She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
If you’ve read a few of these little ditties I’ve written on this blog, then by now you know that I’ve been reading the chapter of Proverbs that corresponds with the day of the month for years now. Not every day. I’m not quite so disciplined. But pretty steady. I knew this verse was coming up and since I was now writing about poignant quotes from Proverbs for the blog, I was a little nervous about what I would say about this verse.
Not nervous because I had nothing to say. I’m an expert on this verse. This verse is talking about me. I’ve lived it. And those of you who know my family in person would agree. I am one of the fortunate recipients of a wise wife.
No, nervous because it refers specifically to a woman. Our society is so gender confusion crazy I didn’t think me talking about a woman specifically would go over. I’m not giving equal time. What about the men? Why isn’t there a verse that says:
He brings her good, not harm,
All the days of his life?
I’m certainly not opposed to doing good for my wife all the days of my life. And when I read this verse, that is how I apply it. I rejoice in my good fortune, but am also chastened at my own frailty at returning the “brings her good” part. It’s a good thing we’re not keeping score on who is bringing more good to whom. We’d know who’d win in that contest. I’d rather have generous leftovers of this quality and skimp on the:
A foolish woman tears down her house with her own hands.
Proverbs 14:1 (my paraphrase)
realizing, of course, that foolish men tear down theirs, too. I hope I’m not among those.
Unfortunately, in my work, I see a lot of men AND women majoring on figuring out ways to destroy their homes. And, if they are going to do good to anybody, it’s to themselves. Their verse would read:
He does himself good all the days of his life.
She does herself good all the days of her life.
What’s the point of that? Maybe that’s how they would tear down their houses with their own hands: Thinking only of themselves. So what do these sad women say to me?
My husband only thinks of himself.
My husband is selfish.
My husband never helps.
I don’t need another kid.
And if he’s in the complaining mood, what does he say?
My wife always criticizes me.
My wife is always on my case.
My wife is always in a bad mood.
I don’t need another mom.
Now what do you make of these things? Compare these two statements:
She does him good all the days of her life
My husband never helps around the house.
In the former, she’s thinking: What do I have to do to be a good wife? A wise husband would be saying to himself: What do I need to do to be a good husband?
In the latter, she’s thinking: What does my husband have to do to make me happy? And the self-absorbed husband would be asking the same thing about his wife.
The former statement means you have control over your life. Your spouse could be in a good mood or bad, it doesn’t matter because you know what you have to do to be a good spouse of whatever gender. No gender confusion here. This is what I, as a good wife, need to do. This is what I, as a good husband, need to do.
The latter statement means you can’t be in a good mood unless your spouse is doing what you want. Your happiness is in someone else’s hands. If that’s the case and the other person disappoints you, you will, no doubt, be in a bad mood. Ask your spouse someday, if it’s easier for them to be nice to you if you are in a good mood or if you are in a bad mood. That’ll humble your pride a tad. Really. Do you even have to ask?
So we see all these people that are getting their good or bad moods from how their spouses are treating them and since their spouses are doing the same thing their negativity feeds on each other and then they divorce because their spouses were so negative, not realizing that they themselves were just as negative and then they marry another person just as immature as them AGAIN and then they wonder why they are unhappy in their second marriage? Did you follow that?
What we are in short supply of here is a servant spirit. A little humility. A little reaching out, when you can’t reach out to me. That’ll get us through dark days, till the sun can come out again.