Do you know what it means to be a Biblical wife?
Or perhaps you are wondering what the role of a wife is according to the Bible.
I’ll give you a hint, it’s probably not what you have seen portrayed in movies.
Movies tend to portray women that are desperate for love or business women too busy to be bothered with love.
Women in movies achieve their attractiveness through being flirtatious, wearing immodest clothing, and seduction.
But I also have a feeling that the Bible doesn’t say what you think the Bible says.
Most people think the Bible says that women should stay home, watch the kids, and raise them to be respectful human beings.
They picture the Biblical wife as mousey, dull, and even unattractive.
This is NOT what the Bible says about wives!
Are you surprised?
If so, then I’m excited to share with you some passages straight from the Bible to break these assumptions!
So let’s start with reading some Bible passages to get an understanding of what the Bible REALLY says about wives and what qualities they should have.
Then we can talk about how to grow in our role as Biblical wives!
What the Bible Says About Wives
So what instruction does the Bible give to wives?
One of my favorite passages (for not only wives, but also for husbands) is from Ephesians.
21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
Colossians also sums up what Ephesians is saying.
18 Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
In the book of Titus, there is a another great snippet that we can glean great truths from.
3 Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. 4 Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.
And last but not least, I think it is VERY worthwhile to read through a more lengthy, but REALLY important passage in the Bible – Proverbs 31:10-31.
Some of you are probably familiar with this passage since it is a well known section titled “The Wife of Noble Character”.
I think you can understand just from that title how important this passage of scripture is going to be as we analyze the qualities of a biblical wife.
Before you read it though, it’s important to remember that Proverbs is a book of poetry.
This section is also written in a very artistic poetic way, with each verse starting with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet.
That means that this passage is NOT a prescription for how to live (trust me, once you read it you will see that it would be impossible to achieve all of this and get sleep!), but it offers us an insight for the different values and aspirations women can have that are God honoring!
So let’s take a look as this pseudo “ABC’s” of Godly womanhood.
10 A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
I know it’s like drinking from a firehose, but that passage is key for our next section!
So let’s discuss some of the qualities a Biblical wife has!
Qualities of a Biblical Wife
Alright ladies, we have our work CUT OUT for us!
Some of the things the Bible asks us to do might seem “out dated”, but I think that with correct interpretation, the Bible truly is WISE in what it tells us to do as wives!
So hang with me, even if the title makes you uncomfortable.
Give me a chance to show you how living God’s way is going to make your marriage ROCK!
A Biblical Wife Should to Submit to Her Husband
In Ephesians 5, verses 22 and 24 tells wives to submit to their husbands and then in verse 33 wives are told to respect their husbands.
And we followed that up with the verse from Colossians that also told wives to submit to their husbands.
I know, I know.
I already see some eyes rolling and some women just hit the back button.
For some reason, our culture has given a negative connotation to this idea of wives “submitting.”
I’m just going to be honest ladies, I think we made it out easy!
Wives are told to submit and respect their husbands and husbands are told to love like CHRIST did and be willing to LAY DOWN THEIR LIVES for their wives.
Husbands are given a hard command too, so don’t start complaining that wives have it “so hard”.
Both husbands and wives are given hard commands, but when both parties work on them together, there is a synergistic effect that actually makes it EASIER for both to do their roles.
We can explain this as a cycle of love and respect – let me explain this idea a little bit further before we move on.
A Cycle of Love and Respect
A husband who lays down his life for his wife is a servant leader and he is easy to submit to because we know that he cares about our heart.
We can trust that his intentions are pure and therefore it’s easy to follow his leadership.
And a wife who submits to her husband is a wife that is easy to love, care for, and even give up his life for.
When we submit, we show our husbands respect and help esteem him in his God given role.
Truly this cycle WORKS.
But maybe you struggle with trying to steal the leadership of the home.
I know I’m guilty of wanting to be the boss, calling the shots, and telling my husband what to do!
When I don’t get my way, I’m plain just NOT NICE.
