The Excellent Wife: Chapter 21 & Conclusion

Today, we’re concluding our 2 month long study on the The Excellent Wife. You can catch up on the older posts here.

Chapter 21: The Wife’s Sorrow

This chapter is a guide to help women who are experiencing intense emotional pain that threatens to overwhelm them. The author reminds us how Jesus Himself experienced sorrow when He wept over Jerusalem, at Lazarus’ tomb and later on the cross. Jesus understood grief. He experienced it firsthand. And because of that we have hope in the midst of our sorrow.

“Godly sorrow is manageable. It does not overwhelm you. It co-exists within your heart along with the peace of God, the joy of God, and love for God and others.”

The author explains how God has given us love, joy and peace in our hearts. But when sorrow fills our hearts, it crowds everything else out. We let sorrow overwhelm us when we let ourselves feel like helpless victims who have no hope left. That isn’t the truth, is it? Irrespective of our depressing situations, we are not left without hope. We have a God who is our hope.

When we stop dwelling on what caused our sorrow and choose to react in a godly manner instead, we let God’s love drown the grief in our hearts. The author mentions some ways we can overcome sorrow:

  • Prayer
  • Speaking the truth in love
  • Being kind & loving
  • Blessing the person who hurt us
  • Get the beam out of our own eyes
  • Praising God through our despair

It is especially difficult when a husband’s sin is the cause for his wife’s sorrow. But choosing to trust God and making use of God’s provision (mentioned in chapter 14) will help the wife overcome her sorrow.

“Your heart may be broken over someone’s sin. Remember, though, that you are not alone. God, too, is deeply grieved as well as offended. God is ready and waiting to help you. He will bear this burden with you and lighten your load.”

Sometimes, we tend to blame God when we face extreme emotional pain (at least I do). I realize now that God will never let His loved ones go through sorrow alone. He is right there by our side.

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4)

It’s soothing to know that God will never let us go through something difficult, unless He plans to teach us something and mature us in the process. And besides, He has promised us rest when we feel weary and burdened. Take heart, my friend… Rest in Him!

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29)


I have learnt a whole lot about being a better wife from this book. I’ve implemented a few of the principles I’ve learnt in my own marriage, and I know I react much more differently when conflict arises than how I did earlier. I am more intentional in respecting my husband, serving him and being submissive to him. I still fall short in several areas, but I’m happy to be God’s work in progress :).

I’m glad I took my time reading the book since it can be a lot to digest and implement in a short time. If you’re looking to improve your marriage and learn to be a godly wife, I encourage you to pick up copy and read it at your own pace. I wish you God’s best in your quest to be a Proverbs 31 wife.

“An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.” (Proverbs 31:10-12)

Other posts in this series:

If you like what you’ve read and you don’t want to miss a future post, you can sign up to receive new blog posts by email, or in a reader.

The Excellent Wife: Chapters 19 & 20

We’re on Week 10 of the The Excellent Wife series. You can catch up on the older posts here. This week we’re diving into chapters 19 and 20.

Chapter 19: The Wife’s Fear

Fear ranges from mild anxiety to a full blown panic attack. I admit, I fear a lot of things. I fear my husband will get hurt playing football… I fear we might meet with an accident when bigger vehicles graze by our car… I fear the kids might stop breathing again… At times I can actually feel fear gripping my heart and knotting up my insides.

“Regretfully, fear is a fact of life in a fallen world. How we respond to our fears depends on our relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. In Christ there are tangible solutions to fear.”

Thankfully, fear no longer has a grip on me. God showed me how destructive such anxiety was in my life. He reminded me that He has not given me a spirit of fear. In this chapter, the author discusses biblical principles concerning fear and solutions to help us overcome it.

