Maybe you’re recently married and unsure of how to be a “good wife”. Or, maybe your marriage is struggling and you’re wondering if it’s something that you’ve caused. In any case, your effort of seeking knowledge and self-improvement deserve applause! Men, women, children AND society – so, yes, everyone – benefits from STRONG families. And you, as a wife, are VITAL to this equation. Here is a guide to walk you through how to act like a wife – and do a FANTASTIC job at it!
3 Principles to Jumpstart Wifehood
How do you act like a wife? Here are 3 principles to implement today that will put you on the fast track to wifehood. Through these, you will understand the importance of marriage and the wife’s role in making it a success.
- Understand the Purpose of a Marriage
- Know the Societal Benefits of a Healthy Marriage
- Understand the Purpose of a Wife
Although these principles sound simple, they’re not. Each is dynamic and full of subjective interpretation. At the same time, each of these has a simplistic truth at its core that will help you to understand marriage and your role within it. Read on to further explore each of these principles.
1. Understand the Purpose of a Marriage
Marriage by definition is the legally or formally recognized union of two people as partners in a personal relationship.
Through a Christian lens, marriage is the unification, under God, by which a man and a woman commit to love each other and travel their journey of faith together.
If you have time, watch Rick Warren’s full sit down with him and his wife, as they discuss the biblical purposes of marriage. This is a longer YouTube clip, so listen as you’re on your daily commute, on a walk, etc.
Some of the points mentioned are:
- Marriage is a reflection of praise. God loves love. He loves to see his children loved. He, specifically, asks women to submit to their husbands and husbands to love their wives as Christ loves the church. This is His perfect union of love, but the wording really throws people off. We’ll talk more about this later 🙂
- Marriage is a safe place to start a family. Procreation and the practice of 😉 is an outward expression of the love from within. When it’s done within a committed couple, it makes this process safe and fully able to be enjoyed. We’ll talk more about this in principle #2.
- Marriage is used to shape you as an individual, as well as a partnership. I love when Rick says, “marriage isn’t to make you happy, it’s to make you holy.” Once you understand this, you start to look to your marriage as a place of learning with your partner, which can heighten the excitement and engagement.
- Your marriage is a ministry to others. Eyes are on your marriage, whether you think so or not. How you deal with your spouse in hardships and happy times is an example to others – whether it’s a good or bad example. If you choose to have children, think about the example that you’re setting for them.
2. Know the Societal Benefits of a Healthy Marriage
Data upon data and study after study continue to show THE EXACT SAME THING – society benefits from healthy marriages. Society means EVERYBODY! To break this down so it is more applicable, here are only a few (there’s too many to list) examples to consider.
- Marriage positively impacts the mental and physical health of each partner
- Children thrive in an intact home (with both parents). Children of single-parent homes are immediately at higher risk for dropping out of high school, physical and sexual abuse, running away, etc.
- A healthy marriage controls/civilizes sexual activity. When sex is kept between married individuals, it decreases/eliminates the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and it reduces/eliminates the harmful impacts of the sex industry. Think about it this way, when you and your man are satisfied in the bedroom, there’s no need to seek sex anywhere else. The sex industry, which preys on vulnerable women and children and exploits them in sexual ways for financial gain, IS FULLY DEPENDENT ON DEMAND. Anytime you or your husband seeks pornographic material or a “happy ending massage parlor” or ANY sexual services – YOU ARE FEEDING THE SEX INDUSTRY AND IMPRISSONING MILLIONS OF WOMEN AND CHILDREN. A healthy marriage drastically reduces and eliminates this.
- Last, but certainly not least, a healthy marriage decreases rates of homelessness, substance abuse, incarceration, and poverty throughout society.
If you didn’t have a reason to fight for your marriage before, you do now.
Understand the Purpose of a Wife
Men and women are biologically and physiologically different, starting from birth.
If you haven’t read any of his work, Emerson Eggerich has a fantastic program called Love and Respect. He dives into these differences and helps couples understand how to appreciate each other and how to communicate through those sticky times in their relationship. I highly recommend his book. You can get a summary from this YouTube clip. Again, another long one so bookmark this post and come back when you’re ready.
In the biblical sense, God made woman as a “suitable helper” for man. That is our role. We help create and nurture a life and a family with our spouse.
Remember that pesky instruction God gave to us – submit to our husbands? Let’s talk about that now.
A lot of women hate hearing the word “submit”, but they fail to add the context that this is not to be used in an oppressed or lesser-than way. In fact, God is very specific that man and woman are BOTH created in God’s image. Neither is lesser than. Rather, God knows how he designed man and woman. Men excel in vision, protection and providing. So letting your husband lead in these areas allows you to focus on what God designed you to do, the detail-oriented work, to strategize within your household and to nurture your family. THIS IS VITAL WORK. I like to say, “The man leads the household, but the woman creates the atmosphere within the household.”
You have HUGE responsibility here. For example, could you imagine a world where everyone had a happier and healthier heart and mind??? THAT IS YOUR GOAL! How can you best raise your family to see Christ’s love and to seek him above all else? If they’re seeking Christ, HE will take care of their heart and mind.
Your job is to help your family get into God’s presence.
Don’t squander it by being distracted with competitions of who does what. Yes, you can do everything your husband can do. The beauty of a partnership is you can both excel yourself as individuals, as well as a family, when you split the work according to your strengths.
What makes you a good wife?
Proverbs 31 is viewed as the beacon for all women to strive for. However, most don’t know that this woman doesn’t actually exist…probably because she’s perfect! Haha. Instead, she is nothing more than a description, a list of characteristics. Even as such, it is wise to strive for this. As they say, “if you reach for the moon, you’ll land among stars”.
Such traits of a “virtuous women” include: brings good to her husband (not bad), being a hard worker, being a good investment and steward, being wise, charitable, and an intentional homemaker. Read the chapter for the full description.
How to be a good wife?
Being a good wife starts with being in a relationship with God. There is a beautiful illustration that shows as the husband and wife, individually, work on their relationship with God, the both of them become closer as well. You may have heard “a cord of three strands is not easily broken”. This demonstrates the importance of Christ within your marriage.
Please know, even if you don’t feel that your spouse is seeking Christ in the way that you are, stay the course. Work on you first. As Beth Moore puts it, “submission is the act of ducking so God can hit your husband!” ha-ha In all seriousness, seek God first. He’ll give you the grace and patience you need to be a good wife and, as mentioned earlier, you have a HUGE impact on the atmosphere of your household. Whether you know it or not, you are leading by example when your family sees you seeking Christ. Just because they don’t follow immediately doesn’t mean they are not watching with full intent. 🙂
Photo credit to: angga aditya