I’m chuckling a little bit to myself right now because in no way, shape, or form do I claim to be the best wife out there. This is not a post for me to brag about myself, nor am I trying to make anyone feel inadequate. I’m doing my best to live out what it means to be a Christian wife and I felt like my areas of focus might be helpful for any woman out there. Many of you are engaged or newly married, much like myself; feel free to leave a comment at the end with another tip or focus area for you, or simply comment on which element is hardest for you to practice.
I think this is one of the most important factors. God calls us to be a good and faithful servant and this definitely applies to our spouse. 1 Peter 4:10 says that, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” For me, this doesn’t mean that we’re slaves or servants to our husbands, doting on them hand and foot. As humans, God has given each of us gifts to serve. For me, I like to think that one of my gifts is peacefulness and the ability to calm. I can easily use this gift with Brandon in our day to day lives and conversation. Maybe your gift is that you’re an excellent listener, or you’re always able to see the positives. Whatever it is, God asks us to utilize this in our marriage so that we are “serving” our husbands.
The selfless part of serving is where things get tricky. I’m the worst at thinking about my own personal gains from a situation; sometimes, I forget that it may not matter what I gain, but perhaps it’s more important for Brandon. The best example I can use for this idea is when Brandon and I attended the Hunter Extravaganza. Now before we even got there, I knew exactly what to expect. It was going to be a convention center full of men, hunters specifically, walking around, looking at taxidermy, discussing deer and exotic animals, and there would probably be hunting paraphernalia for sale. Was I wrong? No. Did I want to go? Not particularly. But I knew that this was something Brandon was so excited for, and more importantly, he wanted me to go and experience it. It’s moments like these when we need to put ourselves aside and put our partner first.
On the flip side: Brandon definitely succeeds in serving me selflessly every single day. Not only does he give up his time to be a part of this blog, but he discovers small ways to utilize his strongest gifts and make sure that as a wife, I know that can rely on him as a partner.
Let Him Lead
Some of you may disagree with me on this, but I stand firm in believing that wives should allow their husbands the opportunity to lead. 1 Peter 3:1 says that we are to “submit” to our husbands and I think a lot of women struggle with this idea of “submission”. Our society’s connotation is all wrong with this word. God isn’t calling us to be submissive in the way that we may first think of. Instead, he’s asking for the husband to lead and wants the wife to follow unquestioningly, knowing that her husband is caring for the family. This isn’t a call for men to be the dictator in the home, or even the only authority figure. In the following verse, it even says that husbands should love their wives and that they should not be harsh with them. Submission does not mean that we are powerless, inferior, or without identity. Submission means that we are confident in our men and we will allow them to lead us, knowing that they are listening to God.
On the flip side: Brandon and I truly think of ourselves as equals and as partners. He stresses this all the time, asking for my opinion, communicating, and making sure that we’re constantly working together.
Respect and Love Him
These two may seem simple. Of course we have to love and respect our husbands and many wedding vows have this as a promise. Going deeper into these words, I’m realizing their true meaning more and more each day. Loving your husband may look different from day to day. I remember Brandon coming home one day, exhausted and hungry. I had dinner ready and some of our “chores” were already done. This showed him love and he was so grateful for a nice meal and the ability to relax, side by side. I’m not saying this to make anyone feel guilty for not cooking (I honestly love to cook and it’s definitely something that my husband loves), but rather, how can you show your husband love without kissing his cheek and saying “I love you”? Our actions go a long way and doing something small for the man that you love is just going to remind him of that fact.
Respecting your husband comes from Ephesians 5:33. When I think about respect for Brandon, I start thinking of all the different ways I need to respect him: I can respect his time, his opinion, his priorities, his work ethic, the list goes on. In my opinion, a good wife shouldn’t be nagging constantly, picking fights, or making the little things into a big deal. God calls us to respect and honor our husband and that can come in so many forms, but most importantly, recognizing them for who they are and showcasing love on a daily basis.
On the flip side: There’s never been a question in my mind of Brandon’s love. He shows me love and respect daily and honors me the way that God calls husbands to honor their wives.