Considering Proverbs 12:4

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

What is the meaning of Proverbs 12:4 from a Christian perspective? What does it mean to be a virtuous woman, and how is this as a crown to the head of our spouse? The word virtue in this context comes from a Hebrew word that means strength, and a crown symbolizes honor. We can assume from the context that the strength she has is strength in doing what is right, and in so doing, her husband flourishes.

Compare this to the opposite. A woman who is of a weak character does not bring honor to her husband, but shame, and this shame hurts him at his very core. You can’t do much if you have rotten bones, and we might imagine how having an unrighteous spouse can bring you down.

There are two ways that we might consider this proverb. First, we can apply this to marital relationships in this life. Second, we can apply this to our relationship with Jesus Christ, who we are espoused to in a symbolic sense as we wait for His return.

As for the first, women can consider the type of wife that they want to be. We want to be wives that add value to the lives of our husbands, like the woman we read about in Proverbs 31. We want to be productive, hard-working, faithful, and morally upright.

As for the second, we as Christians can consider the value that we want to offer Jesus Christ. We want to be virtuous—strong in doing the right things, standing up for the right things, and bringing honor to Jesus through a life that makes Him look good. We can’t be weak-willed in righteousness, compromised in character, and we can’t be afraid to do to what we are called to do, even if it means persecution and death. Our faithfulness is a crown of glory for our Lord.

Unfortunately, many of us have brought shame to Jesus at some point, but if we truly trust in Him and if His grace is for us, then we will grow in virtue, and we will bring honor to Him. So, if we have brought Him shame, we don’t need to lose hope. Rather, we can turn to Him for forgiveness and perhaps find even greater determination—greater virtue—toward doing what He wants us to do.

We want to be among those who are “called, chosen, and faithful.” Truly, the grace of God is what makes all the difference, and His work is perfect. Trust in Him. You are His work, but as His work, He works to bring you into His will, and this causes you to submit to Him and see that work done. We cooperate with Him because that is what being faithful entails.

Noah didn’t just sit back when God called him to build an ark, stating that if God wanted the ark, then God would build it. No, Noah built the ark as an act of faith, knowing that God would soon judge the earth. By faith, we build our lives up on the Rock of Jesus Christ through a life that is obedient to Him, so when the dragon casts “water as flood” after us, we will not be moved—but the whole earth will eat up the lies that he speaks.

This article is part of a bible study series, Considering the Proverbs. The purpose is to consider present-day events from a Christian perspective and to offer practical lessons that we can apply to ourselves as followers of Jesus Christ.

Previous Post Within This Series: Considering Proverbs 2:3A good man obtaineth favour of the Lord: but a man of wicked devices will he condemn. A man shall not be established by wickedness: but the root of the righteous shall not be moved (Proverbs 12:2-3).

These two ideas of the faithful woman and the unfaithful woman is a theme that we see in the Proverbs. There is the “strange woman” and there is also a woman of virtue. This theme can also be found in Revelation.

Revelation details the attributes of the faithful church and the unfaithful church. In the online book, These Things Saith He, I discuss my belief that modern, Western Christianity is in danger of becoming the Great Whore who will worship Satan, because they do in part already, and there are attributes of her that we can see already. However, we can “come out of her” and into a faithful relationship with Jesus. He will forgive us, but as He said to the woman taken in adultery, “Go and sin no more.”

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