Houses and riches are the inheritance of fathers: and a prudent wife is of the Lord.
- Proverbs 19:14
Which houses and riches are we talking about, which fathers, and which wife?
This cunning scripture hides more than one concept. The first one up for discussion is that we have natural fathers and a spiritual Father, and there is an inheritance from each if we remain their children.
However, there are many complex issues in life these days. For one reason or another, natural fathers aren't always in a position to leave the natural houses and riches alluded to here. However, our heavenly Father leaves His manses and spiritual wealth to His children. A prudent wife is only of the Lord.
Prudence can be learned if it is not inbuilt or taught as a child. Webster's Dictionary puts prudence this way: "Cautious; circumspect; practically wise; careful of the consequences of enterprises, measures or actions; cautious not to act when the end is of doubtful utility, or probably impracticable." A prudent wife will guide the household, follow her husband and grow in personal spiritual riches according to godly principles
This indeed is a worthy wife.
Our second concept is the character of Jesus' wife, the Church. In this scripture, we see the Lord alluding to one of the characteristics of the wife He will choose for His Son. It is an arranged marriage, very similar to Abraham choosing the wife for Isaac. God decides the wife of Jesus Christ. Amongst other attributes, she will be prudent.
There are two' prudent's.' One is of this world and the other of God's world. If we have godly prudence, we can also have much of the world's prudence, providing it fits with God's integrity.
The Lord speaks of the prudence of this world in both positive and negative terms. Harmful if it is void of godly thinking. Sometimes we need the prudent people of this world for help, but not for spiritual guidance.
1 Corinthians 1:19 states, "For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent." Their way is biblically fruitless, and their understanding is a spiritually crooked path leading somewhere other than the Kingdom.
The Lord explains godly prudence this way in Proverbs 14:18, "The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way: but the folly of fools is deceit." The result of a godless prudent life is full of deceit while they live, in the sense of it taking them away from God. Therefore, their destination, while thinking it will be either nothing or a paradise somewhere, will actually (and sadly) be hell. Real prudence, which we cannot have without having the input of God, is to understand our way. It's to figure out where we are going in life, what is our destination, who we are meeting there, and what are the pitfalls along the way.
Ten verses further, in Proverbs 14:8, we see the inheritance of both: "The simple (which is what we call the prudent without God) inherit folly: but the prudent are crowned with knowledge. "
Today's prayer; Dear Lord, please help me seek to be more prudent in my life. Thank you for the prudence I have, but show me where I am deficient. I want to grow in godly prudence.