As we know, I am currently reading Proverbs and highlighting verses that pertain to wealth, healing, and love. My takeaway from this morning was a verse about love. “Those who devise good meet steadfast love and faithfulness.” Proverbs 14:22
This is such a different take on love. We all search for unconditional love, and unfortunately often demand it in our marriages. This verse points out that sometimes a little bit of work might pay off when it comes to love! Different translations have the word love swapped with the word “mercy,” but “faithfulness” pretty much remains untouched, and we all know how important that is to a marriage. I believe that whatever is in the bible is a surer way to obtain what you need than any other plan, and apparently it gives a formula for faithfulness! Who would’ve thought? All I have to do to meet it is “devise good.”
What is devising good? To google I go. Devise — plan or invent by careful thought. This implies deliberation and time, but basically the definition can be divided into three parts:
1. Plan. What good can you plan today? Planning requires thinking about things ahead of time. This could be setting up a reservation for a night out with your spouse, or asking for some time off in advance to take a trip. This could be as simple (for women) as freshening up make-up on our way home from work because we are planning on seeing our husbands soon. This could pertain to bigger projects that require planning — such as a meal plan or time planned to exercise together. This part of devising good ensures that foreseeable troubles and opportunities don’t come unexpected, because we have planned.
2. Invent. This is a little bit more difficult than planning, as it requires for us to turn on our imaginations. Invention is something new, never seen before. Has your marriage gone stale and boring? This is a perfect time to invent something new! Inventing good would ensure that the rut that couples often get stuck in doesn’t happen. It could be a new way to spoil your honey, or a new way to help someone out outside the household. After all, helping others brings a couple closer.
3. Careful thought. This means that you have thought long and hard about the good. This also means that all angles have been considered. When you go out to buy your spouse a present, do you consider what they will think about it, or is it something that YOU think they will like (for no good reason)? Husbands, have you carefully thought about purchasing your wife a vacuum cleaner for Christmas and considered how that might make her feel (like she is only there to clean for you)? Wives, have you deliberated carefully before giving away your husbands “clutter” without asking him, and thought about how it may make him feel (like his stuff doesn’t have a place in the home)? Sometimes what seems good to us isn’t exactly so. When devising it, it’s a good idea to carefully think about it.
This principle, of course, can also be applied to friends and acquaintances. How deliberate are we about doing good? How much time to we spend carefully thinking about it and planning it out? Or is good just something that we do as the opportunity comes up?
My goal after this is to be more deliberate about doing good — to devise it, especially when it comes to my relationship with my husband.