When you read Proverbs 31:12, what thoughts does it bring to your mind? Do you feel that it applies to you? We are going to do a thorough study of this verse, look at what it means by studying the definitions of the words, and also look at some practical ways we can practice what we learn. Are you ready?
What is the Meaning of Proverbs 31:12?
I find the program E-Sword to be very helpful in doing Bible study. And the basic version is free, which is a big plus! I like to use some of the tools that help you look at the meaning of the words. Sometimes you may find that a word means just what you thought. But then again, other times you may learn that there is a lot more there than you first guessed.
It is worth mentioning one more time that this verse applies to you whether or not you are married. It is talking about the relationship of a wife to her husband, but it applies to all of us ladies, and I’ll tell you how in a little while.
She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
Would you like some dictionary definitions of some of the words in this verse? If that doesn’t interest you, just skip down to the next section. I won’t be offended! But, a lot can be learned from reading definitions. It’s really a good way to understand God’s Word more fully.
When the verse says, “She will do him good,” the word “do” can also convey the idea of “treat”. She will treat him good. How you treat someone is how you bear yourself toward them, or essentially, how you behave toward them.
She will do:
1. to deal fully with, recompense
2. to deal out to, do to
3. to deal bountifully with
4. to recompense, repay, requite
She recompenses or repays him with goodness. And not just a little bit of goodness but bountiful goodness! This is all well and good, but what exactly does good mean?
Good has the idea of pleasant and agreeable. It also has several other meanings.
- of a favorable character or tendency
- VIRTUOUS, RIGHT, COMMENDABLE
- good conduct
- KIND, BENEVOLENT
- good intentions
There’s that word again: virtuous! We can’t seem to get away from it in our Proverbs 31 study. It keeps taking us back to verse 10 and reminding us that we need the Lord’s grace to be able to do anything written in this chapter.
All of us who have the Holy Spirit in our lives have a pretty good idea what good conduct is and how we should treat each other. It’s easy to make excuses, but deep down we know that when we are unkind and unloving and behave in a way that is not Christlike, that we are not “being good.”
This verse says that the Proverbs 31 woman does her husband good, but it also says that she does not do him evil. What exactly does that mean?
- Sinful, wicked, causing harm
- Synonyms: bad, evildoing, ill, immorality, iniquity, sin, villainy, wrong
Doing evil is sin, and sin is doing anything that the Bible says is wrong. It is also failing to do what the Bible says is right. These verses from the love chapter tell us a few ways that we can do good and not evil.
Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil.
1 Corinthians 13:4-5
What Makes a Godly Wife?
We now reach the word “all.” In the Bible, another common usage for the word “all” is “every.” She will do him good every day of her life. Another usage is “whole.” She will do him good her whole life. Let’s look at these separately.
She will do him good every day of her life.
I think that this points back to the last verse and the need to be dependable. She does him good every day. Not just the days when the sun is shining. Not just the days when he does what he should. Every day! This is not easy. Consistent behavior such as this can only come from a woman who is asking the Lord every day to live out the Christian life through her.
She will do him good her whole life.
When you think of being a good wife, you probably think that it all starts the minute you say, “I do.” Actually, this isn’t true. Being a good wife should start before you even meet Mr. Right! Proverbs 31:12 says, “all the days of her life.” This means every day, through her girlhood, her teenage years, and into her single young adult years.
You may be thinking, how can I do him good then? I’m glad you asked! There are a lot of ways actually.
Honor Your Father
For one thing, you should be working on your relationship with your father. For those of us who are blessed to have our fathers until we get married, we are under their authority and should be respecting them and seeking to do them good. We have the chance to practice and see how we would be likely to treat our husband.
Seek the Lord
While we are young and single is the time to build the habit of spending quality time with Jesus. He is our life, and we need to be staying connected to Him so that we can grow and be ready for all that He has for us. Get into His Word and spend time in prayer, asking Him to prepare you for the perfect plan He has for you.
