We Can Change Our Husbands, After all! (What Happens When a Wife Believes the Gospel)

LauraAll Posts, Marriage, Ministry

An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who brings shame is like rottenness in his bones.” Proverbs 12:4.

A friend asked me to tackle this question on my blog, “How can I be a “crown” to my husband?” She’s been thinking about Proverbs 12:4 and wants to figure this wife-thing out. (This is the essence of a faithful friend: even her questions spur me on to reflection, repentance, and genuine love.)

So here I sit with the hardest writing assignment of my life. Knowing my inconsistencies and selfishness, it’s difficult to imagine what it’s like to be an “excellent wife”. I love Ryan with all my heart and I’ve grown to love marriage, but I do not consider myself to be a natural.

How about you? Has marriage been an easy fit or has it been more of a steep uphill climb learning experience?

Marriage has not been as natural as motherhood for me.  When Ryan and I said, “I do” 15 years ago, God had his work cut out for Him. And work He has. We are amazed by the softness, sweetness, and surety that God has created out of two selfish kids all dressed up at the altar. But, that’s a story for another time.

For now, one thing is certain: as I write this post, I’ll be listening, learning, and slowly recovering from the spiritual gut-punch.

About the crown…

This is the easy part. A king wears a crown to signify his identity as the king, right? It transforms him from a mere mortal to a reigning national figure.

No matter what the king does or where he goes, the crown remains a symbol of his royal identity.

He may behave very badly: the crown still speaks of his royalty. He may save the day: the crown glitters as consistently on that day as any day.

The crown points the king and everyone else to the truth of the king’s identity.

It points the king and everyone else to the dignity of the king’s calling.

It sets the king apart from everyone else: he is distinct, chosen.

It invites the king to greatness, symbolizing the vast potential reach of his life.

How is an excellent wife like a crown?

This is harder to answer for the lump in my throat, but according to the metaphor, an excellent wife is a consistent sign of her husband’s dignity and worth as God’s creation and God’s son.

She points her husband and everyone else to the truth of her husband’s identity.

She points her husband and everyone to the the dignity of his calling.

She sets her husband apart from everyone else: he is distinct, chosen.

She invites her husband to greatness, reminding him constantly that he has vast potential in the Kingdom of God.

An excellent wife’s thoughts, words, and actions are unswervingly grounded in the gospel, where her husband has the right to be a son of God. 

“The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1: 9-12

This is heavy and glorious, not to mention entirely supernatural.

I want to be a crown, but how? What does this look like for you and me, today?

Does the image of a crown on a king’s head help you to envision yourself as a faithful trustee, reminder, and evangelist of your husband’s value and calling? But like you, I want to know how to do this in real life.

Let me know your thoughts on the matter in the comments?  I’ll start the ball rolling by offering 2 big ideas about what “being a crown” may look like on a day by day basis.

I’ve boiled everything down to 2 actionable steps that will shape our every-decision, every-thought, and every-word in limitless significant ways. I have a hunch that when we do these 2 things, we will be like crowns on our husband’s heads. I think God will use us to spark profound eternal change in our men.

  1. We will steady ourselves in the gospel.

    If it’s not obvious already, no wife can truly be like that crown on a king’s head. We’re simply too stuck in our own flesh to promote and honor another human to that extent. Jesus alone can give us the grace to be that loving… that generous and wise.

    So every day – morning, noon, and night – we will deliberately return to the truths that God has forgiven our sin and made us righteous through Christ. This will change everything about us, helping us to think clearly about our identity as well as our husband’s.

    This mindset will determine our words and actions, which will not only honor our husbands literally, but will also honor them by association. Our kindness, joyfulness, and peace will speak volumes about our men. People will look at God’s grace in our lives and say, “He’s with her? Wow. He must be a king.

    Can you create intentional markers in your day that cause you to turn your thoughts toward the great relief and glorious calling of the gospel?

  2. We will speak the truth in love – about our husbands and to our husbands.

    Like us, men are only human.  Like us, they carry burdens and weaknesses. When men look in the mirror, they see mere mortals who are afraid of failure and acquainted with limitation. An excellent wife reminds her husband that in Christ, he is so much more than meets the eye.

    (As I write this, I am imagining men all over the world looking in the mirror: their shoulders are slumped and their faces downcast. They are entirely average and they know it.Then, I imagine wives all over the world coming up from behind them, placing crowns upon their heads.

    The men’s eyes fix strong, they breathe in deeply and hold their shoulders back as they remember: they are entirely significant in Christ and they are called to live as courageously as kings.)

    How can you daily remind your husband of the gospel, which is God’s great love and calling for him?

To wrap things up, remember that these verses from 2 Corinthians 5 apply to our husbands as much as they apply to us:

“From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.  The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5: 16 – 21

A crown never stops declaring a king’s dignity and calling.

May we never stop declaring our husbands’ dignity and calling in the gospel.

May God give us the grace to live in this light.

  • What comes to your mind when you think about this verse?
  • Share this with your married friends so that the next time you get together, you can talk about what this means for everyday life. (Then be sure to share everything you learn with me!)