I was at a wedding a couple weeks ago, and something someone said got me to thinking about the qualities of a good wife.
If I were to give advice to someone—my sons, for example—about what constitutes a good wife, here’s what I would say. I base this on 23 years of marriage, 29 years of watching Christian marriages, and 15 years of living in community and thus getting to live with other married couples under the same roof. I’m also speaking to Christians who want to do God’s will with their spouse. If you don’t want to do God’s will, then I have no advice for you on any subject except that you should repent before the day you wish you had.
An excellent Wife Who Can Find?
This post turned out pretty long, so let me just list the three qualities I think are most important in a wife, then explain why.
- Devoted to God
Devoted to God
There are religious men who are very concerned about whether their wife is submissive. It’s true that the Scriptures command wives to submit to their husbands, but a wife that submits to her husband without making it clear when she believes him to be outside the will of God is worthless.
If you’re a disciple, you want a wife that loves God more than she loves you. Such a wife will benefit you.
That’s not to say that wives shouldn’t submit when they disagree with their husbands. Within reason, they should.
You don’t want a wife who will simply do what you say when you’re out of God’s will. You don’t want a wife that you have cow into submission. You want a wife that is devoted to God. Then submission will take care of itself.
The Scriptures may command a wife to submit to her husband, but it never commands a husband to rule his wife. A good husband will lead his wife, and a good wife will know when her husband is trusting God and trying to do his will. (It will make no difference whether she actually agrees it’s God’s will. Submission is not about agreement. If a wife only submits when she agrees, then she’s never submitted at all. Nonetheless, a wife should always be heard and considered.)
Hmm. What a complicated subject. I hope I haven’t said too much. That all seemed important, though.
Okay, the point is, men, you want a wife that is devoted to God first and you only second. You need a wife who will be greatly offended if you offend God. You want a wife you will speak her mind.
And you want a wife who will follow you to the very gates of Hell because she can trust God that far as long as she knows his will is being pursued.
Deception, by the way, is never a Christian’s problem. Deception is the result of disobedience (or of not being in the church). Where the church exists and obeys, there will never be deception, because God will speak to the church and cure deception.
Most churches, however, have too many rules to completely obey God. When God starts breaking out of their box, they let him go. Then they safely and peacefully settle into their rebellion and deception, thinking that everything’s just fine because they haven’t wandered and are sitting in the same place.
I’m off subject again.
Get a wife who loves God more than she loves you.
Adventurous is better than even courageous. An adventurous woman is already a courageous woman, by definition.
If you’re going to follow God, then you better have an adventurous woman because you never know when God is going to make you an adventurous man, whether by sending you somewhere or asking you to take a stand that he needs taken.
An adventurous woman will also be a selfless woman. You’ve already chosen a woman devoted to God, adding adventurous to that assures you’ll have a wife who isn’t worried about the things of this world. Too much to do for God! She’ll let you fill the house with the needy (I don’t necessarily mean needing money) and those who can’t pay you back because she delights in the adventure of caring for Jesus. She’ll let you move her out of her perfect home because she wants to see what God has at the other end of your move.
You want an independent, perhaps even ambitious wife. She has her own ideas of how to serve God. Why should your service for God be based on only your mind and spirit? Between the two of you, you have two minds and two spirits. Praise God for a wife who brings hers to the partnership!
None of us ought to be selfishly ambitious, but your wife ought to be dreaming about how she’s going to serve God. She ought to have things God has put on her heart, as well as helping you with what God has put on your heart (and vice versa). Marriage is a partnership.
The man should lead. He should have one major quality that qualifies him for leadership. He should be able to take a beating, take responsibility, suffer, and care nothing about himself, but only about God. In that sense, he should be stronger than his wife. He should have the final say, and he should take all the blame and make every effort to bear all the pain of every bad decision.
And he ought to do so gladly.
There’s nothing more useless than a wimpy husband.
Sorry for being so blunt, but cowards and the faithless are listed before murderers, the sexually immoral, and idolaters as those who are thrown in the lake of fire. Yes, my friend, you might want to consider that it’s possibly worse for a Christian to be a chicken than to be an adulterer or a homosexual.
Pluck it up.
Summing It Up
This post is kind of rambling. I did not stay on the subject very well. I hope there’s something here than benefitted you.
I have a wife that’s devoted to God, adventurous, independent and ambitious. I picked her carefully. I’ve made my fair share of mistakes, and I have my fair share of weaknesses, but I proved to be a master at picking a wife.
Of course, you better love God enough and be tough enough to have a wife like that. You don’t have to be particularly smart or talented. You just have to be courageous and full of love for the will of God. Everything else will work itself out.