2008 at 6:19 pm | by Nicole Whitacre
“She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.” Proverbs 31:12
My conversation with the Proverbs 31 Woman—
Me: How often do you do your husband good? Proverbs 31 Woman: All the days of my life. Me: Are you kidding? Do you really mean all? That’s impossible! I’ve failed already!
Before we become discouraged by our utter inability to measure up to the Proverbs 31 woman’s standard, we must first remember that the picture here is not one of perfection but of consistency and faithfulness.
All of us have no doubt fallen short many times. There are often days where in one way or another I fail to do good to my husband—whether by sins I commit against him, or opportunities to do him good that I miss or ignore.
But we can grow to resemble more and more this portrait of the Proverbs 31 woman—even after our failures, in spite of our weaknesses and temptations, and in the face of great trials or challenges in our marriage. We can persist in doing our husband good.
To answer this question, we can turn to Psalm 23:6. There, the Psalmist declares the truth of God’s faithfulness to him: “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.”
Here is not only consistency but perfection: all. Here is not simply good intentions but certain fulfillment: surely. Here we find not only acts of goodness but abundant, overwhelming goodness—because this goodness is from God Himself, come to us through the person and work of Jesus Christ.
I once heard John Piper explain that the word “follow” in this verse could be more accurately translated “pursues.” God, with goodness and mercy in hand, pursues us. He hunts us down, in the midst of our sins, failures, in the midst of the trials and difficulties in our marriage.
He is eager to give us conviction for sin, forgiveness in Christ, a renewed desire to do our husband good, strength to persevere (even in a difficult marriage) and faith to see Him working all things for our good.
So how do we do our husband good? First and foremost remember that God has and is pursuing us with His goodness and mercy all the days of our lives.
2008 at 5:52 pm | by Nicole Whitacre
I hope you’ve been brainstorming—and acting—to do your husband good (‘cause remember, you have unique gifts and are called by God to do him good). But, if you are creatively challenged like me, you might need some ideas to get you started.
When we discussed this topic at my church a while back, some ladies got together and came up with a short list of ideas. So here are “10 Ways To Do Your Husband Good.” Monday is a great day to start!
10 Ways to Do Your Husband Good (Proverbs 31:12)
* Write him a love note and place it in his sock drawer. * Take an entire evening to enjoy his favorite hobby with him. * Show up at work with a special drink or take him to lunch. * Encourage him for demonstrating a specific godly trait—in front of friends. * Arrange a datenight at his favorite restaurant. * Pray for him today and tell him you are doing so. * Surprise him with his favorite dessert after dinner. * Greet him in an extra-special way when he comes home from work. * Lead the children in a time of honoring him. * Ask him: “What is one way I can be a better wife?” Then do it!
Girltalk headquarters (although it’s probably a stretch to call it that) is split between our homes in Montgomery County, MD (Mom, Janelle and Kristin) and Fairfax County, VA (Nicole). Both counties are suburbs of Washington, DC.
Every region has its quirks and peculiarities that only locals are familiar with, and DC is no exception. To help give you an idea of what things are like around here, and to prepare you in case you ever come to visit, here are a few facts you’ll want to know. Although you may decide not to come after reading this week’s Friday Funny.
Nicole for the DC girltalkers
Washington DC Area Explained
For those who plan to visit/move to our area… ?First, you must learn to call it by its rightful name. It is DC or ‘the District’ - only tourists call it Washington. ?Next, if your road map of Montgomery County is more than a few weeks old, throw it out and buy a new one: it’s obsolete. If in Loudoun or Fairfax County and your map is one day old, it’s already obsolete. In DC, it doesn’t matter. Whatever road you want is probably one-way in the opposite direction from what you want.
All directions start with “The Beltway…” which has no beginning and no end, just one continuous loop. Locals believe this is somehow clarified by an ‘inner loop’ and ‘outer loop’ designation, but which makes no sense to ANYONE outside the area.
If you get over in the exit or entrance ramps for an interstate in a timely fashion, you are definitely a tourist. You’re supposed to either get over early and cruise down the shoulder at 90mph, or wait until 3” before you pass it, to exit.
The morning rush hour is from 5–11am. The evening rush hour is from 1–8pm. Friday’s rush hour starts Thursday morning,
It is illegal to drive faster than 5mph past an accident or disabled vehicle or policeman writing a ticket. You must stop and stare before you pass any of these. The farther off the road they are, the more you should look. You must not stop and offer help of any kind, however. Also, if you hear a siren, make sure you do not stop or move over; just slow down to 15mph, or stop and park in the middle of the roadway.
Rain causes an immediate 50 point drop of IQ in drivers. Snow causes an immediate 100 point drop in IQ and a rush to the nearest grocery store for toilet paper and milk and bread.
