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12 Ways She Brings Him Good Not Harm: A Look at Proverbs 31:12

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What exactly does Proverbs 31:12 mean? The word good, here means considering your husbands happiness and well-being in everything you do. This noble woman builds her husband up instead of tearing him down.


she brings him good not harm

Take a look at the Hebrew translation of Proverbs 31:12 from Biblehub.   


Proverbs 31:12 Hebrew translation


She brings him:

From the Hebrew root word  “gemal” with the original meaning “to deal fully or adequately with, deal out to, wean, ripen


From the Hebrew word “towb” which means: pleasant, agreeable, good. (Note agreeable?)


From the Hebrew word “ra” which means: bad, evil, disagreeable, malignant: of a woman. (Note disagreeable?)


The word “brings” comes from the same root as “deal out,” “deal bountifully,” or “reward.”  The way it is used in other passages means rewarded with something undeserved.


This makes me think of the part in traditional wedding vows, “for better or for worse” which is a commitment to marriage and partnership even in bad times. The reason that I thought of this when learning about this word is that there are many times when human imperfection will cause one person in the marriage (or both) to probably not deserve that which is received, but this vow explains that the partnership of marriage is to be continued even in these times, and in that, that good which is received is an undeserved reward.


It is in these times that the good which is received can help the person struggling to find rest and to draw once again to “better” times. The virtuous woman deals out to her husband that which is good, because she wants only Gods highest and best for him. Her life and her deeds are a constant benefit to her husband. She seeks his interest and promotes his honor in everything that she does.


When we look at the Hebrew, we have a better understanding of the verse when it says She does him good, and not harm,. We are to do good for him, be agreeable and not disagreeable and to be pleasant. Can you recall any recent times when you were less than agreeable or pleasant toward your husband?


Let’s look at some other ways that (a wife) she brings him good not harm.

12 Ways She Brings Him Good Not Harm


She speaks kindly and doesn’t continually nag and complain.


She cheerfully, yes, cheerfully picks up his dirty laundry from the floor for the six hundredth time.


she brings him good not harm


She does not complain about him to others (girlfriends included). Instead, she is to build him up and speak of his good traits to others.


If you are thinking that your husband doesn’t have any good traits, I beg you to pray over this and consider Christian counseling. I had had women tell me that they can’t think of anything positive to say about their husbands to which I answer that if they have nothing positive to say, don’t say anything.


Instead, they need to pray about what they are grateful for when it come to their husbands. For example, does he provide a roof over her head? Is he active in the church? In most cases, wives tend to overlook the many things they can be thankful for in their husbands. Being thankful, showing gratitude is another way that she brings him good not harm.


She does not waste time scrolling on Facebook or playing games on her phone when her husband or children need her. (This is not saying that she should never do those things, but that her husband’s needs should come before her own pleasure and game time).


Bible on stone background; spiritually mature, 1 Peter 2_2


She spends time in prayer and Bible study deepening her relationship with God and even learning more about how she can be a wife that is pleasing in God’s eyes.


 “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” -Joshua 1:8 ESV


“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised” – Proverbs 31:30



She submits to her husband (see this post on what it means to be a submissive wife) and does not intentionally defy him.


“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.” -Ephesians 5:22-24 ESV


She looks for ways to be his helpmeet.  This can be anything from making sure that he has his favorite beverage in the fridge to helping him in the yard.


“Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” -Genesis 2:18 ESV


She asks about his day and listens for his struggles so that she can better support him.


couple in bed with red heart; Proverbs 31:12


She does not rebuke his desire for sex with her.    

Sometimes we just aren’t in the mood, but the Bible tells us that the husband has authority over our body (forced sex and other forms of abuse is NOT what the Bible tells us).


For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. -1 Corinthians 7:4 ESV


She dresses modestly leaving “sexy” clothes for her husband’s eyes only.

Hey, it’s not easy running a house, being a wife and mother, etc., but that doesn’t mean we have to stop making an effort to look good for our husbands.


“Likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works.” -1 Timothy 2:9-10 ESV


She keeps her home well-managed and clean, creating a sanctuary for her husband.


