Finding a Good Thing
“Let the wife make the husband glad to come home, and let him make her sorry to see him leave.” (Martin Luther)
God has been teaching me a lot about my role as a wife lately, and that respect in theory is much easier than respect in practice. In this season, God has chosen to use our finances as a way to teach my husband and I a little more about marriage. Most foundationally, I believe the purpose of marriage is to set on display the relationship between Christ and His Church.
But I think for wives to fully embrace their calling as “help mate,” we must first understand how the Creator designed us to “help.” (And yes, you’ve probably heard it all before, but here it is again. Fundamentals are often more fruitful than complexities.)
“He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the LORD.” (Proverbs 18:22)
The ordinance of marriage was sanctioned in Paradise (Gen 2:24; Mat 19:4-6). Monogamy was the original law under which man lived, but polygamy early commenced (Gen 4:19), and continued to prevail all down through Jewish history. The law of Moses regulated but did not prohibit polygamy. A man might have a plurality of wives, but a wife could have only one husband. A wife’s legal rights (Exd 21:10) and her duties (Pro 31:10-31; 1Ti 5:14) are specified. She could be divorced in special cases (Deu 22:13-21), but could not divorce her husband. Divorce was restricted by our Lord to the single case of adultery (Mat 19:3-9). The duties of husbands and wives in their relations to each other are distinctly set forth in the New Testament (1Cr 7:2-5; Eph 5:22-33; Col 3:18,19; 1 Peter 3:1-7).
“But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.” (In context: 1 Corinthians 7:2-5)
“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.” (In context: Ephesians 5:22-33)
“Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them.” (Colossians 3:18-19)
“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, when they see your respectful and pure conduct. Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands.” (In context: 1 Peter 3:1-7)
1) to arrange under, to subordinate
2) to subject, put in subjection
3) to subject one’s self, obey
4) to submit to one’s control
5) to yield to one’s admonition or advice
6) to obey, be subject
This word was a Greek military term meaning “to arrange [troop divisions] in a military fashion under the command of a leader”. In non-military use, it was “a voluntary attitude of giving in, cooperating, assuming responsibility, and carrying a burden”.
THE WOMAN WHO FEARS THE LORD
10 An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
11The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
12She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.
13She seeks wool and flax,
and works with willing hands.
14She is like the ships of the merchant;
she brings her food from afar.
15She rises while it is yet night
and provides food for her household
and portions for her maidens.
16She considers a field and buys it;
with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
17She dresses herself with strength
and makes her arms strong.
18She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
Her lamp does not go out at night.
19She puts her hands to the distaff,
and her hands hold the spindle.
20She opens her hand to the poor
and reaches out her hands to the needy.
21She is not afraid of snow for her household,
for all her household are clothed in scarlet.
22She makes bed coverings for herself;
her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23Her husband is known in the gates
when he sits among the elders of the land.
24She makes linen garments and sells them;
she delivers sashes to the merchant.
25 Strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come.
26She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29″Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
31Give her of the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the gates.
“Women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works. Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.” (1 Timothy 2:9-14)
(Photos by Apryl Ann Photography. Foot washing ceremony taken on the best day of my life.)