2008 at 5:24 pm | by Janelle Bradshaw
“She does him GOOD, and not harm, all the days of her life.” Proverbs 31:12
We are to use our gifts to do good to our husband, but we must also do him good in ways that don’t come naturally to us but would be a blessing to him. We must be willing to go beyond what feels comfortable or easy in order to do our husband good.
Maybe we don’t like to cook but our husband really enjoys a gourmet meal. Maybe we aren’t the “organized type,” but our husband prefers everything in its place. For many husbands, romance and physical intimacy top the list. Maybe there are interests or hobbies our husband would like us to do with him that wouldn’t be our first choice.
I, for one, seriously dislike doing laundry. No good reason for this lack of affection, but there it is. But Mike really appreciates it when I am consistent with this chore. (I wonder why? I mean who cares if they run out of clean clothes?) Often I’m tempted to put my personal preferences before the laundry. But when I stop and consider my responsibility to do my husband good by putting his desires before mine, I get a biblical perspective on that pile of dirty clothes, and it makes its way to the laundry room faster.
Now, obviously we all have limitations. We can’t become experts in an area that’s beyond our ability. (Too bad laundry isn’t beyond my ability!) However, we must not allow selfishness to keep us from doing good in ways that our husband desires. We can’t hide behind the excuse that “I’m just not good at this” or “this isn’t how I’m wired.” God is eager to help us grow in serving our husbands.
And we can’t assume that we already know what is “good” to our husband. We need to ask. So here’s some weekend homework: let’s take a few minutes and ask our husbands, “What is one way that I can do you good?” And let’s be prepared for action—even if it’s laundry.
2008 at 3:48 pm | by Janelle Bradshaw
“She does him GOOD, and not harm, all the days of her life.” Proverbs 31:12
What’s this “good” we’re supposed to do for our husband look like? The possibilities are endless! But to get us started, a few simple categories might help. First off, we should do him good by using our gifts.
In God’s great sovereignty, he has given each of us specific skills and gifts. And they aren’t just for our own amusement or success. They are reservoirs from which we are to draw good for our husband.
Maybe you are organized or discerning or detailed. You might be good with finances (unlike me!) or skilled in counseling or have a great sense of humor. Your gifts may be in serving or encouragement. Maybe your husband loves the fact that you are an intelligent conversationalist or an empathetic listener. You may be tech-savvy or a gourmet cook or an artist.
Whatever grace God has given you should be used for the good of your husband!
For example, God has blessed me (to a small degree) with a creative eye, which I try to use in my photography and in decorating our home. Mike really appreciates the many family pictures hanging on our walls and also the wacky decorating schemes I come up with—like a traffic light hanging from my living room ceiling! Your husband might not appreciate this so much, but I bet he does want the gifts you have to offer.
In the movie, Chariots of Fire, the character playing Eric Liddell makes that famous statement: “When I run I feel His [God’s] pleasure.” When we use the gifts God has given us for the good of our husbands we can be a blessing to them, and we can also know the pleasure of God.
So are you getting excited about all the good you can do your husband with the gifts God has given you? I hope so. What’s one way you can do him good with your gifts today?
2008 at 6:22 pm | by Kristin Chesemore
“She does HIM good, and not harm, all the days of her life.” Proverbs 31:12
The object of this wife’s active do-gooding is her husband.
Obviously the Proverbs 31 woman does good to many people—her children, her servants, the poor and needy, the business community. But it seems clear from verse 12—and many other places in Scripture—that the primary priority of the virtuous woman is to do her husband good. He is to be the number one recipient of her efforts and energy.
It’s easy for us as women to get busy trying to do a lot of good for a lot of people—our children, the church, the community. But if we don’t make doing good to our husband our highest priority, or if doing good to others hinders or significantly limits the good we can do our husband, we are not an authentic replica of the Proverbs 31 woman.
Now, I’m not trying to add to your to-do list. Actually, this truth helps to simplify my life. When I put my husband as the first priority (after my relationship with God, of course) it helps me determine what else is important and what is not.
Sad to say, I don’t always do this. Sometimes I am quick to meet my kid’s needs or to agree to do a favor for a friend without considering whether or not it would serve my husband. Serving my children and those in the church is right and important—as we see in the example of the Proverbs 31 woman. But I must remember that I am uniquely gifted and called to do good to my husband first.
Charles Spurgeon describes the excellent wife: “She asks not how her behavior may please a stranger, or how another’s judgment may approve her conduct; let her beloved be content and she is glad.”
I want God’s help to continue to make Brian’s good my first and glad priority.
2008 at 4:52 pm | by Nicole Whitacre
“She DOES him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.” (Proverbs 31:12)
The Proverbs 31 woman is a woman of action. She isn’t simply a well-wisher of her husband’s happiness; she’s a doer of good to him. She brings him good, it says in the NIV. She delivers and supplies good to him. She does it.
