Introduction: This week our study of Proverbs turns to marriage.
Since King Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines ( 1 Kings 11:3) he
obviously had lots of experience and should have had volumes to write
about marriage! Seriously, Solomon’s wives led him astray. (1 Kings
11:3-4) Our goal this week is to see what God inspired Solomon to
write about marriage that will help us!

  1. Two Become One

    1. Read Proverbs 19:14. Why does your wife come from God
      instead of from your parents? Does this suggest that
      parents are not a good source of advice when it comes to
      marriage? Or, does it mean something else entirely?

      1. If you are a parent, do you think you have a better
        idea who your child should marry than the child?

      2. How, exactly, do you think you get a prudent wife
        from the Lord? (Pray about it!)

        1. If you are unmarried, should you pray that God
          will direct you to the proper spouse?

        2. If you are parents, should you pray that God
          will lead your children to the proper spouse?

      3. What does it mean to have a “prudent” wife?

    2. Let’s turn to Genesis 2:22-24. Here we have another
      reference to parents. Why does the text say you leave your
      parents and become united with your spouse?

      1. Why do you have to leave your parents?

      2. When your children become married, should you leave
        them alone?

        1. What about helping them to work out their

        2. Shouldn’t parents help resolve disputes between
          married children because the parents have
          experience in these things? (I think God knew
          exactly what He was saying when he counseled
          young married couples to “leave” their parents.
          If a dispute is just between the two young
          people, they will have to work it out between
          them. However, as soon as a parent (or two)
          takes sides, the one young person will not feel
          the need to compromise and the other young
          person will turn away because they are
          “outvoted” and cannot win even a compromise.)

    1. Read Proverbs 18:22. How is finding a wife finding favor
      from the Lord? (God’s original plan was marriage. When it
      works right it is a blessing.)

  1. One Becomes A Pain

    1. Is marriage always a blessing? Let’s read Proverbs 12:4.
      What do you think Solomon means by a “disgraceful wife?”
      (He contrasts it with a wife of noble character. A wife of
      noble character would be one who seeks to please God.
      Earlier we discussed a “prudent” wife.)

      1. Why is a bad wife like decay in the bones? What,
        exactly do you understand decayed bones to mean?
        (Your life, your happiness, is fragile.)

    2. Read Proverbs 19:13 and Proverbs 27:15. Do you like to
      hear the rain on the roof? Is Solomon talking about the
      pleasant sound of rain?

      1. Why is a quarrelsome wife like “constant dripping?”
        (She gets tiresome!)

      2. Notice both texts refer to a “quarrelsome” wife. What
        does that mean? (One who likes to fight.)

      3. What is the solution to a wife who likes to fight?
        Assume you are in that situation, how would you
        change things?)

    3. Read Proverbs 21:9. What is so good about the roof?

      1. Does this means the solution to a quarrelsome wife is
        to move to the roof? Get out of the house?

    4. If you are unmarried, do these last three texts worry you?
      Consider than our original discussion about getting a wife
      from the Lord!

    5. What if you are already married to a quarrelsome wife?
      What should you do to take away the pain? Let’s talk about
      that next.

  2. Taking Away the Pain

    1. In Genesis 2 we read that God made Adam first and he made
      Eve out of Adam’s rib. Do you find any significance in

      1. Did it just take God one practice time to get it
        right? (That would be what the ladies say! The order
        of creation seems to favor Adam — just as the first
        born was favored in the Old Testament. Creating Eve
        out of a rib, instead of a foot or head, however,
        seems to symbolize equality.)

    2. Assuming God’s original plan was equality between the
      spouses, did that remain true for the future?

    3. Read Genesis 3:16. Why was this said? Did the relationship
      between husbands and wives change after the entrance of

      1. Jesus came to restore us to God. Did He also “undo”
        Genesis 3:16? Did He restore equality between man and

    4. Our lesson directs us to read Ephesians 5:25-33, but
      interestingly omits a reading of Ephesians 5:21-24. We
      will read both! Read Ephesians 5:21-24.

      1. Does this sound like Genesis 3:16? Does this suggest
        that after the cross the original plan of equality
        between the spouses resumed? (An unbiased reading of
        this certainly sounds like Genesis 3:16 is still in

      2. What does it mean (v.24) that wives should submit to
        their husbands in all things?

        1. What do husbands think it means?

        2. What do wives think it means?

        3. Is this just a discarded cultural rule of Paul’s
          time that has no application today?

          1. If you say “yes,” then can you explain
            Genesis 3:16?

    5. Read Ephesians 5:25-28, 33. What does it mean for a
      husband to love his wife as Christ (v.25) loved the

      1. In what way did Christ love the church? (He died for

      2. What do you make of the fact that v.33 tells husbands
        to “love” their wives and wives to “respect” their

    6. Let’s get back to the “dripping” “rooftop” wife. After
      looking at Ephesians, how would you solve this problem?

      1. Since the dripping comes from a “quarrelsome” wife
        would you just tell her to quit fighting and submit
        to her husband?

        1. Do you think that kind of advice would work?

          1. Let’s assume she is quarrelsome because
            her heart is not completely converted.
            Would reading the texts about submitting

      2. Should a husband love his dripping wife – even when
        she is still dripping?

        1. Did Christ love His church even when it was
          killing Him? (There is a “vision” here that
          married people must catch. I think sin altered
          the intended relationship between men and women.
          It altered our relationship just as sin has
          altered our relationship with God. When Jesus
          died for us, He did not eliminate sin, He
          overcame it with his self-sacrifice. In the
          same way husbands must overcome quarrelsome
          wives with self-sacrifice. Nothing will stop the
          “dripping” better than pure, unselfish, love.
          Nothing will get you off the roof faster! The
          world cannot understand this. It looks at Paul’s
          advice and calls him a sexist. However the
          converted heart understands the power of love
          that Paul commands. The key text, one of my
          favorites: “He who loves his wife loves
          himself.” (v.28))

  3. The Wife of Your Youth

    1. How do you remain married a long time? Anyone here want
      to tell me based on experience?

    2. Read Proverbs 5:1-5. Is an extramarital affair fun?
      (Starts out as honey, ends up like bitter gall and death.)

    3. Read Proverbs 5:15-18. How does this text counsel us to be
      able to rejoice in the wife of our youth?

      1. The text tells us to “rejoice” in the wife of our
        youth. How does adultery make it difficult to rejoice
        in our wife? (Adultery is an attack on her self-worth. It also breeds comparisons in the mind of the
        wandering spouse.)

        1. Is this a problem that goes beyond adultery?
          What is the effect of pornography? (It also
          causes comparisons.)

    4. Read Proverbs 6:23-27. Is only adultery forbidden? (This
      moves it back a step. You should avoid lusting, being
      captivated by the beauty of another woman.)

      1. If you blow it, the text says you are like a loaf of
        bread. What does (v.26) mean?

      2. How is adultery like putting fire in your lap?

      3. Read Proverbs 5:32-35. What is another problem with
        adultery? (The husband!)

    5. We discussed earlier how a quarrelsome wife can be won
      over by a husband’s self-sacrificing love. How would you
      compare adultery to self-sacrificing love? (It is just the
      opposite. Instead of giving up yourself for your wife, you
      give up everyone else for your lust. You prefer yourself
      over your wife, your children and the woman’s husband. It
      is pure selfishness!)

    6. Friend, marriage is in bad shape today. The statistics on
      divorce in the church are just about as bad as outside the
      church. Will you make a concerted effort to follow God’s
      advice on marriage and rejoice in the wife (spouse) of
      your youth?

  4. Next week: To Make a Disciple