Have your husband read this!

99.9 percent of my Bible-based insights are designed to help women personally and in their marriages. But I know that many husbands also read these messages, so I want to take a moment to give you an important insight about the woman in your life!  Ladies, if you’re the one reading this, perhaps you can tell your husband that I’m asking him to read this as well. 😊

God tells husbands in Ephesians 5:25 “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”  And later, in verses 28-29, God says “In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church”.

So, God is calling you to love your wife in a self-sacrificing way…and to cherish her.  Please allow me to explain 3 key things that virtually every wife needs from you to feel loved and cherished:

  1. She longs to feel beautiful.  That means she needs you to notice her hair, her make-up, her outfit and tell her how beautiful she is…that she looks amazing today.  It also means that if she finds out you’ve been looking at pornography, she is deeply scarred.  The unspoken message she receives is that she is NOT attractive enough, that she doesn’t measure up, that every time you want to make love, you’re envisioning being with another woman who you view as more beautiful than her. That’s why I’m begging you to get help if you’re addicted to pornography.  Every time you look at porn, you’re slicing your wife’s heart.
  2. Every woman craves security. We’re just wired that way. She longs to feel financially secure and relationally-secure.  That’s why she gets freaked out when you talk about quitting your job or spending money on a new S-U-V.  She desperately needs to feel secure. 
  3. She needs you to be loving and gentle and involved with her children (whether those kids are your bio kids or step kids).  Nothing will break a wife’s heart quicker than to witness her husband being harsh or disrespectful or critical with her children.  That doesn’t mean that you need to be a push-over who doesn’t discipline the children, but she needs you to do so with love.  She needs to know that you deeply care about her children.

What a godly wife should be like

If you want to please God, please your husband, and find true fulfillment in your role as a wife, then meditate and act upon the instructions God gives wives in the Bible.  That’s what many of us have been trying to do at Squadron of Sisters over the last 12 years, and all I can say is….it works!!

Here are 8 key verses that describe a godly wife and/or reveal the purpose of a wife:

Genesis 2:18 (a godly wife is a companion and helper for her husband)

Ephesians 5:33 (a godly wife shows respect and honor for her husband, whether she “feels” like it or not!)

Proverbs 31:25 (a godly wife carries herself with dignity so she is able to lovingly but firmly establish boundaries with her husband if he is sinning against her)

Proverbs 31:30 (a godly wife respects and obeys the Lord)

Colossians 3:18 (a godly wife submits to her husband’s leadership, as long as he is not leading her down an immoral or destructive path)

Proverbs 31:27 (a godly wife is diligent in taking care of her family and household)

1 Corinthians 7:4 (a godly wife builds a robust sex life with her husband)

1 Peter 3:4 (a godly wife has a gentle and peaceful demeanor with her husband)

Can any of us be perfect wives, as described in the Bible?  No way.  None of us is capable of performing to this incredibly high standard every day.  However, we are to earnestly seek to grow more and more like the Biblical model each day, and we all need to pray for Jesus to give us a willing heart to obey his instructions to us.  🙂

A wife has a powerful role!

God has given me a vision for Christian wives.  I see him raising up an army of strong but gentle wives who do specific things in such a focused and powerful way that their husbands are propelled to become mighty men of God!  Don’t we all want that?!

The qualities of these strong Christian wives are all Biblical, and if we press into them, I’m confident we will have a tremendous, positive impact on our men!  As we encourage and pray for our men, our men will be much more likely to step up and become mighty men of God.  Hallelujah!

The most important thing we can do is to respect, honor and love the Lord.  But beyond that, catch this vision of the wife He is calling you to become.  He is calling wives to be…

  • encouraging (1 Thessalonians 5:11…encourage one another and build each other up)
  • respectful   (Ephesians 5:33….the wife must respect her husband)
  • gentle  (1 Peter 3:4 …the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight )
  • compassionate  (Colossians 3:12 …clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience)
  • courageous (Joshua 1:9… Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.)
  • loving but firm confronters of sin (Luke 17:3 If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him)
  • prayer warriors  (Colossians 4:2… Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful)

Are you disappearing?

I often talk and write about how wives were created to be their husband’s helper, and while that’s true, I feel it’s necessary to make a clarification.  Yes, a wife should help her husband by showing him respect, allowing him to lead the family, and assisting him as he seeks to follow God’s promptings in his life.  However, that doesn’t mean a wife should give up her own individual identity in the process.

