In part one I wrote about the fact that wives are called to submit. It is important, however, to understand that wives are not doormats that men can use and abuse, rather they are our helpmates and as such, husbands will have to answer to God for how we lead our wives and our children. I know a lot of you may have been turned off when I used the word submission, however, it is a biblical submission that wives are called to and if you understand it the way God designed it, it actually is a blessing!
In part two, I want to write about some practical wisdom for women, especially for wives. I am sure it can be both hard as well as good to be a godly wife. But how is it done? What are specifics in being a godly wife?
The Practicalities of Being a Godly Wife
I. Help Your Husband.
18 The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
Wife, you have been created to be a help to your husband. This is a big responsibility. God said it wasn’t good that man should be alone. In a general way, He has designed us to be in need of a women’s help. You can be a godly wife by striving to be that help to him.
Help him to think through decisions. Help him have the information he needs to make decisions. Don’t be a second guesser. When a decision has been made with your help, even if it is not the one you would have made, then don’t second guess it. Be supportive of it and try your best to make it work out for the best. That will glorify the Lord.
I know that it is hard to do sometimes, but if you make glorifying the Lord your goal, it will be easier to do. As you do that, God will strengthen you in those times and provide fulfillment for you.
However, when you are not helping, but hindering the home by your attitude, your behavior or your responses to him, not only are you NOT helping, but you make things worse for yourself.
The author of Hebrews, when speaking about leaders that God has placed into your lives says this.
17 Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.
God wants you to be submissive to your husband. To do otherwise would not be advantageous for you!
II. Respect your Husband
Ephesians 5:33 …”the wife must respect her husband”.
Now that is easier said than done, isn’t it? How do you respect him? I am glad you asked. You respect you husband by recognizing his needs and striving to meet them.
So, what do men need? As much as men want to portray that we don’t need anything, we do have needs. And the biggest need a man has is to be needed.
Help Him Feel Needed
Ladies, how often do you just want to share with your husband things that are going on, but then he jumps in and tells you how to fix the problem? Well, ladies from your standpoint, recognize that God has wired us that way. We want to fix things. We like it when someone comes to us with a problem and we can fix it or solve it. Respect your husband by helping him feel needed.
Support Him as He Leads
There is a book I recommend every woman to read, especially if you are married. The book is called “Finding the Hero in Your Husband.” In this motivating book, the author, Julianna Slattery makes this insightful comment.
“Supporting him means that you have to let go of always making the right decision and focus on building the relationship.”
Ladies, there are going to be times that your husband messes up and makes the wrong decision or doesn’t quite do as good as you could have. You show respect for him by supporting him even in the midst of it.
It is better to have a strong relationship together and a less than perfect outcome to a particular decision than a great outcome and a shaky relationship. That does not make for a healthy long term future. Another way to respect your husband is to…
Accentuate His Good Qualities
Everyone has good qualities and everyone has bad qualities. Focus on the good and not the bad. When a photographer photographs something, he focuses the lens so as to get a clear picture of his subject. But when you do that, you can’t see other things as well.
If you focus on his good qualities, you won’t notice the bad qualities so much. In doing those things, you show respect for your husband. Lastly, a practical way to be a godly wife is to show him you love him.
III. Love your Husband
In Titus 2:4, Paul tells Titus to have the older women “train the younger women to love their husbands and children”. Loving is something that takes learning, not just feeling. Now feelings are important, but we can’t just love when we feel like it. Love is shown through action.
18 Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.
What does that mean? Well, if you feel loved when your husband buys you a gift or does some kind act, then you may try to show him your love through those same things. If your husband likes to hear words of affirmation, then a gift or an act of service doesn’t carry the same weight as you affirming him.
If you have ever read The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman, you will recognize some of these.
- Words of Affirmation
- Receiving Gifts
- Quality Time
- Acts of Service
- Physical Touch
Each spouse needs to communicate love to their spouse in a way that their spouse can receive. I will talk to husbands about this in the next part of this series. Nevertheless, let me tell you this, for most men, one of the primary ways that they receive love is through physical intimacy. (This is NOT a big secret, is it?)
I know that love is a lot more than sex. But wives, sex is a necessary component in you loving your husband. I also know that it is not just a switch that you can turn on and off, so then communicate that to your husband. Let him know how he can help turn that switch on for you.
Your husband is NOT just a sex crazed maniac! But physical intimacy is most likely one of the primary ways that love is communicated to him. And believe it or not, men need to be affirmed in your love for him. Just like you need your husband to spend time talking to you and make time to just be with you because that communicates his love to you. You also need to communicate love to him by recognizing how he receives love and communicating in that way.
Don’t feel the burden, it’s not that you have to say yes every time, but just be careful how you say no. I thought Julianna Slattery did a good job in this aspect. She said:
Instead of ‘No” How about, “the kids have worn me out completely today, but let’s connect in the morning or tomorrow night. We can make sure the kids get down early and we have some time to connect.”
Doing this will have communicated to your husband that his needs are important to you but right now is just not a good time.
And Wives, recognize that when a husband is initiating physical intimacy, he is making himself vulnerable to you and how you respond to that vulnerability will affect your marriage for far more than that night. So, don’t just love him with words but with your actions as well.
A Final Thought
Wives, you have a difficult role. It is not a role that makes you unequal in anyway, it just has different responsibilities, but those responsibilities are important to the success of your marriage.
Don’t view submission as the dirty word that the world makes it out to be. It is not slavery, or inferiority, or a doormat. It takes a strong woman to be submissive in the biblical sense and when you are, that is when you can find fulfillment in your life and help to make your marriage the great relationship that God has designed it to be.
© 2016 MANLY TRAINING
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