Characteristics of a Good Wife
Being a Good Wife
If you are asked what makes a wonderful wife what will you say? Is it a woman who focuses on the needs of her husband? Everything she thinks is what she could do to make her husband’s and children’s world a better place. She makes it possible for her family to enjoy the blessings, pleasures, and benefits of a fulfilling marriage.
Wives have powerful and important place in men’s world. Wives have awesome influence on husbands and with that come an incredible responsibility. With this influence they can become a crown to their husbands or a thorn in their sides. A blessing or a curse. “An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who causes shame is like rottenness in his bones.” (Proverbs 12:4)
I will now describe those virtues a good wife should have. There are not in order of importance, nor have I covered every virtue a good wife should cultivate. If you study your particular situation, you can make up your own list.
If you truly love your husband you will make allowances for his weaknesses, knowing that no man is perfect. “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”(1 Corinthians 13:13). Maybe some months after wedding, you begin to discover some of your husband’s glaring weaknesses. You may say to yourself, he is not as perfect as I thought he was. He could probably be saying the same thing about you to himself. True love does not mean having an easy relationship; it only means making the continual choice to love and forgive his shortcomings. Thomas Merton wrote, “Love seeks one thing only; the good of the one loved. It leaves all the other secondary effects to take care of themselves. Love, therefore, is its own reward.”
Gary Chapman in The Five Love Languages wrote, “For love, we will climb mountains, cross seas, traverse desert sands, and endure untold hardships. Without love, mountains become unclimbable, sea uncrossable, deserts unbearable, and hardships our plight in life.”
The Bible in Luck 6:31-32 says, “And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise. But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.” It could be interesting to find time to tell your husband, “I love you.” Or “I am for you.”
So you must love your husband no matter his human flaws and weaknesses. You must not only love him when things are going smoothly, but you must continue to love him beyond the ugliness and the inevitable challenges you may come up against. Married life requires a grueling devotion. You must love your husband in order to crawl through the mire and muck of married life. C. H. Parkhurst wrote in Love as a Lubricant, “Love is the oil which alone can make everyday life in home and business and society harmonious.”
Does love naturally flow from you? You just have to let it flow. After all God loves you despite of your sins and faults. God instructs us, “Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but actions and in truth.”(1 John 13:18). A smile is a wonderful way to uplift your husband and give him a brighter day. It is also a wonderful way to lift your own mood. Try giving the gift of smile to your husband and the other people around you for an entire day, and see how it makes you feel inside. When you give away a smile and give a lift to your husband, you can’t help but feel good yourself. Remember, actions first, feelings follow.
Verbal compliments are far more motivators than nagging words. Frowning, rolling your eyes, giving verbal put downs, arguing constantly, making snide comments that insinuate he is not a good provider, putting him down before his friends are things that must be avoided. Compliment is not the same with flattery. Try to be honest as much as possible.
It is important to note that when you love someone, you do something for the well-being of the person not insisting you must get what you want. When you give compliments you motivate your spouse to reciprocate and do something you equally desire. Every time he does anything good, give him verbal compliment. You can do more by embracing or hugging him when he comes home, giving him a note of confidence, writing him a note of encouragement, looking at him with a sparkle in your eyes that says, “After all these years, I still love you.”
As a good wife you should brag of him in front of others, admire his abilities, abide by the financial guidelines you’ve agreed upon, listen to him, cook his favorite meals, encourage him to reach his goals and follow his dreams and build him up and support him in front of your children.
Forgiveness is a key element in any relationship, but it is especially important in marriage. A great wife need to practice the profound principle of forgiving and dropping past hurts not only for the sake of her husband, but her own sake too. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8, “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; Does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; Does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; Bears all things, believe all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails…”
After all, what do anger, bitterness do for you? They will make you a bitter instead of a better person. They will have negative effect on your relationship instead of a positive effect. “Do not let the sun go down on your anger.” (Ephesians 4:26). Bitterness and anger add heavy load to your heart and mind. Forgiveness helps you to move advance into a life of productivity and happiness. A home is destroyed by lack of forgiveness while forgiveness builds it up. Martin Luther said, “A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers.”
You must forgive your spouse for intentional offenses, unintentional mistakes, character flaws and weaknesses, and past hurts. You don’t forgive him just once but continually see Mathew 18:21-22. It is difficult to forgive but it is very necessary. It pays to overcome the frequent pain and equally put up the enormous internal strength required to move away from bitterness. It takes perseverance to forgive and forget. Sydney Harris said, “There’s no point in burying a hatchet if you’re going to put up a marker on the site.”