Here are some of the solutions the author has mentioned, that also help me overcome anxious thoughts:

  • Remind myself of God’s Word – I recite verses from the Bible that comfort me and give me peace. {Yet another reason to memorize scripture.}
  • Realize God is ever-present with me – He is Immanuel, God with us. He is there with us in the midst of our trying situation.
  • Trust God to keep His Word – I’ve heard it been said “Fear is the absence of Faith”. It’s true, isn’t it? If we’re fretting over something that God is in control of, it simply means we don’t trust Him enough to take care of it.

The author ends the chapter with thoughts on how to deal with legitimate fears. She teaches us to focus on what God wants us to do today, rather than jump to rash conclusions. She also teaches us to pray through our fears based on Philippians 4:6-9. If you are struggling with fear or anxiety, I encourage you to read God’s Word and rest in His presence today. I pray that His words will comfort you and envelope you with peace.

Chapter 20: The Wife’s Loneliness

I’m sure all of us have felt lonely at some point in time or the other. The worst isn’t being alone – it is being with a whole lot of people and still feeling lonely. The author gives us a list of people in the Bible who battled loneliness – Elijah, Jeremiah, Jesus and Peter.

“By far the most poignant and heart-wrenching picture of loneliness is that of the Lord Jesus Christ in the garden of Gethsemane and later on the cross.”

While Elijah and Jeremiah felt sorry for themselves, Jesus and Paul sought refuge in God. The author explains how Elijah and Jeremiah looked inward sinfully, but Jesus and Peter looked upward biblically.

“Loneliness in exacerbated by self-pity. Regardless of our circumstances, if we feel sorry for ourselves, we are likely to experience intense loneliness. Self-pity will throw a wife into the pit of depression very quickly.”

I agree that self-pity is the root cause for a lot of depressing thoughts. The author suggests that to combat self-pity we must be grateful to God and to our husbands; learning to be content in our circumstances. If God doesn’t remove us from our circumstances, He must have some purpose in them for us.

The author ends this chapter encouraging us to make the best use of our alone time by seeking God. When we feel lonely, we must let our emotions be a signal that we need time with God, to listen to Him and experience His presence.

If you feel lonely today, I want to remind you that people will always disappoint you. But there is a God who never will let you down; who never leaves you alone. For He has promised, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).

Other posts in this series:

If you are interested in this series and you don’t want to miss a future post, you can sign up to receive new blog posts by email, or in a reader.

The Excellent Wife: Chapters 17 & 18

We’re on Week 9 of the The Excellent Wife series. You can catch up on the older posts here. This week we’re diving into chapters 17 and 18.

Chapter 17: Conflict

This chapter is a continuation of the previous chapter on communication – it just places more emphasis on how wives can communicate better to biblically solve conflicts with their husbands. Let’s face it, when a conflict arises, emotions run high, tempers flare and people get hurt. When we learn how to resolve conflict biblically, we’ll only be doing ourselves (and our husbands) a favor.

The author lists unbiblical thoughts wives often harbor that hinder conflict solving and how we can replace those thoughts with biblical thoughts, choosing to endure and learn from the situation. The author also mentions 3 causes of conflict:

  • Differing views and opinions.
  • Selfishness – wanting to have our way.
  • Righteousness – sporting an “I’m better than you” attitude.

The author reminds us of Paul’s instruction to the Ephesians, asking them to get along with each other. Isn’t it our obligation to preserve the bond we have with our husbands? That same passage of scripture (Ephesians 4:1-3) also gives us the attitudes we should posses if we want to resolve conflicts in a peaceful manner – humility, gentleness, patience and forbearance.

I think it’s important during conflict to not let your emotions get the better of you. If you feel you are losing it, gently tell your husband you are emotional and take a little time off to pray and calm yourself. The matter at hand might not be solved when you come back, but at least you are equipped with prayer and a calmer mind when you resume the discussion.

Chapter 18: The Wife’s Anger

Anger – a powerful emotion that we validate, because Jesus Himself got angry at the vendors outside the temple. The author says that righteous anger (when other’s crimes make us angry) is valid. But most of the time our anger is not righteous.

