Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.
Proverbs 12:4: “An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, But she who causes shame is like rottenness in his bones.”
“Excellent” shows this word means more than simply “virtuous, pure,” but also spirited, spiritual, conscientious, devoted to her husband and children, intelligent, ingenious. No clearer picture is drawn of such a woman than in Proverbs 31:10-31, which will be dealt with in detail in another study. When God made man, “the LORD God said, ‘It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him’” (Genesis 2:18). The entire created world cannot satisfy the loneliness a man was designed to have. To meet this innate need, God made woman, and Solomon describes her as a crowning addition to the man. There is no question to believers in God’s Word that: “He who finds a wife finds a good thing, And obtains favor from the LORD” (Proverbs 18:22). Men should be looking to find “a wife,” not “women” in general! Men who disrespect the marriage commitment are men who disrespect women, and thus disrespect God! A “wife” (not any and every woman!) is “favor (grace) from the LORD,” and a “good thing” for a husband! Men who reject marriage with a wife are rejecting the grace of God! It is no wonder, then, that “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge” (Hebrews 13:4). It is sin to have physically intimate relationships outside of marriage, and God will hold all accountable who engage in the practice without the purity of a marriage. Forbidding marriage (celibacy) or ignoring marriage (playboy) are both observed and condemned by God. There is no substitute for “an excellent wife,” for she shows her husband is richly blessed by God more than any other inheritance a man could have. “Houses and riches are an inheritance from fathers, But a prudent wife is from the LORD” (Proverbs 19:14).
“Rottenness in his bones” describes an untreatable condition, for it has sunk so deep into a man, it may never be cured. Spiritually speaking, “envy is rottenness to the bones” (Proverbs 14:30), which means it takes away strength to faithfully stand. If a “good wife” is a “good thing,” then a “bad wife” is a “bad thing.” Young men should not on the prowl for animal gratification, but should be searching for “an excellent wife” with strength of character and spiritual conviction.
All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.