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The winds of culture swirl around us. If we are swept in by current philosophies, we can be sure of two things—we will lack contentment, and the trends will change. There is a better way. Dear sisters, we may be labeled “out of touch,” but our Creator’s original plan is still very good. The more we embrace it, the more blessings we will reap.
Let’s examine the roles of wife and mother. We will glance at the big picture, but we will zero in on our own responsibilities. We won’t ask, “Is my husband doing his part?” but will ask, “How can I enrich our marriage by doing my part?”
A few foundational principles will motivate us to follow God’s will. From the beginning, Adam was the head of his wife, Eve. She was his “suitable helper” (Gen. 2:18), and they were both happy. After sin entered the world, Eve resisted Adam’s leadership. This is our natural inclination, too. But there is good news. Just as Jesus Christ lovingly redeemed His church, your husband is called to love, nourish, and give himself for you, his bride (Eph. 5:22–33). You respond by honoring your husband and submitting to him, as the church does to Christ.
We must be born of the Spirit for this beautiful plan to work. Without the Holy Spirit, we simply cannot do it. The Spirit plants love for God and our families in our hearts. We gather strength from spending time with God in Scripture reading and prayer. Then we pour ourselves into our families.
You are called to honor your husband. This begins in your heart and flows out through your words, tone of voice, and actions. Enter his world by asking questions about his work and interests. Share your spiritual thoughts and feelings. Thank him for working hard and providing for your family. If you disagree, discuss issues in private. Don’t degrade him with your words or facial expressions. Honor his convictions when dealing with the children. Compliment him privately and publicly. Draw attention to his positive character traits. Your husband will feel your love and honor, and it will draw you closer together.
“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord” (Eph. 5:22). It is God’s design for marriage that we willingly submit to our husbands, even as they submit to God, obeying His will and His Word. Jesus set an example for us by submitting to the Father. God created men and women with amazing complementary differences—emotionally, physically, and mentally. Just as our bodies fit together when we give ourselves to each other sexually, so our lives blend together in everyday life. We belong to each other. Both sexual intimacy and daily living bind us together as one. We are equal in value, but we have different roles. We are a team. We use our gifts and skills for the benefit of our families. We discuss issues, but when we disagree, God has designated the husband as the decider. He leads; we follow. Sisters, let’s aim to be the wife whose husband safely trusts that she will do him good all the days of her life (Prov. 31:11–12).
But what if you’re in a difficult marriage? Your husband may be an unbeliever or a believer with a difficult character. You have the tough job of taking the high road of obeying God. You may not enable or participate in sin. You don’t have to endure abuse. But in every other possible way, show him love, honor, and submission. Pray much and look for God to use your kindness and godly conduct for his conversion and growth in grace (see 1 Peter 3:1–2).
God has specially equipped us to bear, nourish, and care for our children. A mother’s love is compared to God’s love (Isa. 49:15; 66:13). Let’s celebrate our mothering abilities and cherish the opportunity to teach our children the fear and love of God (Deut. 6:4–7). To be a homemaker is important and honorable. Raising children is like panning for gold. We swish through much dirt and debris to find the nuggets of gold in the bottom of the pan; this takes much patient teaching and correction to train our children for godliness. Godly children are the building blocks of the church and the nation.
To be a godly wife and mother is a privilege and a blessing. Do you doubt this? Does the Proverbs 31 woman seem oppressed? No. She is fulfilled. She serves her family by cooking, cleaning, sewing, purchasing goods, selling products, buying land, and gardening. She helps the needy. She is kind, strong, wise, diligent, faithful, and virtuous. But some may reply that she only gives; that sounds depressing. Far from it. Those around her praise her, and best of all, “Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her” (Prov. 31:28). Praise God for, and rejoice in, your highly privileged position and vocation.