Ready for more target practice? Let’s continue our look at the twelve values and characteristics our ideal but not real Proverbs 31 woman holds before us.
Today’s target gets its own day because it lays the foundation for the rest of the principles we’ll glean from Proverbs 31:10-31. Will you stick this out with me? Is your marriage worth several weeks of laying our hearts before the Lord to be transformed by His truth? We’re in this together! Trust me, no one needs these scriptures more than me!
Target THREE: Doing him good and not evil.
She does him good and not evil all the days of her life (12).
This characteristic encompasses doing things simply because we know our husbands like them, like the “custom” meals and the favorite hairstyle, jeans, or nightie (see Take Note, Not Offense).
Doing James good is maintaining a pleasant, kind, and willing disposition. It’s representing his wishes in and outside our home and answering with an agreeable attitude when he needs help late at night or in the middle of the day, no matter what “important” task has my attention at the time. It’s being inconvenienced to his benefit.
It’s deliberately seeking ways to make James’ life easier or coming home more pleasant, giving him space to do what he needs to do to manage his stress, like golf. When he walks in at 5:30 p.m. and asks if he can go hit a bucket of balls, I need to send him off with a supportive smile. It’s not that he loves golf more than us, but it helps take his mind off work so he can shift his focus to home.
It’s also what we DON’T do, like making an intentional effort to avoid being difficult, disagreeable, or generally miserable no matter what’s going on in or around us. It’s arresting unkind words before they slip our lips and refusing to wallow in an unhappy, dissatisfied place.
It is NEVER doing anything to intentionally harm or cause our husbands pain, even if we desperately want to retaliate for some way they’ve hurt us.
Our husbands are accountable to the Lord for how they live their lives, love their wives, and lead their families. It is a heavy responsibility. I wouldn’t want it. They will give an answer to God for every choice, action, and word. We do not have to take on the added weight of being their Holy Spirit, judge and executioner, exacting our own punishment and revenge. Hurting our husbands because we’re hurting inside only puts us in a position to answer to the Lord for our wrongs.
Sometimes when James comes home, I expect to interact with him in what we affectionately call “husband mode.” If he’s still in business mode, and I perceive his responses to me as harsh, my instinct is to lash back. Doing him good and not evil is taking a deep breath, holding my reaction, and then asking him what I can do to help.
Doing him good is meeting his needs in all aspects of marriage, and loving him even when I don’t love his needs. When James and I were first married, we were destroying our marriage by withholding good when our needs weren’t being met. If the other person wasn’t doing what we expected, we certainly weren’t going to do anything to love on and serve them. It is a recipe for disaster in any marriage!
Then God taught us a very important lesson: we love and meet our spouse’s needs in the way they receive it best (as long as it lines up with the word of God) because we love God! Our obedience to God in how we treat our husbands is an act of worship to Him. They are just the secondary recipients of our obedience to the Lord. The ways James wanted me to do things still frustrated me, but I desired to please God. When James wasn’t the reason for doing what he wanted, it helped me do what he wanted. Eventually, God changed both our hearts, and now I do what he loves because I love him, too.
Pleasing God when we’re not pleased with our husbands is our mightiest weapon of influence: “Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear” (1 Peter 3:1-2). Not fear of our husbands, but the fear of God that compels us to please Him in all we do.
What are a few simple ways you can do good to your husband? Have you developed any evil habits, ways you try to manipulate or retaliate because you’re hurting or you feel like your husband isn’t doing something you deem necessary and right? These are prime opportunities to do him good and not evil. Will you to start today?
Lord, transform our hearts by the power of Your word as we make ourselves available and obedient to You, loving our husbands the way You desire because we love You so much. Empower us as You complete the work You started in us as we become more wholly Yours today.
Want to read the rest of the blogs in this series?