveal that man’s choice is not necessarily God’s will and it can have serious consequences if not made thoughtfully. You see, Jacob thought Rachel had everything to please him when she was not fundamentally the right woman for him because besides being beautiful, she was a thief and a liar; remember that she took her father’s idols with her when leaving her house and denied taking them. Leah, on the other hand, though being a simple and apparently ordinary woman, was faithful and upright.

So what kind of woman are you looking for? This question is also valid for women in search of the ideal man, the prince charming. Take the time to carefully analyze the one you think is the right partner because after putting the ring on their finger, you might be surprised to find that you’ve burdened your relationship and can’t get rid of it anymore.

Furthermore, a man must, in his quest, select a woman who is wise, and on this Proverbs 14:1 (BFC) tells us: “A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands.” To confirm this passage, we can refer to Proverbs 24:3 (BFC), which says: “By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established.”

In short, if the woman you choose is wise, then you can be sure that your home will be in good hands and will last, but if it is the opposite, you will only encounter trouble after trouble as Proverbs 9:13 (NBS) reveals: “The woman of folly is boisterous, naive, and knows nothing.

Finally, it is important that the woman you choose be hospitable and kind-hearted. Indeed, the Living Bible version (Alfred Kuen) of 1 Timothy 5:10 says that she must enjoy a good reputation. Let her be known for her good deeds, such as raising her children well, opening her home to strangers, performing the humblest services for Christians, helping the unfortunate, assisting the afflicted… In short: she must seize every opportunity to do good and practice all kinds of good deeds.

Why is this? Simply because nowadays, there are many men and women whose hearts are wicked; and generally, these people do not open the doors of their homes to the poor, travelers, and strangers. Often, even in-laws are not welcome or are asked upon arrival when they should leave. This should not be so! 1 Peter 4:9 (Segond) gives us clear instruction: “Be hospitable to one another without grumbling.” and it is said of a woman who walks according to this word according to Proverbs 31:12 (Jerusalem) that she makes her husband’s happiness and not his misery every day of her life.

This text is an excerpt from the book “MYDUMAR: The Mystery of Marriage” written by Rév. Blaise KANGA.

We invite you to read the following article “Understanding the Concept of Marriage.

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