What Does The Bible Say About Wives

Submission to the Husband’s Authority

The Bible instructs wives to honor and obey their husbands. Ephesians 5:22-23 says, “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.” Wives are to submit to the headship of their husbands out of respect for the Lord. This doesn’t mean that a husband is the lord of his wife and can treat her as a slave. Biblical submission is mutual submission. Husbands are to love their wives as themselves and wives submit to their husbands out of respect for them and for God.
The book of Proverbs acknowledges the value women bring to their marriages. Proverbs 31:10-12 says, “A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.” Wives should be respected, honored, and given their place in the marriage relationship.

Marital Stewardship

Wives are spiritual leaders and good stewards of the home. Titus 2:3-5 instructs “older women … to encourage the younger women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be self-controlled, pure, fulfilling their duties at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the message of God may not be dishonored.” A wife is to lead her family in managing the home. Her responsibilities can include teaching her children, preparing meals, making sure everyone is presentable and ready for special events, and ensuring the house is orderly. Women can use their giftings and talents to minister to the needs of their families.

Honoring the Marriage Vows

The Bible exhorts wives to keep their marriage vows. Malachi 2:16 says, “I hate divorce,” says the LORD God of Israel, “and I hate a man’s covering himself with violence as well as with his garment,” says the LORD Almighty. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth.” Keeping marriage vows is a display of trusting and depending on God to help fulfill our promises. In addition, marriage is an example of Christ’s relationship with the church, so keeping our marriage vows honors God.

Value of Love

Wives should love their husbands and children. Ephesians 5:25 says, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” Wives are to love their husbands with the same type of love that Christ has for the church. Wives are also to be patient, respectful, open to their husbands’ leadership, and willing to sacrifice for the good of their family.

Education for Wives

Women are encouraged in the Bible to have a well-rounded knowledge and education. In Proverbs 31:13-16 it says, “She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.” Wives should be engaged in learning and be focused on serving their families with wisdom and hard work.

Being Self-Controlled

Women are also encouraged to be self-controlled. Titus 2:3-5 says, “Older women … teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the Word of God may not be reviled.” Being self-controlled involves the restraint of impulses and the ability to manage one’s emotions, words, and actions. It also involves being wise with money, honoring one’s commitments, and having a healthy attitude towards oneself and others.

Turning to God’s Spirit

The Bible instructs us to turn to God’s Spirit for guidance in our marriages. Galatians 5:16 says, “But I say …”walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” Walking by the Spirit involves being led by the Holy Spirit in our decisions and actions as wives. We can also turn to Scripture for additional guidance. Proverbs 31:26 says, “She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.”

Honoring Others

Wives should honor those in authority. Romans 13:1 says, “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities.” We should be respectful to those in positions of authority and use our knowledge and abilities in a way that honors God. When we respect our governing authorities, it promotes God’s justice in every area of our lives.

Creating Healthy Boundaries

The Bible also instructs us to create healthy boundaries in our relationships. In 1 Corinthians 7:1-5 it says, “Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” 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. Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” This passage demonstrates the importance of setting and maintaining physical and emotional boundaries.

Seeking God’s Help

Above all, wives should invite God’s help in their marriages. In 1 Corinthians 7:10-13 it says, “To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord): the wife should not separate from her husband (but if she does, she should remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and the husband should not divorce his wife. To the rest I say (I, not the Lord) that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her. If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.” God wants us to invite him into our hearts and marriages, turning to him for help when we are struggling.

Respecting Yourself

As wives, we can learn from the examples of other godly women in the Bible and honor ourselves by having a healthy self-esteem. Ephesians 5:28-29 says, “In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church.” We should respect ourselves and the role we play in our marriages, loving and nurturing ourselves through God’s Word, prayer, and service.

Finding Strength in Prayer

The Bible encourages us to turn to prayer in our marriages. Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” We can find strength and peace in God’s Word, and His Spirit can guide our marriages if we invite him into them.

Encouraging One Another

The Bible also encourages us to be encouragers in our marriages. 1 Thessalonians 5:11-13 says, “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves.” Wives should be encouragers to their husbands, helping them to stay focused on the Lord and the tasks He has entrusted them to do.

Living in Harmony

Ultimately, the Bible encourages wives to live in harmony with one another. Philippians 2:1-4 says, “So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” When we live in harmony with our husbands and treat one another with love and respect, we fulfill God’s calling in our marriages.

Marcos Reyna is a Christian author and speaker. He is dedicated to helping create disciples of Christ through spreading the power of the gospel to others. He has written several books and articles on a variety of theological topics, including matters of faith, worship, biblical studies, practical ethics, and social justice. A trained theologian and devotee of spiritual writing, Marcos has a mission to spread Christian love everywhere. He lives with his family in Nashville, TN where he spends his days encouraging others to seek Christ's grace in all things.

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