The Wife's Duty

Grateful acknowledgments to Dr. Tony Evans

There are two people that can come together to become one flesh; a husband and a wife. Wedlock is an office ordained by God, a Holy union, wherein the husband serves the wife and the wife the husband. The worst thing a man can do is marry the wrong woman.

Proverbs 27:15, "On a stormy day drops of rain drive a man out of his house; so also does a railing woman drive a man out of his house."

Nothing can be more miserable than having to spend every day of your life with an evil woman.

What does it mean to be a godly woman? If you are married, this is what you must strive to be. If you are not married this is what you must orientate yourself to be. The duties of the wife can be narrowed down to really two thing. The first duty that a good wife must fulfil is help her man.

Help the Man

In the beginning, when Almighty God made Adam,

Genesis 2:18, "And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; let us make for him a help suitable to him."

God made someone to come alongside of him, co-responding to him, to work with him, to accomplish the Divine goal that God has given man. The duty of a good wife, who wants to see a strong marriage and family, is to be the counterpart to her mate in such a way that that which God has given the both of them, she must be by his side as his helper. She is not just some extra on the side, she is an indispensable part of His Divine plan.

One of the causes why so many men are miserable and why so many marriages fail is because the woman is not out to help him, she's using the marriage to help herself. She has a faulty view of the relationship. Instead of being his partner and coming alongside to increase their relationship with God, she becomes a part of the opposition, not cooperating with God's agenda for the family, but using it as a launching pad for her own purposes. And when a woman loses site that God's first expectation of her in relationship to her husband is to be his helper, then a negative atmosphere is created in the household that is difficult to overcome.

So the question is, “What does a helper look like?” Now, the assumption, ladies, is that if God expects you to help your man, the understanding is your man needs help! Admittedly, men are not complete in and of themselves. That's the purpose God created women. So, if you are finding fault with your man, he needs help; and guess who the helper is. If you are saying, “My man is messed up!” Guess who the helper is. You cannot complain that he is not what he ought to be if you're not fulfilling your role as the helper! God made you the helper because man desperately needs help. He desperately needs someone to come alongside who will be different than him, in order to complete him, thereby fulfilling the Divine plan of God.

So, whenever the faults of your husband shows up, there are opportunities for you to fulfill your scriptural duty; not simply to fuss and cuss about how messed up he is, but to analyze the kind of helper God has called you to be. In fact, if you are the complete opposite of your husband, wonderful! That means you can fill in all the blank spots where he needs help. That's not an opportunity for disgust, but an opportunity for godly assistance. You are the one to help mold and shape him into the man that God ultimately wants him to be in order to carry out the agenda of the household.

The description of a prolific helpmate is given in Proverbs 31:

The Proverbs 31 Woman

Proverbs 31:10, "Who shall find a virtuous woman? for such a one is more valuable than precious stones."

Many ladies have a low view of themselves which make them a weak wife. When you look at yourself as a priceless diamond, as you are in God's eyes, then you'll act accordingly. If you only look at yourself as substitute jewelry, you're going to live as one. It could be made to look like the real thing, but it's not. Proverbs 31 is talking about the real woman, not a plastic woman. Not a woman that's so made up you don't know what the real thing looks like, but an authentic woman. And scripture says when a man finds this kind of woman, a true and authentic wife, he's got a piece of jewelry that's very valuable. And what's the hallmark of this woman?

Proverbs 31:12, “For she employes all her living for her husbands good.”

She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. Now if your husband was asked what good are you to him, would he have an answer? Can he measure how you are constantly, perpetually, determinately looking out for his good? Can he raise the point, if asked the question, that every time this wife wakes up she is thinking about how to make him a better man? And if that is not your number one agenda item, you are not a godly wife. You may be a bed partner, you may be a cook, you may be this and you may be that, but a good wife seeks the good of her husband all the days of his life. That is, just as he is loving and honoring and cherishing you, you are to wake up and ask, “What good can I be to him today?”

Help him In and Out of the House

One of the first ways she helps him is around the house.

Proverbs 31:13-14, “Gathering wool and flax, she makes it serviceable with her hands. She is like a ship trading from a distance: so she procures her livelihood.”

Proverbs 31:16, “She views a farm and buys it: and with the fruits of her hands she plants a possession.”

