22 A man's greatest treasure
is his wife—
she is a gift from the Lord.
If there has been one person in all of history who should have a clear understanding of the value of a wife, it would have to have been Solomon—after all, he famously had hundreds of them!
Although it’s frankly a little hard to imagine him sustaining a genuine intimacy with one woman over many years, this proverb indicates that he must somehow have learned a thing or two about real relationship.
In our era, we should be a little more gender inclusive: “A person’s greatest treasure is his or her spouse…” Really, the issue here isn’t about finding or possessing a husband or wife just for the sake of having one; it’s about two people choosing to treasure each other, finding and valuing the good in each other.
Most versions of this proverb create a parallelism: finding good in a spouse leads to finding favor, or receiving good, from God. Perhaps it also hints that looking for good in another is like God looking for good in me.
This isn’t just because God approves of marriage as a form. It goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden, where he made both male and female in his image, then joined them together in marital union as the highest fulfillment in creation of that image. He looked at what he had made, and saw that it was very good.
When two people seek joy in each other, not just for a moment but for a lifetime, and in the fullness of their beings, they are giving expression to the joy the Trinity finds in its own union.
When two people marry, and they rejoice together in learning and valuing the mysteries of each other, the Father, Spirit and Son rejoice too. And the blessings pour down.
Triune God – You who are the original family, who birthed and redeemed us by your love, help us in our intimate relationships to seek out and treasure all that is good in each other. May you find reason to rejoice in us. Amen.