The Bible instructs us to not sin in our anger. But how do we know if we’re sinning in our anger or not? The author says that if in spite of provocation we continue to think true, honorable, right, pure… thoughts, not taking into account the wrong suffered, then our anger is justifiable. Well, I admit that for me at least, 99% of my anger is unrighteous.

“The anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God” (James 1:20)

I find this verse to be so true. In my anger, I do not act out the righteousness God desires of me. When I’m angry, do people see the qualities of a believer in me? Nope! The solution to that is found in James 1:19. Believe it or not, I came across this verse 3 times in the last few days – in The Excellent Wife, in Everything and in my study of James. I think God is trying to tell me something ;).

Slow to anger. Quick to forgive. Not easily provoked. And quick to forgive whoever has hurt us. This is something we need to constantly work on. The next time someone offends you, challenge yourself. How quickly can you forgive him/her? Impossible, you say? Not quite; we do have a God who specializes in the impossible! 🙂

Other posts in this series:

If you are interested in this series and you don’t want to miss a future post, you can sign up to receive new blog posts by email, or in a reader.

The Excellent Wife: Chapters 15 & 16

We’re on Week 8 of the The Excellent Wife series. You can catch up on the older posts here. This week we’re diving into chapters 15 and 16.

Chapter 15: Honoring Christ

This chapter basically explains that the key motivation for a wife to submit to her husband should be to honor Christ. Let’s face it, if we don’t have the right motives, we may outwardly submit to our husbands, but with a resentful heart. Even if we want to be submissive, it’s sometimes a struggle when we’re not in a good mood or when we’re in the midst of a heated argument.

“Regardless of her feelings, she should honor Christ by developing a mind-set or resolve to do the right thing in the right way with the right motive whether she feels like it or not. In the process, her feelings will eventually improve.”

The key is to change our motivation from “What can I get out of this?” to “How can I honor God through this?”. This chapter lists 20 biblical principles that should motivate wives to be submissive to her husband. Some of them are:

The last one is something I need to personally work on. Sure, I try to be obedient to my husband and I don’t intentionally disrespect him. But in the midst of my daily activities, I am not always respectful with my tone, facial expressions or body language. In the end, it boils down to how submissive I am to my husband in the little things.

Chapter 16: Communication

Oh, this was a hard hitting chapter – it talks about how a wife should control her tongue :). The author lists out 9 principles regarding how a wife should talk to her husband, as usual backed by loads of scripture.

Here are a few things I learnt from this chapter:

Here’s some wise, practical advice from the author: “… with God all things are possible. Work extra heard to think about what you are going to say and to say what is right in spite of how you feel”. Instead of just speaking out rash words that pop into our head, let us first think about it, refine our words and then communicate to our husbands.

I recently asked my husband if he had ever met a woman who had a ‘gentle and quiet spirit’. He thought for a while and then hesitantly muttered “No”. Apparently there are very few women in the world who are considered beautiful according to the Bible. So, I’ve decided to practice having a gentle and quiet spirit. It’s not easy with a houseful of rambunctious boys, but I’m going to try :).

“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” (I Peter 3:3-4)

Other posts in this series:

If you are interested in this series and you don’t want to miss a future post, you can sign up to receive new blog posts by email, or in a reader.

The Excellent Wife: Chapters 13 & 14

We’re on Week 7 of the The Excellent Wife series. You can catch up on the older posts here. This week we’re diving into chapters 13 and 14.

Chapter 13: Biblical Submission

This chapter outlines five biblical principles concerning the wife’s submission. As with the rest of the book, each principle is backed by several portions of scripture. I loved the part that explains the role of the husband and wife in a military sense. Wives are not inferior to their husbands, but they have a different rank and are under the authority of their husband (much like a commanding officer).

“The point is, a wife must obey her husband unless he asks her to sin. Even though a husband has God-given authority over his wife, only God has absolute authority over her.”

There is a separate section about submission for women whose husbands are not Christian. I know a few women who are living examples of this; I’m assured God will bless their obedience to His Word.

