Photo by Justin Groep on Unsplash
Have you ever noticed that movies tell you a lot about meeting and getting the right guy, but not about what happens after marriage? I mean, how does a couple, in fact, live “happily ever after”? What does that even look like?
Help a girl out.
Typically it’s the big fancy weddings and sweet romantic stories that sell the most. The details of making the same commitment over and over don’t always win an audience, so they can be a little fuzzy. (This is Us may be the one exception to that rule, and I love it.)
The key is not becoming a happy wife, or a perfect wife, or even a super productive wife. The key is becoming a Godly wife.
How to do that is straightforward, but not easy. The answers come from the Bible. And they apply to all of us. It doesn’t matter which country you live in, how old you are, how long you’ve been married, or what your marriage currently looks like.
What should my goals be as a Godly wife?
1. God first.
The Bible makes it clear – God comes so far before anyone else that it almost looks like hatred toward everyone else (Luke 14:26 NIV). No, don’t actually hate your husband (context!). But God first.
First of all, idolizing anyone isn’t healthy – for you or them. Worshipping your husband and expecting him to fill all your needs is a lot of pressure. Even if he’s an amazing guy and has all the best intentions, he’s still imperfect and will fall short.
Moreover, God does fit that role. He knows us intimately, and fulfills us in ways that no one and nothing on earth can.
2. Be an ezer, a help.
Before you get all up at arms at me about being “the help,” hang in there. The Bible uses the word “ezer” to describe Eve as Adam’s helper, specifically designed by God as a suitable partner to work with Adam. The same word is used to describe God himself in Psalm 115, Psalm 121, Psalm 124, and other places in the Old Testament. So we’re not talking the awkward sidekick or silent assistant.
When I think about how God acts as a “help” for me, instead of the above things, I think about how he makes up for what I lack, provides a perfect balance to my extremes, and helps me shoulder the burden, so I don’t have to go at it alone. Those are the ways we can help our husbands, too.
3. Bring him good.
I love the description of the Proverbs 31 woman, where it says she brings her husband “good, not harm, all the days of his life” (verses 11-12 NIV). It also says that he “has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.”
What an amazing role you can play in bringing joy, encouragement, and value to your husband and his life. It’s a choice we can consciously and constantly make. (And as far as I know, it doesn’t apply exclusively to wives. But remember, we’re talking about goals for us, not them.)
Also, while it might be a little overly optimistic (slash overwhelming?) to think of always bringing the good, him never lacking anything of value, again, remember these are goals, and the P31 woman is an example. (Also she happens to be a wife, but there’s a lot about her that applies to women at all stages of life.)
4. Submit to him.
Oh, here we go. Bring up the word “submit” and things get heated, fast. Before anything else, look at Ephesians 2:21 NIV – “submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” (emphasis mine). That means it goes both ways.
However, the wife does get that direction twice over (next, in verse 22). Honestly I don’t have it all worked out (although hopefully I have a guest post coming soon for you that does).
But two things. First, in any kind of social structure, it’s important to have authority, for someone to be in charge. Ideally, it’s someone who considers everyone’s needs and makes decisions for everyone’s good, sometimes even sacrificing on their own part. But someone’s gotta do it. The Bible lays out the husband for that role.
Second, there are needs intrinsically ingrained in us. We all want to be loved and respected. For men, there tends to be a stronger need for respect. They feel value and fulfillment from admiration and support. For women, it tends to be love, to be wanted and appreciated. If I think about the roles in these terms, they make so much sense to me – more opportunities to show respect to my husband by trusting him in his role of leading the family, and more opportunities for him to show me he loves me by considering me and making the tough decisions.
At the end of the day, it’s an opportunity to trust God and really be submissive to him.
Why be a Godly wife?
1 Peter 3:1-6 says there are amazing benefits to being a Godly wife. It says that we can have a powerful impact on husbands, especially unbelieving husbands. (Proverbs 31:28 says a Godly husband has reasons to praise her too, so either way.) It also says it makes us shine in a way that no hairstyle or pretty piece of jewelry can make us glow. We can have an unfading a beauty that comes with a gentle and quiet spirit.
Proverbs 31:25 NIV says a wife (or woman) that pursues Godly things is “clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.” I would love for those words to describe me. I’d love to look at life that way.
It’s a tricky topic, but when we really embrace God’s role for us, even if we don’t quite understand it, it bring so much joy to the whole household.
Did I miss anything? How else can we be Godly wives?
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. – Bible Gateway