Proverbs 31:24, “She makes fine linens, and sells girdles…”

There is a warped view among some "Christians" that if you're a Christian woman you sit home and throw your college education in the garbage. That there is no productivity, no skill. But the Proverbs 31 woman is one who is skilled, she saves money, uses money, and spends money wisely. But she's doing this to the good of her husband. This is not like modern women who are building their own career with their own money with their own bank account and they write their own checks. That's not the godly woman. Because a godly woman, while she uses those skills, always brings it back home for the embellishment of the home and the enhancement of her husband. There is no monetary competition.

And if you love your career so much that your husband is never benefiting from the career that you love, then you're not a godly wife. You bought the lie that you're your own woman, you do your own thing, and that man is your inconvenience. That is a lie! The feminism movement is born from satanic rebellion against the Holy God. But because many women have established their own bank accounts, and spend their own money for their own agenda, and the good of the husband is nowhere to be found, then the blessings of God will not rest on your life or be in your household. Your godly home will become a godless home.

When you begin to live your married life with no thought of the betterment of your husband, you have joined the adversary in dissolving your marriage. God did not give you a husband for you to still be an independent single woman. He gave you a husband so that you could partner with him, helping him by using your gifts, your skills, and your abilities that He has blessed you with, for the betterment of the whole household. Whenever your career demands of you that which negates your duty as wife and mother, you're in the wrong career, and it is not a calling from God.

The Proverbs 31 woman uses her abilities, she does not throw them away. She also helps him parentally:

Help him Parentally

Proverbs 31:15, “And she rises by night and gives food to her household…”

Proverbs 31:21, “Her husband is not anxious about those at home when he tarries anywhere abroad: for all her household are clothed.”

In other words, she assists the husband by helping with the children; it is not her duty alone. The husband's duty is to manage the household, but the wife's duty is to help him. She is not to replace him, but she is to help him. And here we have a woman who's so committed, so dedicated, that she wakes up early before everyone else to make sure that all the bases are covered.

Now, why does God ask the woman to prioritize the household? Because one of her duties is to raise the next generation of godly seed. And if you have to leave the house so much that you cannot assist your husband in a significant way, as a parent and guardian of the children, then you're not fulfilling what God has told you to do. That's why the aged women "…teach the young women to be sober, to be lovers of their husbands, to be lovers of their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed" (Titus 2:4-5). That's why "...the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house" (1 Timothy 5:14).

Never let the outside pull of the world keep you from being a dynamic wife and mother. Never let the schedule outside dictate the schedule inside. She also helps him personally.

Help him Personally

Proverbs 31:17, “She strongly girds her loins, and strengthens her arms for work.”

Proverbs 31:22, “She makes for her husband clothes of double texture, and garments for herself of fine linen and scarlet.”

This woman is looking good! She takes care of herself. We're not talking about some haggard woman here. This man is excited to go to his house. This woman also helps him ministerially:

Help him Ministerially

Proverbs 31:20, “And she opens her hands to the needy, and reaches out fruit to the poor.”

Proverbs 31:26, “But she opens her mouth wisely, and according to law.”

She's serving the poor and counseling others. So she's come alongside his ministry, she's a partner with him, sharing her wisdom with others. She doesn't have time to gossip, she's spending too much time devoted to her husband. She doesn't have time to spend all day in front of a soap opera, because she has a man that she has to make look good. And how good is this man?

Proverbs 31:11, “The heart of her husband trusts in her…”

Proverbs 31:23, “And her husband becomes a distinguished man in the gates, when he sits in council with the old inhabitants of the land.”

Everybody knows who this man is because of this woman. Why? Because his lady made certain it was that way. Other people know him because she makes him look good.

Now, I know what you're saying. “What about me?! I don't always want to be in the background! I don't always want to be hidden! I don't always want to be making some man look good! I want to look good! I want people to talk about me! ” Well, if you seek recognition, this is the way it should come about:

Proverbs 31:28, “And her kindness to them sets up her children for them, and they grow rich, and her husband praises her.”

The husband should praise her, and teach his children to praise her. He should teach the children well, so they say, “Thank you, Mama, that on cold days I'm warm. Thank you, Mama, that on cold days I have hot food.” When you have a woman like this you should talk about her all day long. You should say, “Thank you. Can't live without you. I need you. I enjoy you.” All the people you meet should know how good your wife is. Go public with this woman, don't keep her in the background! There's no privacy here. The wife is to make her husband look good, and the husband is to take his wife public with him.