I get emotional and grumpy and even subtly pout to “get my way”.
Which leads me to my next point…
A Biblical Wife Should NOT Nag, Complain, or Argue
Another theme I see in the passages we read above is being watchful over our WORDS.
A big part in showing our husbands respect, as Ephesians tells us to do, is in how we talk to them!
Our words, and even our tone of voice, can either show respect and honor, or show disrespect and be straight up rude!
And take a look at the passage from Titus again, women are warned not to be slanderers, but to be self-controlled and to be KIND.
And interestingly, if you read Proverbs 31:26 in the ESV version it reads this way:
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
Now why do you think the Bible tells women to be kind?
Because some of us (myself included) are very quick to make cutting remarks that honestly ARE NOT KIND!
And did you know that the Bible has even more to say on this topic SPECIFICALLY to wives?!
Let’s take a look:
1 The wise woman builds her house,
but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.
19 Better to live in a desert
than with a quarrelsome and nagging wife.
24 Better to live on a corner of the roof
than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.
Proverbs 27:15-16 (I chose the NLT version for this verse because it gets the point across the best)
15 A quarrelsome wife is as annoying
as constant dripping on a rainy day.
16 Stopping her complaints is like trying to stop the wind
or trying to hold something with greased hands.
I don’t know about you, but I would like to think that I’m not THAT annoying that I’m like a constant drip on a rainy day (but don’t ask my husband!).
In all seriousness though, I think we can all see how we make it hard for our husbands to lead our families and love us when we are being ANNOYING!
As a dear friend reminds me more than I want to hear, when I married my husband, I voted him as my leader…for LIFE.
So instead of frustrating our husbands and tearing our houses down as Proverbs 14:1 refers to, we need to figure out how to truly be helpful and build up our husbands and homes!
A Biblical Wife is Busy at Home
This command might sound odd, but this is clearly called out in the Bible.
When we read the verses from Proverbs 31, there is no denying that this woman kept herself busy running the affairs of her home!
And read verse 27 again:
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
And Titus 2:5 SPECIFICALLY says women are to be busy at home!
First, I think of how we are tempted to be busy in things other than our home.
And no, I’m not condemning women who work full-time or have jobs outside their home.
What I mean is, we can easily get caught up in things that are not near as important as running our household affairs such as social media, phone games/apps, TV shows, and texting friends.
And no, I’m not saying you should never text your friends, but we shouldn’t be on our phones so much that our marriages, our kids, and things at home are neglected.
Second, I think something else to consider is how much time our culture has moms spending away from home.
This is mostly due to kids activities, but also with pressure to volunteer and be involved in all sorts of activities and committees.
Again, in an effort to be overly cautious in clarifying what I mean, I’m NOT saying that kids activities are bad.
And I’m certainly not saying you can’t volunteer in your child’s classroom.
But when you are running yourself ragged from driving your kids to activities and you have no time or energy left to make dinner or do the laundry, this is a problem.
Perhaps you have said ‘YES’ to too many things, even if they are “good” things.
And I’m not passing any judgement here!
In fact, I’m speaking to myself!
I too often say ‘YES’ to GOOD things that aren’t BEST.
I need to prioritize being busy at HOME higher on my list of priorities than it is now.
Which leads me to my next point…
A Biblical Wife Has Her Priorities in the Right Order
Part of our problem with being away from home too much to take care of our home affairs is that our priorities are out of order.
Having Biblical priorities means GOD IS FIRST, then our husband, and THEN our kids.
And of course AFTER that comes our career and our home.
THIS. IS. HARD.
I get it – I have small kids!
As they say, the squeaky wheel gets the grease and at least for me, that means the screaming kids get my attention!
But this is not an excuse to give the kids ALL my attention.
All this means is that we need to be INTENTIONAL to make sure we are getting time with the Lord and with our husband since they both come BEFORE the kids, career, and home!
