As a wife that is working on seven beautiful years of marriage, God has taught me over and over my need for His grace. I need to know that Jesus took care of my sin on the cross. I need to know that He rose from the grave to give new life and that his grace is enough. I must be reminded every day, because every day I fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Every day I will forget that I cannot earn His love by cleaning the house, making lunch, or submitting to my husband. I could not love my husband enough to earn God’s favor. I must, must remember His word in Ephesians 2:8-9, “By GRACE you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, NOT a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
With the Gospel in the forefront of our minds we are going to look at what it means to be a wife by loving God first, helping and submitting to our husbands, and enjoying the gift that God has given us in them.
Christ Centered Follower First
Before you can even think about serving your husband well, loving him well, forgiving him and receiving forgiveness from him, you must love Christ (Matthew 22:37-38). Be in God’s word daily (2 Timothy 4:16-17). Pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Be a woman seeking after Christ, growing in affections for Him and receiving grace. You are a child of God and should rejoice in that daily (Philippians 4:4). Out of your overflowing affections for Christ, you will then be able to love your husband well.
God created woman as a suitable helper to man (Genesis 2:18). In His infinite wisdom and power He specifically designed man and woman to serve each other in equal and different roles. As wives our duty as helper should not be taken lightly. We are to be neither slaves, nor sloths when it comes to this. As a wife, we are designed to help our husband as he leads us, “for the head of every man is Christ, and head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God” (1 Corinthians 11:3).
This can look different in each marriage, each day. There are days that the best way I can help my husband is to make sure that he has a lunch to eat. There are other days that my role is to encourage him in the midst of trial. And then there are the practical times when I just have to ask, “What is the best way I can help?”
“Wives submit to your husbands as to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:22). When we know and trust Christ, it is not difficult to submit to our husbands. We serve a great merciful, all knowing, all powerful, perfect God. Therefore, if he tells me that as a wife the best way to live out my marriage is to submit to my husband as to Him, I will obey and trust His word.
Submission makes sense in light of God’s word. When it is time to make a big decision to buy a house, or a small one about whether or not to go out for ice cream, I can trust my husband. I trust him to honor my input as his suitable helper because he loves God and loves me. I trust his intentions are not to hurt me, but to love me as his own body and to cherish me (Ephesians 5:28-29).
An Enjoyable Wife
“Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth, a lovely deer, a graceful doe” (Proverbs 5:18). Though this is addressed to the husband, God points to us being a wife that our husbands can rejoice in and enjoy being with. He calls us lovely and graceful. What a beautiful picture. The next verse gets a little more specific and uses the words, “intoxicated always in her love.” Wives love your husbands. Love them well. Love them with affections so deeply they are intoxicated. Marriage is a gift from God, enjoy it. Praise God for the gift it is. Honor God by loving your husband well.
This is just a small glimpse into our role as wives. It is a topic worth sitting down and studying in scripture. It is worth discussing with your husband. As wives we are helping to represent the relationship of Christ and His church (Ephesians 5:32) and this is a role not to be taken lightly.