Ministry Resources

Marriage and the Home

What do you expect to get out of this course? How will it help you? Many students take it in preparation for marriage. Young couples may find time-tested rules for developing a happy home. Parents and children learn to appreciate each other more as they study the basic principles of good family relationships. And counselors can find in these pages a wealth of good practical advice to pass on to others. Series written by Rex Jackson.

Duties of a Wife

Duties of a Wife

The woman is wise who knows that her role as a wife is one of vast responsibility, and she is ready for God to show her how to be the kind of wife He wants her to be. She recognizes God’s principles for a happy, lasting marriage and learns to apply them.

God’s Word clearly states what the position of the man and woman in the home is to be, and the harmony of a Christian marriage depends upon this. While the husband’s God-given authority is for the protection of his wife and should be accepted joyfully, her concern and care also lend much to the spiritual health of the home.

In this lesson we will reaffirm what it means for a woman to give her husband his rightful place in her life the place God means him to occupy and in so doing, becomes a stabilizing influence in the home.

Perhaps the modern paraphrase for what Proverbs says about a godly wife are the words of a minister who compares his wife to a magnet. He says that wherever he may be, “Nothing else compares with the pulling power of that magnet for me.”

To Love her Husband

To Love and Respect Him

Perhaps the most important thing, more important than endeavoring to determine what is the principal duty of a wife, we need to keep in mind the emphasis the Bible gives to the love and respect a husband and wife must have for one another. Without these basic elements, a marriage is on shaky ground. But a man and wife who enter marriage believing it to be a divine institution, patterned after the relationship of Christ to the church (Ephesians 5:21-33), are building on a stable foundation.

In Lesson 6, we discussed what the Bible means by the command to husbands to love and respect their wives. Much the same can be said about the command to wives. Husbands and wives can either hinder or help one another in being what God wants them to be, by neglecting or fulfilling their own responsibilities as Christian companions. As it is the responsibility of the husband to love and respect his wife, it is the wife’s responsibility to love and respect her husband as the protector, and the head of the family.

Ephesians 5:33. Every husband must love his wife as himself, and every wife must respect her husband.

There is no place in a home for abusive words between a husband and wife. They should not irritate or annoy one another by constant complaining and scolding. Certainly a wife should never ridicule, criticize, or scold her husband in the presence of others, just as a husband should refrain from doing the same. Love and respect between a husband and wife afford great protection to their marriage when difficulties come. Moods and feelings of either partner do not change what their marriage is founded upon.

To Be Faithful to Him

The actual wedding ceremony differs in some respects from country to country. Even within a particular culture or country, the vows exchanged between a bride and groom vary, depending upon the form of ceremony they have selected. But since marriage is a religious institution, it is subject to
the law of God. And the Word of God addresses itself to those desiring God’s sanction and approval upon their marriage.

The standard upheld by the Bible, as relates to the married state, is very different from those upheld and practiced in many parts of the world today. Jesus Himself, quoting from the law of Moses, said, “A man will leave his father and mother and unite with his wife, and the two will become one.” Then He went on to say, “So they are no longer two, but one. Man must not separate, then, what God has joined together” (Mark 10:7-9). Verses 9 through 12 of this same chapter further confirm the fact that God means for the sacred relationship of marriage, into which a man and woman enter, to continue as long as they live.

A man and woman who take the marriage vows “become one” in God’s sight, and if they view this sacred commitment through God’s eyes, they know it means to “remain one.” In times of sickness, and of health. In times of financial difficulties, and in times of plenty. In the good times, and in the bad. A wife’s patience, understanding, and encouragement have helped many a husband through periods of crisis that he could not have weathered alone. So to is the husband expected to be a strong, comforting, and loving presence for his wife when she too endures times of trial.

Proverbs 31 has many things to say about the right kind of wife. In this chapter we are given a description of a good wife, one who honors the Lord (v. 30). The writer says this kind of wife is hard to find but, “She is worth far more than jewels” (v. 10). She is pure and righteous, upright and honest, dependable. She is faithful to her husband in thought, word, and actions, but puts the lord above all else. “As long as she lives, she does him good and never harm” (v. 12). A man is fortunate who has a wife he loves and trusts, and sees as “the best of them all” (v. 29).

To Spend Household Income Wisely

The cheerfulness of a godly woman is reflected in everything she does. She may find it a bit more difficult to be cheerful if she does not have the money she feels is necessary to take care of her family and household properly. In many homes, it may be the mans sole responsibility to provide money for his family, if this is the role agreed upon before marriage. However, only faith and trust in God truly provides, and produces, complete security in finances. If she trusts God first, and his plans for her husband, her joy will be in knowing that He will never abandon her and her family.

Hebrews 13:5. Keep your lives free from the love of money, and be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, “I will never leave you; I will never abandon you.”

Philippians 4:19. And with all his abundant wealth through Christ Jesus, my God will supply all your needs.

Try to look for ways to save money when buying food and other items for the home. It is not necessary to buy the most expensive products to be found. Some women learn to sew and are able to save money by making their own clothes and clothes for their families. Others may enjoy gardening as a hobby to have at home access to many food and produce items. There are times, of course, when a woman has special needs to take to God in prayer. He expects His children to ask Him for what they have need of, but first to be thankful for what they already have.

Philippians 4:6. Don’t worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking him with a thankful heart.

To Love and Train the Children

A mother has a special responsibility in loving, teaching, and training the children. The father serves an equally important responsibility in this, but the bond between mother and child is incredibly special.

From what the apostle Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 1:5, we believe that Timothy learned the truths of God’s Word from his mother and grandmother. It was Hannah’s love for God and for her son Samuel that led her to consecrate her son to God’s service (1 Samuel 1:24-28). Moses’ mother taught him so well that when he was older he could make the decision to serve God (Hebrews 11: 24-25).

The words, “Her children show their appreciation, and her husband praises her” (Proverbs 31: 28), are a tribute to godly women who faithfully assume the role of wife and mother.

To Serve Outside the Home

Although a woman’s first concern is her family, she should also have other interests. The woman we read about in Proverbs 31 is not a lazy person. She worked on the farm and had goods to sell. Of course, this would not apply in exactly the same way to many women today who do not live in a rural setting, but it is true that a wife can contribute to the general welfare of the home.

What a blessing it is for a wife to be able to organize her work in such a way that she is also able to do other things outside of the home. However, a husband must be careful not to be unreasonable in his expectations, or treat his wife like a slave. A wife cannot, and shouldn’t be expected to handle all of the responsibilities of the home, and children, and those outside the home, without considerable help from her husband.

The kind of woman we have been studying about in this lesson is wise, generous, and kind. She helps the poor (Proverbs 31:20). God gives her strength and honor because she fears the Lord and obeys Him. “She is strong and respected and not afraid of the future” (v. 25). This beauty of character is far better than just a pretty face. Physical beauty will disappear, “but a woman who honors the Lord should be praised” (v. 30). Thus, a wife who serves the lord first and foremost in every aspect of her life is the ultimate honorable service.

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