The Role of a Biblical Wife
What are the Biblical roles of a wife within marriage? There are 5 main roles that a Christian wife can find within the context of Scripture.
1. A Wife Is A Partner Who Rules Over Creation
In the beginning, God created distinctions between males and females (Genesis 1:27-28). Culture today tries to blur the lines, but Scripture makes the distinction clear. I find it interesting that after God created everything, He created one human being, a man. He then makes the woman out of the rib of the man and commands them to produce more human beings until they fill the earth.
“Women were created from the rib of man to be beside him, not from his head to top him, nor from his feet to be trampled by him, but from under his arm to be protected by him, near to his heart to be loved by him.” Matthew Henry
Take note of the command to have dominion. It doesn’t say that a wife is a partner to rule over her husband, nor that the wife is to be ruled by her husband. She was made to be a partner to her husband. God did not say they should exercise dominion over each other but that husband and wife are partners with each other in having dominion over God’s creation (Genesis 2:22).
The Scripture teaches us to bring our minds, will, and emotions under submission to God’s Word.
2. A Wife’s Role Is to Help Her Husband
Contrary to what our modern culture believes, being a helper is not a diminishing role. God created a wife to help her husband because he was designed to need help. Men need to submit to this God-given role and allow their wives to help them. Don’t be stubborn or act so macho you don’t need help (Genesis 2:20).
Women need to understand the meaning behind this task. The word “helper” in Hebrew is “ezer,” meaning “a person who provides needed help and assistance.” This word is used 21 times in the Old Testament, and 16 of those times refer to God. That’s where the phrase “the Lord is my Helper comes from” (Psalm 27:1). The role of a wife is really the role God took in the Old Testament to help His people.
The idea that the wife lives only for his happiness is completely false and not from God. God has given wives giftings and abilities that contribute to his success and him as a person. As men, if we are humble enough to learn that and embrace how to complement each other with our differences, our marriages with go to another level.
3. A Wife Is The Crown Of Her Husband
The Bible states that the husband is the head of the wife (Ephesians 5:23). The wife is the crown, but not the neck (Proverbs 12:4). The Bible does not give wives the role of a neck to control the movement and direction of the head, but the role of a crown on the head. A crown is a place of honor, glory, and recognition. Wives, do not stoop down to the culture’s point of view of women.
In the verse mentioned above in Proverbs, the word “excellent” or “virtuous” in Hebrew is “ha-yil” which means “valor.” This word is normally used in military settings speaking of a man or army that is strong and mighty in battle. The wording of the proverb is very strong and it implies that the wife has the ability to either be a crown or cancer to her husband.
Cancerous Marital Behaviors
- Chronic criticism is cancer to the life of a marriage.
- Making fun of him.
- Comparing him to other men.
- Disrespecting him publicly.
- Belittling him in front of the kids.
- Shaming him for not being spiritual enough.
- Always lecturing and nagging at him.
- Complaining and being negative.
- Controlling and manipulating with tears.
- Withholding sex.
Wives, if your husband is in the wrong you can guide him into the right by not criticizing, shaming, belittling, or embarrassing him. When we do that, we actually partner with the devil to destroy our marriage. I am not advocating for abuse in any way, but wives need to understand the incredible power they have to influence their marriage and their husband’s life.
Eve influenced her husband Adam to bluntly disobey God and he followed her. Abigail influenced David not to commit bloodshed. David was about to go and kill a whole family in revenge but Abigail’s wise words and approach changed David’s mind and kept him from making a terrible mistake. She didn’t start blaming, accusing, or shouting at him. Instead, she used wise words from God (1 Samuel 25:32-33).
Dealing With An Unbelieving Husband
Some of the women found in 1 Peter 3:1 had unbelieving husbands who didn’t come to church with them during the early church period.
A common question people in this position ask is, “How can I get my husband to love Jesus?” In this verse, Peter doesn’t say just anoint the house with extra virgin olive oil. To answer this question, first off, if you have a responsible and loving husband, don’t leave him simply because he is not a Christian. Secondly, stop lecturing him. After you have told him about Jesus and your testimony, then the Bible says that women yield power in their conduct. That is the tool that can bring them to the Lord.
When he is wrong, be loving and prayerful. Acting in that way will transform them, according to Apostle Peter. Not every marriage will be changed exactly by this formula, but I believe more marriages could benefit if wives started becoming the crowns that they’re called to be within their marriage.
4. A Wife Is To Submit To Her Husband
This is hard for a lot of people to hear who accept the modern culture. Our culture cringes at the thought of submission in marriage. One thing we know for certain is that humans are rebellious by nature after the fall. The idea of submitting sounds frightening and belittling (Ephesians 5:22-24).
But it’s important to know that the Bible doesn’t teach all women to submit to men. Instead, it is specific to married women submitting to their husbands in marriage (1 Peter 3:1).
The word “submission” from the Greek “hypo tasso” means to place or arrange under. Often used as a military term meaning to place oneself under the command of a leader. It was presented as something that’s “a voluntary attitude of cooperating with and putting trust in an authority figure.”
In fact, we see this example in the Holy Trinity in that while they are equal to each other, they submit to each other. Jesus submits to the Father and the Holy Spirit glorifies Jesus. This same order is commanded in the family. God gives us a chain of command, not to belittle us but to imitate Him. Heaven’s chain of command is from the Father, through the Son, by the Spirit. This is how we can function properly while remaining in unity, love, and equality. Follow the example of the Trinity.
Every marriage needs a head and the Bible makes it very clear that the head is the man. It is not the person who is smarter or more educated. God set these rules in relationships, not to limit and control us but to empower both women and men to be equal partners with a chain of command to live in a perfect community. We don’t know better than God.
Some of God’s truths are hard or can even be painful at times. It might not make you feel good all the time but God is more interested in your future than in your immediate happiness. We must not conform to the culture but conform to the Scripture. As Christians, we’re not called to do what’s easy, we’re called to do what’s right.
5. A Wife Is A Builder Of A Home
A wise woman builds her home, not just her career.
The Bible teaches young wives to love their husbands, while culture teaches them that they don’t need a husband. It says to love your children, but culture says “My body, my choice: abort the children.” The Bible instructs us to build our homes. Culture says we have to get out of the bondage of homemaking.
God wants women to edify the homes and help raise godly families (Titus 2:4-5).
If you can financially, it is absolutely worth it to invest your time into raising your children, instead of allowing the culture to educate them.
Even if you are currently a single woman, learning what Scripture says about the roles of a godly wife will bring about great blessings to your future marriage.
May your marriage grow strong based on the principles written in Scripture.
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I pray this was a blessing. Please share this blog and let me know what you think!