Have you ever taken time to just meditate on a single verse of Scripture? One morning, as I sat giving thought to a scripture, the Lord spoke so clearly to my heart. A simple sequence of questions and answers brought my thoughts – and heart – to a very special place.
I had been studying the virtuous woman of Proverbs 31, with whom we are so familiar. I was reminded that the word virtuous meant strong. The virtuous woman is a strong woman, a woman that is strong in The Lord. But my thoughts were then taken to another verse:
A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband:
but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.
I have to admit that I didn’t really understand the significance of the verse. As I prayed, I asked The Lord to help me better understand. Then, as I continued to think on the verse these questions – and answers – flooded my mind:
What is the result of being a strong woman? … She becomes a crown to her husband.
What was the purpose of a crown? … To exalt one to a position of honor.
What was true of the husband of the Proverbs 31 woman? … Her husband was known in the gates.
I could see that this verse was saying that a strong wife would exalt her husband. I knew that it takes humility to exalt another above oneself, but I could feel The Lord calling me to do exactly that. I was to exalt my husband to the position for which The Lord had created him. As I pondered the implications of this truth, my attention was drawn to the contrasting wife.
How was the wife described who is the opposite of this virtuous wife? … She makes ashamed and is as rottenness in his bones.
What does it mean to make ashamed? … Webster’s Dictionary defines it as: bringing reproach; degrading a person in the estimation of others
Did I exalt my husband or did I degrade him?
And what happened if I degraded him? … I would be as rottenness in his bones.
What does rottenness do? … It causes slow, often unseen decay.
Where does this rottenness occur? … In his bones.
What is the purpose of bones to our body? … Unseen strength and support.
What was the woman made from? … From the bone of the man.
Could it be that the wife is to be strength and support to her husband as she exalts him rather than a cause of inner decay within him?
I knew that the Lord Himself is to be a man’s source of strength, but I could also recall that The Lord made the wife especially as a help for him.
I could see that by my actions and by my words, I would either exalt and honor my husband or I would inwardly destroy him. By what I said to him and about him, I would either build him up or tear him down.
Then I remembered that virtuous woman of Proverbs 31. The heart of her husband had confidence in her because she did him good, and not evil, all the days of her life.
I thought some more. I actually could be a crown to my husband. I knew I would need the Lord’s help. But somewhere in my heart, I simply heard: You can be a crown!
A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones. Proverbs 12:4