Proverbs 12:4 [KJV] says “A virtuous woman [is] a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed [is] as rottenness in his bones.” This word translated “virtuous” is the same word used to begin the praise of the Proverbs 31 woman.
The NIV it says, “A wife of noble character” as it does also in Proverbs 31. Proverbs 12:4 [NIV] A wife of noble character is her husband's crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones.
Here, again, the writer of Proverbs uses contrast, as he often does, to show the results of opposite choices in behavior. It behooves me, as a Christian woman, to think about this as a wife, of course. But it is even more important to think of this in the light of how my daily behavior impacts Jesus, our Betrothed. It is important that I ask myself, as the future bride of Christ, how my words and deed impact Him.
Am I, by word and deed, a jewel in the crown to my Savior? Or do my words and deeds cause Him disappointment that feels like sickness in His bones?
The Hebrew word translated “makes ashamed,” according to the Gesenius' Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon, is more than just a slight embarrassment. The Gesenius' Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon says, “the origin should not apparently be sought in the idea of blushing, but rather in that of paleness and terror.”
This proverb is cautioning against making the High Priest at the right hand of the Father more than a little worried for us or embarrassed by us.
Have you ever had a friend, child or even acquaintance do something that made you “sick at your stomach?” I have. I’ve also done things that, looking back on them later (sometimes just moments later), in a repentant attitude and seeing those words or deeds in a different light, made me sick at my stomach.
We don’t need to worry that the Father won’t forgive us, or that Jesus’ blood will not cover us, for anything we say or do. All repentance results in forgiveness. But I should be considering if I am acting or speaking like a crown jewel of which my Savior may be proud or if I am hurting Him “down into His bones.”
Sisters, we are meant to be shown off by Jesus as jewels in His crown. When we give without expecting anything in return. When we offer forgiveness generously, as the Father does to us. When we serve our fellow man. When we answer with love and peace. When we seek to help someone who has shown herself to be an enemy. Then, we are jewels in Jesus’ crown.
Wes and I recently watched a movie that was “based on” actual events surrounding a particular Queen of England hundreds of years ago. To my thinking, every single character in the story dishonored the crown – from the queen to her closest friends, her advisors and cabinet ministers. Everyone plotted evil, lived depraved lives and seemed wholly given to sin. It made me sick at my stomach to watch it. Wes, as he often does, researched the story online and found that some of events were true, but much was conjecture and outright fiction. That is good news for the crown heads of England. No one would want these behaviors in their family line. Similarly, Proverbs 12:4 asks us to think about how we honor or dishonor Jesus’ crown.
As I watched this period piece, I was amazed that the many jeweled crowns the queen wore. Although the behavior was deplorable, the crowns were amazing. Even current royalty in England, though they may only wear their crowns on special occasions, have some intricately designed and highly jeweled crowns. Am I living life as one of the jewels that catch the light and shine out around Him? Or am I causing Him embarrassment?
Every day is a good day to think ahead before speaking or acting, and ask how my words and deeds will affect my future Husband, Jesus. Every day is a good day to make a plan to enhance His crown with the jewels of kind words and loving actions, rather than the stomach churning opposite behavior.
We must choose “crown jewel” behavior every moment of every day. We do it, not to honor ourselves or to be seen as “good” people, but to honor Him and so that He will be glorified by those around us.
I welcome your thoughts, questions and comments. You can write me at Nancy@DynamicChristianMinistries.org