Of course, choosing to forgive your husband doesn’t mean, however, placing yourself in the pathway of danger or abuse or turning yourself to a doormat. Forgiveness is actually a sign of strength. It takes strength of character to forgive and not hold a grudge as advised in the Bible, “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, even as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32)
Today it may be you forgiving your husband and tomorrow it may be the turn of your husband to equally forgive you. Because you need the warm hand of forgiveness extended to you, therefore you should do the same to your husband and others. Don’t try to repay anyone evil for evil. Do good things to everybody. As much as possible live peaceably with everybody especially your family. A lady joyfully informed me that she had been discussing divorce with her husband but when they decided to forgive each other their marriage became happier and the idea of divorce was cancelled.
John Mason wrote in Why Ask Why, “Forgiveness releases you and creates freedom. One of the secrets of a long and fruitful life is to forgive everybody everything every night before you go to bed. Forgiving those who have wronged you is a key to personal peace. It is far better to forgive and forget than to hate and remember. Unforgiveness blocks blessings, forgiveness releases blessings.”
In your own strength you might find it impossible to forgive because as human when you are wronged you battle with strong feelings of anger and bitterness and the desire to revenge. It is with God’s help that you can achieve total forgiveness. When you forgive it helps your husband become a better person. If your husband is continually unfaithful, he needs to be forgiven but this should not encourage him to continue his adulterous life. He should be encouraged to turn a new leaf so that the forgiveness will be meaningful. You can help him do so by being more loving not demanding.
If you are asked what you believe will top your husband’s lists of things he will want from you, what will be your reply? Sex? You could be right because many men rank sex very high in their lists. But there are some who want first and foremost, respect. Do you think of your husband with reverence and respect? Is he to you someone to be used for your own ends, or someone worthy of the best you have to offer? Do you treat him courteously, deal with him sincerely and help him with kindliness because this is a good thing to do?
Once you become married, there are bound to be changes. You will no longer be free to do as you wish. You have been self-reliant in many ways before marriage, now you must learn to apply some restraint. You need to take your husband’s feelings and needs into consideration. A wife who submits to her husband encourages her marriage to run smoothly and allow her husband to become all that he ought to become. Respect is critical to any marriage. Marriage is a valuable asset that requires an investment of self-sacrifice and respect for both husband and wife.
Proverb 14:1 says, “The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish pulls it down with her hands.” A wife must speak kindly about her husband and not tear him down behind his back. Many women are infected by “if only” disease. They are full of complaints and grumbling. If only my husband has a good job, if only my husband can spend more time with me. There is no person that has all he wants in life, in marriage. A woman once confessed to me that, “Since I became submissive, my husband have been bringing me flowers which he had not done for years.”
“The husband is head of the wife. Wife, submit to your husband, like the church submits to Christ. Husband love your wife, like Christ also loved the church and gives himself to her.” (Ephesians 5:23-24). That doesn’t mean you should become a doormat. Nor does it mean you should remain silent when you have opinions or ideas. Quite contrary, marriage is a working together both husband and wife; a complementing of one another’s gifts and abilities. It does not mean either that a wife should never disagree with her husband or a husband should never yield to his wife. A wife’s thoughts and opinions are to be as highly valued as her husband’s. Happy marriage will become a reality when the need for mutual respect dominates the thoughts of the couple.
Few things strain a marriage more than financial problem. It contributes more than fifty percent of marital conflicts leading to divorce. Frugality preserves and protects funds for the future. Either a family must be willing to deny themselves some luxuries and save to lay a solid base of independence in the future. To economize is absolutely the only way to get an assured future. Proverb 19:14 says, “Houses and riches are inheritance from fathers, but a prudent wife is from the Lord.”
Can your husband trust you to stay faithful to the family budget? A reasonable wife will make sure that the funds available are wisely used to build a solid foundation and a secure future for her family. She should not be involved in unwise financial decisions that will wreck the peace in her home and undercut her family plans. Don’t get your family into debt. Do what you can to help and be responsible with your finances. How can you and your husband be cheerful and happy if you are chained at the feet with huge debt? The comfort of many families depends upon the proper saving and spending of the money available to them.
Prudence recognizes that in any marriage there is a necessity for certain amount of caution in planning the budget of the family. No marriage will be successful if the couple is staggering under the burden of living beyond their means. You should weigh and carefully examine reasons for and against any proposed expenditures and call upon the will to act only in accordance with the result of such reasoning by eliminating little outlets of useless expenditures.
A good wife must exercise patience with her husband in difficult times that are inevitable in marriage. When your husband doesn’t keep up his end of the bargain, nagging may seem to come naturally those moments. A nagging wife can wear her husband down with her bitterness and anger. Nagging is when you repeat a demand more than once in a disrespectful tone or walking out of him when he doesn’t do what you expect or want him to do. You can also grumble and complain aloud or under your breath wagging your finger in his face or even giving him the silent treatment.
