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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

.Following Through With "I Do" Part 1.

For six years she has grown in my heart and become like a little sister. I mentioned Bethany here after finishing her engagement shoot. Bethany is getting married soon - really, really soon. Three weeks from this Saturday is her day. Cadi is one of her flower girls. I cannot wait to watch her walk down the aisle and start her life as the wife of her beloved. But I also have to admit that I may need to stuff an entire box of kleenex into my purse that Saturday. {sigh} Bethany asked me to answer a few questions for her on being a godly wife, and I asked her if I could write my thoughts here and then get some additional thoughts from my readers. She was all for it. She has asked three questions which we will look at separately for the next three days.

Choosing the perfect dress, picking out flowers, and invitations and napkins and cake, and even walking down the aisle - that is all the easy part. It's the following through with I Do that takes the real elbow grease. But there is not a shadow of doubt in my mind that if anyone can succeed at being a godly wife - it is Bethany.

What are the wife's responsibilities to her husband?

Keep in mind that being a wife is a privileged gift that can and should be full of joy. The key for me is to keep focused on that truth, and not allow the world's views of being a wife and a woman creep in and tarnish my thinking.

Titus 2:4-5 paints a clear and vivid portrait of a godly wife and her responsibilities, and that verse is how I would best answer this question.

"and so train the young women to:

love their husbands (and children),

Our example of how to love is found in Jesus Christ - He is the epitome of love. I choose to delight in my husband and the man God created him to be, letting grace cover his shortcomings. From this internal delight and love flows practical acts of love and service to him. But how do I keep on loving my husband until "death do us part?" I think it is biblical to say that my husband should be my number one human relationship - before my children, my family, my friends, my church. And the way I invest my time should reflect this truth. My husband comes first - he needs to know that - and everyone else in my life needs to know that as well. He is the one that I go to first with good news, or when I am hurt or angry, when I need advice - not my mom, not a girlfriend, not even my sister. Nothing is secret, and he gets my best and my first. I have made a conscious choice to choose my husband first - over all other human beings. I show him my love practically by meeting his emotional and physical needs, creating meals, folding laundry, etc. I cannot look at these simply as duties. They are acts of love - the kind of love that that is based on the gospel. God loves us recklessly, unconditionally, without abandon, mercifully, graciously, keeping no record of wrongs, etc., and that is how I am to love my husband as well. (This is the same kind of love that I am commanded to pour over my children, but they will never take priority over my husband.)

to be self-controlled,

Self-control is an everyday examination of our hearts. I must assess myself in light of God's word searching for any pattern of weakness in my flesh and asking God for strength in conquering these areas, and facilitating righteousness. This simply means avoiding whatever it is that triggers my lack of discipline. Again it is a daily battle, and it is different for every person.


From study I believe this is actually referring to sexual purity after marriage. A wife keeps herself pure for her husband and only her husband - both body and mind.

working at home,

This is the one where I want to extend grace. I am not God, and I am not a discerner of hearts. I am simply and quickly just going to say what Jim and I have concluded and hold to, but we offer this with no condemnation for those who have come to different conclusions. A biblical wife enjoys staying at home. Home is where her heart is, and where she devotes her time, her creativity, and her work. Personally, I have chosen to stay at home, because I do not believe that I can fulfill this biblical call and work outside of the home as well. I just was not made that way. I am not saying that no woman can.


Being a kind wife takes effort - just like everything else above! Kindness is never phony - it's not just being nice. Kindness flows from the transformed life I have in Christ. It is not dependent on being reciprocated or appreciated. Kindness is a character quality and part of the Fruit of the Spirit.

and submissive to their own husbands, (that the word of God may not be reviled.)"

Biblical submission is a daily surrendering. It is choosing to place myself under the authority and leadership of my husband. My example is given to me in the church's submission to Christ. My submission to my husband is an outward reflection of my submission to Jesus Christ. The only qualification that my husband needs in order for me to submit to him is the fact that he is my husband. Even if my husband were to fail to fulfill his biblical obligations as a husband, I am still required to submit. I know this is contrary to our world and even to some of our Christian circles, but I do not see any other biblical way around it.

....and I will delve deeper into submission tomorrow when I answer Bethany's second question.

So what do you think a wife's responsibilities are to her husband? I cannot wait to read your thoughts, as really I am still a newbie as a wife. I am hoping to get some more mature {grin} wives to chime in, but welcome all thoughts as I am always yearning to grow in this area of my life!


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PS. Um....I have the best blog readers - friends. Wow. Your comments below have brought many tears. My husband read several as well. I am humbled and thankful that our paths have crossed. Thank you.


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