Proverbs 12:4

The Virtuous Woman

 

4a A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband

A. A Virtuous Woman

1. Virtuous:

a. Strong’s: strength; might; efficiency; wealth;

b. Theological Workbook of the Old Testament: vigor; strength; noble character; ability

2. The term is used in:

a. Ruth 3:11 – Ruth is referred to as a virtuous woman.
• This was not simply because she was a chaste woman, but because she was a hard worker; honorable; a strong woman…

b. Prov. 31:10 – there the virtuous woman is described—not as one who is pure and chaste (although she was!)… but primarily as a strong woman… a hard worker… one with ability—to sew, to work a field, to buy real estate, etc…

c. II Sam. 22:40 – this usage obviously speaks of strength… in battle… not purity or chastity.

d. Ex. 18:21,25 – able men were chosen… a virtuous woman is an able woman… a woman with great ability…

e. I Chron. 9:13 – able men for the service of God…

f. I Kings 1:52 – a “worthy” man…

3. The concept of being “virtuous” in this passage is much more than chastity… sexually pure. In fact, that is not the thought in the Hebrew term.

4. The term used speaks of a woman who is able… a strong woman… a hard worker… with a noble character… one who is worthy…

5. She is active for the good of her family and looks well to the ways of her household…

B. A Crown to Her Husband

1. She is a crown: crown or wreath…

a. Crown would speak of royalty…

b. Wreath would speak of a victor…

c. Theological Workbook of the Old Testament:
• wreath or metal adornment on the head as a symbol of rulership;
• It speaks of a high honor or blessing on a person…

2. The term is used in:

a. Ps. 21:3 – it speaks of a blessings of goodness…
• The virtuous woman is a blessing of goodness for her husband.
• She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.

b. Prov. 17:6 – it speaks of that about which one glories.
• A king glories in his crown.
• A husband GLORIES in his virtuous wife… she is hid pride and joy.
• He is not ashamed of her… she is hard working… a good mother… a good housekeeper… and he glories in her abilities.

c. Ezek. 16:12 – God put a crown on Israel—to beautify her… to dress her up…
• A crown makes a person look good…
• A virtuous wife can make a man look pretty good…
• She won’t let him wear the tie he wants to wear; she keeps the checkbook so that their finances aren’t a mess—as they would be if left to him… she reminds him when it’s time for a haircut… she makes him look “together”—when otherwise he would not!
• A virtuous wife can make an average Joe look pretty good! She is a crown

3. A virtuous woman as a wife makes a man feel like a king… he’s proud of her… honored to be seen with her… wants others to know that this is his wife…

a. Her husband is her head, and she is the crown upon that head.

b. A crown is a sign of power invested in the king. A virtuous woman supports her husband’s authority in the home… she is not constantly fighting against it…

c. Her submission to his headship serves as a crown—to accentuate his authority.

d. Her submission to him teaches the children to respect him as head as well…

4. When a king lifts up his head, his crown is lifted up too.

a. The virtuous woman who supports her husband, and helps him lift his head up high… will discover that she too is lifted up in the process!

b. The wife who delights to see her husband honored and respected will be lifted up herself… find satisfaction in that…

c. As a crown draws attention to the man wearing it, so too a virtuous wife seeks to draw attention to her husband’s good qualities… and in love covers up the multitude of bad ones…

d. She makes him look good—and then they both look… the king and his crown!

4b But she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.

1. Ashamed: ashamed or disappointed…disgrace… humiliate… associative meaning of causing frustration, and loss of hope to the object one is shaming

2. A wife can bring her husband to shame too…

a. Her behavior can bring disgrace upon him… if she is unfaithful.

b. Her gossip can humiliate him before his friends…

c. Her laziness around the house can cause him frustration…

d. Her nagging can frustrate him…

e. The woman described here could be anything from a nag to an adulteress.

f. Continued bad behavior on the part of a wife can cause a husband to lose hope… lose hope that the relationship will ever be what it ought to be…can tear down a relationship.

g. The wife can make them both look good… OR she can bring him to shame… and herself too!
• The king’s head and his crown are a unit. They go up together, or they fall down together.
• It is quite foolish for a wife to be knocking her own head down… she should be lifting him up!
• Ladies: YOUR happiness is linked to his! Don’t work against him! Be a helpmeet…

3. Rottenness: rottenness; decay,
• undergo decomposition of organic material by bacteria, fungus, or parasitical animals;
• infection, degeneration, caries (bone decay)
• an inflammation or degeneration of a joint or bone which can cause pain or weakness

4. This term for rottenness is used in:

a. Prov. 14:20 – a sound heart is life, but envy, rottenness of the bones!
• Here, rottenness of the bones is seen as the OPPOSITE of a sound heart… a healthy, wholesome heart… a well adjusted, content, inner life.
• Rottenness of the bones speaks of a DEEP inner decay… something deep inside that is degenerating… decaying… and causes much inner pain.
• A wife who is NOT a virtuous woman causes deep inner pain to her husband… like bone cancer…

b. Hab. 3:16 – the feeling of a man whose heart was pounding, his lips quivering, and his legs trembling…
• The prophet stood in utter awe, fear, and virtually fell apart because of the awesome encounter with God.
• Rottenness entering his bones describes this feeling of falling apart…
• Just try to imagine your bones ACTUALLY rotting… disintegrating…

c. THIS is the awful feeling that Solomon is trying to describe for us in figurative, poetic language… rotting bones!

5. The wife who makes him ashamed is the opposite of the virtuous woman. This woman is slothful, wasteful, lazy, lacking noble character… she does him evil and not good all the days of her life.

6. Prov. 21:9 – Solomon says that this husband would be better off dwelling on the rooftop than in the house with her!

7. Prov. 14:1 – some women do their utmost to destroy their own household! This behavior makes a man crazy… rottenness deep down inside!

CONCLUSIONS:

1. What potential a woman has for good or evil in the life of her husband!

a. She can make him feel like a king… or she can make him feel like a man whose bones are rotting away with cancer!

b. She can make him proud (showing off the crown) or she can make him ashamed… disgrace him… (hang his head low).

c. She can complement and support his authority as head… (an ornament to the head) or she can undermine his authority as head.

2. A sensible man will APPRECIATE a virtuous wife!

3. Prov.18:22 – he that hath found a wife findeth a good thing…

a. This of course is true only if the wife is a virtuous wife!

b. A man who finds a wife who is not virtuous has found something that is not good—for him or their family.

4. If any young men here are thinking of looking for a wife — (if not now, some day…) think about this verse long and hard.

a. You might find one you think is a real dreamboat—but if she is not a virtuous woman = get used to the awful, unending, gnawing pain of bone cancer!

b. Don’t just marry anyone. The Bible makes it clear that this decision will affect you the rest of your life—more than any other decision other than getting saved.

c. A good wife makes you proud… feel like a king.

d. A bad wife will make you ashamed… disgraced… and will produce a deep inner pain that won’t go away.

e. BE CAREFUL about making such an important decision.

f. When looking for a wife, be more concerned about her heart than her body.

g. Be more concerned about what you are going to feel like the rest of your life rather than how wonderful you feel right now…

5. Husbands and wives: let’s remember that our feelings, our fortunes, our happiness, our comfort, are LINKED together.

a. Wives: don’t be rottenness in his bones. Work for his spiritual well being… seek for his good… his happiness… because YOURS is directly linked together with his.

b. Make him miserable and YOU too will be miserable. You’re a unit!

c. I Pet. 3:7 – dwell TOGETHER as heirs together of the grace of life.

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