She brings good, not harm

The other day, I was on a plane and had an elderly couple sitting next to me.

When I found out they were my “plane buddies”, I was really excited about it! I was looking forward to possible marriage stories, experiences and wisdom coming from them. Aren’t elderly couples the cutest thing?

But then, my bubble was instantly popped.

They started talking to each other. Everything the man would say, the woman would refute. She would look down on him, and think every idea that he had was ridiculous and stupid. She called him names.

And the man wasn’t too far behind, either. The woman had gotten burned and her arm really hurt to the point of tears sometimes. His response? Indifference. He did not even look at her when she was in pain.

I am not the strongest gal around — I wanted to cry at this scenario!

Would you join me in prayer for this couple today? Maybe spare 10 seconds now to say a silent prayer for them? Thank you. 

Bitterness can go on for years, and although a silent killer, it keeps growing, destroying every ounce of hope, good thoughts, harmony and love in its path. Eventually, it manifests outwardly in hurtful words, harmful actions and even indifference and lack of sympathy. It goes against the very grain of love, which “is patient, kind, does not envy or boast, isn’t proud, it does not dishonor others, is not self-seeking, it’s not easily angered, keeps no record of wrongs, does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth, always protects, always hopes, always trusts, always perseveres.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)

Bitterness, anger and harm are not God’s intention or design for the relationships in our lives. We actually see a very different picture on how a woman embraces her relationship in Proverbs 31:12.

“She brings him good, not harm,
    all the days of her life.” 

One trait of the Proverbs 31 woman is that she brings good instead of harm.

Looking at the common definition for the word “bring”, we find words like:

  • carry
  • lead
  • cause to come along with one

Prepare for my tongue twister: all of these words regard an action that require some sort of intention that comes before reaching the desired destination.

Meaning, when we bring something, we usually plan for it beforehand. When we go to a party or gathering and bring food, we have to make it first, prepare it (or at least go somewhere first and buy it!). Even if you just bring yourself, you still have to go through certain steps to get there, right? We can’t just teleport ourselves. We have to plan to get in a car and drive there.

When we read that the Proverbs 31 woman brings good, this is something that she is contributing to the relationship. It is something that she has set in her mind to do. It is not something that just happens randomly. It requires her to bring the good whatever the circumstance. It requires intention. It requires work.

Now, let’s note that this is not a conditional action — it doesn’t say that she brings good IF her husband (in the verse’s context) brings her good on that given day — just like God doesn’t tell husbands to love their wives IF they do the same at a given time. It just says that she brings good, not harm. And when?

“She brings him good, not harm,
    all the days of her life.” 

This woman is determined to bring good every day. She disregards circumstances and wavering emotions to bring beauty and love into the relationship, for the rest of her life. And isn’t that what marriage vows are about?

I, ___, take thee, ___, to be my wedded husband/wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part, according to God’s holy ordinance

This woman is determined to bring good. She has vowed to it.

But what if the man isn’t keeping his side of the vow? What if a friend is not bringing you good, but harm? What if your employer is not treating you well?

Do not repay anyone evil for evil.” Romans 12:17

Of course, this requires wisdom as well. Sometimes, the most loving and good thing we can do with someone that is hurting us is to take a step back. But let’s let God be the one guiding us on what this looks like!

Even if we are not married, we can still learn from the Proverbs 31 woman:

  • Are we bringing good, not harm, to those whom God has entrusted us with in our lives?
  • Are we blessing those around us?
  • Are we doing so with intent, day by day, moment by moment?
  • Have we decided to do so?

A godly woman brings good to the people around her. Let’s aim to do the same! Even when we think we can’t — when we are going through tough times, when we have been wronged, when we have been rejected or ignored, we can ask God to help us love like He loved. We can ask God to help us bring good, for goodness comes from Him:

“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness” (2 Peter 1:3).

Prayer: Lord, help us bring good every day, for we know this is Your perfect will. Help us put away any bitterness or selfishness and give instead the love we have received from You so we can be light wherever we go. Thank You for your help and thank You for molding us and working in us to become more like You. Amen.


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About Nathalia

I'm Nathalia, a 20-something living in Chicago, centered around Jesus, inspired by words and moved by others.

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