Mop for cleaning wooden floor from dust; she brings him good not harm


OK, technically, the verse below is not referencing our homes, however, it is good to keep in mind that we should make an effort to keep a neat home. Not a spotless one. Not one without a speck of dust, but one that our husbands can come home to and find a place of refuge. Tripping over toys or rummaging through a sink full of dishes to find one clean enough to use is not a place of refuge.


“And when it comes, it finds the house swept and put in order.” -Luke 11:25 ESV



She strives to have a quiet and gentle spirit, providing a refuge for her husband instead of being harsh, vile, loud or rude.


“but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.” -1 Peter 3:4 (ESV)


In looking over this list (and it is by no means exhaustive as there are always ways that we can bring our husbands good not harm), how do you do? Are there areas that you can improve on? What things do you do well?

Tell me in the comments.



Proverbs 31:12 is a mother describing to her son to look for a wife that will put his needs over her own. Would you give your son the same advice?

Although this video below, by Angelica K. Duncan, address Proverbs 31:11, it also talks about Proverbs 31:12 and it’s a good quick view:




If you want to dig deeper, check out my book, The Complete Proverbs 31 Wife:  A Verse by Verse Exploration of What it Means to Be a Proverbs 31 Woman in Today’s World.

In Him and because of Him,



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Ogona jonah

Friday 8th of October 2021

As a guidance and counselling service provider, I appreciate your effort and understanding put together to digest proverbs 31:11. I will add it to my wealth of knowledge to guide and counsel my prospective clients. I wish you more grace.

Susan Nelson

Monday 11th of October 2021

Thank you so much and thank you for stopping by. God bless you.


Thursday 19th of March 2020

hi I'm an African women we aren't taught much about being this specific woman but this is an eye opener than you Susan I'm going to buy this book thanks a bunch

deryn joy

Monday 22nd of November 2021

The Hebrew word "tov" (transliterated here as tō-wb) is used many times in Scripture, to describe creation ("God saw that it was tov"), God Himself ("God you are tov and do tov"), is the glory of His character when He passes before Moses ("... long-suffering and abounding in tov and truth"), and is what makes Christ the "tov Shepherd". It's a perfection, a magnificent rounding of righteousness that is God's glory and what we can only be in Him. While that sometimes indeed manifests itself as "agreeable," it is so much more than that! In fact, seriously and sweetly calling my husband to account when I see him living in sin is one of the most loving and tov things I can do as a fellow believer—helpmeets don't let husbands pursue evil! Appreciate the Hebrew inclusion in your study, Sue. The original opens up such a rich perspective on God's will for us!

Susan Nelson

Thursday 19th of March 2020

You are very welcome. I pray that it blesses you. Thanks for stopping by!


Friday 13th of July 2018

I desire to be a helpmeet;however, I desire to resume my teaching career. Am I out of order for This? My husband wants me to work with him but the desire of my heart is to continue teaching. I want to please God and I am conflicted.


Sunday 15th of July 2018

Thank you for writing. While I strongly believe in submission within a Christian marriage, I am not a licensed counselor. If you and your husband are unable to come to a peaceful agreement on this topic, I encourage you to seek counseling with a Pastor or Christian counselor to help the two of you work this out. I will be praying for you.


Friday 11th of May 2018

You had a lot of good reminders, and I thank you for that! It is so easy to get complacent and stop doing some of these things. So good, not harm!! Yes! I needed that! I did, though, want to say that while I certainly want to keep my house clean for my husband because I know it is refreshing when he comes home to a clean house (though he’s also incredibly understanding and never says anything when it’s not as cl an as I’d like and is always willing to help!), I think context is so very important when using verses to support any argument. Like 12:25 is referencing a demon that left the person it was dwelling in and how when the demon returns, it finds that person has clean up- of course if you keep reading, that’s not the end of the story either. Thanks for your other reminders, though!

caroline gamo

Thursday 24th of August 2023

@Katie, that is what i also thought. thank you for bringing this one up.


Friday 11th of May 2018

Katie - thank you for the clarification. Sometimes reading and studying verses out of context can lead to confusion. I do appreciate the correction. Thanks for stopping by. Have a great day!

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