How to be a good wife…

I wrote on Wednesday how to be a good husband… die.

There is a big debate between those who are egalitarian (believe men and women are the same in everything), and complementarian (those to hold that men and women are equal in value or worth, but different in role or function, these roles are complementary to eachother).

I’m in the latter group.

This view is put forward pretty well in the Danvers Statement on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. I would probably “tweak” some of the wording, but I think it’s basically a good document. Every person is unique, but in general, men and women are different. There is also a free online book that delves into this issue, Rediscovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.

I find egalitarians tend towards the feminist idea that there is no material difference between men and women, that just does not seem to follow reality. Neither manhood or womanhood is better or worse, neither is of greater or lesser inherent worth, just different, and that’s okay!

Here’s an excerpt from the Danvers Statment:

In the family, husbands should forsake harsh or selfish leadership and grow in love and care for their wives; wives should forsake resistance to their husbands’ authority and grow in willing, joyful submission to their husbands’ leadership

(Eph 5:21-33; Col 3:18-19; Tit 2:3-5; 1 Pet 3:1-7).It’s 2:00am and a window breaks downstairs, both husband and wife wake up to hear someone rummaging around downstairs. Who turns to whom and says “stay here, I’m going to check that out.” If in your heart you say “it could be either” then you are an egalitarian. If, however, you say “it’s the husband who should go” then you’re a complementarian.

There are a lot of caricatures on both sides, but I’ve found the above question a good dividing line in my own thinking. There are many things that are (and are not) contained in these roles for men and women, but it all comes down to what the Apostle Paul (and the rest of the Bible) describes as love and respect.

Paul says: “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.”

Wives, ask yourself these kinds of questions:

  • WIll what I do show my love and respect for my husband?
  • Will those around me be able to see that I honor my husband?
  • Is all that I say and do an evidence that I hold my busband in high esteem?

Almost everyone will admit that in marriage, we should give “unconditional love,” and that is absolutely true.

The other side of the coin, though, is that husbands need “unconditional respect.” Did you catch that?

Just as a husband should love his wife no matter what, the wife should respect her husband no matter what. Both love and respect are actions, not primarily feelings. These are things that we do, not ways that we feel.

Do you want to be a good wife? Then show honor and respect to your husband. Treat him as though he is the kind of man that he should be (even though none of us are). Just as it’s his job to show you love and put you first whether you desirve it or not (just like Jesus did for us).


let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

-Eph 5:33

About John Harris

I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
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