Wife - The Heart of the Home
If you are a woman reading this and are trying to understand your role in marriage, please stop right here and open your Bible to Proverbs 31 (read and meditate on verses 10-31). This is a biblical passage that will help you understand your role in marriage. The following is given to help you build on this passage in a practical way, for your understanding of the beautiful relationship God initiated from “the beginning”.
I trust that every woman will understand her value to her future husband. Proverbs 31:10 says that your price to your husband is far above rubies. When a man asks you to be his wife, you have been chosen above all the women on earth. This brings responsibility and opportunity, which the angels of heaven might well covet. She holds in her hands the destiny and the earthly usefulness to her husband and children more fully than she often realizes. You will be – more than anyone or anything – the greatest impact in the future on your husband, children and home. Much of their development and destiny is in your hands. It is often said, “children are a product of the home”. Both parents make their mark in the home, but because of the time and teaching a mother invests in molding the children’s habits, character and thinking, her influence makes a much greater impact (Proverbs 31:28).
The word “Wife” means “weaver”. She is the one that weaves the home into the design and beauty it is intended to be. All of the threads must complement each other, and rely on each other, to express the will of the weaver. A home woven by a Christian wife will express the grace and beauty that reveals the work of the Holy Spirit in all the daily activities. It will be clearly reflective in the lives of her children and her husband. “Her children rise up and bless her; Her husband also, and he praises her, saying, “Many daughters have done nobly, but you excel them all”. (Proverbs 31:29 NASB)
The home is their palace. Like the Lord Jesus Christ is head of the church and the Holy Spirit is the Ever Present One guiding, influencing, directing, teaching and enforcing rules laid down in the Word, so the wife is like the Holy Spirit in the home. Her influence in all that goes on in the home is just like the work of the Holy Spirit in the church. She leads, teaches, comforts, encourages, gives and understands in order to build her husband and children up in the Faith.
The description of a good wife, which was given by a writer of years past, is “A good wife is Heaven’s last best gift to man, his angel and minister of graces innumerable, his gem of many virtues. Her voice is his sweetest music, her smile his brightest day. Her kiss the guardian of his innocence, her arms the pale of his safety; her industry is his surest wealth. Her economy his safest steward; her lips are his safest counselor, her bosom is the softest pillow of his cares, and her prayer the ablest advocate of Heaven’s blessing upon his head.”
If the above is the ideal wife, maybe questions should be asked before entering into marriage with a man. Because a wife is the heart of the home, a woman should ask herself if she could be all that is required of her to be a godly wife. What kind of woman will you have to be in order to become a good and true wife? Is this the life you desire? Here are some of those requirements to consider in bringing about the fulfillment of God’s design for the wife in a Christian marriage.
I use the word in its larger sense. Read again the description of a good woman in Proverbs. “The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her.” He knows that she is his most wonderful friend and partner, and she is his alone. He knows that she is true to all of his interests and intents; he must show the same for her. She is thoughtful about his needs and plans for the future. She can stand by his side and enhance his dreams. No one can meet his needs and expand his vision, goals, his future and commitments as well as the beautiful wife he married.
Maintaining the Home
It is true that with certain jobs, men and women are equal, but today we find that men and women are in competition for jobs in the marketplace. We should ask ourselves what is the real motivation for this employment? It may be power, money, ego, acceptance, recognition, rights, materialism or many other things, not all of which are right or wrong. They convince themselves that if they go to work for awhile, the increase in income will allow them to have things they need like a better house, a newer car, private education and the list is endless. However, surveys show that when this happens, a couple never quite reaches the standard of living they dreamed of because it advances as their income increases. Once a couple sets their standard of living, based on two incomes, seldom do they return to only one income. By this stage, both have lost sight of clear biblical teaching.
From a biblical viewpoint, is this really God’s intent for a woman, especially while there are children in the home? The Bible says that older women are to “encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands that the Word of God may not be dishonored” (Titus 2:5 NASB).
