A Wife

February 7, 2008

I am by no means an expert at being married, but I have been in this condition for almost 13 1/2 years. I believe I’ve gleaned a few things, mostly because of NOT behaving in the way I think a good wife should over the years and I thought I might share them with ya’ll. So, without further ado permit me to commence with my opinions….

  • You, as a wife, should first and foremost share your husband’s spiritual beliefs. This is imperative to a successful partnership. Does this mean you should compromise and subjugate your own thought process and belief system to that of the stronger personality? In a word. NO! But should your doctrine be similar? Absolutely. Without this commonality a marital foundation is tenuous at best and riddled with dissension at worst. I’m not trying to be politically correct here by not specifying a certain faith. As believers and followers of Christ, this ought to be the most pivotal point in all our relationships especially those of the heart.
  • You should be a support to your husband and seek to be a refuge for him. This means shutting up after the disagreement and not always having the last word. This also means not allowing your friends, family or acquaintances speak badly about him.
  • Take care of your children. A woman who seeks to take extremely good care of her children is showing her husband how important his kids are to her and vicariously how much she cares for him and the home they share.
  • Take seriously your responsibility to be a guardian of your home. You aren’t the maid (although you may wear that hat often) you are the watchman on the wall diligently working to preserve peace, harmony and life within the four walls G-d gave you. That means sometimes not answering the phone, turning off the computer, radio and TV and telling your spouse and children how much you enjoy their company above any one else. Sometimes this means doing the dishes, laundry and vacuuming in a hurry so you have time to sit still and be quiet for a few minutes.
  • While sexy is always appreciated and never goes unnoticed, willing and appreciative have their own merit. Sometimes it’s not about how good you feel, but how good your partner should feel.
  • G-d made one to lead and one to follow. This is His plan and we would do well to understand it. Does this mean a wife will sometimes be called upon to follow her husband while he makes foolish decisions that threaten her security? Of course! There are very few men who can lead well when never given the chance to learn wisdom and care through trial and error.
  • Side point: When your husband does fail, super-glue your lips shut unless you are honestly trying to help and encourage. Don’t indulge yourself by gleefully pointing out his faults and rubbing his nose in his failure.
  • Listen, listen, listen. Maybe you don’t have a husband like mine who can verbalize his every thought eloquently. Maybe you do. Either way, listening shows a great deal more love than overwhelming him without truly hearing the heart behind the words.
  • Protect his ego. Huh? Don’t go to your best girl friend and air his dirty laundry. Don’t tell his mother, your mother, the girl at the gym. IF there are issues to be discussed and you can’t handle them yourself? Try asking him if he is ok with you sharing these issues with your pastor, a mentor, an older woman. Maybe he doesn’t realize the issue has grown to become The Issue. And you won’t have created a larger one by breaching his trust. Not putting the toilet seat down, not opening car doors and not putting his underwear in the hamper do not qualify as issues worth discussing. Keep his secrets, his weaknesses and his vulnerabilities to yourself. Be trustworthy.
  • Tell your husband you like him. Not just love. Love is a commandment. Like is a choice and honey, guys know it. Like means you are continuing to prefer their company. Like means there is camaraderie in the middle of the commitment. Like means given the choice, you would choose to take him to lunch instead of your sister/friend. Like means he’s #2 on the speed-dial (right after voicemail).

What it all boils down to is this: Respect your husband and the life you have together. We are told in Ephesians 5:33 to “respect” our husbands. Actually the word is “reverence” or in the Greek “phobeo”. To admire, to have godly fear, to treat with deference. This beautifully dovetails with the Hebrew word for “reverence” which is “yaraירא . To admire, to defer, to tremble with joy, to inspire awe. The word picture shows “to make into a leader”. This is the crux of our task as godly wives. As we choose to follow, he is raised up to lead. And G-d takes care of many of the details.

Being a good wife is so much more than commitment. Light years beyond friendship and belittled by the modern concept of “putting out”.

Ladies, we are given a responsibility and a gift. Being a good wife is encapsulated within our choices and shown by the fruit of our homes and our spouses. If your Mr. isn’t everything you think he should be, perhaps you aren’t being all you should either. We can’t change the people around us. We only have power over ourselves.

Our husbands are commanded to love us to the point of sacrificing their own lives for us. We are told to reverence them.

We got it easy.

  • Bravo.

    I wept reading that. I mean I wept – tears falling on my keyboard.

    I started off thinking how much I wish my wife was just like you. (Yeah, I’m often dense like that.) The tears started falling when I realized that she actually was just like that until it collapsed.

    She didn’t/doesn’t yet have the spiritual understanding you have. But, damn she tried awfully hard for me. Without the spiritual side, you can’t sustain it. If I had been more spiritually aware and … if … if …

    I’m five years into this – and by “this,” I mean a broken marriage – and you’ve just taught me a whole new understanding for her.

    I’m grateful and I think every married man and woman, both, would do well to heed this. There’s great wisdom in thar for you too, fellers. Don’t make the mistakes I made.

  • Athor Pel

    It would be easy to love a wife like you just described.

  • Cowboy, I’m sorry. And you know all the reasons why.

    Athor Pel, then I shall try to be that kind of wife. 🙂 I would certainly enjoy being easier to love! And not to mention my husband would enjoy having someone easier… 😉

  • …to love! I just realized how that sounded. Open mouth = inevitable faux pas.

  • Heidi,

    What a beautiful portrait of a wife. I must be one lucky guy, as I read this I could not help but think that you were describing Birdie to me.

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