As wives, we often desire to be close to our husbands, but can seek this intimacy through humanistic means, which can leave us disappointed and bitter. It is when we understand and accept God’s standard for our roles as wives that we can truly fulfill God’s destiny for what marriage is meant to be and build the intimacy we desire.

[10] Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies. [11] Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life. [12] She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.

Proverbs 31:10-12 (NLT)

[10-31] A good woman is hard to find, and worth far more than diamonds. Her husband trusts her without reserve, and never has reason to regret it. Never spiteful, she treats him generously all her life long.

Proverbs 31:10-12 (MSG)

We often think our marriage will change when our husband changes, rather than embracing that throughout the Bible, scriptures emphasize the importance of our role as wives.

Our reverence for Christ is what allows us to accept and fulfill our biblical roles as wives.

It All Starts with Our Reverence for Christ

[21] And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. [22] For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. [23] For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church. [24] As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything.

Ephesians 5:21-24 (NLT)

[33] So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Ephesians 5:33 (NLT)

If we don’t expect ourselves to obey or submit ourselves to the bible, we won’t obey and fulfill our roles as wives. We can’t separate out our relationship with God from our marriage. Obedience is a condition of heart.

Submission is ultimately our willingness to listen to and yield to our husbands rather than insisting on having our own way, because we care more about the relationship and being close rather than being right and having our way.

We will not do this with an imperfect human being if we don’t first start with our relationship with God. This means yielding to and trusting God’s will and what pleases him over our own will and desire for control.

How respectful and willing to yield or listen to your husband are you?

  • If you took the time to ask him, what would he say?
  • What needs to change in your relationship with God in order for you to embrace your biblical role as a wife?
  • What role does fear, lack of trust, pride and bitterness play in your attitude and the current state of your marriage?
  • How can you deal with these things through God first? What scriptures can you choose to obey to help you overcome the fear, lack of trust, bitterness and pride?
  • What kind of decisions do you need to make about your Bible study and prayer to bring about the kind of change you desire?
  • What areas of marriage are you and your husband disunified in? How does your lack of submission and respect affect this?

As wives we can get focused on ourselves and our own needs in the marriage, and fail to recognize what our husbands need from us. The scriptures help us by getting specific.

Meeting Our Husband’s Needs: Making It Practical

[33] However, let each man of you without exception love his wife as being in a sense his very own self; and let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerates, and esteems him; and that she defers to him, praises him, and loves and admires him exceedingly.

Ephesians 5:33 (AMP)

We can get so busy with our own life, our worries, our job, our fears, our kids, that the last thing on our mind is our husbands, except for what he may or may not be doing. We end up neglecting him. We can also develop certain dynamics in our marriage and feel stuck in the same patterns. Obeying specific scriptures and making it practical can help us overcome these frustrating patterns.

Questions/Application

What does your husband need more of from you? Take time to ask him what he would like to see you do more of in your marriage. For example, if he expressed he would like you to admire him more, think of all the qualities about him you admire and share them with him this week. Choose to express appreciation and gratitude for what he does and who he is instead of negativity for what he needs to change. If he would like you to prefer him more, think of all the things you put above him (kids, work, friends, home or school projects, etc.) and decide how your heart, attitude, and schedule can be different so you prefer him more than those things.

Based on your conversation with your husband, what decisions will you make to put this scripture into practice this week?

Prayer Ideas

  • Instead of praying about all the things you want your husband to change, pray about what God would want you to change as a wife and ask God for the desire and strength to change.
  • Instead of praying or venting bitterness, pray to forgive and to love and also to see the ways your sin has hurt your husband.
  • Take time praying through the fear, pride and lack of trust that keep you from submitting both to God and your husband.
  • Pray through specific ways you can decide to love and respect your husband.Pray about the vision you have for what your marriage can become when you embrace God’s standard for you as a wife.

Additional Reading

  • Ephesians 5, 1 Peter 3, Proverbs 31 in NLT, AMP, MSG and NCV translations
  • Also topic search on “wife” or “wives”
  • Recommended Book: “Strengthening your Marriage,” by Wayne Mack. Focus on chapter on “Wife’s Responsibilities.”
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