If you are a married woman of a number of years, chances are that these thoughts have crossed your mind: Am I being a good wife? Good enough? How can I be a better wife? What tricks or skills am I missing? And the ultimate question–Did I marry the wrong person for me?
Many years ago, I picked up a book by Kevin Lehman called Have A New Husband By Friday. I shared about this fact when my husband and I gave our testimony to our Carpenter’s Crew Sunday class (which is called a Life Group at our church). We had just got done wowing everyone about how we met when I was just six years old and he was a lanky, awkward teenager nine years my senior. Obviously as a first grader, it was not love at first sight for me. And my eyes were still focused inward (explained more in my book). Neither was it romantic love for him, although you can argue that it was a phileo kind of love. Because for Philip, it was divine intervention that the little girl whom he prayed for, to become a Christian and one day marry a Christian man, was answered just twenty two years later–delivered straight to his home state of Texas and into his arms.
And yet, we dared to share authentically that even though our match seemed to be made in Heaven, our marriage still had to be lived out here on Earth. There are many differences that we have to work out (some of which I write about in my East Meets West Parenting book). And being the type A woman that I am, at one tragically comedic point in our lives, I found myself reading that book about changing your husband (but not really)!
Over the years, we’ve shed plenty of tears and sweat in working out what we believe to be our sacred covenant as husband and wife. We’ve gone to umpteenth marriage retreats, conferences, and seminars. We’ve even been in marital counseling. While we’ve prayed for other marriages, we’ve also had ours prayed over. I’ve been inspired by the amazing married girlfriends that surround me and I’ve sought many wiser, older moms to pray for me.
It’s a journey to be a good wife. It’s a journey to learn how to be a strong woman while submitting to my husband without feeling like I’m a doormat, a victim, or a lost cause. It’s a journey to really learn what I have learned, you know, not just in my head but in my heart, too, trusting that the God who somehow put us together really knows what He was doing. Other Christian wives will understand when I say that it’s a journey of dying to self and living for Christ. And it’s very humbling that God has used me and will use me to encourage others (whatever their belief system) in their relationships. I am encouraged by the verse, “…He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Phil 1:6)
Right now, that’s about as much as I can share with you about what it means to be a good wife. I’ve written a little more about marriage here. I hope that it’s useful and encouraging to you on your individual journey.
What about you? What have you learned that you can share with us?
Plodding along on this journey with you,
P.S. The above picture was taken when we visited Newman’s castle in Belville, TX.