Submit to your Man

The second thing a woman must do is reverence her husband.

Ephesians 5:33, "Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband."

Ephesians 5:22-24 explains the doctrine of submission. The word “submission” is a good word, but because people have defined it wrongly, you look at it and say, “Oh, not that word!” Why is it a good word? Because Jesus submitted himself to the will of the Father.

First of all, submission has nothing to do with equality. Submission has to do with accomplishing God's purpose. Jesus submitted to the Father in order to accomplish salvation. He did it for His Father's purpose, never questioning whether it was "fair" or not. It had nothing to do with whether they were equal. 1 Peter 3:7 says a husband and wife are “joint heirs,” and therefore equal and are to be treated as equals. To submit to your husband does not mean that you are a door mat. It doesn't mean that you are to be pressed on, beaten on, or any such thing. You are equal to any man in the eyes of God. But when it comes to His purpose for you, submission is absolutely necessary.

To submit to your husband does not mean you agree with him on everything, it means you recognize his position as head of the household to accomplish God's purposes as it relates to the family. You may say, “I can't submit to that man. Preposterous!” You may not agree with everything Mr. Jones at your job tells you, but you submit. If you're in court you may not like what the judge thinks, but you submit. We see that these examples do not have to do with submitting to a man, but submitting to a position.

God has called your husband to a position. His position is head over the household. That's not as a dictator and it's not as "boss man." The job of the head is to give direction to the body. The duty of the wife is to willingly place all of her strengths under the authority of the husband to follow him as he follows Christ. That's why it says (and here's some good news for you ladies) at:

Ephesians 5:22, "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord."

So you don't have to worry about him abusing you. When he leaves the Lord he is no longer in the position as your head, he no longer qualifies as the head, for he has abandoned it. That is, you are never to disobey the Lord in order to follow your husband, because your greater allegiance is to the Lord.

But if this man is trying to serve the Lord, don't work against him. He may not be doing it right, or perfectly, but if the man is trying to please the Lord don't work against him. Why? Because he needs a helper, not a hurter. He needs assistance, not a hindrance. He needs somebody to come alongside and smooth all those rough edges, so every woman should say to her husband, beginning today, “You are my leader. God has put you as head of the household. I am going to honor you as head of the household. I am going to follow you as head of the household. I'll only ask you, darling, for one thing. Don't lead me away from Christ, because if you lead me away from Christ I'm going to have to leave you and go with my first love. I don't want to leave you and go with my first love, so you follow my first love so I can follow both of you.”

That's the idea! That he follow Christ and you follow him. But ladies, he needs to hear that from you. He needs to hear that you are going to honor and reverence his position as head of the household. If you can submit to a boss you don't like, then you can submit to a husband you don't like. Because it's not about liking the husband, it's about obeying the Lord. A lot of women say, “I can't submit!” Well, how do you know? You've never tried! “I can't follow!” How do you know?! He told you one thing that was wrong and now you won't listen to anything.

Many women have never told their husband that they are willing to come under his authority as he follows Christ to lead the household and motivate him to follow Christ. Rather they work against him by fussing at him, griping at him, and complaining that he never does anything right. It's like after he gets beaten up outside the household all day long, now he's gotta come home to be beaten up some more. He ought to come home to somebody that will love him, hug him, caress him, affirm him, strengthen him, dignify him, and to a woman who's going to recognize that he may not be anybody downtown, but "he's somebody in this house, and I'm going to make sure he's somebody!"

If your attitude is, “My man is no good,” maybe he's no good because nobody's helping him. Maybe that's why. Maybe God gave you to him to fix up the rough points and you never caught the message.

That's what headship is. Jesus submitted to the Father, the husband submits to Jesus, the wife submits to the husband using all her gifts and strengths for the betterment of the household. A wife who does not submit herself to her husband has not submitted to God, so don't tell anyone how spiritual you are. You can "go to church" every week, but if your husband does not know that you recognize his position as head then you are a carnal woman. You can read your bible every day, have devotions, go to bible study every Wednesdays, and still be out of the will of God if you don't honour your husband.

