You don’t have to share my faith to want to be a great wife. This post is based on Proverbs 31. Yes, the Bible – but keep reading! The Bible’s records line up with other historical records from around the globe, making it an accurate account of history. This lends validity to the Bible as a whole for me. But whether or not you believe in the validity of the Bible as a whole, there’s no denying the wisdom found in the ancient book of Proverbs.
Disclaimer: I am not a Bible scholar and I did not reference the historical context or language of these verses. This list is based on how this text speaks to me in its common English interpretation.
1. Be trustworthy. Verse 11 (NIV) says, “Her husband has full confidence in her.” I don’t know the author’s intention for this verse, and different versions don’t help much to clarify. For me, being the kind of woman my husband can have confidence in means more than he’s the only one I give my body to. I want him to trust that I will always be there to encourage, listen, or grieve with him; provide for his physical needs by doing laundry, cooking, etc.; work alongside him and work out our disagreements in a healthy way.
2. Be eager. Verses 13-17 say, “She…works with eager hands…gets up while it is still night…sets about her work vigorously.” Housework is not something that gets me excited. Nowadays the roles in a lot of homes have changed, but in mine I still do the majority of the housework. Part of being a great wife is doing my work and doing a good job at it, not because I am a woman, but because I want to show love to my husband by caring for the home we share and making meals I know he enjoys.
3. Be intentional and plan ahead. Verses 16-18 say, “She considers a field and buys it…she plants a vineyard…she sees that her trading is profitable.” When I read these verses, I see that this woman is wise and not a shopaholic. She considers the best way to spend her money and invests it in a vineyard. She’s learned how to make profitable dealings. I can be a great wife by being wise with our finances and planning for our family’s future needs.
4. Be giving. Verse 20 says, “She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.” Giving to the poor isn’t something that usually comes to mind when we think about being a great wife. I think it’s more about the attitude – a stingy attitude will be reflected in many areas of life and relationship. A great wife is quick to give help and service when she can to whom she can.
5. Watch your mouth. Verse 26 says, “She speaks with wisdom and faithful instruction is in her tongue.” Speaking kindly is not always easy. Holding my tongue is not my strong point. But using our mouths to encourage and give advice is a way to be a great wife. Husbands can benefit from our support and encouragement just like we can benefit from theirs. My favorite thing about my husband is that he’s my best friend. I know I can confide in him and he’s always ready to listen when I’m upset.
6. Be busy. Verse 27 says, “She…does not eat the bread of idleness.” There’s a fine line between being busy so as not to be idle, and being busy to the point of overwhelming oneself. I tend to push myself too hard most of the time and forget to take care of my own mental health. Part of being a great wife is learning to be productive without burning yourself out.
7. Fear the Lord. Verse 30 says, “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” Not everyone shares the same faith I do, but this verse can be interpreted for all as a call to be honorable. Fearing God means more than being a Christian. It means living life according to a moral code. When we fear God, we have a healthy respect for His rules and regulations and do our best to obey. I can be a great wife by holding high standards for myself.
With divorce rates on the rise, a strong marriage is something to be proud of. I also firmly believe that a strong marriage is something you work for. It doesn’t come easily all the time. Disagreements happen. I tell my daughter all the time, just because something’s hard doesn’t mean you can’t do it. It just means you have to try harder or find a different way to solve your problem. I said before, my husband is my best friend. A best friend isn’t something you throw away when things get hard.
What are your thoughts on how to be a great wife? Biblical or not, I’d love for you to share your personal opinions of how to be a great wife for me to consider for my next marriage post! Comment below!