Here are a few traits of a submissive wife that I gathered from this chapter:

  • Obeying God is more important to her than having her own way.
  • She lets the Word of Christ direct her life.
  • She is submissive whether she feels like it or not.
  • She does not irritate or annoy her husband.
  • She does not pout when she doesn’t get her own way.
  • She does not make important decisions without consulting him.
  • She always pays attention to what he says.

Chapter 14: God’s Provision

This chapter outlines the resources God has provided for a submissive wife’s protection. I personally know several women who have been abused by their husbands and have not been able to take biblical action. They have either patiently endured their husbands’ abuse or walked out of their marriages. The resources mentioned in this chapter encourage the wife to take advantage of God’s protection that is available to her.

There is a step by step biblical guide to help the wife progressively deal with her husband’s abuse. It starts with communicating biblically, overcoming evil with good, appealing to her husband and giving biblical reproof for minor cases. When these fail, the wife is instructed to seek godly counsel, inform leaders in the church and if necessary, take the matter to the governing authorities.

I sincerely wish every woman struggling with an abusive husband or living in a difficult marriage would read this book. I’m glad I now have a resource I can personally recommend.

Other posts in this series:

If you are interested in this series and you don’t want to miss a future post, you can sign up to receive new blog posts by email, or in a reader.

The Excellent Wife: Chapters 11 & 12

We’re on Week 6 of the The Excellent Wife series. You can catch up on the older posts here. This week we’re diving into chapters 11 and 12.

Chapter 11: Intimacy

In this chapter, the author gives a biblical perspective of the physical intimacy between a husband and wife. From what I gather, there is a three-fold reason for intimacy within marriage.

  • For procreation.
  • To strengthen companionship between the husband and wife.
  • To protect the husband and wife from temptation.

I strongly agree with the author as she encourages wives to set apart some time for their husbands. With small children in the house, the mother probably has little or no energy left at the end of the day for her husband. However, if it’s possible to plan the day better and actually be there for her husband, it will strengthen their marriage in more ways than one.

I haven’t blogged on the subject of physical intimacy in marriage, but here are the links to some resources I found helpful.

Chapter 12: Submission

This chapter on submission was a short one and it focused on how submission can actually help the wife reap joy in her life.

“The submission of a godly wife is more than a duty, it should be her heart’s delight.”

The part I loved was where the author explains how we can find joy in the midst of difficult circumstances. She muses that God is always working His purpose in our circumstances. In difficulties, He wants to develop Christlike character in us and give us the opportunity to glorify Him.

So how do we find joy in the midst of your trials? The author advises us to reaffirm our faith saying, “This is good for me and God has purpose in it or He would not permit it. This is not fun, but I do have joy in knowing that God is working in my life to accomplish His purposes.”

Reading this chapter along with my study on I Peter has totally transformed how I react when difficult circumstances arise. As long as we are living, we will face trials that we have little or no control over. If you are facing a difficult situation in your life, I want to encourage you to stay strong in your faith. Draw closer to God and let Him have His way in your life. Then you will find joy and praise God, even in the midst of your trials.

Other posts in this series:

If you are interested in this series and you don’t want to miss a future post, you can sign up to receive new blog posts by email, or in a reader.

The Excellent Wife: Chapters 9 & 10

We’re on Week 5 of the The Excellent Wife series. You can catch up on the older posts here. This week we’re diving into chapters 9 and 10.

Chapter 9: Love

This chapter begins with the reminder that as Christians, we are to love our neighbors. And our husbands; they just happen to be our closest neighbors. So, whether we “feel” like we’re in love or not, we must choose to love our husbands.

“Godly love is not primarily a feeling, it is a choice.”

The author explains that, when wives choose to show love to their husbands, God will “give them a love for each other that they never dreamed possible”. Now, that’s the kind of love I’ve always dreamt of ;).

The next section deals with attitudes that hinder love – the first of which is selfishness. Selfishness in my dictionary means, “Wanting to have my way, no matter the cost”. But the Bible instructs us to think of our others before ourselves. In the context of marriage, it would mean considering my husband’s needs before my own.