Guard Your Heart
Another way to do your future husband good is to save your heart for him. Don’t give it away to others by developing relationships with young men you aren’t planning on marrying. Of course, this does not mean that you can’t ever be around them or enjoy talking with them in a group setting, but this means not giving your heart and affections to them. Don’t fill your mind with thinking about them. Your heart should be saved for your future husband, but it won’t be if you slowly give pieces of it away.
There is a lot involved in homemaking! Really it is a lifelong pursuit that you can always learn more about and improve in. And there’s no time like today to start!! From cooking, to cleaning, to taking care of children, to home decorating, to laundry, to shopping to…you get the idea. There is a lot that goes into efficiently running a home, and it’s time to start learning now. You know that around here we talk about simple living and how to be less overwhelmed, right? The best way to avoid being overwhelmed later on when you have your own home is to learn one skill at a time right now.
Pray for Him
Even before you have a husband or have any idea who he might will be, you can begin to pray for him. Pray for his spiritual growth and that you will be prepared for each other and God’s plan for your married lives.
I want to insert one other thought here. God may not have marriage as part of His plan for some of us. But that doesn’t mean that He has a second rate plan for us. He still has a perfect plan for each one of us! And most of these areas that we have looked at are important things to work on whether or not we get married.
Oh, and that question at the start of this section: What Makes a Godly Wife? I believe a godly daughter makes a godly wife! When you learn to be a godly daughter, you will be a long way toward being prepared to be a godly wife if the Lord has marriage for you someday.
What Does Proverbs 31:12 Say to Me?
Whether we are single, married with small children, or still married with all the children gone from home, this verse applies to each one of us women. We can all seek every day to good to those around us whether it’s our fathers, our husbands, our brothers, or anyone else God has in our lives.
Before our simple takeaway, let me share a few last thoughts on this verse that Adam Clarke had to say.
“She will do him good – She has her husband’s happiness in view constantly. She recompenses all his kindness to her in beneficent acts. For kind words, she returns kind deeds.
1. Her good is unmixed; she will do him good. and not evil.
2 Her good is not capricious; it is constant and permanent, while she and her husband live. His heart safely trusts in her, for she will do him good all the days of her life. This is her general character.”
Clarke had such a good way of wording that, didn’t he? She does good so often that it becomes her general character to do good. It’s who she is!
The Proverbs 31 woman does her husband good and not evil all the days of her life. She doesn’t wait until she is married to start. For your takeaway this time, look at the 5 practical ways you can do your husband or future husband good. These 5 are Honor your father, Seek the Lord, Guard Your Heart, Cultivate Skills, and Pray for Him. Was there one that the Lord convicted you about while you were reading? Think of how you can work on it this very day in the strength of the Lord. Ask the Lord for his help and then do it!
If you want to see more posts on practical ways to live a simple life as a Proverbs 31 woman, then sign up and I’ll be in touch!
Did you learn anything new about this verse? If you would like to tell, I would love to hear any practical tips you have on honoring your husband or future husband!!
Until next time, keep looking for ways that you can do good and not evil!
Thank you for this post! One of the practical points convicted me. I appreciate this in depth study of Proverbs. I needed this. Thank you!
Another practical way we can honor our husband or future husband is to find out his likes and dislikes and honor him accordingly. If you know what he likes, then do that for him. Don’t do things you know he doesn’t like. Show him you care. That will honor him.
I love the idea you had for honoring your husband or future husband, Agape!! And I think that you could practice it on your dad too. If you get used to noticing his preferences and honoring them, then it will be a habit to do the same with your husband, even if he has different ones. Thank you so much for sharing!
Yes, that is true. We singles can definitely do that for our dads. They DO appreciate that. 🙂
It’s good practice for us.
Right! I think ministering to our families may be part of our role as corner stones in Psalm 144:12. “That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace.”
Thank you for this post, Bethany! It’s a serious reminder that we can be doing our husbands good or evil all our days, whether we know them and are married or not.
Yes, it’s true that “none of us liveth to himself” as Romans 14 says. Our actions today can impact people we may not even know yet. It’s a good reminder of the importance of doing God’s will each day!!