As a young man about to get married, I was lied to by many preachers and leaders in the Assembly. The lie they all told us young men: Find a Proverbs 31 woman. It was a great lie to tell us but it was still a lie. I don’t question if they believe their own lie but it was still…well, a lie.
The concept of a Proverbs 31 woman sounds great to many young people as it did to me when the pastors always told us about it. I mean it seems like the “dream woman.” However, it was not God’s dream woman for men of God. That is where the problem lies.
The problem with this advice is that is rooted in human wisdom and logic, not heavenly wisdom and truth. People who are atheists want a wife like it is in Proverbs. There is nothing supernatural needed. In America, we just call them being a “Southern Belle.”
See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.Colossians 2:8
The wisdom of having the ideal Proverbs 31 woman is actually empty wisdom and a philosophy that is wrong. I believe this “wisdom” we tell young people to have for marriage is the bedrock for divorce within the Assembly.
Saying no to the Proverbs 31 woman
The advice I am about to give is what I wish someone would have given me when I was 20 years old, in love with the ideal Proverbs 31 woman, and about to get married. Sadly, no one person cared enough to tell me what I really should look for in a wife from a biblical point of view.
There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then was a widow until she was eighty-four.She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.Luke 2:36-38
We should telling our young men to find modern day Annas. We need women who are committed to hearing God, praying and fasting for answers and proclaiming redemption.
Instead of going to all the places to meet someone to marry, she was hiding in the house of prayer through her adult life. She wanted to see revival in her nation and redemption proclaimed. That is far more important that selling wool in the market.
Personally, how I wish someone would have told me to seek a woman like Anna, a girl from the “happy ones.” (Asher means Happy Ones) It is far more important that a woman knows the power of the joy of the Lord and God’s laughter over them than anything in Proverbs.
For the kingdom of God is… joy in the Holy Spirit.Romans 14:17
Having a woman that will hear the Holy Spirit above every other voice is very important for godly relationships to last. While watching over the affairs of the household is noble; it is Mary, not Martha that chosen the better thing. (Luke 10:38–42)
The reason that this is so critical for people in ministry is that when trails come, she will know the word of the Lord instead of the opinions of men. Nothing will make a marriage stand more than completely conviction based on the prophetic word of the Lord. However, that does not happen if you marry someone who does not value the prophetic.
Marry an intercessor
I have never seen someone who married an intercessor end in divorce. It is very important to have a wife that knows how to get hold of God when there is problems. She will spend the night crying out for God to break in if need be. Most prophets and evangelists better marry an intercessor if they want to walk in the fullness of their calling.
As I look back at my own marriage, I realize that while I had that Proverbs 31 woman everyone told me to be with, I was carrying the whole load spiritually. I was the evangelist, the prophet and the intercessor. I firmly believe that intercessor wives are critical for family to develop spiritually.
A Christian fellowship lives and exists by the intercession of its members for one another, or it collapses.Dietrich Bonhoeffer
The reason that this is so important in marriage, especially in ministry, is you need a woman that runs for the throne room, not the front door. Things change in the place of prayer, not the place of debate. There is no value that can be put on a woman that knows how to contend for miracles both within and without the home. No price tag for that value at all.
A woman that is more concerned with crying out in sash clothes that selling sashes to merchant is what makes godly marriage last. It is far more of value to see her contend in fasting, weeping and mourning for miracles (See Joel 1-2) than see them in the marketplace trying to build a career.
Proclaimers make good wives
Anna was not just a prophetess and an intercessor; she was also an evangelist. She proclaimed redemption to everyone that Jesus was among them. She wanted people to know that God incarnate was in the land. She was one of the last Old Testament proclaimers we know about. (John the Baptist is the other one)
This is yet another thing that I was not told to look for as a young man in a wife. No one told me find someone that will proclaim the gospel, no matter the cost. There was no mention about finding someone ready to lay down their life for the cause of Christ.
Many people saw the call on my life as an evangelist and a prophet but they never question the need to be married to someone with that calling. The advice I got from well meaning people was more find someone that can “hold things down” while you preach. The problem with this is division takes root. Two different visions develop as a result.
In my case, everything I did was about doing the first international crusade in Nigeria. I spend as much time as I could working towards going to preach the gospel. That was my vision. The other vision was for me to give up on the crusade, get a “real job,” waste my life in the corporate world, and do the American dream. What happened? Division or multiple visions. When one is a proclaimer and one is not; this is the result.
Do I regret the advice?
I really don’t. At the time, I would have married her because I loved her and I thought she loved me. I just wish someone that I looked up to sit me down and asked me the hard questions about having a wife that hears from God, commits to prayer and is a proclaimer of the gospel. That would have been much better than the ever so present “Proverbs 31 woman” obsession at the turn of the century.
I was completely vertical in relationship. Everything to me was about the prophetic, angels, open visions and evangelism. I honestly did not think much about the horizontal side of life. Having someone that did think about that element was frustrating but needed. It did provide a balance to me that I did not have and have not had since.
At the end of the day, I just wish someone would have sit me down and asked, “Are you two on the same page spiritually?” They should have asked the hard questions about the prophetic, intercession and evangelism. They did not.
I do not blame her that much. I am hard to keep up with, especially when I was younger. I wonder more where was the spiritual fathers that was asking about the modern Anna anointing?