Another destructive attitude that hinders love (and not just in marriages) is bitterness. The author encourages wives to replace their bitter thoughts with kind, tenderhearted and forgiving thoughts. She also talks of a second mile investment, where we do something extra nice for our husbands, going above and beyond the call of duty.

“There is nothing that your husband has done that God cannot forgive and you cannot forgive!”

Fear also crowds out love in marriage. Wives fear several things – not getting their own way, fear of a husband’s death or a genuine fear for her safety. The only way to combat fear is to trust God and weed out the fear. Of course, if the wife is afraid because her husband abuses her, she has to seek help from a pastor or counselor.

The chapter ends with a verse-by-verse explanation of love as found in I Corinthians 13. My husband and I did a simple exercise a few years back. We wrote down each of the qualities this passage mentioned and examined ourselves, taking note of those areas that we needed to work on. Go ahead and try it – put your name in the place of “Love” and read those verses out loud. To be completely honest, I’m still working on most of them, myself :).

Chapter 10: Respect

This chapter is based on Ephesians 5:33 where wives are instructed to respect their husbands. It is something we should do, in obedience to the Word of God, even if we don’t always want to do it.

“This respect is not only an outward show, but also an inward heart’s attitude of obedience to God.”

The author goes on to give us several ways women tend to disrespect their husbands:

  • Talking back in a disrespectful tone
  • Complaining about him to others
  • Speaking hurtful words
  • Giving him a look that could kill
  • Being sarcastic or irritated with him

One thing I’m taking away from this chapter is to use a gentle tone with my husband and (try to) smile more often. Ever heard of the saying you catch more flies with honey than vinegar? 😉 It’s more likely that our husbands will hear us when we talk nicely than when we’re yelling at them.

In conclusion, I found that these two chapters had a lot of information to digest and practice in my everyday life. I plan on praying and receiving help from God, because He’s promised us that the Holy Spirit will teach us all things (which includes being a better wife). I truly believe God will help us improve our marriages when we lean on Him.

Other posts in this series:

If you are interested in this series and you don’t want to miss a future post, you can sign up to receive new blog posts by email, or in a reader.

The Excellent Wife: Chapters 7 & 8

We’re on Week 4 of the The Excellent Wife series. You can catch up on the older posts here. This week we’re diving into chapters 7 and 8.

Chapter 7: Christ

The subtitle of this chapter is “The Wife’s Heart” and yes, it does emphasize Christ being the center of our hearts. Often, we place more importance on other trivial things, and relegate Christ to a distant corner; to call on only when absolutely required. An idol then takes His place in our lives.

“An idol can be anything. It may even be a good thing. Bur if we want it so badly that we sin if we don’t get it or sin to attain it, then we are worshiping an idol rather than Christ.”

We have to be extra cautious that the good things we want (good health, a better marriage or obedient children) don’t displace Christ from our hearts. And then, there are those things we turn to when we need a break (food, sleep, television, exercise, reading, social media, etc.) that soon become our comfort and refuge. While none of these are sinful activities, they could become the “false saviors” we turn to when we face difficulties in our lives.

The chapter ends with practical tips to help us set our minds on things above. Here are a few that I’m personally working on:

  • Building contentment by frequently thanking God for my circumstances.
  • Investing my spare time in God’s Word.
  • Not giving in to sinful anger (when I feel frustrated) and anxiety.

Chapter 8: Home

This is one chapter where I have highlighted almost every other line. It gave me a new perspective – home is the wife’s domain. In light of my previous struggle to accept my responsibility as a worker at home, I can only thank God that He’s opened my eyes and helped me fulfill my responsibilities at home.

There’s a section in this chapter, for women who are (or who are thinking of) working outside the home. There are a set of questions the author encourages them to answer, to help them find their motive for working outside the home. I have asked myself the same questions and I can honestly say that my motives seemed selfish and reflected discontentment in my life. Suffice to say, I won’t be seeking employment until I have the right motives.

