This particular article is in response to the comments made by some readers for further elaboration on my earlier article on Proverbs 12:4. I would like to express my sincere thanks to the readers who have been sharing their thoughts on this blog. Your comments have been very helpful and as much as possible I try to respond where possible. This is not a completely new topic but a continuation of Gleanings from the Proverbs: A virtuous woman – a Crown to her husband.
Now I must start by saying that there are very few men who understand more about women than Solomon if any. Solomon was the wisest man that ever lived and he had 700 of them. From his so many wives he came to know a lot about any type and kind of a woman. He knew a woman’s weaknesses and her virtues. He has written a lot with many a profoundly wise man’s remarks about the female character.
Here is the scripture again where Solomon speaks of a “virtuous woman,” – Proverbs 12:4 – An excellent wife (literally: wife of valor) is the crown of her husband, -But she who causes shame is like rottenness in his bones.
This verse teaches us about the difference between how a husband with a “good wife” feels compared to what the husband of a “bad wife” feels.
Here are the definitions of the main words in this verse:
A virtuous woman is a true woman, a holy woman innocent, prudent- wise in handling practical matters, modest, loving, faithful, patient in suffering, and brave in duty, keeping within the orbit of her sex, and lighting it with all the graces of womanhood.Excellent: Of the highest or finest quality; extremely meritorious
Woman of Valor: 1. the qualities of a hero or heroine; exceptional or heroic courage when facing danger 2. a quality of spirit that enables you to face danger or pain without showing fear
Crown: A distinction or reward for achievement, especially a title
Shame: 1. A painful emotion caused by a strong sense of guilt, embarrassment, unworthiness, or disgrace. 2. One that brings dishonor, disgrace, or condemnation. 3. A condition of disgrace or dishonor; ignominy. 4. A great disappointment.
Rottenness: 1. the quality of rotting and becoming putrid 2. Made weak or unsound by rot
Using these definitions, we find that a wife of the highest quality or one with a quality of spirit that enables them to face danger or pain without showing fear, is a reward, presumably from God, to their husband. All of us have to face problems and pain in this life, but a husband that has a wife that will stand with them during those times is blessed.
Such a woman, Solomon says, is “a crown to her husband.” This language implies two things. That she exercises A CONTROL over him.—A “crown” is the insignia (symbol) of rule. A virtuous woman rules, not by intention, or arrangement, or legislative command, but by the power of her love, and the graces of her life.
A Woman has more force in her looks than man has in his laws, more force in her tears than man has in his arguments. A virtuous woman is really queen of the world. Beauty, tenderness, love, purity, is the imperial forces of life, and this woman wields. As one Ben Johnson put it – “She who ne’er answers till a husband cools, Or, if she rules him, never shows she rules; Charms by accepting, by submitting sways, Yet has her humour most when she obeys.”.
The proverb further implies that she confers A DIGNITY upon him.—A “crown” is a sign of dignity. She dignifies her husband, as well as rules him. Her excellence justifies his choice. In her character and deportment all see his wisdom, taste, and judgment in making her his bride and wife. Her management enriches his exchequer. By her industry and economy the produce of his labour is carefully guarded, and often increased. Her influence raises his character. Her gentle spirit and manners smooth the roughness of his character, refine his tastes, elevate his aims, and round the angles of his daily life.
In contrast, a wife that brings embarrassment, dishonour, disgrace, or condemnation on her husband, is looked upon by God as someone who makes their husband feel weak, and unsound, as if their bones… the part of their body that holds them up and supports them… are rotting and turning putrid.
Often, women don’t understand this about their men. Men NEED to feel respected by their wives, as it says in Ephesians 5:33b. Sometimes, this can be a very hard thing to do if they haven’t done much to be worthy of respect. The first part of Eph. 5 tells us that Christian men are to love their wives as Christ loved the church, being willing to die for her… A husband who puts his life on the line (whichever way the wife NEEDS) to show his love, will win the respect of the wife.
This is an interesting dilemma, and one of the reasons that God asks us to be very careful to not be “unequally yoked,” or married to someone who is NOT a Christian. Of course, if we become a Christian AFTER we are married, it just becomes harder for the spouse. If he isn’t a Christian, he will generally NOT have that love deep down inside, that is given by God, and will be unable, or unwilling to give the type of love that God made marriage to be designed for. This, in turn will make it hard for the wife to respect him.Still, God asks that WE treat others, and that includes our spouses, in the way that He wants us to treat them… with the love He speaks of in 1 Corinthians 13.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8a (NKJV)
4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never fails…