Sunday, September 4, 2011

Growing in Love for Our Husbands: Being His Crown

For the past three weeks, we have been looking at different ways the Bible teaches us as wives to behave towards our husbands.  Thus far in our series “Growing in Love for Our Husbands” we have discussed:
 This week we will look at being a wife of noble character and what that means for us today.    
“An excellent wife is the crown of her husband,
But she who shames him is like rottenness in his bones.”
Proverbs 12:4
To be a crown to our husbands is to make them feel like kings.  How do we do this? 
By our purity, faithfulness, respect, submission to authority, and our willingness to captivate him with our desire. We are a credit to our husbands when we act with integrity and keep our husbands’ reputations above reproach. 

But if we bring shame to our husbands by our disrespect, laziness, willful behavior, and sharp tongue, then we make their lives so unbearable that they cannot escape the pain.  Our husbands’ reputations are so blemished by such atrocious behavior that we become like a disease in their bones!  We are like the "quarrelsome wife" of Proverbs 27:15-16 who Solomon compares to a "continual dripping on a rainy day." That is, we are a constant irritation and annoyance to our husbands. 

To better understand what it means to be an “excellent wife,” we must look at the paragon of Godly feminine virtue: “the Proverbs 31 woman.”  {See Proverbs 31:10-31}

“A wife of noble character” unlike any other, “the Proverbs 31 woman” brings her husband “good, not harm, all the days of her life.”  The qualities she possesses are an inspiration to all women, something to aspire to, but never to imitate. We could never be her, but we can certainly learn from her example. 

 The “Proverbs 31 woman” is…

  • Trustworthy (“Her husband has full confidence in her...”)
  • Industrious (“She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family.”)
  • Enterprising (“She considers a field and buys it; out her earnings she plants a vineyard.”)
  • Hardworking (“She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.”)
  • Skilled (“In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers.”)
  • Benevolent (“She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.”)
  • A homemaker (“She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple.”)
  • Resourceful (“She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes.”)
  • Fun-loving (“she can laugh at the days to come.”)
  • A wise teacher (“She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.”)
  • A manager of household affairs (“She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.”)
  • Blessed by her children & husband (“Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also…”)   
  • Worthy of praise (“her husband…praises her”)
 From where does this excellent woman derive her most coveted status? 

From her fear of the Lord (“Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”).  Her reverence and respect for God compel her to be the very best she can for her husband, her children, her servants, and her community.  Everything she does is to the glory of God.

It’s interesting to me that “the Proverbs 31 woman” is not once described as beautiful.  She seems to have everything going for her: a doting husband, loving children, a respectful staff, and an admiring community.  But what we are not told is whether or not she was physically attractive.  Because of the high value society places on beauty today, we may expect that she is easy on the eyes, but Solomon's omission suggests that the quality of physical attraction is not as important as spiritual attractivness.  What is important, though, is her inner beauty, a beauty that transcends Spanx, Botox, and manicured hands--a beauty to which we as wives are to aspire. 
Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes.  Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”  {Emphasis mine}

1 Peter 3:3-4
What makes us beautiful as women is not our physical appearance but our inner spirits. Having a submissive, respectful, and gentle spirit is far more attractive to a good husband than flawless skin, fashionable clothes, and a toned body. Outward beauty will fade with time but a gentle and quiet spirit is a beauty that will never diminish. THAT is a beautiful woman—maybe not by Hollywood’s standards, but by God’s. THAT is the beauty that enraptures your husband and makes him proud to have you as his wife.
Are you your husband’s crown or his disease?  Or are you somewhere in between?  Why don’t you talk to your husband and ask him in which areas you can improve to be a more "excellent wife"?  If we ever hope to grow in love for our spouses, we must be willing to work at it.  In what areas do you need to work?

Join us again next week for a discussion of ways to talk to our husbands about their expectations of and desires for us as well as what they clearly find annoying.  God's richest blessings on you and your families...

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  1. Oh, it is so wonderful to hear of women doing it right, right from the beginning. I wish it hadn't taken me 23 years to learn this lesson...


  2. I've been very, very encouraged by this series. The way you have presented this initiates so much self-reflection and practical application! The Lord is so faithful to our most inner needs and I am blessed that He has led me to this series. I really needed change in my heart, and God has been doing such a work in me as a wife. This series has been such a boost, such an encouragement and I look forward to reading each week!!

  3. Thanks, Jennifer. It has been a blessing to me too! I have learned so much, especially about how much I need to work on loving my husband better. It's amazing how truly different men are from women. Thank you for reading and commenting. I pray God's richest blessings on you and your husband.