It doesn’t say whether or not she feels like doing her husband good. In fact, feelings don’t enter into the matter. Not that feelings are irrelevant—if we lack desire to do our husband good, this needs to be investigated. Maybe bitterness has corroded our desire, laziness has dampened it, or busyness and selfishness have stifled it. If so, we must repent from sin and ask God to revive in our hearts a desire to do good to our husband.
But we must not wait for some lovey-dovey feeling or just the right time to do him good. Instead, as a step of repentance, we must act for our husband’s good. This not only proves our desire for his happiness, but will fuel it as well.
“The…conclusive evidence of our wishing or willing to do good to another” wrote Jonathan Edwards, “is, to do it.” He goes on: “In every case nothing can be plainer, than that the proper and conclusive evidence of the will, is the act…for whatever we truly desire, we do thus seek.”
If we truly desire our husband’s good, we’ll make specific efforts toward his happiness. We will not simply love him in word or tongue, “but in deed and truth” (1 John 3:18-19).
Maybe, like me, you are full of good intentions and resolutions but often come up empty on action. That’s when a plan can be helpful. Take a few minutes to think about your husband and ask yourself: “What is one way I can do him good and how can I make it happen?”
May God, the source of all good, help us grow in doing good to our husband.
Yesterday at my church we watched the first of three videos that comprise this year’s Sovereign Grace Ministries mission presentation. Even if you are not a member of a Sovereign Grace church, I think you will be excited to see how the gospel is going forth in Germany and Ethiopia. The trailer is below, and you can watch the first two parts at the Sovereign Grace website:
Also, our friend Carolyn McCulley (she’s a busy lady these days!) has a short video promoting her new book, Radical Womanhood. It’s a fascinating look at the history of feminism and how it affects the world we live in today.
So grab some popcorn and check out these inspiring videos. I guarantee they beat anything you could find on tv tonight!
(More husband-talk tomorrow…)
UPDATE: the link to the Radical Womanhood video has been added…you can watch it here.
My friend, Kristen, sent me this story soon after MJ was born. Perfect for Friday Funnies!
Have a super weekend, MJ’s Mommy for the Girltalkers
My little sister Shannon (7) just loves babies. I know most little girls do, but she seems particularly fascinated with them. Whenever someone we know has a baby she wants to go on their blog and see pictures. One day a few months back I was looking at Janelle’s flickr and Shannon saw some pictures of Caly. She knew that “Mrs. B” was having another baby thanks to Summer Celebration. She was talking about Caly and how Caly was going to be a big sister, etc, etc. I was in the middle of doing something else so I was sort of half listening and agreeing “Uh huh. Yup. She is. Yeah.” It got quiet for little bit and then she asked “Kristen, what does NP stand for?” I assumed someone on flickr had used the common slang and she saw it. “It means ‘no problem.’” I told her. Her face got all scrunched up “What??? It means ‘no problem’? Huh?” I assured it did mean “no problem.” And she goes “So Mrs. B is naming her baby No Problem? No Problem B?” I guess that all the acronyms confused her and she mixed up MJ with “np.” Letters are so confusing hahaha Poor little thing! It’s rough to be 7 in 2008!
2008 at 4:57 pm | by Janelle Bradshaw
We’re not only gifted to do our husbands good. Scripture makes it our responsibility as well. Just check out Genesis 2:18 and Proverbs 31:12 for starters.
Charles Bridges describes this wifely disposition:
“Her husband’s comfort is her interest and her rest. To live for him is her highest happiness. This course of disinterested regard and devoted affection when conducted on Christian principles, commends most graciously the ‘holy and honourable estate of matrimony.’…No greater glory could be desired, than that which is given to it, that it should illustrate ‘the great mystery,’ – ‘Christ and his church,’ the identity of interest between them; her trials his; his cause hers.” Devotion to our husbands’ comfort goes against our culture’s idea of marriage, not to mention our own selfishness. But doing our husbands good is of great importance because it mirrors one half of that “identity of interest between Christ and the church.” (And yes, there’s another half for the guys, but that’s not our topic for today!)
We are to do our husbands good: not only for their sakes or to get something from them in return, but because we love our Savior. This responsibility is an honor because it is ultimately for Christ. And we can have confidence that God Himself will bless us as we seek to do our husbands good.
He’s the one, after all, who transforms our motives from “I do me good” to “I do him good.” If it weren’t for God’s grace at work in our hearts, the only “good” we would do our husbands wouldn’t be good at all, but rather manipulation dressed up as goodness. He’s the one who gives us the desire and he will help us persevere in doing our husbands good.