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  • Writer's pictureJonathan Painter

The Role of the Wife

Just as the man of the house has two separate roles to play in the home, one as a husband to his wife, and one as a father to his children. Even so, the lady of the house also has two roles that she plays. She is to be a wife to her husband and a mother to her children. Today we will be looking at the role she is supposed to play as the wife to her husband.

Undoubtedly most of our readers will be familiar with the Biblical origins of women as well as the creation of the role as wife as is found in Genesis chapter two. God took the woman out of the man and created her to be a helpmeet to her husband and they are supposed to be one flesh. The reader of Genesis chapter two must understand that God made the woman to fill a purposeful need for man. God looked and found that it was not good for man to be alone and that he needed a helpmeet. (Genesis 2:18) There was no helpmeet to be found among the animals. (Genesis 2:20) Therefore he created the woman to be that helpmeet for the man.

We clearly see that the wife is to be a helpmeet to her husband, how is she to fill this role according to Scripture? The Scriptures give the wife a wonderful formula to follow that will help her be a wonderful wife for her husband. “That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.” (Titus 2:4-5)

Before we break down the formula found in these verses, we need to understand that these actions on behalf of the wife are what is pleasing to the Lord. Failure to teach these things, and I also believe to fail in performing them, is blasphemous to the Word of God.

BE SOBER – “That they may teach the young women to be sober…”

The first thing that a married lady should learn is to be sober. The word sober is not an overbearing word, but it means serious in a sense of maturity. Married ladies ought to have a level of maturity that an unmarried lady does not possess. Far too often a lady gets married and then proceeds to act with the immaturity of her youth. This will be harmful to her relationship with her husband. At the first, he may find the immaturity cute in his wife, but not much time will pass before he will be annoyed by it.

LOVE YOUR HUSBAND – “…to love their husbands…”

The Lord expects a wife to love her husband just as he expects the husband to love his wife. Love toward a spouse is defined in the dictionary as esteem, benevolence, and desire. It is the affection that bonds two people together in marriage. When love is missing from marriage the marriage will decline and probably disintegrate altogether. The wise-hearted wife loves her husband and shows it to him through her respect (esteem), care (benevolence), and desire.

LOVE YOUR CHILDREN – “…to love their children…”

One may not think of a mother's love for her children as having an impact on her role as a wife, yet it does. A mother’s care is the show of her love. Her care is evident in her children. A mother who loves her children will care for her children’s dress, cleanliness, hygiene, food, education and so much more. When a mother shows superior care for her children in this respect it has a profound effect on her husband.

On this point, I will take the liberty to speak well of my own wife. Though she has seven young children she takes care of their appearance and cleanliness. This is a tremendous blessing to me, for I have no need to be embarrassed at my children’s appearance when I take them in public. She takes care that they are frequently and regularly bathed. She makes sure that they have clean clothes and that their hair is neatly combed or brushed. One must expect that such young children may not maintain their appearance for the length of the day, but the care my wife gives is evident in my children. I have many wonderful reasons to respect my lovely wife, but I must say that this is one feat that never ceases to amaze me and gains my utmost respect.

So should be the goal of every wife who is also a mother. It will pay great dividends both with her husband and her children. “Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband [also], and he praiseth her.” (Proverbs 31:28)

BE DISCREET – “To be discreet…”

The wife should be discreet. The word discreet means to be prudent, it is the ability to avoid evil. She needs to be able to come alongside her husband and exercise prudence. This does not exempt a man from exercising prudence. However, we have all heard of a woman’s intuition. It may be that God gives to a lady a heightened sense of prudence that she should use to the benefit of her husband. Surely the prudence of a woman is welcome and to be expected of a Godly wife.

BE CHASTE – “To be discreet, chaste…”

The word chaste means to be pure. The wife should keep herself for her husband. This means that her desire should be to her husband and there should not be any other man who can draw away her affection from her husband. In this, the wife must be careful not to pay special attention to other men and to discourage any advancement made by any other than her husband. This is being chaste.

KEEP THE HOME – “…keepers at home…”

This is not a popular concept in today’s society. The idea that a woman would be content to be her husband’s helper by keeping the home is preposterous to the minds of the progressive movement in our country. Yet this is the God-given role of the wife. Some teach that it is wrong for a woman to work outside the home, I do not agree with this statement, for even God’s example, the virtuous woman of Proverbs, did some work outside of her home. “She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.” (Proverbs 31:24) There are times when to fill the role of a helpmeet, a wife, especially without children, may take a job as a help to her husband. Even in this though she is not removed from her obligation to keep the home. Though, I would say that a wise husband will pity his wife who works outside the home and help her greatly in keeping the house. One should not expect his wife to work more than himself. I do believe that it is stronger and happier for the home when the wife can stay home and solely keep the house, especially if she has children to attend to.

BE GOOD – “…keepers at home, good…”

God does not place words haphazardly in Scripture. I do not believe it was a mistake that the trait of being good was placed between “keepers at the home” and “obedient to their husbands”. When it says here she should be “good” I believe it is speaking with respect to her husband and the home. We see this illustrated in Proverbs with the virtuous woman. “The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.” (Proverbs 31:11-12) The husband of the virtuous woman was able to trust that she would do good unto him.

Ladies, can your husband trust you to do good unto him in the home? Can he count on you to do good in keeping the home? The wife should be dependable, this is one way in which she does good. The husband should not wonder if his lunch will be packed, or if he will have clean clothes to wear, or if the children will be well-cared for. He should be able to trust that his wife will do good. When a wife is “good” it does wonders for the relationship of marriage.

OBEY YOUR HUSBAND – “…obedient to their own husbands…”

The Scriptures are very clear that the husband is the head of the wife. Therefore, the wife ought to follow her husband. This is made easier for the wife when the husband leads with wisdom. The wife must trust the husband to lead. This does not mean she cannot raise concerns, offer suggestions or ask questions, but she must trust in her husband as he follows Christ.

This is by no means an extensive list of what makes a happy marriage between husband and wife. However, if the lady will undertake to follow these steps laid out by God she will be going a long way in doing her part to make her marriage happy and successful.

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