And the LORD God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” (Genesis 2:18—NKJV)

Finding a “help meet” for a man, as the King James English puts it, is a challenging proposition because no one knows what tomorrow brings and whether any man or woman will stand up to the pressures. Understanding and accepting God’s purpose in creating the differences between the sexes is the key to the search for a fitting wife. “A helper comparable to him” is something like the two pieces of a peanut kernel, perfectly matched together to make a whole package, working in tandem, with the germ of life between them.

A good bride will be a help “fitting” for her husband, a counterpart, face to face, reflecting such that one can see his face in her. A “helpmeet” is a help profitable to him, suitable according to his needs, answers to him, compares with him, also one who can answer back to him. In short, fit for him, not giving him fits!

The word “bride” is related to the concept of being betrothed. Troth is a vow of fidelity and loyalty, an oath of faithfulness, or better, a promise of truthfulness. Troth means truth and betrothed is a state of intention to “plight your troth.” Upon marriage, the betrothed actually exchanges vows with her husband in order to become his “wife,” a term which relates to the household and, historically, identifies her with her house as a housewife. For this reason Paul states in Titus 2:3–4, “the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things—that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.” Husbands are the “house-bands” as husband-shepherds, the head of the home, and wives are diligent “keepers” of the home, managers of the home.

A helper fitting for a good man must be one who rises to the highest moral and spiritual ideals of the good man. The greatest defense against a poor choice in a wife is a vibrant, personal walk with God. The great majority of women occupying space on this earth will not long endure a relationship with a man who has the highest moral standards and craves an authentic spiritual reciprocation on her part, because she is not born-again and is incapable of fully grasping the real significance of spiritual-mindedness. Among those women who are born-again, the confirmation of spiritual and moral compatibility will take a little longer, but given enough time, a man will be able to tell what convicts and motivates her and for what her heart yearns.

In God’s created order it is not rocket science to observe that men are generally the initiators in relationships and women are responders; common sense and observation tells us that women generally would have it so, for they desire to be pursued by a guy who pleases them.

A man needs to determine whether the woman he is beginning to get to know thinks of him as merely her accessory, or uses her relationship to him to either reduce him to the status of a simpering fool or drive him toward blessed isolation from her. A good woman can respect none of these outcomes in a man. This poisonous dynamic may be difficult to discover at first because each party desires to put their best foot forward in the new relationship. Here are some biblical hints about what makes a good wife:

  • A wise bride is an edifier. A good candidate for a bride is one who understands “the wise woman builds her house, but the foolish pulls it down with her hands” (Proverbs 14:1).
  • A wise bride fights fair. She knows how to settle differences honorably while keeping her respect for her husband intact. “Better to dwell in a corner of a housetop, than in a house shared with a contentious woman” (Proverbs 21:9).
  • A wise bride knows she reflects on her husband. She does not feel driven to vie for attention or present her status in the crowd (Proverbs 9:13, 12:4).
  • A wise bride provides a place of refuge. A good candidate for a bride is not just a good friend, but is a faithful teammate who invests everything she is into the marriage, strives to improve, treasures more than anything but God her good husband, and seeks to regularly pay him respect (Proverbs 31:10–11, Ephesians 5:33).

Proverbs 18:22 reads, “He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the LORD.” Proverbs 19:14 states, “Houses and riches are an inheritance from fathers, but a prudent wife is from the LORD.” Don’t willfully run ahead of God but wait patiently for His best. Trust and obey.