Wives who are keen in making the best out of their marriage are likely to ask what makes a good wife good. Answers are relative to each person but generally, relationship experts agree and identify common characteristics that make a good wife good.
I asked this question myself and much to my delight, I found that the Bible suffice to answer it. In fact, a lot of marriage guide books are written by Christian authors based on biblical principles.
I love how Harold J. Sala in his book Making Marriage Work gave simplified and direct guidelines for wives. All of which were derived from the Bible.
So what makes a good wife good?
1. A wife is to follow the leadership of her husband.
I understand that lots of modern women of today and active feminists would raise their eyebrows toward this guideline. After all, women are more self-sufficient and self reliant now more than ever. They demanded for their rights from the society, fought for it and earned it. However, it’s the same social freedom that can feed the ego and drive her to refuse to acknowledge her husband’s leadership.
“Wives, submit yourselves into your husbands as it is fit in the Lord.” Colossians 3: 18 “He’s not her boss and she’s not her slave, however, she is to respond to his leadership just as the husband is to respond to Christ’s.”
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I remembered when I attended a friend’s wedding few months ago. When the ceremony was over, guests started heading to the door. In front of me, I heard a couple discussing. “Did you hear that? The priest said ‘wives submit to your husbands!” The wife simply said, “Whatever!”
It’s the ego that easily challenges this principle because girls, don’t we want to do things our own way?
“Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands, so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be worn over without words by the behavior of their wives.” (1 Peter 3: 1)
But husbands don’t start abusing your wives just because she has to submit to your leadership. “Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.” Colossians 3: 19. Wonder what are the traits of a good husband?
2. God’s plan is absolute loyalty to your husband.
If you check the Ten Commandments for marriage, this guideline is covered under the 3rd commandment. Women are more prone to discuss about their husbands over a cup of tea or when they meet at the market. Telling your pals about how much of a moron is your husband doesn’t really help him correct his weaknesses, instead you are running the risk of hurting your relationship. If you think you won’t be comfortable discussing things about him when he’s around that clearly signals you better keep those things to yourself. After all, putting down your spouse is also reflective of your own competence because you married him.
Note: Some cases are exemptions such as domestic violence or emotional and psychological abuse. In this case, it’s beneficial for the wife to confide about her troubles to someone whom she can trust and is capable of helping her.
Loyalty to your husband initially refers to sexual fidelity but it also includes building and boasting his confidence and establishing respect towards him from your children, family and friends.
3. The role of a wife is to be the sustainer of her husband.
It gives me goose bumps to realize that I have the power to make my husband succeed in his career or pull him into failure. “Behind every man’s success is a woman.” It’s either a wife or a mom.
The best selling author, Og Mandino, the man who wrote my favorite book “The Greatest Salesman in the World” had both mom and wife behind his success. His first wife divorced him taking their daughter with her because he was a hopeless drunkard. His life was so bleak that he almost had ended it. His mom had big dreams for him. She raised him an achiever and inculcated in him that he’ll make a famous writer someday. But she fell down dead in their kitchen while preparing breakfast one day leaving Og Mandino an orphan before he entered university. Life became very difficult for him, one failure lead to another and more failures.
But somehow he found his way to success, and while he was reshaping his life by burying himself with inspirational books about the most successful men on Earth, he met his second wife whom he said “had more faith in him than anyone else.” Bette, Og’s second wife, sustained him on his quest to achieve his mom’s dreams. Eventually, he became a world renowned writer.
4. Love your husband as he is.
Brides are accused of walking down the aisle with the aim in mind of altering her husband. Somehow, I’m guilty of this. Even before the wedding I asked my then boyfriend to stop drinking. He was a very moderate drinker but I still couldn’t accept even a minor vice. Lucky for me, he agreed. However, my demands started piling for him; those requests are essentially caused by our being interfaith. While he did comply to some of my requests, he explained how difficult those demands would be for him, they require too much of sacrifices. Therefore, we had to come up with some arrangements otherwise called compromises.
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Really, if you want to see change on your partner, it has to happen before the wedding. Otherwise, you can only hope for it to happen. Also, some men comply to your demands just so they can make you marry him but eventually turn back to default after the wedding. If you can’t change him, then you have to change your attitude.
5. Keep in close touch with God.
Husbands are supposed to be the spiritual leader of the family, but the wives have to maintain close contact with God. It’s important to be prayerful.
“No matter how your husband may fail in his responsibility to be the spiritual leader, or how dismal his failure may be to you or your children, you have a responsibility to God for your life and the lives of the children under your care.
My husband is not very prayerful. But even if he doesn’t properly pray, he does what he calls talking to God. In his mind, he tells Him about what worries him or what he needs. Before we got married, I made him know that prayer is very important to me. We agreed that we will pray together every night before we go to bed. One night I was so tired that when we hit the bed, I had no plans to pray. I had no idea that my husband was quietly observing me. When he realized that I started drifting to sleep he asked, “Honey, didn’t you say we have to pray together every time we go to bed?” I felt embarrassed but at the same time grateful that whenever I feel weak in prayer, my husband is capable of reminding me.
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What are your thoughts? Are there other traits that you think a good wife must possess? Are there situations which make some of these guidelines inapplicable?