For some wives, their husband may not know how to be a good husband because he was not raised with a good father; has perhaps never seen a godly husband. Not knowing what a godly husband is, he will therefore have to learn. It may take some time, and these wives may have to humble themselves and say, “Father. I have sinned in this area. I have not been a helper, I've been a hurter. I confess that I've sinned, and today I'm going to tell my husband that he now has a helper. Someone who's going to work with him, not against him. Someone who's going to support him, not crucify him.

So, what are you to do? Read 1 Peter 3:1-6.

Ungodly Husbands

1 Peter 3:1, "Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;"

The scripture now raises a question about women who's husbands have erred from the Way. The word of the world says, “Woman! You don't need him…leave! You don't have to go through that! Walk out!” That's not what scripture says. Now who are you going to believe? Are you going to believe your "friends," or are you going to believe the Word of God? And that's the problem. There are too many women listening to too many wrong voices. God says if your husband is not a godly man yet, he can still be won without a word, by the behavior of the wife! God didn't call you to be your husband's pastor. He didn't call you to preach to him. He didn't call you to be his nag. The way a messed up husband is won is not by the preaching skill of his wife. If you've noticed, the more you try to change him with your voice, the worse he gets. And you know why? Because you're dealing with the one thing that no man will compromise on, and that's his ego. A man will let you mess with a lot, but what he will not let you mess with is his ego. Men have fought and killed since the beginning of time for their ego!

So what does the Lord want you to do when it comes to dealing with the husband's ego? He wants you to get out of the way so He can chastise him. God says be like Jesus in the same way. Now what was Jesus like?

1 Peter 2:22-23, "Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not;"

Jesus didn't threaten, he didn't say, “Oh, so you're going to be like that?! Well, I'll get even with you! Two can play at this game!” Jesus didn't manipulate with his voice, he didn't manipulate with tears. He did his Father's will and God made it work.

Have you tried God's way to change your husband, or have you been fussing for 15 years? Because if you've been fussing for 15 years, you've been asking God not to change him, that you'll take care of it yourself.

You should make your husband stare at you and wonder, “What's gotten into you?” when you ask your husband, “What can I do for you today?” When he comes home and he sees this haggard, burned-out, no-makeup looking wife, who looked good for Mr. Jones all day, and now he's got to hear, “Yea, I'm tired. What do you want to eat?! I bought some milk, there's some cereal, go get it yourself.” No, it should be more like, “Honey, what can I cook for you today? What would you like to eat? How can I take care of you? How can I look good for you?” And he's supposed to stare and say, “Huh?”

Shock him with your help and your submission. Make him stare. Make him wonder what went wrong. Make him say, “Wow, I like this.” Now, you're probably saying, “You don't know my husband. He's going to take advantage of that.” God says, “You leave that to me.” He's asking you to trust in Him. As your husbands observe your chaste, holy and respectful behavior, they may be won.

1 Peter 3:3-4, "Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price."

Women spend a lot of time making themselves look good on the outside, but God says, that more importantly, make yourself good on the inside. There's no point in looking beautiful on the outside if you're ugly on the inside. So be beautiful on the inside!

Language is Important

In Genesis 24, Rebekah was able to meet God's divine appointment for her life (marriage) because she was faithfully carrying out her current obligations. She had a ready willingness to serve others. These qualities put her in the right place at the right time with the right attitude when God intended to match her with Isaac. Isaac's servant asked for some water from her, "And she said, Drink, my lord..." (Genesis 24:18). She reverenced a stranger, and God used that stranger to bring Rebekah and Isaac in marriage.

Here's another example:

1 Peter 3:6, "Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord:"

Sara reverenced her husband. How do you know? Because of how she talked to him. She said, “lord.” Now, look at your husband and say, “lord.” Practice it and say, “lord.” Take it one step further and say, “My lord.” In other words, her submission was not private, but universal. “Lord!”

In Genesis 18:12, she calls Abraham, “lord.” God told her that in one year from now, she's going to get pregnant, "...Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?" (Genesis 18:12).

What's the point? Sara was in an impossible situation, being 90 years old, her husband's 100, no pregnancy in sight, but she called him lord. And when God saw her reverence Abraham, Abraham could do things he couldn't do before, and Sara got pregnant! When she called him lord, God did something to him. If you reverence your husband, God can make him do things he can't do otherwise. God can turn his attitude around and his life around, if you do your part; if you get out of the way so God can dispense His loving chastisement and Grace.

So reverence your husband; lift him up, embellish him, serve him, while he does the same for you.

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