I’ve started reading The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace, and I’m amazed at how God is using the book to open my eyes to a whole lot of biblical marriage principles. Something I particularly like is that the book is loaded with scripture, with every section and sub-section backed by verses from the Bible. This week, I’m sharing what I learnt from the first two chapters of the book. Let’s dig in, shall we?!
Chapter 1: The Excellent Wife
The author begins the book with her own testimony – a remarkable transformation of her life and marriage through God’s intervention. I could well relate to that. Although my husband and I were both believers when we got married, I struggled with the real-life dynamics of marriage. It is God who taught me (and is still teaching me) how to be a better wife.
“God wants every Christian woman to be a godly wife – an excellent wife.”
Ms. Peace writes that “an excellent wife reflects God’s glory by her attitudes and actions”. Ouch, that hurt! I have to admit that although I try to do the right things, my attitude isn’t always stellar. I wince as God reminds me of the countless times I’ve grumbled or snapped at my husband while serving him. If I want to be an excellent wife, my attitude (especially towards my husband) should reflect God’s presence in me.
Addressing the question of whether a woman can ever be a good wife, the book reminds us that God has given us the Holy Spirit to help us obey His Word and submit to His will. Well, considering that Jesus Himself said the Holy Spirit will teach us all things; it’s safe to say that the Holy Spirit will teach me to be an excellent wife.
And what happens when we fail at being a godly wife? Despite my best intentions, I will fall short. But when I do, God is faithful to forgive me and He gives me grace to try again.
Chapter 2: A Wife’s Understanding of God
“Our view of life is to be God-centered, not self-centered.”
God has planned a ministry for each of us. I believed my primary ministry was at home, to raise children who will love God and walk in His ways. I realized through this chapter, that my primary ministry is at home alright… but it is to be a helper suitable for my husband! My job of raising kids who’ll glorify God comes a close second.
Another thing that stood out for me in this chapter was the reminder that God will use all my life experiences (including the bad ones), for my good. And two ways good can come out of adversity: (1) Better character, and (2) God will be glorified if I respond biblically.
I always knew God had pre-planned the good works I ought to do in my life. But then comes the hard question… Am I doing them with a cheerful heart? If my good work for today is to keep my home clean for my family, do I do it with a joyful spirit or do I complain about how the kids keep messing up the house?
“In spite of the husband’s imperfections, God has chosen to place the wife under the authority of her husband.”
I’m someone who long rebelled against submitting to my husband. I now realize that by submitting to my husband, I am actually submitting to God’s will for me as a wife. And that’s the safest place to be – right in the center of God’s will.
That’s it for this week. Come back next week to read about the next two chapters. So now, it’s your turn to share… How has God been teaching you to be an excellent wife?
Other posts in this series:
- An Excellent Wife: Introduction
- An Excellent Wife: Chapters 1 & 2
- An Excellent Wife: Chapters 3 & 4
- An Excellent Wife: Chapters 5 & 6
- An Excellent Wife: Chapters 7 & 8
- An Excellent Wife: Chapters 9 & 10
- An Excellent Wife: Chapters 11 & 12
- An Excellent Wife: Chapters 13 & 14
- An Excellent Wife: Chapters 15 & 16
- An Excellent Wife: Chapters 17 & 18
- An Excellent Wife: Chapters 19 & 20
- An Excellent Wife: Chapter 21 & Conclusion