How to be a Great Wife

I believe every married woman wants to be the best wife she can be, but it’s hard to have a clear picture of what that really means or looks like.

The media seems to bombard women with conflicting messages about what the “ideal woman” is all about. One moment you’re being told to starve yourself and spend all your time in the gym and salon so you can always look like an airbrushed model on the cover of a magazine. The next moment your role model is a CEO mom who is making millions and still “having it all” by being a wife and mommy too. You flip the channel again and you’re told that an ideal wife makes her own clothes and home schools her 20 kids.

So which one is the “right” picture of womanhood? Here’s what I believe (and as a disclaimer, I’m a GUY writing this, but I’m doing my best to base it on the example of my wife, Ashley, and some timeless truths from the Bible. Click here to read my post on: How to be a Great Husband), I believe that God made every woman masterfully and beautifully unique, so you never need to get caught up in the comparison trap by thinking your life needs to be measured against anyone else’s. I hope that helps you breathe a sigh of relief!

As you live out your beautiful uniqueness in your marriage, here are a few truths that can equip you to take your marriage and family to a new level of health and happiness. While every wife is unique, I believe these truths below apply to everyone, and if you’ll apply these principles within the context of your own personality, I believe you’ll become an even greater wife.

This is not a comprehensive list, but these are four very practical areas where you have the power to improve your marriage:

1. Give respect to your husband.

We husbands don’t like to admit it, but we are absolutely desperate for your respect! When we believe that you believe in us, we feel like we can conquer the world, but when we believe you don’t believe in us, we can barely get through the day. Even in those moments when your husband doesn’t “deserve” your respect, give it anyways, and your actions will actually help shape him into the courageous man of character God intended for him to be.

“So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.Ephesians 5:33

2. Be yourself (and allow your husband to be himself too)

Bring out the best in each other, but never try to change each other. Be the unique masterpiece God created you to be, and allow your husband to do the same (quirks and all)! As I’ve already stated above, you can learn from others, but don’t feel like you’ve got to compare yourself or your life to anyone else.

“For you are God’s masterpiece, created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for you to do.” Ephesians 2:10

3. Create a positive tone in the home.

More than any other person in the house, the wife has the power to set the tone in the home, so set a good one! Foster an atmosphere where encouragement, laughter, discipline, hard work, fun, love and grace all flow together in harmony.

“She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness. She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness.” Proverbs 31:25-27

4. Fall in love…with God!

The more you love God, the more capacity you will have to love your husband, your kids and yourself. Make your relationship with Him the foundation of your life and everything else will fall into place.

“Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised. Reward her for all she has done. Let her deeds publicly declare her praise.” Proverbs 31:30-31

For some inspiring true stories and practical tools to help you build a rock-solid marriage, please check out our FREE video series The 4 Pillars of a Strong Marriage and read our bestselling book iVow: Secrets to a Stronger Marriage which is now also available for eBook download on iTunes for iPhones and iPads.


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About Dave Willis
  • Grace

    I love that this is written from a man’s perspective, and I love that it exemplifies our own uniqueness. Comparing ourselves to others, or having a skewed view of reality will only hinder growth in ourselves, our families and our relationship with God. But trusting we are becoming who God wants us to be, and walking in step with our husbands, makes us a valuable asset to the home and brings peace to our role. Thank you.

  • Cindy

    Great article, but why does it always seem to be up to the wife? We need more articles for men on how to be a better husband….

  • nicole

    I think that is out of order. 1. Fall in love with God. 2. Respect your husband 3. Set the tone. As someone who has been trying to respect my husband and set the tone while putting my relationship with God on the back burner, it doesnt work.. Just a thought.

  • Lundrell Johnson

    Very good advice. Thank you

  • Shaina

    I think it’s not intended to be in order how it is written, I agree with it completely and I appreciate this article as for the one made for husbands.

  • Kopavi

    Oh come on! That is the problem, we are always trying to apply lessons that are intended for us to someone else! Focus on bettering yourself, not your spouse!!!

  • kelli wilson

    Behind every great man is a amazing wife!!!

  • Whitney Miller

    Great article. I like how they left out physical beauty. Not that a women shouldn’t take care of herself for her husband, but it is hard in a society that thinks of nothing else, but physical beauty. I think when you love God, show respect to your husband and set a nice tone, beauty will shine through.
    Most of us will never look like a model in a magazine, but the article states traits we can control.

  • Walter

    Tell me this. Women, if you study your bible, why do you understand what the bible says, but do the opposite. To love, honor and especially trust. It’s hard for me to believe in someone who don’t speak the nature of there being. Don’t say you love me when you agree that it’s ok, to kiss another man and not tell your husband. You don’t believe in God standards. That’s the way I see it. Any responses.

  • Nayely

    As a newlywed wife, it is great to read on how I can better myself by putting God as the centre of everything I do! Very encouraging. Thank you!

  • Leah
  • tanya

    I love and respect my husband and respect that we have different opinions on things but at time I find it hard to feel like my husband truely see beauty in me when he looks at other women on the street or on fb and makes comments eg young friend of my daughters on fb puts a photo of her self up and yes she is beautiful and he comments lovely photo .and then before that a photo of her young son and they had been out for dinner and on her status of her sons photo she stated I am on date with mummy .my husband commented hot date at that .
    Am I being jealous and stupid ?
    Loving wife

  • Krystal

    This is when you need to be in prayer and in the scriptures, ALOT! No, that is not ok! However, is it possible that she is lacking the attention, and unconditional love you she needs from you? I AM NOT DEFENDING HER ACTIONS! Just simply trying to understand a littl more background. Look up the book ‘Love and Respect’ by Emerson Eggerichs! It is a great tool to fixing marriage problems and creating a new cycle. Your statement seems very broad and directed at all women, but I can assure you, I read my bible and understand it well. I live my life trying my hardest to follow it…honoring and respecting my husband as well, but no one is perfect and we are all born sinners. Hate the sin, not the sinner.

  • c
  • Sebs |

    Thanks for sharing these tips and reminders from God’s Word.

  • Christina

    I agree, 150% My goal is not to change or better my spouse, but to make sure I love him and care for him to the best of my ability. Is he perfect? Nope, not my point. But I adore him and part of the reason so many men are unhappy in marriages is that their wives are so busy critisizing them, that they, the wives, never become who God made them to be – loving, caring, strong, supportive wives and mothers. And what man wants his wife to tear him down or nag him all of the time? He married you for crying out loud, love him unconditionally, selflessly, and you will be shocked at what happens in return. Men want to be loved and respected and honored, and you can’t do that if all you think about is how he needs to become better. If you want a different, better marriage, start with the one thing you can change and can control – yourself :) And I speak from experience, and the results are astounding. Our husbands just want us to love them and respect them, just as they are. Funny, isn’t that what we want, too? Food for thought ;)

  • Randi

    I just wanted to say that for me i think that is disrespectful for a husband to do.He would not like it if the shoe was on the other foot. That kind of thing can really give a hit to your self esteem. An it also produces trust issues. I was married for 20yrs and went through that and it tore me down to nothing. I divorced him and remarried last year. My husband now is my best friend and i try my best to love and show him respect always. Im not saying that divorce is the answer cause that was just what was best for me. Try and explain to him how u feel and how what he says makes u feel. Communication is always hard but its the only way to work thru it. God made u beautiful and special and he loves u just the way u are!! Reach out to God thru prayer and he will always help u!