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5 Marks of a Biblical Wife

on May 6, 2014 by Jami Balmet 14 comments

If you are a wife, then God has called you to a wonderful position. But at times, being a wife can be difficult and sometimes even overwhelming.  The struggles of life choke out our desire and occasionally even our ability to live out our Godly calling as wives. We look to the world to see how to fix our marriages and how to be wives, and our marriages end in divorce or we live in strife.

We need to look to the Bible and what God has to say on the subject in order to define what a Biblical wife is. While there are many things that God has called us to, I have identified just 5 of the many qualities of a Biblical wife.

If you are a wife, then God has called you to a wonderful position.

1) A Worker at Home

It is clear that God has given the home to women as their domain. Men are called to lead and provide for their family and we are called to care for our home and our family. Women struggle with many different areas, but being lazy in your home and also being too busy and out of the home often can lead to a wife who isn’t fulfilling her role in this area. This is not to say that women should only be in the home, nor is it to say that they should never work outside of the home. As my husband always says, don’t hear what I’m not saying. What I am saying is this: a wife’s primary responsibility is their home.

Homemaking is the most important job!

We see that God calls women to be workers at home many times in Scripture (Titus 2:3-5, 1 Timothy 5:14-15) and we have an excellent example from the Proverbs 31 women and can learn a valuable lesson from her. She was always busy working within and for her home.

“She looks for wool and flax, and works with her hands in delight…She rises also while it is still night, and gives food to her household, and portions to her maidens…She considers a field and buys it, from her earnings she plants a vineyard…her lamp does not go out at night… She stretches out her hands to the distaff, and her hands grasp the spindle… all her household are clothed with scarlet…She makes coverings for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple…She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies belts to the tradesmen…She looks well to the ways of her house, and does not eat the bread of idleness.”  Proverbs 31:13, 15-16, 18-19, 21-22, 24, 27

Instead of feeling discouraged at how much the Proverbs 31 wife does, we should feel encouraged by her example and strive to emulate her. God gives the home to us as our domain and we should strive to be hard workers at home.

2) Called to Love

All Christians are called to generally love, but wives are specifically called to love their family. Older women are instructed to train the younger women in how to live a Godly life:

“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.” Titus 2: 4-5

The kind of love that God calls wives to isn’t conditional and based upon feelings. This kind of love isn’t the kind that you can “fall out” of. It isn’t an optional love, it’s a commandment. Martha Peace shares in  The Excellent Wife:

“Godly love is not primarily a feeling, it is a choice. It will help you show love if you will think objectively (Biblically), not subjectively (based on feelings)” Page 84.

3) Respect for your husband

Most modern TV shows and movies portray husbands as goofballs and not responsible enough to  do anything but sit around and watch football. But as Christians, we know that this isn’t what a Godly husband should look like. And yet, Christian women often treat their husbands like the wives on those TV shows. They scold their husbands and treat them like they are children. But this isn’t how God instructs Godly women to act.

“However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.” Ephesians 5:33

Often, when a husband loves their wives the way they should, it is easy for a wife to respect her husband. Likewise, when a wife shows respects to her husband, it is easier for them to show love the way they should. While this is usually a nice trade off, it doesn’t always work. Even if a wife doesn’t feel loved by her husband, this isn’t an excuse to not show respect to her husband. Why? Because God commands it.

4) Intimacy (response to your husband)

Of course this is the big one, intimacy. So many wives struggle with this in their marriage and many husbands and wives feel less than satisfied in their sex life. Peace shares, “The sexual bond between husband and wife is a gift from God for the enjoyment of physical intimacy and the procreation of life. All that God created is good, and physical intimacy is no exception” Pg 119.

God created sex within marriage, and He created it as gift for us. But some wives can struggle to see this as a gift and only as an obligation instead. There is a lot more to be said on this subject,  but the bottom line is that God does intend for each couple to have a sex life that is fulfilling for both husband and wife.

“Let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. Let the husband fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have  authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time that you may devote yourselves to prayer” 1 Corinthians 7:2-5. 

5) Submission

Submission is such a touchy subject today, but it is clear what Scripture teaches on the subject. Those who find excuses in order to ignore it are doing just that, making excuses and not looking to Scripture as their final authority. In a Biblical marriage, where both spouses are striving to live their God-given roles, the husband would ideally lead his wive lovingly and she would graciously submit.

This leading and submitting would be mutually beneficial and ultimately glorifying to God. However, a husband doesn’t always lovingly lead and the wife doesn’t always graciously and loving submit. But this doesn’t excuse either side from their roles. Submission is a much bigger topic than can be addressed in these few paragraphs, so to explore more on submission I highly recommend these resources:

While this list could go on about the marks of a Biblical wife, and each point could be discussed in great detail, this is at least a starting point. I know in my life I need constant reminders about what God calls us to instead of listening to worldly callings! I pray that this list will motivate you, and that you will pick up the Bible and read for yourself what it means to be a Biblical Wife or Husband. Also check out: 5 Marks of a Biblical Marriage!

Note

It should be clear that the list below is in no way exhaustive. There are many characteristics of Biblical wives that are not listed below. Neither is this list comprehensive. It is simply a high level overview of 5 key marks to get you started.

An excellent resource that I highly recommend to all wives is The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace. It’s a comprehensive guide to all things having to do with our role as Biblical wives. Peace comes at you straight with scripture and then with the wisdom of an experienced wife and mother, and shares bit by bit and experience by experience what it looks like lived out in a practical manner. She is so humble and quick to share her own failure, you will quickly be convicted by the truth found in this book!

 *This post does contain affiliate links but we 100% fully recommend these resources.

