Along with the rest of living, breathing, strong-willed females, I have a love\hate relationship with the Proverbs 31 woman. On one hand, I adore her. Her ideals inspire me. She holds me accountable. She makes me want to be better. She is all that I want to be as a godly woman, wife, and mother….annnnd, therein lies the problem I have with her. She never does anything wrong. She gets up early, she stays up late, she works hard, she doesn’t complain, she grows her food, she prepares her food, her husband and her children lack for nothing, she always looks put together, her entire household is put together, she only speaks kindly, she helps the needy, everyone has full confidence in her…etc.etc.etc. Are you nauseated too? Because I am. On my best day, I may do a couple of those things well. And on my worst day, well, you know. Sometimes my kids show up at school and we forgot their shoes. When they do have shoes on, sometimes they throw them at people in public places. My husband doesn’t always get a hot meal…or a meal at all. Sometimes he opens his drawers and there are no clean socks. Rather than helping the poor and oppressed, sometimes my own house needs to be condemned. And as for having full confidence in me and people rising up to bless me?? Well, often I don’t even believe in myself.
And while she is all the things I am striving to be, I just am not all those things… because I am human. And the Lord knows this about me as He is the one who knit me together. SO….I must show myself grace as He heaps it upon me lavishly.
There is one quality of the lady in Proverbs that is particularly to me. Maybe you find yourself convicted too. It’s a short little statement found in verse 12, and this is what is says, (in reference to her husband) “She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.” Another translation says this, “She helps him and never harms him all the days of her life.”
Now, let that sink down deep into the deepest part of your selfishness. It’s been welling up in my prideful heart for weeks now, and I must admit, I need it tattooed to my forehead. Bring him GOOD. Not HARM. HELP him. Do not HURT him. I believe this cuts down to the deepest part of any wife. And why is that?? Because as much as we don’t want to admit it, with all the fiery darts that Satan hurls at our husbands each day, sometimes the ones that actually penetrate are the ones thrown from our hands. From the hand who is supposed to love and help him most.
I know this too well. I love my husband, adore him actually. DO NOT speak ill of him in my presence or so help you. I am very proud of him and love to hear of the things that he does well. All that is true. BUT, you know, I live with him everyday. And while I may not see fit for other to tear him down; I, in the ease and security of marriage, do not always deem it necessary to speak good words to him or perform helpful tasks for him. Even more often, my hurtfulness doesn’t come in the form of biting words, it manifests in mediocrity, or stagnation. Just not being proactive in making life better for him. After all, he may not have done anything for me that day either, right? Ahhh, the dailyness of marriage with all its beauty and its ugliness. But, in that, lets look what the writer of Proverbs actually says here…. Does she brings him good on the days that he brings her good?? Does she help him when he helps her?? No. Nothing of his part it mentioned. As much as we assume that he was a good and faithful husband, we do know this, he was just a man. Just a man like you and I married. One with fears, failures and frailties. And one who should be able to fully trust his own wife with those weaknesses knowing that her gentleness will bring him good. GOOD. Not harm….all the days of her life. We are to actively be bringing good things to his life, not just not harming him.
This is no small feat. It’s a daily task. Let me rephrase, it’s a daily choice. To bring GOOD. To HELP him. Practically it may look different each day but as wives, we were created from man to be their helpers. So…let’s help and not hinder.
So if you like me, feel the pangs of conviction in you, then let’s race like mad women to the early pages of the Old Testament to the story of Joseph. After much hurt and struggle between Joseph and his brothers, we see the beauty of Christ, LOOOOOONG before He was ever born. As Joseph looks into the faces of his own family members and says, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to bring about His own purposes.” (Genesis 50:20) Let’s claim that in our own marriages every single day from this day forth! If we have fallen into a trap of harming our husbands in any way, even unintentionally, let’s cry out to the Lord asking him boldly to take that sin and nail it to the cross with all the others and leave it there. And as we walk away from it, let’s trust him fully to make it GOOD….as only our Redeeming God can do. Amen and AMEN.