HH, Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div
Initially, it seemed that Proverbs had little to say to the woman who sought to discern the qualities of a godly husband. I have come to see that this is not at all the case. In general, we can say that a woman should seek a wise man. Since we have already studied the characteristics of the wise, we will only summarize them here. These seem especially applicable to marriage:
1. A wise husband is kind and compassionate (12:10).
2. A wise husband is honest (29:24).
3. A wise husband is hard-working (12:11; 27:23-27).
4. A wise husband is truthful (12:17,19).
5. A wise husband exercises self-control (12:15; 16:32).
6. A wise husband has a gentle tongue (12:18; 15:1-2,4).
7. A wise husband is generous (14:21; 28:27).
8. A wise husband is willing to be corrected (even by his wife) and listens to counsel (12:15; 15:12,31-32; 28:13; 29:1).
9. A wise husband is a man of integrity (19:1; 20:7).
10. A wise husband is faithful and reliable (17:17; 29:3; contrast 25:19; 31:3).
11. A wise husband is forgiving (19:11).
12. A wise husband is willing to admit he is wrong (28:13).
13. A wise husband is humble (15:25,33; 16:18-19; 18:12; 29:23).
14. A wise husband is not contentious, but a peacemaker (17:1; 18:1,19).
15. A wise husband has control of his temper (14:29; 16:32; 17:27; 29:11).
16. A wise husband is a man who avoids excesses (20:1; 23:20-21, 29-35; 31:3-9).
17. A wise husband has a concern for others, especially the poor and the oppressed (29:7).
18. A wise husband can keep confidence (17:9; 26:20).
19. A wise husband fears God and is obedient to His Word (13:13; 14:26; 16:20; 28:25; 31:30).
20. A wise husband is not a jealous man (27:4).
21. A wise husband has a positive outlook on life (15:15; 17:22; 18:14).
As I look at these characteristics of the wise I am reminded of the qualifications laid down by the apostle Paul for elders and deacons in 1 Timothy 3. I find a great similarity between the qualifications for church leaders and the characteristics of the wise in Proverbs. But should this come as a surprise? After all, isn’t Proverbs written to young men who will be leaders, instructing them about wisdom? In this sense, 1 Timothy 3 only summarizes what Proverbs has taught in greater detail.