I have been a wife for more than half of my life. This is not to say that I have been a good wife and I will never be the perfect wife this side of heaven. I was married before I knew the Lord and as was said by Robert Driskell in his article entitled The Role of the Husband in a Christian Marriage “being a follower of Jesus Christ changes people”. I would like to say that knowing the Lord has made me a better wife and knowing my role as the wife has changed my marriage in the best way. In this article I will share with you what I have learned from the Bible about the role of the wife in a Christian marriage. For the most part I am speaking to Christian wives and women who desire to be good Christian wives. I ask that you prayerfully consider these concepts and guidelines and then see what happens when you take them to heart and apply them to your own life.
Woman was created by God for a purpose
When we read the Genesis account of Creation, we see that “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them” (Genesis 1:27). This is a general statement that is further explained as we read on in the book of Genesis. Details in the book show that the animals and every other creature were created before man and then man was given dominion over them (Genesis 1:28).
Fast forward to Genesis chapter 2 and we learn that as man (Adam) was naming all of the animals (the birds of the air, the cattle and every beast of the field) he did not find one that would help to meet his own need of a mate. And so our great God caused Adam to fall into a deep sleep at which time God took one of Adam’s ribs and made a woman. Adam saw the woman and named her “woman” because she was now bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh (Genesis 2:20-23).
At the end of Genesis chapter 2 we see for what purpose the woman was made:
Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh (Genesis 2:24).
Woman was made by God for man. Her main purpose on earth is to be in a one flesh relationship with her husband. This is God’s original design and as we read through the Bible we find more truth for the role of the wife.
A wife should follow her husband’s leadership
As we get into chapter 3 of Genesis we read of the fall of man (and woman). We see how Eve was left to herself in the garden and she was tempted and deceived by the serpent, who led her to eat from the tree in the midst of the garden that had been forbidden by God (Genesis 2:17). This command was given to Adam and he must have told his wife the one and only rule that they had in the garden — don’t eat from that tree – because we see that she repeats it to that serpent here:
And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. (Genesis 3:2-3)
Eve did not follow her husband’s leadership when he told her the one rule she could not break and the result was sin. After this first sinful act (in which Adam also participated – Genesis 3:6) God further defined the role of the husband and the wife as follows:
Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. (Genesis 3:16-19)
“… and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.” The idea of the wife being in submission to the husband is not something that was made up by some women’s rights organization. This is how God made it. God gave Adam a wife to “help meet” his needs. She was designed for him and when she started doing things out of the lust of her own flesh the result was sin. This is very true in our marriages today. God gave us a husband to lead us and when we go against his godly leadership many times we fall into sin. Every partnership needs a leader, when we refuse to be led by our husband we are going against a fundamental biblical principle set by God. When we go against our husband’s leadership; we are going against God’s design for us. If you disagree with this, then you disagree with God and I pray that you will have a change of mind and agree with God’s plan. The only exception to this is when our husband tells us to do something contrary to what God’s word tells us to do. I can say from my own experience, following my husband’s leadership is the best choice I have ever made in our marriage.
A wife should care for her husband
Your husband’s job is to provide for you (as we saw in Genesis 3 above). He is made to work hard for provision. I understand there are circumstances in which the husband is not able to work – he is physically unable. In this case the wife may work outside of the home. Even so, you were created to “help meet” his needs and one of them is his need to have a comfortable living environment. When he comes home from work, you should have a meal prepared for him. His house should be tidy and his laundry should be clean. The children should be trained to understand that “Daddy” has worked hard all day and he will spend time with them after he spends time with you. A few minutes when hubby comes home from work is essential to your relationship with him. Spend 15 to 20 minutes just talking – the two of you. Do this before children ever come into your marriage and then when the children come, teach them that this is “Mommy and Daddy’s time”. Theirs will come when you are finished.
Another thing that a husband needs is a close physical relationship. A good morning kiss and a kiss when he leaves for work are essential. A hug and a kiss when he returns home and your heartfelt desire to “welcome” him home is something he deserves. Other physical relations are also necessary. Plan time to spend in the bedroom; just the two of you. Your husband loves you and knows that you may not always be able to have the physical relations that he would like. This is to be expected, but this should be the exception rather than the rule. Make special time just for him – get your needed rest so you can enjoy each other. Make a “date night” regularly, even if it is just to go out and get some fast food, or take a walk in the park. My husband and I do not have lots of money for date time so we look for creative ways to enjoy time together. I remember one time when I planned a beach picnic for supper – in the dead of winter up north! I put on some Beach Boys music in the bedroom, laid beach towels on the bed and made a picnic meal. I put on my swimsuit and tied my hair in a ponytail. I rubbed down with some tropical oil so the “smell of the beach” would be in the bedroom. When he arrived home from work I gave him instructions to change into his swim clothes (which I hung in the bathroom) and then join me “ocean side”. This was a cost free date and we made a great memory too! Feel free to use this idea for your own special time.
Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love. (Proverbs 5:18-19)
A wife must be careful what she says; love him
Gossip and backbiting destroys
It is so easy to get caught up in gossip when we are with our girlfriends. I am sometimes just astounded at what some women will say about their husbands. Our husband should be the most important relationship we have – next to our relationship with God. We must be careful what we say about him. Our conversation (including our body language) should be always kind and tenderhearted. We must remember that we are walking, talking examples of someone who is indwelled with the Holy Spirit. We should display only the fruit that is produced of the Holy Spirit, therefore the conversation we have about our husband should resemble the following scripture:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. (Galatians 5:22-25)
Do you love him enough to live for him?
Ladies, how much do you love your husband? Truly the Bible tells us that a husband should love his wife enough that he is willing to die for her (Ephesians 5:25); but what about the wife? The original design for us is to live for our husband because he is our earthly representative of Christ (Ephesians 5:23). We were created for him and from him. We were created to bare his children. We were made to have desire for him only. This means that his needs must come before our own. Remember, I am talking to the ladies here and know that your love for your husband is independent of his love for you. What I mean to say is, you cannot control how he is toward you, but you can make a daily choice to love him in spite of how he loves you. Our biblical command to love one another is simple and it comes right out of the mouth of Jesus: “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another” (John 13:34).
Today’s world views have distorted the biblical truth that woman was created for man. As Christian wives, when we get back to the fundamentals we can be the best wife that God has made us to be. God’s design is perfect and although we will never be perfect this side of heaven, we can strive to follow our husband’s leadership, care for him, respect him in all manner of our conversation and live our life to help meet his needs. The marriage relationship on earth is a living representation of Christ’s relationship to the church, His bride (Ephesians 5:21-33). When we unselfishly love and live for our husband we glorify Christ and teach the world the true role of the Christian wife. God knows best and when we agree with Him our marriages will be blessed. It is a daily choice, are you choosing to follow God’s way?
Here are some more articles that might interest you:
The Holy Bible, King James Version