A man is not established by wickedness, but the root of the righteous cannot be moved. An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who causes shame is like rottenness in his bones (Proverbs 12:3–4).
Steadfastness. A man who is rooted and unmovable is so because righteousness. Soundness. A woman who is the crown of her husband is not undermining rot in his bones. These pictures are vivid.
Why does a woman love her husband or a man his wife? Roger Zerbe suffered from early onset Alzheimer’s disease. His wife, Becky, remembers a journal entry he left for her after a particularly troubling bout of forgetfulness. “I picked up the journal on my pillow and read:
Today fear is taking over. The day is coming when all my memories of this life we share will be gone. In fact, you and the boys will be gone from me. I will lose you even as I am surrounded by you and your love. I don’t want to leave you. I want to grow old in the warmth of memories. Forgive me for leaving so slowly and painfully.
Blinking back tears, I picked up my pen and wrote:
My sweet husband,
What will happen when we get to the point where you no longer know me? I will continue to go on loving you and caring for you—not because you know me or remember our life, but because I remember you. I will remember the man who proposed to me and told me he loved me, the look on his face when his children were born, the father he was, the way he loved our extended family. I’ll recall his love for riding, hiking, and reading; his tears at sentimental movies; the unexpected witty remarks; and how he held my hand while he prayed. I cherish the pleasure, obligation, commitment, and opportunity to care for you because I REMEMBER YOU!”
That’s what it is to be the crown of your husband.
Becky Zerbe, “Penning a Marriage,” Marriage Partnership (Spring 2006), p. 22; submitted by Kevin Miller, Wheaton, Illinois