Proverbs 18:22

ESV He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the LORD.
NIV He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD.
NASB He who finds a wife finds a good thing And obtains favor from the Lord.
CSB A man who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.
NLT The man who finds a wife finds a treasure, and he receives favor from the Lord.
KJV Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD.

What does Proverbs 18:22 mean?

While the terminology here literally speaks to a man finding a "wife," the same principle applies to a woman who finds a "husband." A God-honoring spouse is a true blessing (Proverbs 12:4: 19:14). If a man loves the Lord and chooses a wife who loves the Lord, he will enjoy a blessed marriage and God's approval. An extended section at the end of the book of Proverbs specifically praises the value of a godly wife (Proverbs 31:10–31). That passage portrays an excellent wife as valuable and trustworthy.

This verse rejects the claim that God considers a celibate life "holier" than one including marriage. The "favor" mentioned here does not mean that a married man is more loved by God. Rather, the Hebrew term implies that God is "pleased" by such a choice. Marriage is not required for any person and neither is being single (1 Corinthians 7:6–11). Whether married or single, we are called to glorify God in all we do (Colossians 3:17). Paul counseled, "Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him" (1 Corinthians 7:17).

While finding "a wife" is a good thing, Scripture notes that even good things can become problems when they are out of balance (1 Corinthians 6:12). Solomon—the same man writing these wise sayings (Proverbs 1:1; 10:1; 25:1)—indulged in too much of a "good thing." He had hundreds of wives and concubines (1 Kings 11:3). First Kings 11:4 adds the sad commentary that "when Solomon was old his wives turned away his heart after other gods, and his heart was not wholly true to the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father."
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