If the home has priority in our lives as God intended it to have, then the order of the home must be in line with what the Bible teaches. God intended for the wife to find her fulfillment in maintaining the home and children by keeping the house, loving the children and making the home a haven for her family. If she cannot keep house, and cannot learn, or will not, she must get someone who will do it for her. A neat, well-kept house is absolutely indispensable to happy married life.
This may sound unromantic to a young couple, but that doesn’t make it any less true. Many happy marriages have been destroyed by the hectic schedules of both people, especially when floors are not kept clean, meals are not prepared, children are not cared for and odds and ends are not picked up and put into their proper places. The husband comes home from work where organization is mandatory for the success of the business. Each person is required to maintain orderliness and efficiency in their work. If this is important in the market place for success how much more is it necessary for the home to be successful?
The husband may be a very patient man, but when he consistently comes home to a dirty, disorderly household where everything is where it should not be and nothing is where it should be, it quenches the atmosphere and kills the joy of the home. When things are cluttered and untidy, when things are dropped and left where they were last used instead of being put in their proper place, tension is created in the home and soon romance flies out the window.
If, as the wife, you want to keep the love relationship vibrant, make the home a haven of rest for him to escape the pressures of the marketplace, then put yourself in his shoes. How would you want things when you come home? Love and respect must be the cords that bind the relationship together. However proper maintaining of the home will set the atmosphere, whether it builds, or destroys the relationship. Like all relationships, it must have a foundation, and one of the important stones of this foundation is good housekeeping.
Communication must flow from each partner, sharing everything and anything. Between a husband and wife, no subject or incident is off-limits. At the same time, anything shared in confidence must be kept in confidence. If this is violated, it will severely damage a basic foundation of trust in the relationship. While she will give her confidence in full to her husband, hiding nothing from him and having no secrecy from him, she will be very careful about her talk concerning her home outside of her home.
At best, men are often dreadfully trying to their wife. He will have faults, which annoy her and sometimes cause her pain. He will fail in this duty or that. A wise wife will never speak of these things outside the home, nor in the home before the children. She will talk only to her husband and to her Savior about them. She may be constantly striving to correct these faults in her husband, but she should be patient, with love, keeping her problem in her own heart. Proverbs 31 is a special chapter in the Bible for the godly woman. Here is a verse to take to heart, “She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness”(verse 26).
Here, sometimes, a fatal mistake is often made. Wives foolishly and glibly chatter to one another about the failures of their respective husbands. Sometimes they even talk to other men about a matter, forgetful of the fact that love will overlook blemishes. The man to whom she is talking about her husband’s faults may be wondering what that poor husband ever saw in a wife who would speak in such a manner, and so she only brings disrespect upon her own head. Guard your heart and your words as you speak to others about your family and home.
Personal Presentation – Physically and Spiritually
Today, in our world of advertising, beauty is sex appeal. Many women have bought into the world’s idea of thinking that beauty will bring marriage, happiness and success, only to discover that it is not true. After the vows are taken and you begin to live together, the real person is revealed. Again, God puts it in perspective, “Favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised” (Proverbs 31:30).
Someone has said, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. Real beauty cannot be achieved by weight loss, stylish clothes, makeup or anything else that the world says you need to be beautiful. “And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the works of our hands establish thou it” (Psalm 90:17). Real and lasting beauty is not external, but internal. Have you ever met an elderly couple who are still madly in love? It is entirely possible for a wife to constantly increase in charm for her husband. The passing years may take the bloom from her cheeks, and the music out of her voice, but the arts of love and of grace in mind and soul may still make her altogether lovely in the eyes of her husband. To do this, however, she will avoid all that is offensive and be a wife who is constantly cultivating her own life with all that is lovely, womanly, gracious and godly.
So it all comes back to the matter of character - the real you. A good wife comes only by being a good woman, and a good woman comes only by being a Godly Christian woman. Married life lays great requirements upon both the husband and the wife. It is a strict discipline and therein lies much of its value. The duties of a wife are such that practically no woman, unless she is a Christian, can meet. Trials and perplexities, crosses and disappointments, sorrows and solicitudes arise, and unless Christ is there in the heart, they are too great to be borne. Let us have Christ in our homes, and to every wife, let Him be your true and familiar friend.