A Woman of Virtue

God, in Proverbs 12:4, says:

“A woman of virtue [is] a crown to her lord, but one causing shame [is] like rottenness in his bones.” (LITV)

“A virtuous woman [is] a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed [is] as rottenness in his bones.” (KJV)

“A virtuous woman [is] a crown to her husband, And as rottenness in his bones [is] one causing shame.” (YLT)

The woman of virtue is a crown to her husband.  Puritan heretic Matthew Henry makes some correct comments on the above passage of Scripture:

“Note, 1. He that is blessed with a good wife is as happy as if he were upon the throne, for she is no less than a crown to him. A virtuous woman, that is pious and prudent, ingenious and industrious, that is active for the good of her family and looks well to the ways of her household, that makes conscience of her duty in every relation, a woman of spirit, that can bear crosses without disturbance, such a one owns her husband for her head, and therefore she is a crown to him, not only a credit and honour to him, as a crown is an ornament, but supports and keeps up his authority in his family, as a crown is an ensign of power. She is submissive and faithful to him and by her example teaches his children and servants to be so too. [Sounds like the Proverbs 31 and Titus 2 woman–CD]

2. He that is plagued with a bad wife is as miserable as if he were upon the dunghill; for she is no better than rottenness in his bones, an incurable disease, besides that she makes him ashamed. She that is silly and slothful, wasteful and wanton, passionate and ill-tongued, ruins both the credit and comfort of her husband. If he go abroad, his head is hung down, for his wife’s faults turn to his reproach. If he retire into himself, his heart is sunk; he is continually uneasy; it is an affliction that preys much upon the spirits.” (Matthew Henry, Commentary on the whole Bible)

One fellow described this striking contrast as either the husband’s coronation or consternation day. Scripture makes a plain, sobering, and humbling difference between a crown on the head and rottenness in the bones.  The believing men who have such a crown are thankful to God for such a wife that it is gratitude they have deep down in their bones and marrow.

Through the letters of Paul and Peter, God the Holy Spirit states:

“But I want you to know that Christ is the head of every man, and the man [is] the head of a woman, and God [is] the head of Christ. Every man praying or prophesying, having [anything] down over [his] head shames his head. And every woman praying or prophesying with the head unveiled dishonors her head, for it is the same [as] being shaved. For if a woman is not veiled, let her also be shorn. But [if it] is shameful for a woman to be shorn, or to be shaved, let her be veiled. For truly a man ought not to have the head covered, being [the] image and glory of God. But woman is [the] glory of man; for man is not of the woman, but woman of man; for also man was not created for the sake of the woman, but woman for the sake of the man; because of this, the woman ought to have authority on the head, because of the angels. However, man is not apart from woman, nor woman apart from man, in [the] Lord. For as the woman [is] out of the man, so also the man through the woman; but all things [are] from God.” (1 Corinthians 11:3-12)

“Wives, subject yourselves to [your] own husbands, as to the Lord, because a husband is head of the wife, as also Christ [is] Head of the assembly, and He is [the] Savior of the body. But even as the assembly is subject to Christ, so also the wives to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the assembly and gave Himself up on its behalf, that He might sanctify it, cleansing [it] by the washing of the water in [the] Word, that He might present it to Himself [as] the glorious assembly, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such things, but that it be holy and without blemish. So, husbands ought to love their wives as their [own] bodies, (he loving his wife loves himself), for then no one hated his [own] flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, even as also the Lord the assembly. For we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones. For this, a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall be one flesh. The mystery is great, but I speak as to Christ and as to the assembly. However, you also, everyone, let each [one] love his wife as himself, and the wife, that she give deference to the husband.” (Ephesians 5:22-33)

“Likewise, wives, submitting yourselves to [your] own husbands, that even if any disobey the Word, through the behavior of the wives, without a word they will be won, observing your pure behavior in fear.” (1 Peter 3:1-2)

“… aged women likewise in reverent behavior, not slanderers, not being enslaved by much wine, teachers of good, that they might train the young women to be lovers of husbands, lovers of children, discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, subject to [their] own husbands, so that the Word of God may not be blasphemed.” (Titus 2:3-5; cf. Numbers 30:3-16)

Women of virtue are “teachers of good” who “train the young women.”  If the young women leave home because they refuse to be taught and trained in this way, then one wonders what kind of wives they will turn out to be — a crown of glory, or rottenness in the bones? If the young women will not submit and subject themselves to a long-established trust and (imperfect) godly treatment from both parents (especially, to their fathers), then WHY would any potential husbands think they will submit to them?  Though an unbeliever, one observant fellow said (my slight adaptation):

“Undutiful daughters will prove unmanageable wives.”

Numbers 30:3-16 reveals a transfer of authority (headship) FROM the father TO the husband. If the young women refuse to be in subjection to their fathers’ headship, why expect them to be in subjection to their husbands’ headship?  If the young women will unlawfully usurp the authority of one head, how will they not with regard to the other?