And maybe you don’t have kids, but your time is getting stolen away by a friend in need, your career, being a social butterfly, your phone, or something else.
Whatever it is that is taking all your time and leaves you drained or with no time left for God or your husband, THAT’S what needs to be addressed.
If you need to, take a “time inventory” and think about where your time goes each week.
Once you pinpoint some of the root causes of where your time is going to things that are good but aren’t best, you need to prioritize them correctly.
Again, I am not saying you can’t help a friend in need or have a career, but they need to be prioritized in a Biblical manner.
So how do we do this?
How can a Biblical wife pursue growing in these 4 areas?
6 Ways to Grow in Your Role of Being a Biblical Wife
1. Study and Memorize Proverbs 31:10-31
I know we read through these verses above and discussed some of it, but there is SO much more to be gleaned from this passage.
You NEED to dedicate time to studying this passage and knowing it WELL!
In fact, I think all wives should have this passage memorized.
Because this passage is to be our INSPIRATION as women!
Remember it’s not a passage that we must 100% imitate (Proverbs is a book of poetry).
But this is a passage filled with wisdom on how to be a wife of noble character.
We would be wise to study it thoroughly!
To really let this passage saturate your mind, why not read it every day for the next 30 days?
Before reading it, pray and ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand, interpret, and imitate this passage in your life.
2. Dedicate Time to Be With God
As I mentioned in my post for husbands, it is also important for wives to dedicate time to be with God each day.
I know this can be especially hard when you have small kids (trust me, I’m right there with you).
But making this a priority has been LIFE CHANGING for me and I know it will be for you too!
What helped me the most in being consistent with my time with God was to pick a specific time (usually first thing in the morning or last thing before bed work best) and place (someplace where you will be uninterrupted) where you can have 15 minutes with God to pray and read in your Bible!
Pray specifically for your marriage and for the Holy Spirit to work on you and through you to love your husband better.
And I highly recommend downloading the Bible app so that you have access to audio versions of the Bible.
Even on busy days, I can have the Bible read to me while I’m making dinner and I can meditate on it while washing dishes.
Don’t underestimate the power of hearing the Word!
3. Pray for Your Husband
Do you ever struggle with how to pray for your husband and it not always sound like “God please change my husband…”
So many times as wives we feel like if our husband just changed “this and that” then things would go more smoothly.
But my mentality has changed after reading The Power of a Praying Wife.
This book has reading prompts and prayers written out for you to pray about for your husband (and spoiler alert – the first chapter is praying for God to change YOU!).
I cannot recommend this book more!
It has given me so many ideas about what to pray about for my husband besides just “Lord, change him” or “teach him to read my mind.”
4. Be Busy at Home
Are you spending enough time managing the affairs of your home?
Or are you spending too much time on your phone, running kids to activities, volunteering, or something else?
If the section on being busy at home resonated with you, or you felt the Spirit tug at your heart that this is an area you need to work on, first let me encourage you to spend time in prayer, asking God to reveal things in your life over the coming days and weeks that need to change so that you can better run the affairs of your home.
Then try following these steps to make changes in your life.
Ask Your Husband How Things are Going
Then sit down with your husband and ask him how HE thinks things are going.
Does he think you are running the affairs of the home well?
What could you do better?
This will be hard, but try not to defend yourself – just LISTEN.
Jot down some notes of what you hear him say and read them back to check for understanding.
Now that you have his opinion, evaluate if things need to change.
Perhaps he says you are managing things fine and no change is needed.
But perhaps he feels like things are crazy and the house is always a wreck and he is tired of eating take out food because no one has time to make dinner.
Take this feedback to God and stop and pray again over what your husband shared and ask God to give you a desire to be busy at home.
Ask God to show you how to make changes to better meet the needs of your family.
After praying, give yourself a couple of days to digest what your husband has said as well as observe your own behaviors.
Then ask YOURSELF if you think things need to change.
Are you keeping up with your responsibilities at home?
Are you meeting the needs of your husband and kids?