The second half of this chapter deals with creating a godly atmosphere in our homes.

“The wife and mother in a family often sets the tone in the home. The tone God wants her to set is one of joy, optimism and a delight in the Lord and in her family.”

Something that struck a chord within me is when the author questions how our families would describe us? Would my family describe me as God-fearing and loving or bitter and complaining? Yikes!

The rest of the chapter is about cultivating a joyful attitude and being a wife who is gentle and patient. I realize that I can try hard to be gentle, kind, patient, loving, joyful and self controlled; but I fail constantly. I’m thankful for a God who does not give up on me, but who constantly encourages me to keep going. To keep working on myself, so I can set the tone in my home the way He wants me to .

Other posts in this series:

If you are interested in this series and you don’t want to miss a future post, you can sign up to receive new blog posts by email, or in a reader.

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:

If you are interested in this series and you don’t want to miss a future post, you can sign up to receive new blog posts by email, or in a reader.

The Excellent Wife: Chapters 3 & 4

I’ve been reading through The Excellent Wife, and I now understand why this book is a highly recommended resources for wives. I’ve been learning so much; and I’m so excited to be able to share it with you. This week we’re diving into chapters 3 & 4.

Chapter 3: A Wife’s Understanding of Sin

I’m in complete agreement with the fact that all have sinned and fallen short of God’s standard. I am a sinner, as are you. No matter how hard we try, as long as we live, we’ll be prone to sin. In this chapter, the author reminds us that sin cannot be hidden from God and a price has to be paid for our sins.

But a price has been paid. Jesus took my sins on Himself. He paid the price for my sins on the cross. And because of His sacrifice, I’m forgiven and free of the sins I’ve committed. I’ve done nothing to deserve this forgiveness. None of us can do anything to deserve complete pardon of our sins.

“The fact is that no one can be kind enough or good enough to merit God’s gift of salvation.”

But what we can do, is repent, accept Christ’s forgiveness and try (with God’s help) to live a life pleasing to Him.

Well, all that’s good; but what does this have to do with our marriages? According to this verse, we should strive to forgive others (especially our husbands) just as God has forgiven us. That means, the next time my husband inadvertently offends me, I have to forgive him; no matter how unfair it may seem. [Note: I’m not talking about physical or verbal abuse here. If you’re being abused by your husband, you should seek help.]

“Christians should graciously accept the forgiveness that they have in Christ and graciously bestow forgiveness upon their spouses.”

The second half of this chapter deals with the “put off” – “put on” dynamic. It explains how we can put off a self-honoring thought and put on a God-honoring thought. The book has a tabular column to help us recognize and replace our wrong, sinful thoughts with right, godly thoughts.

The next time I feel I can’t take the pressure any more, I will be reminded that God won’t allow things into my life that I can’t handle. And when I feel my husband should be more romantic towards me, I should remember that love does not seek its own way.

Chapter 4: A Wife’s Understanding of Relationships

“Only in Christ can the relationship of a husband and wife be godly, good, and righteously intimate.”

My husband and I have experienced (over and over again), that when our individual relationships with God are intact, our marriage blossoms. But when we’ve been inconsistent in our relationship with God, it shows on our marriage.

This chapter explains how God designed relationships to be. In order to improve our marriages, we must try to emulate Jesus and start living for Him, rather than for ourselves. Our focus in marriage must shift from “What can I get out of this?” to “What can I give?”.

Well, that is a hard pill to swallow. My selfish nature refuses to do something for my husband without expecting anything in return. And when I do something for him, I expect my work to be recognized and appreciated. But I know God expects me to serve my husband without expecting anything in return. That would be true love; that’s the kind of wife I want to be. A wife who seeks to please God by serving her husband. Obviously, I’ve got a long way to go :).

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:

If you are interested in this series and you don’t want to miss a future post, you can sign up to receive new blog posts by email, or in a reader.