By Emma Danzey, Crosswalk.com
Whether you grew up watching June Clever on Leave it to Beaver or Debra Barone on Everybody Loves Raymond, there have been a variety of examples of what a wife looks like in the world. No two couple is exactly the same. However, as believers, we are gifted with the Bible from God which teaches us and instructs us as women in every area of life, including marriage. Today we will study what does the Bible say about being a wife?
What Does the Bible Say about Being a Wife?
Bible Study Tools gives us some specific verses about being a wife that are found in the Bible. Below are some examples and how we can apply them today.
Ephesians 5:33 says, “However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”
There once was a book written by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs called “Love and Respect.” The entire concept of his work was based upon that men desire respect and women desire love. It is not that we do not love our husbands, or they do not respect us, but God our creator knew when giving us Ephesians 5 that a husband needs more help to love his wife and a wife needs more help to respect her husband.
There are few things more upsetting to see as an onlooker than a man being unloving to his wife, or a wife disrespecting her husband in public. It causes me to feel frustrated and I am not even in the relationship. When we think about the woman’s first sin in the garden, it was taking over and trying to be in control. When we look at the sin of the first man, it was passivity. The Lord is calling us to go against our sinful natures to dominate our husbands and for them to go against their desire to neglect us as leaders. No matter what you believe about men and women’s roles within a marriage, the Bible is clear about the fact that we need to respect and love one another out of the Holy Spirit’s strength.
Hebrews 13:4 says, “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.”
God teaches us that marriage should be held high and kept pure. A wife is responsible to be pure and honoring to her husband. We are called to neglect impurity in what we view, listen to, wear, and in our actions. Our lifestyles are to be holy and respectful towards our husbands. We are called to honor Christ and also honor our husbands in our speech and in our lifestyles. Purity is more than sexuality; it is our entire lives. We desire to honor them and be a crown for our men. This leads us to our next verse in Proverbs.
Proverbs 12:4 says, “A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones.”
Our good character is a crown to our husbands. When I think about a royal man who is wearing a crown, it is his symbol of honor and confidence. We are women are called to help our men to be proud of who they are in Christ and safe that we are living lives that bring them respect as our husbands. We show them that they are the only ones for us by our words and our lifestyles. This means in how we talk about them when they are not present, in how we honor the bedroom of our marriage, in our sexuality, and in our finances.
Proverbs 18:22 says, “He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD.”
A wife is good and is favored by the Lord. If you are a wife, you are a great gift to your husband. This is not comparing you as a thing, but as a treasured blessing from God. You should know that you were chosen for this ministry as a wife to your specific husband to be a gift of encouragement and support in his life. The Lord knew that your husband would do greater things for His kingdom with you than without you and vice versa. Just like God knew it was not good for man to be alone, the Lord has given your husband the joy of having you as a wife and that is a valuable position (Genesis 2:18).
Proverbs 25:24 says. “Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.”
This Bible verse warns us to not be argumentative wives. It is important for us to believe the best in our husbands and to daily practice Proverbs 15:1 to be soft with our words and James 1:19-20 to be slow to anger. Nobody wants to be a nagging wife, but if we are not careful, we can easily become demanding and negative. The Lord encourages us to be kind and remember that we are on a team, not enemies.
Matthew 19:6 says, “So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
A wife is one flesh with her husband. This is not just physically, but in the totality of who you are, your husband, and you are one. This means that we carry one another’s burdens and celebrates each other’s victories. There is nothing sweeter than to be praying for your husband and see the Lord working in his life. Adam and Eve had perfect unity in the garden of Eden. Although we have sin in the world, God does give us the blessing of being one with our husbands. There is a depth of relationship unlike any other on earth between a husband and a wife and we can enjoy the blessing of that oneness.
How Does the Biblical Definition of a Wife Differ from That of the World?
The world portrays being a wife in many different ways depending on the culture. In some parts of the world, a wife is seen and not heard. The Bible makes it clear that a woman is valued and held with honor in God’s word. Sinful men in the Bible tried to obtain multiple wives and treat them as sexual items rather than the treasures that they were, and the Lord was not happy or supportive of this lifestyle. The Bible is clear that there is one wife for one husband.
The world also can teach that a woman is to manipulate and control her husband. This is also incorrect. A biblical wife is to support and respect her husband. It is important to note that if a husband ever asks a wife to sin, she should honor the Lord.
Christ is our First Love, and we are ultimately responsible to Him. A biblical wife puts Christ first in her marriage, meaning that her husband is her second priority next to Jesus. The beautiful thing is that when we love Christ first, our love for others is more abundant and impactful because we are filled from the source of Love Himself.
Crosswalk Editorial Staff reminds us that the world tells us that if a couple is not compatible or happy that you no longer belong together. However, God takes marriage seriously and when a man and a woman make a covenant before the Lord and marry, that person is the right person. Love is more than a feeling, love is a choice and love is from God. We are changing throughout our lives, but our marriage covenants remain for life. The staff also shares that the world claims that marriage is 50/50. In a Christian marriage, God’s view is 100 percent no matter what the other person is giving. Christ’s love is sacrificial. Our roles are husbands and wives is to love 100 percent each day through the help of the Spirit. (An important disclaimer: this is not in support of any kind of abuse. Please seek help if you are in this type of situation).
Characteristics of a Biblical Wife
Dr. John Barnett from Crosswalk shares that traits of a godly wife include modesty in her clothing choices, holiness in her lifestyle, honesty in words and intentions, gentleness and being a good listener, caring for the home, serving others, trustworthiness, being hard-working, and wise.
Honestly, a biblical wife is a woman after the heart of God. We are only capable of being godly wives with the help of the Holy Spirit each day. Depending on the One who is the source of godliness will enable us to be godly. When a woman is living by the Spirit, she will exhibit the fruit of the Spirit. A woman who is whole because of Christ’s love for her will have everything to offer her husband because she is filled with the Spirit of God.
Great Examples of Biblical Wives in Scripture
The Bible is filled with women who were amazing wives. Some specific examples that come to mind are:
Rebekah (Genesis 24)
Ruth (Ruth 4)
Esther (Esther 4)
Priscilla (Romans 16:3-4)
Mary (Luke 1)
These women all were devoted to God first and out of that loyalty, they loved their husbands well. Each was gifted in a unique way and had a special calling on their lives. We too need to remember that we have been called to our husbands for a purpose and our ministry together as a couple is a beautiful threat to the enemy. It is important that we daily surrender to the Lord and ask Him to fill us up to be the kind of wives who share Christ to our husbands and to all who witness our marriages. Marriages are platforms for the Gospel.
Emma Danzey’s mission in life stems from Ephesians 3:20-21, to embrace the extraordinary. One of her greatest joys is to journey with the Lord in His Scriptures. She is wife to Drew and mom to Graham. Emma serves alongside her husband in ministry, she focuses most of her time in the home, but loves to provide articles on the Bible, life questions, and Christian lifestyle. Her article on Interracial Marriage was the number 1 on Crosswalk in 2021. Most recently, Emma released Treasures for Tots, (Scripture memory songs) for young children. During her ministry career, Emma has released Wildflower: Blooming Through Singleness, two worship EP albums, founded and led Polished Conference Ministries, and ran the Refined Magazine. You can view her articles on her blog at emmadanzey.wordpress.com and check out her Instagram @Emmadanzey.