In our previous article, we learned that the Lord calls husbands to lead well, love well, and learn their wives. This time, we will talk about the duties of a Christian wife.
Submit to His Leadership
Submission is a wonderful concept that all people are called to. In fact, the Bible calls all Christians to submit to God (James 4:7), their leaders (Hebrew 13:17), and government authorities (Romans 13, 1 Peter 2:13).
In marriage, God calls wives to submit to their husbands. Ephesians 5:22 says for wives to be subject to their husbands. In Colossians 3:18, it says for wives to be subject to their husbands as is fitting in the Lord.
What it Means to Submit
When the subject of the Christian wife’s role to submit to her husband comes up it usually guides women toward the submissive role and ends right there in defiance. But submission isn’t a bad thing.
1 Corinthians 11:3 defines the role and function, “Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.” The idea of “head” or “headship” signifies authority. Remember, Christ’s example was of servant leadership, and we are to submit one to another (Ephesians 5:21)
What is Does Not Mean
Submitting does not mean that a wife is less important, treated as if they were lesser, controlled, or abusive. While remaining equal in person, worth, and dignity, there are still differences in role, function, and responsibility. At a fundamental level, submitting is a heart disposition.
Affirm and Encourage Him
Affirm and encourage him with your words. Remember the power of your words for death and life are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21). When you encourage and affirm your husband, it blesses him.
You can begin by affirming his:
- Character. Applaud your husband’s positive character traits. In what ways does he manifest God’s character in your marriage or family? How is your husband compassionate, serving, or providing for you and the family?
- Actions. Acknowledge the ways your husband shows his love for you. Maybe he does things that are lavish, undeserved, or unasked for. Let him know you notice.
- Service. Consider how your husband serves you. Be specific. The more specific you are the more he will be encouraged.
- Growth. Praise your husband’s growth. How has he grown over the years in his walk with God, his love for you, his understanding of you, and his care about the things in the home? When you can pinpoint where he has grown, it will encourage and affirm him.
Marriage is hard. At times, it can be challenging to find positive traits, actions, service, and growth in a spouse. Ask the Lord to show you traits if you are struggling.
Respect is another one of those hot button topics in marriage. Many women feel that “when they have earned it, I will give it.” But Ephesians 5:33 commands wives to respect her husband. It doesn’t say, “if he earns it.” When a husband feels disrespected, it can be hard to love his wife. And when a wife feels unloved, it can be hard to be respectful. This is what the book “Love and Respect” calls the “crazy cycle.” One of you has to get off for it to stop!
What does it look like to show your husband respect?
- Respect His Position. Respect the position he holds as the leader, protector and provider of your home.
- Esteem His Decisions. Respect him as the primary decision-maker. Of course, give your input, counsel, advice with grace, and humility. But follow his lead, even if you disagree.
- Speak Respectfully of Him. Always speak well of him in front of others. Do you communicate respect for him when you talk to family, friends, or co-workers? What is the perception you give to others about him?
- Regard Him in Your Heart. The best way to guard how you talk about your husband in public is to guard how you think about him in your heart. Our mouth speaks out of the abundance of our hearts (Luke 6:45).
Duties of a Christian Wife
God has designed a master pattern for husbands and wives that, when followed, will create a whole, fulfilling, beautiful marriage. As we acknowledge Christ as Lord in our lives, we must work out our marriages according to His plan. The key is for each one to follow God’s plan and work together.
Stay tuned for more duties of a Christian wife and part 2 for the men.
Eagle Family Ministries is passionate about helping Christian couples build the marriage they crave based on Biblical principles. We offer marriage retreats and conferences. You can attend one of our scheduled events or create an event in your area. We travel anywhere in the continental United States.