Crucial to any family's success is the wife's role in a Christian marriage. A good God-fearing woman is the glue that holds the family together. First and foremost a help "mate," or suitable for a husband, a godly wife is a woman of faith, virtue, intelligence and beauty. A virtuous woman is not ignorant or slothful, but an enterprising leader, using time, talent and abilities for the good of the family and community. The role she plays is also a pivotal one between the father and the children; and at times requires the gift of mediation to help facilitate communication and good will, especially with adolescents. A godly wife is a good steward over the family resources, shows kindness to the poor, and possesses such Christian qualities and character to bring honor to God and to a husband. Proverbs, Chapter 31 perfectly describes the wife's role in a Christian marriage: "Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life" (Proverbs 31:1-12). A virtuous woman's goal, then, is to live life above reproach to win the husband's trust. The chaste conversation of a godly woman becomes an example of virtue, purity and holiness bringing honor to the husband.
Incorporated in the wife's role in a Christian marriage is not only the ability to properly manage the household, but primarily to minister to her own husband. A wife has the God-given power to make or break a man. By understanding a man's need for intimacy and acceptance, a godly wife can help the husband become all that God intended for him to be. Christian women need not be concerned about infidelity when the effort is made to love, honor, obey and cherish their mates. Keeping the home fires burning is part of a wife's role, and should not be a duty but a distinct pleasure. "Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency" (I Corinthians 7:1-5).
As women of integrity, many females fulfill the wife's role in a Christian marriage not only by meeting the needs of the husband and family, but by also extending charity to the poor and performing good deeds. In so doing, the godly Christian wife brings honor to the husband, possibly a leader in the community or in the church. Part of good stewardship is tithing, giving a tenth to the Church; and offerings for the work of Christian ministry at home and abroad. The wife's role in a Christian marriage which extends beyond the homefront might include volunteering to deliver meals to the sick and shut in, helping the elderly, or accompanying the family on mission trips abroad. In any case, the godly married woman sees a need and makes a sincere effort to meet it whenever possible.
Women married to ministers or laypersons should always live an exemplary life and not bring shame upon their husbands, but honor. Because of a lifestyle that is chaste, holy, and pure, the wife's role in a Christian marriage is a witness not only to the community at large but also to the family and spouse. Godly women lead by being an example of the believer in word and in deed. The wife's responsibility is to teach a daughter and other young women how to be a godly wives, while demonstrating to young men the proper way to earn respect and submit to the husband's authority. The wife's role in a Christian marriage includes teaching others by example. " But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine: That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience. The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed" (Titus 2:1-5).
Lastly, the wife's role in a Christian marriage is to display Christ-like attributes and the fruit of the Spirit that emanate both natural and spiritual beauty, to the glory of God. The virtuous wife possesses love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance. Because she fears, or reverences the Lord, the godly wife is able to excel in virtue above other women, so much so that works of honor, humility, and true holiness earn a reputation in the church and at home. "Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity" (I Timothy 4:12).
Husband's Role In A Christian MarriageBeautifully outlined in Ephesians, Chapter 5, the husband's role in a Christian marriage is comparable to the role Christ plays with the Church. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: ...For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh" (Ephesians 5:22-30).
The husband's role in a Christian marriage is primarily to act as the spiritual head of household, leading and guiding wife and children into a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. As the spiritual authority, men are expected to submit unto God and in so doing, win the respect of their spouse. Wives whose mates willingly follow the Lord Jesus Christ should be willing to come under the God-given authority of the man. But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God (I Corinthians 11:3). Just as Christ is the Savior of the Body, so the husband's role in a Christian marriage is to act as high priest of the home, always pointing the way to the Lord by way of the example of a holy lifestyle above reproach.
According to Ephesians 5:25, the husband's role in a Christian marriage also requires a self-sacrificial love for the wife. As Jesus sacrificed life for the sake of the believer, so should the godly man forfeit fleshly desires and carnal pleasures to provide a safe and secure home environment. A selfless, sacrificial love enables men to make wise choices in every area of life so that wives are never threatened by financial lack, infidelity, or alienation of affection. Her heart is full of confidence that her husband, led by God's Holy Spirit, will always do what is best and what is right in the sight of Almighty God. In a Christian marriage, the husband is a lover, protector and provider.
Ephesians 5:26 depicts the husband's role in a Christian marriage as a god-fearing man leading a holy life. That lifestyle makes the husband a fit vessel to spiritually sanctify and cleanse the woman. To sanctify means to set apart or separate for holy service to God and to ones mate. The marriage bed becomes holy and undefiled, and the marital relationship is exclusive and monogamous. When the husband lives a life pleasing to God, by example the head of the household becomes a "living epistle," demonstrating to the wife what a righteous lifestyle should entail.
Throughout their union, the husband's role in a Christian marriage as high priest requires intercession for the household. A sanctified man approaches God in prayer and fasting, interceding on behalf of a submissive wife. Constant fellowship, sexual intimacy, and continual communication cleanse the female so that she can stand before God without spot or blemish.
The prerequisite for holy matrimony is love. The husband's role in a Christian marriage as lover is a gift from God. The holy man reserves sexual intimacy solely for his mate, preferring her above all other women. The realization that his body belongs solely to his wife is a restraint against adultery. In keeping the marriage vow of faithfulness to one woman, the man demonstrates the love of Jesus Christ. The relationship between a godly man and woman is so fulfilling that there is no need to venture outside the bonds of holy matrimony to seek sexual gratification. An impenetrable bond exists between a husband and wife; a love that far supersedes the love of a man for parents. He willingly leaves the parent/child relationship to forge a new one-flesh union with the woman whom God has given.
A man who understands the husband's role in a Christian marriage loves the wife as himself, providing natural, spiritual and emotional nurturing and sustenance. The godly husband protects the wife from seen and unseen danger; edifies or builds her up by constantly reaffirming a heartfelt love. He allows the woman the liberty to make decisions but also provides encouragement and comfort when those decisions may not have the best outcomes. The man of God does not bring the wife into bondage by imposing fleshly rules and regulations, but he directs the woman, as the lesser vessel to look to God first and foremost. "This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband (Ephesians 5:31).
Men who adhere to biblical principles for husbands in a Christian marriage will soon discover that the world's definition of manhood is sorely lacking. But a lifestyle lived in subjection to the Father, in the likeness of the Son, and in the admonishment of the Holy Spirit will be rewarded with the praise and admiration of a wife, children, and the society at large.