Most nagging can be eliminated through good communication and realistic expectations. Sometimes nagging is the result of trying to get your husband to do things he never agreed to do in the first place. Be reasonable and realistic in your expectations of what your wearied husband, who, with anxious brow returns from his daily struggle for livelihood, can do.
Do you respond to difficult situations with patience and self-control? The wife that has patience can have what she wants. Stories abound with examples of patience shown by good wives under really trying circumstances. If your marriage is abound with pains and troubles caused by the flaws and weaknesses of your husband, it will be a great advantage to have the patience that will enable you to soften the pains and ameliorate the troubles.
Sidney Newton Bremer wrote in How to Get What You Want, “All discordant thoughts, for example, hatred, envy, jealousy, fear, anxiety, grief, regret etc, act as poisons, disturbing the natural functions of the body and bringing weakness and disease. Harmonious thoughts, on the other hand, for example trust, confidence, hope, joy, courage, etc bring health and strength to the body.” Under the same situation the Bible advises you, “Clothe yourself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” (Colossians 3:12).
Encouragement, may be, the catalyst that your husband needs to propel him toward greatness. Everyone has untapped potential in one or more areas of life. Lack of courage may hinder him from accomplishing the positive things that he would like to do. The latent potential within your husband may be awaiting your encouraging words. Your words may give him the courage necessary to take that first step.
A wife’s encouragement will enable her husband to move out into his office with confidence and integrity and achieve success. He moves forward knowing that the closest person to him in the whole world sees his potential and backs him up as he climbs up the ladder of success. It’s a powerful thing to have someone you cherish support you and believe in you and encourages you to use your talents and gifts to pursue your dreams into reality.
A good wife needs to give her husband a dose of encouragement every day before he leaves the home to work. Once doling out encouragement becomes a habit, it will flow out of your heart and your mouth more freely and naturally. What do you confront your husband with on a daily basis? Blessings or curses? Compliments or complaints? Praise or discouragement?
When you appreciate the trouble he goes through to provide for your family, you will speak words that flow from a loving heart and tongue guided by love. Such words as, “When you set your mind to something, do it. If that is what you want to do, I will certainly do everything I can to help you.” By this you are trying to show that you believe in him and his abilities. Words of encouragement, expressions of kindness and support will lift your husband’s spirit when he comes home from his job or business frustrated or discouraged after a trying day. At this point give him words of encouragement that will give him the strength to go forward. Encouragement requires empathy and seeing the world from your husband’s perspective.
You may be so occupied with what your husband does wrong that you may ignore the things he has done well. Whenever he does something worthwhile compliment him, “I’m proud of you.” If you start noticing and encouraging him for his positive qualities, he will strive to do away with or reduce his negative ones.
Encouragement is not the same thing with flattery. Encouragement is to give courage while flattery is insincere praise or unearned, exaggerated compliment. Don’t flatter your husband, give him a sincere encouragement such as, “You are a gifted man with leadership qualities,” when he has distinguished himself in the office. “Your diligence will pay off one day,” when he has missed a promotion that would have improved the family’s income. “I believe you will make it,” when he is embarking on a worthy venture, etc.
Wives set the tone of homes; therefore a great wife should be a good organizer of her home. Running a household is not an easy task. When you remember all that need to be done, laundry, compiling the bills, housecleaning, grocery shopping and taking care of the kids, you will feel like screaming. Though extent of domestic chores a wife need to do change from home to home.
Endeavor to plan your day the night before. The methodical wife, by an orderly, systematic arrangement of her work conserves more energy than the unmethodical wife. The former accomplishes far more than the latter within the same time, and with a sense of enjoyment in her labor unknown to the wife who works without plan. Where no plan is put in place, where the allocation of time is surrendered merely to the chance of incidents, all things will lie huddle together in chaos. Get up early and do what you have to do to send your husband off to work and the children to school. Don’t do your duty half-heartedly.
If both of you are employed, it will be important that you and your husband work out by mutual understanding how to handle the responsibilities of your household together. Decide what each can do to support taking into consideration the unique gifts, abilities, and talents each of you possesses. When dividing domestic tasks you should also consider each person’s workload in the office. In order to properly run the home and ensure no one is overworked, look for solutions. If possible, pay someone else to do some chores, so that your energy can go into the activities that you need to do yourself.
Some women work because they want to have the money to buy nice things. They have to hire domestic servants to care for their children, but these servants cannot give them mother-love. When those children become teenagers, they many get into much trouble that their parents will wonder if it was wise after all to abandon the children in search of money. Many parents had wished they could turn back the hand of the clock and spend more time with their children.
If your husband is the sole breadwinner of the family, you inevitably have to take on the major part of managing the home. He can only concentrate in his job if he is supported by a well kept home. Part of a good wife’s role is to understand the struggle her husband faces in a typical day and recognize that he may return home tired and weary. Perhaps he had to deal with a challenging situation or a difficult customer at work; maybe he had to drive through traffic jam for an hour.
