This morning I find myself awake much earlier than my family. What an awesome opportunity I have for some uninterrupted writing time. I pray that God would help me to see with open eyes and hear with open ears. I so desire, in my heart, to have my focus be upon Him.
The next verse is Proverbs 31:12. I must tell you that I already started delving into this yesterday. I was pondering it as I was watching my daughter swim in the pool. I spent time in the Bible last night after my kids went to bed reading the stories about women. I read about Ruth, Abigail, Hannah, Esther, Rebekah and the women Jesus interacted with. Yet, through it all, I fell asleep somewhat perplexed.
Here is what the verse says:
“She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.” Proverbs 31:12 NIV
“Never spiteful, she treats him generously all her life long.” Proverbs 31:12 Message
“She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.” Proverbs 31:12 NLT
I began by pondering the first part of this verse, “she brings him good”. What good do I bring to my husband? What is it about wives that bring goodness to their husbands? What does God’s word say? I wrestle this for a while and then decided it may be easier to start with what I should not do, shifting my focus to the “not harm” part.
It says in Proverbs 21:19, “Better to live in the desert than with a quarrelsome and ill-tempered wife.” Think of the desert with it’s unrelenting heat, lack of cooling shade, the arid landscape that leaves a dry taste in your mouth and the deep burning thirst for the refreshment of water. What I gather from this is that if I am quarrelsome and short tempered I will make my home feel like a desert to my husband, an undesirable and painful place to be.
The English Standard verses says, “fretful” instead of “ill-tempered”. Fretful…what does that look like. Websters dictionary says being fretful is similar to being irritable or restless. I’m guilty on both counts of being irritable and restless. How many times have I let my emotions run wild and snapped at my husband over the smallest thing? Too many to count. Even when things have been good, I have been restless. The deep striving to do more, to be more, to squeeze more into the same few hours of the day or letting the thoughts of the past or the future keep me rolling all night long. Yep. I’ve been restless.
Now the picture of what not to do is clear in my mind. I don’t know about you, but at this point I don’t feel very encouraged, lifted up or loved. Perhaps that is because I am focusing on all of the negative. There’s a difference between conviction and condemnation. God’s love will convict change, but it will not condemn for sins of the past or of the future. The price Jesus paid will spare us from that. Oh God is so filled with goodness!
Proverbs 31:12 isn’t the only spot in the Bible that discusses “good” and “wife”.
Look at what it says in Genesis 2:18 “The LORD God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
A wife was God’s solution to man’s loneliness. Isn’t that an incredible thought? There is great power in being a solution to a problem. God made woman as a suitable helper and companion for man.
“He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD” Proverbs 18:22. There’s that word “good” again. God made wives good. It says that man will receive favor from the LORD in his wife. This again reinforces what an amazing gift we as wives are to our husbands.
Isn’t this so contrary to what the world says we are? It is so frequent that wives are illustrated as joy stealing burdens; that old “ball & chain”. Rejoice with me because that is not who God created us to be. That is not the divine role that we’ve been given.
God designed us for so much more. He inspired the words in Proverbs 12:4, “A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown”. A wife is precious! You are beloved and cherished, adorned, appreciated and treasured!
Now, I hope you are feeling a bit more encouraged. I know I am. But, there’s still this great pondering question in my heart. What do am I supposed to DO to be this great gift to my husband? How do I bring him good all the days of my life?
Perhaps I have too often been overcome by the world’s process. You know 7 steps to a better marriage, 8 lessons in properly loving your husband, 5 tips to be the wife he wants…does this sound familiar to you? Aren’t we always looking for what we can do?
As it turns out, God does reveal the answer to us. We shouldn’t be surprised at His answer.
“Humility and fear of the Lord bring wealth and honor and life” Proverbs 22:4
Wealth, honor, life. Now those sound like “good” that I so deeply desire to bring to my husband. God tells me what I can do, be humble and fear Him. In other words, as a wife I need to be submitted to God and in deep reverence and adoration of Him.
Isn’t that amazing! Doesn’t that take that pressure to perform off of us? It comes back to God again, and again, and again.
God + me = Proverbs 31 I shall be
Oh how amazing this journey is! Today I feel as if we stop at a scenic overlook so that we could just pause and draw in Your beauty. This has been such a refreshing stop. Thank you so very much!
I pray that for each woman who reads this, may they come away refreshed and reminded of what a gift they are. For those who are wives, please help them to identify themselves a precious gift from God. Help them to draw near to You and in doing so provide the good to her husband that You long to give the men in our lives. For those who are not wives, please help them to have new wisdom and understanding. If you should one day bring them a husband, may it help the foundation of their marriage to be set in You.
Lord I pray for the men who read these words. May they see our desire as wives to be a gift to them. May they know that while we struggle in the process, God is faithful with His outcomes and good to those who love Him.
Thank You, God! For all that You are and all that You do in our lives, great and small! We love you!