The Excellent Wife: Chapters 5 & 6

We’re on Week 3 of the The Excellent Wife series. You can catch up on the older posts here. This week we’re diving into chapters 5 and 6.

Chapter 5: A Wife’s Understanding of Marriage

“Husbands and wives should have a biblical goal for their relationships and pursue it.”

Considering the fact that everything in our life is achieved better when we have a goal in mind, it makes sense that marriage relationships should have a goal as well. So, what is God’s purpose for marriage? According to this book, God wants the husband and wife to have a oneness, a loving bond that glorifies God and helps the other person grow spiritually.

I’ve learnt that the first step to achieve this goal is to faithfully pray that my marriage will glorify God. And then comes the tough part. I have to accept responsibility for my own failures as a wife and repent. As much as I’d like to blame my husband when things don’t go right, the truth is that I’m not perfect either. In accordance with what Jesus said in Matthew 7:5, I ought to take the plank out of my own eye, and then try to remove the speck in my husband’s eye.

When we’re determined to work on ourselves first, God helps us become better wives by convicting us through His Word or by letting our circumstances mold us. He also uses people around us to warn and guide us when we go off track.

“A biblical reproof is telling someone what they are doing wrong with the intent to restore them to a right relationship with God.”

The only person who tells me to my face when I lose my way, is my husband. Somehow it’s easier for me to accept reproof from the Bible, books and blogs rather than from my husband. But I need to humble myself, listen to my husband’s words and think about what God may be trying to convey to me through him. On days when it’s tough, it’s best to keep in mind that God wants the husband and wife to help each other become more like Jesus; and that’s exactly what my husband is trying to do.

Chapter 6: A Wife’s Understanding of Her Role

This chapter may not sit well with everybody, and I understand that all too well. Just a few years back, I too rebelled against the biblical role of the wife being a helper subject to her husband. But God has since opened my eyes. I realize now that by being submissive to my husband, I am indeed being submissive to God’s will for me as a wife.

God created man and then fashioned the woman to be a helper suitable to him. I was created for my husband. The ultimate purpose of my existence is to glorify God but a part of that entails accepting my role as my husband’s helper. This may seem old fashioned, but one glance at the Bible and we know it’s true.

“…He (Man) is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man. For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man.” (1 Corinthians 11:7-9)

My takeaway from this chapter is that my husband is the one in charge, and he delegates some responsibilities to me. I ought to submit to my husband’s authority and fulfill my role as my husband’s helper.

The author includes 18 practical ways a wife can be the glory of her husband. These range from praying for our husbands to taking care of the household – really great tips. One that stood out for me, was that I should consider his work (job, goals, hobbies, ministry) as more important than my own. This is something I constantly struggle with. But I’m blessed to have an understanding husband who’s patient with me while I figure it all out.

The chapter ends with the story of how the author’s great-grandmother honored her husband even though he did not glorify Christ. That to me, is what God expects from Christian wives.

“A Christian woman can do the right thing and fulfill her God-given role regardless of whether her husband fulfills his or not.”

Other posts in this series:

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