What is the Christian Wife’s Role in her Marriage?
Binding with Eternal Rings
The Christian Wife and Her Role in Marriage – the four acts of a Christian Wife
Did you know the earliest examples of wedding rings dates back nearly 6000 years to ancient Egypt? Circular bands were used for their symbolism of eternal love. However, we didn’t see hard metals used until the Romans adopted the custom. This is when grooms began to offer a metal ring to their bride. They placed the ring on the “ring finger” believing it contained a vein that led directly to the heart. This mythical vein was known as the Vena Amoris or “vein of love.” Later, diamonds and precious metals became cultural norms to display the wealth and prosperity of the groom. A type of promise that the husband will provide for his new wife.
But it’s the symbol from the very beginning, eternal love, that has seen the wedding ring adopted by cultures around the world. A man telling a woman that he is prepared to spend his entire existence on earth with her.
Today, Christians merge their lives together with God through the sacred ceremony of marriage. And we still place a ring on each other’s finger as tradition. It’s both a promise and a reminder of our commitment to each other. But also a commitment to God that we often overlook. The wedding ring is an unbroken circle. It is never ending, simple, strong, and a symbol to the world of your commitment.
If you missed the role of a Christian husband, check it out. It helps us get the full picture of God’s plan for marriage. But now, we are going to dive into God’s expectations for the Christian wife.
Man and Woman – Origin of Marriage
God made man from the dust of the ground, creating him in his own image. When God saw that man could not be alone, he made the perfect companion from man’s own body. Both man and woman are derived from the image of God; however, God created woman differently than man. He made woman from man’s own flesh, not just a companion but a part of him. God’s act of creation was the first example of his design of marriage, one flesh in the eyes of God.
Both are the same, but both are also different. I often think about how this sounds like the Holy Trinity. When we are married and joined to God, we become one flesh with God binding us together. We are all separate, God*Man*Woman, yet also one. Obviously not the same by any means. But perhaps a way to scratch the surface of how God can be three, Father*Son*Spirit, but also one.
Christian Wife Role in Marriage: Love vs Respect
“However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.” Ephesians 5:33
In our previous article, we tasked husbands to recognize God’s commandment to love their wives as Christ loves the church. But for wives, God does not seem to stress for wives to love their husbands. Why? And why does God not command husbands to respect their wives? Does this mean that husbands do not need love and wives do not require respect? Of course not, it’s about who we are and what comes naturally to us.
First off, God commands all Christians to treat everyone with love, kindness, and respect. But to accomplish God’s plan for marriage, men need to feel respected by their spouse. When the entire world is against me, my wife’s confidence is the only thing that keeps me going. She is often an answered prayer when I struggle to take that next step. I love and respect her for her internal strength and faith.
Whether wives realize it or not, they have a great deal of influence over their husband. Wives become mothers; therefore, they are tasked with raising the next generation of Christians. Husbands are tasked with leading their family and held responsible by God. Who do Christian husbands turn to for counsel? Their wife. The Christian wife is the most influential person in our faith. They raise the young and counsel the leaders. YOU directly influence the future of Christianity.
Christian wife’s role in marriage- Submission
I know this is a major hang-up for many spouses. First, we have to remove any misconceptions about submitting. Remember that Jesus submitted to God’s will and Christ was strong, kind, persistent, knowledgeable, wise, and loving. Submission is yielding to a husband on faith, but it is not giving up who you are, or the plan God has for you.
Husbands are Biblically tasked with leading their home. Where there is a leader, there must be followers. Submitting to your husband is a way to help keep order and contentment in the home. Remember that leading is a large responsibility on husbands. It is a heavy weight to be held responsible by God for caring, protecting, providing, and ensuring the spiritual growth of your family. All while providing love and affection for his spouse and respecting her for her shared place as a child of God.
Just like any good leader, a husband needs counsel, and in my case, I need it often. A Christian husband works cooperatively, husband and wife as one flesh to lead their family and ensure they remain symbols of Christ to the world. Submission does not mean inactive or unappreciated. A Christian husband shows love and humility, seeking guidance and support from his wife; a Christian wife prepares herself through prayer and scripture to provide that advice.
But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God. 1 Corinthians 11:3
Manages the Home
A household does not manage itself and God tasks both parents to raise our children with Christian morals and values, being good stewards of our blessings, taking care of family members, and keeping a strong marriage.
A home is a cooperative effort, and all these requirements require two people of one flesh to complete successfully. A father not involved with children will raise kids without a proper male role model. Husbands who do not become involved in the family budget can cause blame and alienation when times get tough. The key here is that a wife manages the home, taking weight off the husband and sharing the load of responsibility.
God designed men and women perfectly for the roles we would play. His greatest commandment was to love one another, and no one loves like a wife and mother. Christian women set a Christ-like example for the entire family, and it is that example that will manage the cohesiveness of a home.
Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives. 1 Peter 3:1
The Christian Example- Training the Young
Every experienced Christian should read Titus 2. This chapter explains God’s expectations of the role we should take in the church to lead new Christians, setting an example for others to learn from you and develop into devout Christians. Young mothers and newlyweds especially need this example. If you have had children or remember your first year of marriage, you are perfectly aware of all the challenges that arise that can strain even the most patient person with the strongest relational foundations.
Wives are called to lead the next generation of spouses, mothers, and children. Bringing up new Christians in the ways of God and learning their own role to continue the process for the following generation. Christian wives are vital in the growth of the church because they have a direct and personal connection.
Just for Fun- Our Proposal Story
If you know my wife, Kathleen, you know she is a woman who knows what she wants. After 11 years of marriage, I have slowly learned not to buy her anything with hearts and, if it’s in purple, chances are high that she will love it. But an earlier version of me wanted to make sure she received the engagement and wedding ring she had always dreamed of; so, I didn’t risk picking it out myself. She picked everything out but naturally it was a special order, so she had to wait several weeks before she was able to don her dream band.
For weeks I would pretend I was proposing. From the middle of the grocery store, in front of friends, basically any occasion I could use to get her flustered and embarrassed. I remember when I finally received the rings, I tried to make it feel like a normal day by taking her out to a Sonic Drive-in before driving up to a spot in Huntsville we liked to go talk and overlook the city lights at night.
The moment I bent down in the grass to propose, I remember her looking at me with a look I have seen many times since then, and responded to my proposal with, “Oh stop it, you’re gonna get your pants dirty…” All in the sweetest southern drawl. By the way, she said yes but not until she tried on the ring. The very same rings photographed in the beginning of this article. She later told me that her rings mattered so much because she was going to have to wear them forever.
Wives are special creatures made differently to serve the perfect will of God. We all have our roles on earth to serve His higher purpose, embracing our role is placing our faith in God’s knowledge and wisdom.
But it takes two. Christian husbands are held responsible for the spiritual health of their family and providing love to their wives as Christ loves the church. A wife is to respect her husband and provide a Christian example to her children, husband, and community all while managing a home. If a husband does not love, a wife struggles with self-worth and doubt. When a wife does not respect, a husband questions his purpose and contribution. We are one flesh, and one day we will both be called by the bridegroom.
Next time you look down at your wedding band remember that it not only binds you to your spouse, but also to God. He is a part of your marriage and will be with you through all the storms and beautiful skies ahead.
He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord. Proverbs 18:22
An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who brings shame is like rottenness in his bones. Proverbs 12:4