A Crown Is A Grand Piece Of Jewelry
‘A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones. Proverbs 12:4’
What a precious proverb! A virtuous woman is a noble, gracious, diligent, and loving woman. She faithfully honors and pleases her husband. He is thankful and rejoices in God’s goodness to him through her. But an odious woman shames her husband and slowly kills him on the inside by selfishness, stubbornness, foolishness, or unfaithfulness.
The word crown here is a simple metaphor. A crown honors a person. Kings wear crowns for the honor of their office, and athletes were crowned to honor sporting achievements. A great wife honors her husband by the pleasure and esteem she brings him, and she also crowns his authority by her own submission and that which she requires of her children. A crown is a grand piece of jewelry, and a virtuous woman is a crown to her husband!
Rottenness in his bones is a simple simile, a comparison that gives itself away by using the word “as.” Bones are the support of your anatomy, and rottenness in your bones is fatal trouble for your body. Ask anyone with advanced leukemia. An odious wife causes horrible grief to a man’s mind and distress to his soul. In public he is ashamed he is married to her, and in private he is deeply wounded in his heart. It is a painful affliction. A woman can hardly understand it, for she was made for him, not he for her (I Cor 11:9).
Christian woman, humble yourself before this proverb and its warning. Forget what you think about yourself. Forget what your mother tells you. Even forget what your husband tells you. His praise is not the measure. That is not nearly good enough. A man who feels maritally trapped without a crown of gold may think or say a crown of thorns is good. Especially in a weak moment, when he needs something, or his approval is expected.
Stop kidding yourself that you are virtuous. Others know better. Virtue is very objective and visible. Your self-righteous and conceited opinions are deceitful. If you think the criticism too harsh, think about three things. An odious wife is one of the great curses of life (Pr 30:21-23). Internal bone disease is worth a little effort to get your attention. And saving a man’s life takes desperate measures, especially stopping such torturous murder. A bad wife is more bitter than death, according to the experienced Solomon (Eccl 7:26).
The character and conduct that make a woman virtuous are as visible to others as her appearance. A truly gracious woman is highly respected by all others at all times (Pr 11:16). But the stench of the odious woman cannot be hid, no matter what she thinks of herself (Pr 27:15-16). Most people only see the hairy and smelly pig, when told that it has a nose ring of 24k gold (Pr 11:22). Humble yourself! Let Solomon teach you something.
A virtuous woman fears the Lord above all. She seeks to exceed everything the Bible teaches as the standard for great women. She knows the parts of the Bible sent from God for her. She esteems them, and she obeys them. A few of these places are Genesis 3:16; I Corinthians 7:1-5; 11:9; Ephesians 5:22-24,33; Titus 2:3-5; I Peter 3:1-6. Nothing else matters to her but that she pleases God and pleases her husband every day.
A virtuous wife knows God inspired Proverbs 31:10-31 and the Song of Solomon for her. She does not care about any other opinion or pursuit, no matter what the source. She wants to be her husband’s cheerful and loving companion, his most faithful supporter, his most loyal confidant, his most ardent friend, his most tireless helper, the world’s greatest lover, a domestic goddess in household duties, a queen of hospitality and social graces, and the perfect mother of his children, as these two comprehensive passages detail.
Wife, there is only one way to be such a woman. Confess your sins to God and your husband; eliminate all bitterness and self-righteousness; repudiate your own ideas and habits; trust the Word of God without question; and cheerfully do everything written in the Bible for women, without any compromise. You and your husband will be far happier for it; your children will be happier; and the LORD of heaven will reward you.
Young man, think about rotting bones. It is what you will suffer, if you marry hastily or foolishly. Being single is heavenly compared to marriage to the average woman in this haughty and rebellious generation (Pr 19:13; 21:9,19; 27:15-16). Virtuous women are rare, very rare. You will need to trust the Lord, hunt far and wide, examine and test her character, and trust wise men to help find and prove her.
A virtuous woman is also a crown to her Lord. She is a good Christian first and a good wife second. She has a personal relationship with Christ like no other. She keeps the adversaries of the gospel from reproaching or blaspheming the word of God (I Tim 5:14; Titus 2:5). But her love of Christ is empty hypocrisy, if she does not love her husband the way Jesus Christ taught her in His Word. Let each reader be a bride that crowns her Lord!