A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones (Proverbs 12:4).
A Wife of Noble Character
Although the meaning has changed, apparently the idea of a trophy wife has been around for a long time. The author of Proverbs lays down a pretty stark comparison to show what he thought a guy should look for in someone with whom he’d like to spend the rest of his life.
He suggests walking down the aisle with a bride whose inner beauty is evident for all to see. That is the real prize. The original Hebrew word for “noble” carries with it the idea of being “valiant,” “virtuous,” and “worthy.”
That’s a lot to live up to, isn’t it?
One of the most popular shows on Netflix in recent years is The Crown. In it, actress Claire Foy plays a young Queen Elizabeth who comes to power as a young woman and finds she has to muster extraordinary strength in countless difficult situations.
Although not an exact application, one quote that rises to the surface comes in preparation for the Queen’s coronation.
“The people look to the monarchy for something bigger than themselves, an inspiration, a higher ideal.”
Isn’t that what a crown symbolizes? There’s a massive difference between someone who wears a crown and one who doesn’t. So one emphasis of the proverb may be that a wife’s strong character—someone who holds to higher ideals—is a source of great pride and power for a husband.
What little girl doesn’t want to grow up being a princess, anyway? Proverbs gives the path to helping her achieve the life she’s always dreamed of: become a woman of God.
Think of it—if you want to fill your husband with strength, live valiantly. If you’d like your beloved to feel like he can conquer the world, then make virtue your highest pursuit. To help him achieve a life of great honor, live a life of incredible worth in God’s eyes.
Walking this path is a noble pursuit, indeed.
What a complete 180 compared to the other wife. The text likens her to nothing much better than having your bones give out. Let that sink in for a moment. How would you like to be put in the same category as osteoporosis?
If you’ve got this ailment, you are subject to your bones breaking at any moment. The scary thing is, it often happens without warning. That means your strength is gone. You’re immobile and in great pain. If you want to paralyze your marriage, as opposed to setting it free, just let your standards fly out the window. Calamity will sneak up on you when you least expect it.
This passage isn’t just for the duchesses, though. The only person fit for a woman like that is a man whose character matches. How are you and your spouse doing in the character department?
If you want people to look to your relationship with your spouse for inspiration, you’ve got to live a life that’s bigger than yourselves.
You’ve got to live for the King.
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