Thursday, January 13, 2011

Thirty One Thursdays - Deciding Our Dealings

New to Thirty One Thursdays?  Start by reading the Intro Week and The Value of Virtue.

Proverbs 31:12
She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.

Verse 12 is represented by the Hebrew letter Gimel.

"She does him good..." is a continuation of verse 11, further elaborating on why the husband of the Virtuous Woman trusts in her.  This might seem like a simple tag-on at first, and many commentaries I've read through have had little to nothing to say about verse 12.  But I think there is a wealth of teaching here, because doing good to our husbands, especially in the post-women's-lib culture we live in, can prove to be the most difficult task to accomplish on the entire list.

"She does" comes from the Hebrew verb Gamal, which means:
-to deal fully with
-to deal bountifully with
-to recompense, repay
-to deal out

A couple other places we see the word used are:

I will sing to the Lord, because He has dealt bountifully with me.
Psalm 13:6
I will recount the steadfast love of the Lord, the praises of the Lord, according to all that the Lord has granted us, and the great goodness to the house of Israel that He has granted them according to His compassion, according to the abundance of His steadfast love.
Isaiah 63:7
We're not talking about any passive "doing" here. We're talking about an active, decisive giving of ourselves in the fullest sense. The Virtuous Woman decides every day to deal out goodness to her husband, much like the Lord gives Himself fully to us.  That is one heavy verb!

As a believing woman, you probably let God challenge you in many areas.  If you are working, and your employer is being nasty, do you feel that conviction to act kindly toward him/her?  When you clean out your closet, do you drop the clothes off at Goodwill?  When your kids are giving you an extra challenging day, do you hear the Lord calling you to be patient?  Do you take a meal to a family in need at church, or say something kind to a friend who's having a bad day, or decide not to honk your horn when someone cuts you off on the road?

We are usually more than willing to obey God in dealing out kindness to others...

...except when it comes to our husbands. 

For some reason, if hubby is being nasty, or challenging, or having a bad day, or cutting us off at every word, we tell ourselves that it's ok to be nasty and challenging in return.  In whose eyes do we think this is ok?  Who are we conversing with when we say, "he doesn't deserve my kindness right now"?

Jesus taught us,
"Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you... for if you love those who love you, what reward do you have?  Do not even the tax collectors do the same?"
Matthew 5:44,46
Have you ever felt like your husband is your enemy?  I have!  Two people living in close quarters trying to do life together are bound to get into it here and there.  But the Lord tells us to hang up our pride and repay kindness to those who deal unjustly with us (husbands are not excluded here).

Peter also tells us,
"Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing."
1 Peter 3:9
Remember what the other part of that "doing" verb means?  To recompense or repay.  Not only are we talking about how I treat my husband on the front end, but also how I respond to him.  Whatever his attitude is toward me, I am called to respond by dealing out goodness to him.

I, the woman, am supposed to be "the bigger man" in my home.

And not sometimes.  Not on good days.  Not when all is going well.  But "all the days of her life."

Not only does the Lord call me to deal out goodness to my husband, but He calls me to be consistent in my dealings, even when it's not deserved, following the example of Christ.

At the end of the day, this has far less to do with being good to hubs and far more to do with submitting to the Will of God.  Our culture wants to make it about the former, but if we remain tied to the Word, we can know the truth of obedience and decide to apply it in our marriages.  We can fully and actively deal our husbands a hand of goodness, and not harm or evil, all the days of our lives.

THIS WEEK'S ACTION STEP:  Read 1 Samuel 25:1-42.
Consider the kindness Abigail showed her husband in her actions toward David, even though it was totally undeserved.
Consider how the Lord rewarded Abigail's righteousness.
Consider how you can carry the same attitude into your marriage this week.

"She seeks wool and flax,
and works with willing hands."
Proverbs 31:13

Blue Letter Bible. "Dictionary and Word Search for gamal (Strong's 1580)". Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2011. 13 Jan 2011. < http://

Strongs=H1580&t=KJV >

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