When he eventually returns home, the last thing he expects is to be hit with a list of chores that will need his attention or a litany of complaints. Instead greet him with a broad smile, hug and kiss him, making him feel glad to be home to a loving wife. Mrs. Jones acknowledged that, “After I took time to cook his favorite meal regularly he bought me a new microwave oven.”
Most men are attracted to women who are pretty, and dainty, and possess appealing feminine charms. I am confident that you appreciate the necessity for proper dressing. It doesn’t cost much to be neat. The shabby-looking wife’s appearance says negative things about her. She portrays her as careless, inefficient, unimportant, lazy, and unhappy.
The love of dressing well is inherent in most women. Nancy Stafford wrote, “We need beauty in our lives --- We are born with a deep longing for and appreciation of beauty. Our spirits are drawn to it. It calls to us, nourishes us, stimulates us. While no woman should allow herself to become a slave to fashion, still it is important to cultivate the love of adornment, ever-keeping it within due bounds, remembering that outward adornment should be secondary to the adornment of the soul.” This is equally supported by this verse from the Bible which says, “The greatest beauty is the one that radiates from inside. The inner beauty comprises of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23)
1 Peter 3:3-4 says “Do not let adornment be merely outward – arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel. Rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.”
Do what you can to improve yourself. Look your best by taking care of yourself. If you look your best, it is not only your husband that will benefit. You will feel better, more confident and assured. If you are overweight find an exercise that suits you. Try a better eating habit. Eat more natural, non-processed foods.
Use make-up to enhance and draw out your God-given beauty. When your budget permits, shop for new outfits in colors and styles that look best on you. Occasionally ask your husband for his opinion about what he will like seeing you wear. He might surprise you with his good taste. For your dresses go for quality but always try to get the best price possible.
A wife should look nice for her husband. He will feel valued and respected when he knows that you took time and care to improve your look for him. Your husband will obviously be stimulated by what he sees.
My motive here is not to make you have an inordinate focus on looks. My goal is to make you appreciate the need for you to look your best for your husband. While you should strive to look your best, the fact remains that your outward appearance is simply package that should lead to the valuable gift of a virtuous woman inside. The summary is to keep a balanced perspective because, “Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.” (Proverb 31:30)
Faithfulness is a steadfast fidelity to one’s husband. Faithfulness is a priceless ingredient in marriage. It is the shining gold in the crown of any marital relationship. There was a lecturer who had to travel abroad for his doctorate degree for two years. Before he returned his wife was already pregnant for another man. The man was devastated and couldn’t understand why his wife was unfaithful because they had a wonderful relationship before he traveled.
Nena O’Neil wrote, “Sexual fidelity is not just a vow in a marriage, or a moral or religious belief but a need associated with our deepest emotions and our quest for emotional security. Infidelity is an extremely threatening situation.”
At the center of love and marriage is the capacity to trust and be trusted. This type of experience does not come quickly or easily. To find a man you can count on constantly; a man who is devoted to you and who will be consistent in that devotion is difficult. But when you are faithful your husband will have no choice but to reciprocate. Marriage is built on fidelity. The cultivation and growth of fidelity in marriage are crucial. Don’t destroy your marriage for the false hope that someone else has something better to offer.
He reached over and pulled the strap of her nightgown and pushed it down, then stroked her breast. She brushed his hand aside. “I am very tired.” It is not good for your husband to go feeling hungry for sex. This could lead to temptation. “Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body but her husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body but the wife does.” (1 Corinthians 7:3-4)
The wife is her husband’s sex partner. But some women use sex as their bargaining tool. They say, “Since my husband refuses to buy me new dress, I will give him no sex for this month.” This is wrong. Karol Ladd wrote, “Sex is not a reward- something we can give or withhold in order to control, manipulate, or show our husbands we are hurt about something.” As clearly shown above, the wife’s body belongs to her husband. God wants you to enjoy love and sexual satisfaction once you are married. H. Norman Wright and Wes Roberts are of the view that, “Sex provides a means of presenting one’s spouse with the gift of oneself and experiencing a like gift in return.”
LOVE OF GOD
A Godly woman will make a great wife. Her love of God will make her to keep all areas in her life in balance. A God-centered wife enjoys her relationship with her husband understanding that both husband and wife are to complement each other. A man and a woman have similarities, but they also have unique differences. There are distinct qualities and traits in man and certainly, distinct qualities traits in woman.
Together, a man and woman were created to encourage each other’s strengths, and balance each other’s weaknesses. They are to take a selfless and loving position in each other’s lives. Husband and wife can be described as two strands of rope, twined together for greater strength and more useful service to their children and the entire human race.