Get instant free access to my Finding Joy in Your Home video course.

  • Do you want to discover more joy, peace, & tranquility within your home?
  • Do you feel overwhelmed and like your house is out of control?
  • Join my free course and learn the essential habits for Christian homemakers
  1. I stumbled across this post months ago and printed it to a PDF file on my computer to read later when I had time at home (where we have no internet) I read it the other night and enjoyed it! I’m yet unmarried but Lord willing one day I’d love to be and this was a great, informative post to store up until then!

  2. Jami, this is a great post! I am so glad that you mentioned about modern tv husbands. I refuse to watch certain tv shows, pretty much anything that’s been made in the past fifteen years, because they portray the wife as bossy and rude to her husband and they portray the husband as weak and dumb, It really bothers me. Great encouragement!

  3. Fantastic site! It is great to see women such as yourselves doing what God asked women to do, to teach other women to be Godly wives and mothers. Know that you work here is greatly appreciated and I hope God continues to bless you for it.

  4. With all respect, this post has some dangerous implications. I was a Christian for a while and felt guilt and shame over failing at this list. I have never been happier than when I became free from this misogynist perspective of what my role is as a woman. I believed that my purpose was to bring my husband pleasure, even if it was at my expense. He wanted sex, so I was obligated Biblically to oblige, despite having then unexamined sexual assault in my past. That trauma was only compounded by guilt and shame felt when I (understandably) wanted nothing to do with sex. Also, I would have KNOWN it would be a problem except that I was a virgin when I got married like a good little Christian, so I also deeply regret waiting until marriage to have sex. It would have saved me so much agony and pain. And that’s just the part about sex.
    Submitting to your husband is a horrible practice. You are supposed to be a partnership. Two adults should have equal say in what goes on. This model does not encourage females to grow as strong individuals but as lesser beings who are basically there to support men. No thanks.

    • E. Wilde I pray you have found healing for yourself and your marriage. I, too, was molested as a child and teenager. Unlike you I became sexually active and wish I had waited until marriage and healing had come. I am a Christian minister and I always struggle when persons fail to provide the whole truth when it comes to submission. Ephesians 5 clearly states ‘submit one to another’. Therefore submission is a virtue for both husband and wife. We both should give and take as it benefits the home and marriage. Iur submisdion shiuld mirror the godly love we should have for one another and not our selfish desires. Secondly, I struggled with Jami’s take in the word intimacy. It is a limited view of intimacy. It is so much bigger than the actual act of sex. I believe the byproduct of intimacy is fruitfulness. Afterall, Genesis says “be fruitful and multiply”. Talking with me, walking with me, cooking with me, sharing your innermost thoughts with me, worshipping with me, praying with me and for me are just a few examples of intimacy that create moments of great intimacy that leads to the desire and actual act of sexually intimacy (for me). Sex without true intimacy is very different from the act we call lovemaking. You can have sex with anybody but prayerfully you can only make love to your husband.

      I appreciate Jami’s take on being a Biblical Wife but clearly some of her limited views is do to inexperience. What is she going to do when her hormones are kicking and her husband is unresponsive simply due to age? Now that’s a Titus 3 moment! She will come to understand he needs to submit and take care of her physical needs. That’s definitely over 40 talk (for me it started in my 30s)!

      So thank you Jami for this opportunity to share and encourage someone like E. Wilkes to reconsider coming back to Christianity knowing that we follow Christ who showed no favoritism. He loved both women and men and empowered them equally both in the home and outside the home. Afterall, he did not make Mary of Bethany stop sitting with him when Martha was fussing because she wasn’t doing “women’s work”. Our Christian faith is very liberating but it is those of us who are so indoctrinated to the patriarchal view that we don’t see we are perpetuating the further misunderstanding and misuse of the wife. The Proverbs 31 woman is great at home and is a great business woman as well. She’s a real estate investor and a lot of other roles. If my husband used me as bragging rights, handled his business, and let me be all I can be while being supportive, he can have any intimacy he wants. And when he falls short, I can submit to him because there is a lot of submitting he does in order for me to be all God calls me to be and I desire to be. In fact, I call that a privilege and not a right!

      • Thanks Belina, I’m so glad you pointed out submission is a two way thing. Expecting submission just from one can lead down a very unbalanced and even dangerous path. Unfortunately our translations put a heading break between Ephesians 5:21 & 22 but it should be read together. In the original Greek it would read like this: “Submitting yourselves to one another in reverence of Christ. Wives to the own husbands …..” You see the word submit is not even in the original Greek in verse 22 because it is previously stated in verse 21 and expanded upon in the following verses for the man and the woman.

  5. What about the fact that I believe God called me to a career as a nurse…and I am SO passionate about it. I also want to be a biblical wife. Does that mean that I will never be a “biblical wife” because I am passionate about something outside the home?

    • Dear Andrea,

      You may never read this as your comment was posted so many months ago, but I just wanted to let you know that it does not state in the Bible that you are not allowed to work outside of the home. On the contrary! The woman in Proverbs 31 works and provides, too. I think the important thing to remember is that your household should not suffer from you working, but benefit from that (if you so choose to work outside of the home, which is obviously the only possibility for your career). I believe it is when your chosen career takes over and renders you unable to do anything other than that (care for your children, look after your home, be there for your husband, or help out within the church community) that you should reconsider your priorities. Maybe limiting your working hours would help, or having someone come and clean your home (the woman in Proverbs 31 had servants, for example) may be helpful with achieving a balance that glorifies God!

      I do hope you get to read this and do not in any way feel like you are not a biblical woman if you choose to work, too.

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