In Proverbs 12:4, the Bible says an excellent wife is like a crown to her husband, and a shameful one is compared to rotten bones. What could this possibly mean?
“If a good wife is like a crown, it means that she does not fight and yell all the time,” says Morgan, age 8. “But a disgraceful wife is like a disease in his bones means that she is always fighting and yelling.”
In Morgan’s interpretation, the husband gets crowned. Of course, I’m speaking of the kind of crowning that occurs when flying household objects strike the head. This interpretation calls for boxing headgear.
“A good wife is like God because she makes sure everything is right and good, and makes everyone happy,” says Josh, 11. “A bad wife is like the devil because she does not care what you look like when you come out of the house. She also doesn’t care what you eat.”
Frankly, I would expect something more sinister from a wife who acts like the devil, but I’m not the one wearing wrinkled clothes and eating bad food every day.
“If you are a good wife, you would have a crown like a queen, and your husband would be crowned as king,” says Meghan, 10. “But that’s only if you are generous and act nice toward your husband.”
The excellent wife being her husband’s crown relates to his reputation, says Trey, 11: “It means that a wife can have a great effect on a husband’s image.”
“A good wife makes the husband look good,” adds Andrew, 11. “A good wife can keep a family straight in the will of God! A bad wife is like a disease to her husband by not doing what the Lord says to do.”
This idea of a wife enhancing her husband’s reputation is echoed in the famous Proverbs 31 text: “Her husband is known in the gates” (Proverbs 31:23). Sitting among the elders in the city gates of the ancient world could be equivalent to serving on the city council or a prominent board.
The Hebrew word for “excellent” as in the excellent wife of Proverbs 12:4 is the same word translated “virtuous” as in the virtuous wife of Proverbs 31:10. It’s the same kind of woman in both texts.
“A good wife honors her husband so that he takes pride in her, just like a crown,” says Karoline, 11. “A disgraceful wife does not bring her husband pride and joy. She only brings problems. It’s not right to divorce her, so the wife needs to act better. We should all try to honor Christ first.”
The Apostle Paul unveiled a mystery about marriage in his New Testament letter to the Ephesians (5:22-33). Christian marriage parallels the union between Christ and his bride, the church. Just as the church is subject to Christ, a wife is to be subject to her husband “in everything,” the text says. Also, the husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church and “gave himself for her.”
Think about this: Marriage is not a 50/50 proposition. It’s 100/100 percent. A woman can be an excellent wife even if her husband is a pain, and vice versa. Trust God by submitting to him 100 percent without a thought of receiving anything in return, and see what happens.
Memorize this truth: “An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who causes shame is like rottenness in his bones” (Proverbs 12:4).
Ask this question: Does your husband wear a crown?
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Bible quotations are from the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.
COPYRIGHT 2006 CAREY KINSOLVING