A virtuous woman!
(George Lawson, "A Practical Exposition of the Book of Proverbs" 1821)
"A virtuous woman is her husband's crown, but a disgraceful wife is like rottenness in his bones." Proverbs 12:4
A virtuous woman . . .
fears the Lord,
reverences her husband,
manages her house with prudence and care,
behaves charitably to the poor, and kindly to all.
To what should we compare such a woman? Should we compare her to a bracelet, or say that she is a necklace of gold to her husband? Such comparisons would be quite below her worth. She makes him as happy as a king, and procures him such respect and honor, that she deserves to be compared to that royal ornament that encircles the head of Majesty. She is to her husband, a crown enriched with those lovely virtues, which shine with more radiant luster than diamonds! She is health to her husband's bones, for the sight of her amiable behavior, and the pleasure of her society, inspires him with that habitual cheerfulness which does good like a medicine.
But the woman who lacks virtue disgraces her husband, and is as rottenness in his bones.
Her peevish temper or her passionate behavior,
her extravagant expenses or her sordid avarice,
the levity of her speech or the scandal of her vices —
make him the object of pity or scorn when he is abroad, and fill him with anguish at home. She is not a help — but a torment to him. A man may get out of a fever in a few weeks — but the misery of this living disease is that it will prey upon a man's bones and spirits, until the death of one of the married parties brings relief.
Let wives consider seriously, whether they wish for happiness and honor to their husbands — or misery and disgrace; and whether it is better for themselves to prove helpers to the joy, and crowns to the head of their husbands — or living plagues to them, and fires to consume their vitals!
Let husbands give honor to their wives, and encourage them in virtue, by their kindness and approbation. What tender love does Christ show to those whom He is pleased to betroth to Himself in loving-kindness! So ought husbands to love their wives.