Submitting to your husband’s leadership does not mean that you become a doormat which has no value.  Helping your husband does not mean you sacrifice doing the things that bring you great joy.  Respecting your husband doesn’t mean he’s always right and you’re always wrong.  If you go too far in that direction, you will become an empty shell.  It’s as if your heart doesn’t matter.   God doesn’t intend that for you.  In fact, He says in Proverbs 4:23, “Above all else, guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life.”

Spend some time in prayer with God and ask Him to reveal if there are any areas of your life where you have lost your true identity.  Have you stopped doing some things that bring you fully alive?  Is it time to sit down with your husband and talk about how you can both live in a way that brings joy and fulfillment?  Don’t allow yourself to disappear in the relationship.

Priorities for wives & moms

I’m rather slow to learn some lessons in life and as a wife.  One of the things I wish I had realized earlier is that it is entirely too easy for a mom to get so focused on nurturing her children that she subconsciously pushes her husband aside.  In fact, in my first marriage, I remember thinking to myself…”My husband is an adult so he can take care of himself.  It’s my kids who really need all my attention.”  Not good thinking!

Of course, moms need to take care of their children’s needs and we do need to spend time nurturing and disciplining them.  However, our children can become idols in our life. When our world revolves around our kids’ successes and failures…and on their activities and their schedule…well then we’ve made our children into idols.  When anyone or anything besides God becomes our focus in life, then it has become our idol and our god.  One of the big 10 commandments addresses this!  Exodus 20:3 “You shall have no other gods before me.”

One of the casualties of this idolizing of our kids is our husbands.  The bizarre thing is that the very children we were determined to protect end up severely wounded as mom and dad become distant, begin to argue, and often end up divorcing each other.  Don’t let this happen to you.  Be intentional about spending quality time with both your husband and your children.  Even more important than that, spend quality time with God.  He must truly be your number one focus in life!

** or view this topic as a 2 minute video below

Top 10 Bible verses for wives

Believe it or not, God has better marriage advice than Cosmopolitan Magazine, Ellen Degeneres or Kim Kardashian. He created us, so he probably knows how to make relationships work!  He has provided profound relationship principles in the Bible…and when wives apply these principles, amazing things happen!  Broken marriages begin to heal and mediocre marriages begin to thrive.  Here are my Top Ten Bible verses for wives, in no particular order.  As you read these verses, ask God to show you the principle he wants you to apply in your marriage:

1)  Genesis 2:18 “It is not good for man to be alone; I will create a helper suitable for him”

2)  1 Peter 3:4 tells wives to have “the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit which is of great worth in God’s sight”

3)  Proverbs 31:30 “Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised”

4)  Titus 2:4-5 “Urge the younger women to love their husbands and children and to be self-controlled and pure”

5)  Proverbs 31:27 “She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness”

6)  Ephesians 5:33 “The wife must respect her husband”

7)  Matthew 18:15-17 “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, just between the two of you.  If he listens to you, you have won your brother over.  But if he does not listen, take one or two others along, so that every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.  If he still refuses to listen, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.” 

8)  Hebrews 12:15 “See to it that no bitter root grows up among you to cause trouble and defile many.”

9)  1 Corinthians 7:2-3 “Since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband.  The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband.”

10)  Colossians 3:18 “Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord”

What to expect of husband

Revealing what a wife should expect of her husband is a tricky thing!  Yes, we should expect our husbands to love us, and even to sacrifice their interests for ours.  The Bible says so.  It’s in Ephesians 5, in case you want to look it up for yourself 🙂  It says in verse 25, “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her

The tricky thing is that no husband can perfectly live up to that expectation.  Therein lies the challenge.  As wives, we yearn for a perfect husband who cherishes us, adores us, romances us, sacrifices himself for us, shares his feelings with us, courageously protects us, diligently provides for us, tenderly raises children with us, spiritually leads us, and on and on.  Whew! That’s a long list!  Frankly, only Jesus could hit the mark on all those expectations, and guess what?  Your husband isn’t Jesus.

So, back to the original question.  What should we expect of our husbands?  I believe we should expect our husbands to strive to be the kind of husband described in Ephesians 5:25, while at the same time we need to realize that he will fall short of that mark because he’s human.  That’s where we need to take on the character of Christ ourselves, striving to be “compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in love” (Psalm 103:8)