Proverbs 12:4 Devotional: “A Virtuous Woman is a Crown…” (Part 10)

“Oh don’t forget the rubies, the rarest of all gems. Is your crown radiating with rubies of reverence and respect for your husband?”


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Proverbs 12:4: “A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.”

Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament on Proverbs 12:4:

“4 A good brave wife is the crown of her husband,

But as rottenness in his bones is one that causeth shame.

As Proverbs 11:16 says of אושׁת חן, the pleasant wife (חן equals χάρις), that she obtaineth honour, so this proverb of אושׁת חיל, the good wife (חיל equals ἀρετή, virtus), that she raises her husband to higher honour: she is for his self-consciousness στέφανος καυχήσεως (1 Thessalonians 2:19), and is also to him such a crown of honour before the world (cf. Proverbs 31:23). On the contrary, a מבישׁה, conducting herself shamefully (cf. regarding the double meaning of this Mishle word, which only here occurs in the fem., at Proverbs 10:5), is to her husband instar cariei in ossibus. רקב (רקב, Proverbs 10:7) denotes both the caries and the worm-hole (cf. Job 41:19, עץ רקּבון, worm-eaten wood). Like as the caries slowly but continuously increases, till at last the part of the body which the bone bears and the whole life of the man falls to ruin; so an unhappy marriage gnaws at the marrow of life, it destroys the happiness of life, disturbs the pursuit, undermines the life of the husband.”


One way (and perhaps the quickest way) a wife can cause her husband to be ashamed of her is by her displaying a disrespectful, dishonoring attitude, spirit, and disrespectful, dishonoring behavior towards him. This type of attitude manifests itself in the sly remarks she makes to him and about him in the company of family, friends, and others as well as in private. When a wife puts her husband down with curt words he begins to lose respect for her and he no longer desires to honor her.

A wife’s talking back, nagging, unsubmissive spirit and actions, rebellion to his wishes, rolling of her eyes, turning her back while he is talking, walking off while he is talking all say, ‘You’re not that important to me. I don’t think much of you. What you have to say is not that important.’

Little does she realize that if she continues displaying those disrespectful attitudes, actions, and words he begins to lose respect for her as well. In effect, you, wife, are reaping what you are sowing. You can stop the reaping process if you stop the sowing before it all gets out of hand. So, you can stop your husband disrespecting you by you ceasing your disrespect of him.

— Ella Breedlove

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