THE DUTY OF A CHRISTIAN WIFE
An essay on the topic ?The Duty of a Christian Wife? was assigned to me for a recent Christian Endeavor program. This has been a good lesson for me to study, and I see that I have much to learn! My first thought on this subject was the verse in Micah 6:8 which reads, ?He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good, and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.? Ephesians 5:33 says, ?The wife see that she reverence her husband.? But what does this entail in real, everyday life? I have re-read several articles from the Messenger of Truth and chapters on the topic from books, such as, Happiness for Our Hearts and Homes, The Threefold Cord, and Meditations for the Newly Married. Here are some thoughts I have gathered.
God needs to be the center of our home?the center of our life. Unless the Lord builds our home, we can do all sorts of good things, and it will all be useless. I can go to every service held at church, attend Sewing each month, and help others whenever I get a chance, but what I really need is to have Christ each day as my unseen Guest. I must spend time sitting at Jesus? feet in devotion, praying, and searching God?s Word for direction in life and praying for my husband, too, that the Lord will guide, bless, and keep him. I must guard my thoughts. ?Whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, if there be any praise, think [meditate] on these things? (Phil. 4:8). I need to be keen to direction from the Holy Spirit and carefully guard my peace with God. God will help me to be pleasing to my husband. And He will help me to do justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly. With God as the center of my home and my life, it is a joyful journey.
We women often think of Proverbs 31 when we think of a godly woman. How can I be a virtuous woman? Surely that is the duty of a Christian wife. I do want the heart of my husband to safely trust in me. But how did the virtuous woman described here ever do all that she did? It looks like too much to even try to attain. A recent article in the youth section of the Messenger gave me something more to think about. The writer gives Webster?s definition of virtue as ?moral excellence and righteousness; goodness, chastity; a particularly good or beneficial quality.? Think of some virtues: meekness, humility, submission, chastity, and modesty. Proverbs 31:30, says ?Favour [or charm] is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.?
The Apostle Paul says that wives should submit to their husbands. Meekness, humility, and submission go hand in hand. It makes me think of an obituary I was impressed with recently. This mother had given of herself unselfishly to her family?s needs, making their home a secure and happy place. She reached out to others and was an example and an inspiration to all. Her unselfishness goes right along with meekness, humility, and submission, too. Each day I want to live in submission to my husband who is subject to God.
What about modesty and chastity? I do not want to be a trendsetter, neither in my way of life nor in my dress. A modest wife will not want to draw attention to herself. If I adorn myself with shamefacedness (shyness, modesty, bashfulness) and sobriety, it is an honor both to God and to my husband. Why would I not rather bring honor to God and to my husband than to bring attention or popularity to myself? I want to be a kind, compassionate, and loving wife, unfeigned and without pretense.
?A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones? (Prov. 12:4). I want to build my husband up, never tear him down. To make a public remark at his expense may seem funny at the time, but it can hurt. Criticism is pollution, as are pessimism, complaints, and nagging. It brings separation and heartache. A Christian wife will stand right by her man. A woman who expresses her thankfulness for her husband and his achievements gives him greater stability. Her loving support and admiration for her husband will make a difference in his whole life. She is courteous. Acts of courtesy say, ?I love you!? To sincerely say, ?I am sorry,? will soften and solve misunderstandings. Courtesy and respect are great stabilizers.
How about my home? As a godly wife and mother, where is my place? There is no more worthy vocation than to be the queen of my home. This place called home involves so much. Like the woman in Proverbs, there is much work to be done. I do want my home to be orderly, a place where my husband can come at the end of the day and relax, but not so orderly that he can?t walk across the floor with his shoes on without my being disturbed. One of our children faxed me a little quote that says, ?Love is the thing that enables a woman to sing while she mops up the floor after her husband has walked across it in his barn boots.?
A Christian wife is the queen of a home where there is peace. By my example, my children should know that when Daddy comes home, it is complete! By the respect I show him, they will know to love and respect him. We will talk respectfully of others and be courteous to all. I want my home to be modest, too, in keeping with our teaching of modesty, simplicity, and economy. A quote from John Wesley says, ?What is the real value of a thing but the price it will bear in eternity?? The furnishings of the home, the clothes I buy, the way I spend money?it all needs to be done with this teaching in mind. In a roundabout way, this contributes to the peace, the orderliness, and the respect in a home. A wall motto says, ?Lord, make my house Thine until Thine shall be mine.? This is my prayer.
The duty of a Christian wife is not to fame or fortune, nor to favorable circumstances, but to faithfulness. Again, to quote the scriptures, ?To do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God,? and to remember that His yoke is easy and His burden is light. He gives us joy in the journey if we will follow His way.
From Messenger of Truth, Vol. 111, No. 14, July 10, 2013