This page/post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, as well as an affiliate of other programs, this means if you purchase something using these links, I will receive a commission on qualifying purchases at no cost to you! For more detailed information, please visit our Affiliate Disclaimer page
She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life. – Proverbs 31:12
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.
Take a look at the Hebrew translation of Proverbs 31:12 from Biblehub.
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 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).
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 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.
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,