Our maker, creator, and loving father has designed family in a specific way for good reason. I like to call it the ‘divine design’ because it is holy and perfect, as is He. None of us can truly embrace this design fully, because we’re flawed and imperfect, but the more we chase after it, the more fruit we see come from our relationships.
We each have specific roles within the family. In my immediate family unit, I am both wife and mother. Two very different roles that require very different parts of me, but today we’re going to talk about the role as a wife.
I want to run through some of the different key areas within that role because I’m all about a good list and practicality. Who’s with me?!
I’m going to make sure each point is backed by scripture because God’s word is supreme and has the final say. We can’t argue with truth!
So here are the 4 main principles in being a Godly wife—
You are called to be his helper. This is one of the first ways we see the wife defined. All the way back in Genesis, God decides it wasn’t good for man to be alone, so he makes a “suitable helper for him” (Gen 2:18) — that’s us! Don’t confuse ‘helper’ with ‘servant’ or ‘slave’. God saw the man wouldn’t do well on his own. He saw his NEED for a helper. We have a very specific power in us as a woman, to provide the right kind of help for a man. God has designed us to help our husbands become all that they are intended to be, and we need to see that as an honour and privilege. We have a tremendous power to do good in our husbands life.
You are called to love him. Love as Christ loves. Unconditionally, truthfully, whole heartedly. There’s no such thing as too much love. We need to be grace givers, because as I’m sure we can all agree, our husbands are not perfect! And neither are we, so we need that same grace returned to us. Find out how your husband feels loved the most, and do more of it. This doesn’t come easily when your love language is different to his (this is the case with my husband and I! In fact his love language is at the bottom of my list!) so it may take intentional time and energy to be able to serve him in this way. Loving your husband well, as it tells us to do it in Titus 2:4, means unconditional acceptance. We need to love them for who they are, not who we wish they were. Love may look like laying down our own wants or needs for a season, to serve them where they may be lacking. To love your husband, is to provide him confidence in his day-to-day knowing that he is completely supported and treasured by the one who knows him the deepest, yet loves him the most.
You are called to respect him. Studies show that most commonly a man’s number one desire is to be respected. In Ephesians 5:33 Paul tells us that “the wife must respect her husband”. Respecting him looks like, noticing him, voicing your appreciation of him, honouring him through your words and actions, choosing him daily, esteeming him, drawing the best out of him and building him up wherever possible. Your husband wants to be heard, validated, and needed, just as any of us do. How can we meet those needs for our spouse? Overall, be his number one fan! Cheer him on in his endeavours. Thank him for courageously leading your family. And if you feel he hasn’t quite done that just yet, encourage him in it. Don’t condemn him, but empower him to become the husband he was called to be.
You are called to submit to his leadership. Now, before you get your knickers in a knot over this one, listen. Submission does not look like laying down and letting him call the shots, walk all over you, and treat you like rubbish while you do nothing about it. Absolutely not. Assuming you have a respectful, loving husband, submission should look like respecting his God-given role as spiritual leader within your home, and support him in that. Remember you are his helper. He needs you. By submitting to the leadership role that has been entrusted to him by God, will make it a lot less overwhelming or daunting for him, know his wife is right there with him, trusting him and upholding him in that role. Submission does not mean blind obedience. As a wife, you should still be seeking the Lord, hearing from him, and sharing His word with your family. You still have a form of leadership in your home, and its very unique and important. Reading through Ephesians 5:22-30, you will notice is first starts with the wife’s role which is predominately to be subject to your husband. As you read on, you see that the husbands have been given more instruction than the wife. Their role seems to be more weighty, hence why they need you as a helper. One of his main roles is to love his wife, even more than he loves himself. This love is compared to Christs love of the church, “having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present Himself to the church is all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; bu that she would be holy and blameless.” You see? The husband’s primary goal is to present his wife in such a way that she feels so valued, of high worth, of the utmost importance and so very very loved. When you are held in such high regard by your husband, it should be a natural response to serve and honour him. And that is exactly why this divine design is so important. You can’t have one without the other. If only one person is taking their role seriously, it doesn’t work. Two must work together in equal parts. There will of course be seasons where one is weak, and the other will need to be stronger on behalf them, but in all the ebbs and flows, you must both be completely committed long term to your role to see your marriage flourish into all it is meant to be.
By adhering to these principles, we are helping to fulfil our husband’s responsibilities, so in actual fact, we are a part of the leadership of our home. Our husbands cannot lead effectively without the proper support of their wife. You are so very needed, and so very important. Don’t get caught up in some of the words used here, for they’ve been misconstrued in recent times. The uprising of feminism (which started with great intentions, however has been culturally taken too far in some areas) has caused the biblical roles of husband and wife to take a hit.
Important note: Devastatingly, many women are subject to abuse and destructive, unhealthy conditions in their home. In these situations it would not be wise at all to apply all these principles in your marriage. These things require a healthy, loving relationship to work in. If you are experiencing any kind of verbal, physical, mental, or emotional abuse, please seek out help from a pastor, professional or trusted relative or friend. Loving, respecting, submitting and serving do not mean for you to become a doormat or willingly receive abusive treatment.