Try to be as objective as possible!
Make a Plan for Change
Then, create a plan for how you can change things.
Perhaps it’s putting an app on your phone to monitor the time you spend on your phone more closely so that you don’t get caught in the social media rabbit hole.
Or maybe after the school year ends, you need to step down from a volunteer position you have been in, so that you have more time for higher priority items.
Or maybe you just need to be more organized and have a plan for how you can clean the house and tackle meal planning.
Download a free cleaning checklist that suggests frequencies or a schedule of how to get house cleaning done.
And download another list of easy, healthy meals that you can make to keep you inspired for dinner plans or grab a list of easy freezer meals so that you can easily double recipes and save on meal prep time.
It might take a little bit to get into a routine, but find something that works for you, so that managing your home gets the right priority in your life!
5. Prioritize Time with Your Husband
I know, I know – another thing to make time for.
First I say to set aside 15 minutes each day for God and now I’m suggesting setting aside time for your husband.
But this is REALLY important ladies!
Especially if you have kids, you know it’s hard to get one-on-one time with your husband!
But your marriage NEEDS a time investment and your husband DOES want to spend time with you.
Don’t let the busyness of life turn the two of you into roommates.
If you have a ton left to do before bed, do chores together just to BE together.
My husband and I fold laundry together after the kids go to bed for this reason!
And when there is time, enjoy a walk, a date night, snuggles, chats, a weekend getaway, working on a hobby together, watching a movie together, kisses, and yes, sex!
If you are looking for ideas on how to spend time with and pursue your husband, I HIGHLY recommend my friend Tabatha’s book Build Him Up (I would also highly recommend checking out her site A Joy Fueled Journey for more encouragement as a wife and mom!!).
Her book has 31 days of ideas for how to invest in your relationship with your husband and also has conversation starters and date night ideas in it!
Which leads right in to my next point!
6. Find One Way Each Day to Encourage Your Husband
If any other wives are like me, you might find it hard not to nag, criticize, or complain to your husband.
We have GOT to break this habit!
So let’s make a new habit where we ENCOURAGE and build up our husbands instead of tear them down!
Find one thing you can do or say each day to encourage your husband as the leader of your home.
Show him appreciation and THANK him for something.
It can be as small as a thank you for taking out the trash or fixing the toilet for the 15th time.
And no, don’t tag on a passive aggressive comment about why didn’t he fix it right the first time.
These are the comments that need to STOP.
If we can change our mindsets from nagging to looking for what he is doing right, then we can change our eyes and minds to look at things differently!
And please, DON’T EXPECT HIM TO READ YOUR MIND!
No man in the world can read his wife’s mind, so just tell him what you need/want.
Running around upset that your husband didn’t think to help unload the dishwasher or take the laundry out of the dryer and fold it is just silly (but I have been TOTALLY guilty of this!!).
If you want help, speak up.
Again, I’m probably writing this more for myself than for anyone else.
But we can do this ladies!
Let’s build our husbands up and NOT tear down the house!
If you need to, leave yourself a sticky note reminder somewhere you will see it each day that just simply says “gratitude” or “one way today” and let this be a code to remind you to find a way to encourage your husband TODAY!
Growing as a Biblical Wife
I hope this list has given you some practical ideas of how you can grow in your role of being a Biblical wife!
Is it going to be easy to grow in being a Biblical wife?
Is it going to be worth the time, effort, and energy?
So even if you are still in the sleepless nights that having young kiddos brings (which is where I’m at!), it is WORTH the time to grow your relationship with God and your husband!
I also want to encourage you to find a close friend to talk with and share this journey with.
Growing in being a Biblical wife is so much easier when you have someone doing it with you!
So find a friend and encourage one another to study God’s word together, read The Power of a Praying Wife together, or complete the 31 day challenge in the Build Him Up book together!
Accountability can help us stay on track with making changes in our life!
And leave a comment below with what you are going to challenge yourself this week to start growing in your role of being a Biblical wife!