An Ephesians 5 Wife - Part 2

More than any
other time in history, women today need a clear understanding of how they
should relate to their husbands.  In
fact, the significant social changes brought about by the women’s movement over
the last few decades have led to such confusion that the very idea of
“roles” is offensive and unacceptable to some.  They feel as if somehow they lose their
identity and their freedom if they observe some type of “outdated

important for us to look clearly at what the Bible says on this subject of the unique
responsibilities God assigns to a wife.

1) Be a
helper to your husband

While everyone
is called to be a helper to others, the Bible places a special emphasis on this
responsibility for wives.  Genesis tells
us that God realized it wasn’t good for man to be alone, and that He decided, “I will make a helper suitable for
(Gen. 2:18) 

It is
interesting to note that the Hebrew meaning of the word helper in this passage is found hereafter in the Bible to refer
only to God as He helps us.  The fact
that this same word is applied to a wife signifies that women have been given
tremendous power for good in their husbands’ lives.  God has designed wives to help their husbands
become all that God intends for them to be.

2) Respect
your husband

In Ephesians
5:33, Paul says, “… the wife must respect her husband.”  When you respect your husband you reverence
him, notice him, regard him, honor him, prefer him, and esteem him.  It means valuing his opinion, admiring his
wisdom and character, appreciating his commitment to you, and considering his
needs and values.

have many needs.  The macho man who is
self-contained, independent, and invulnerable is a myth.  Here is a list of what I consider to be some
of the primary needs most of us men have:

1) Self-confidence
in who we are as a man.

2) To be
listened to

3) Companionship

4) To be needed 

these needs is what respecting your husband is about.  To bolster his confidence, try being his number
one fan.  Every husband wants his wife to
be on his team, to coach him when necessary, but most of all to be his
cheerleader.  A husband needs a wife who
is behind him, believing in him, appreciating him, and cheering him on as he
goes out into the world every day. 

3) Love your

 Titus 2:4 calls for wives “to love their
A good description of the kind of love your husband needs is
“unconditional acceptance.”  In
other words, accept your husband just as he is—an imperfect person.

As you pray
about loving your husband as God loves you, one of the things God will show you
is how very easy it is for you to put yourself first.  It’s shameful when you think of your Lord’s
example of washing His disciples’ feet and dying for the sins of mankind.  I’m sure my selfishness is displayed in my
marriage more than I realize.  I know my wife
sees it, and that is not sacrificial love.

Jesus told
His disciples in John 15:12, “My command is this: Love each other as I have
loved you.”   

And then, in
case there was any question about how much Jesus loved them, He clarified His
statement with a definition of the kind of self-sacrificial love He had for
them and expected them to have for one another when He said, “Greater love has no one than this that
he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I
command.” (John 15:13)

You are to love your husbands the way Jesus Christ loved you when He
laid down his life for you.
How can your husbands not be
encouraged, inspired and motivated when you show, and demonstrate to them, the
kind of love that sacrifices itself for the benefit of others?  Show him
the kind of love that says, “Not my will, but yours.”  “Not my happiness, but yours.”  “Not my fulfillment, but yours.”

the Bible, God is seen as a protective and loving God. Do you have a protective
love going on for your husband?  Chances are your husband is in some kind
of arena where he can be “beat up” by co-workers, a boss, someone competing for
his job, and so on.  There may be days when your husband is disrespected
at his office, by his grown children, by someone in his extended family. 

Whether he’s
a coach, an executive, a supervisor, a teacher, or an employee working under
someone else, he has his days.  And those
are the days he needs your understanding smile, and the reassurance that no
matter what anyone else thinks of him, the most important woman in his world
still believes he’s her hero.  That’s the
kind of protective, reassuring love he needs to get back out there and face it
all again the next day.

speaks of God’s loving kindness that lasts forever.  It also speaks of His unfailing love. I
believe the most thorough description of love that we can find in Scripture is 1
Corinthians 13:4-7. Quoted at many weddings, this passage describes enduring
love—love that won’t quit.  In case you’ve read through this portion of
Scripture many times before, I would like to try and give you a fresh
perspective on these verses using The Message. 

yourself: Does this describe my love for my husband?

never gives up.

Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end. (The MSG, 2002)

As you love
your husband unconditionally, sacrificially, protectively, and with
perseverance, he can’t help but notice you loving him as God does. And that is
the kind of love that 1 Corinthians 13:8 says, never fails.”

4) Submission
to the leadership of your husband 

5:22, “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.”

I know I
covered the concept of “submission” quite thoroughly last week.  But in thinking more about it the past few
days, I would like to add some additional thoughts.

Scriptures make it clear that a wife should submit voluntarily to her
husband’s sensitive and loving leadership.  Therefore, as you voluntarily submit to your
husband, remember that you are completing him.  You are helping him fulfill his
responsibilities, and helping him to become the man, the husband, and the
leader God intended him to be.

Building “oneness”
in marriage works best when both partners choose to fulfill their
responsibilities voluntarily, with no pressure or coercion.  To become the servant-leader God has commanded
him to be, your husband needs your gracious respect and submission.  And when he loves you the way he is commanded
to, you will find it easier to submit yourself to that leadership.

And in this,
you are doing so with an attitude of entrusting yourself to God. In one of his
letters, Peter tells us that even though Jesus suffered terrible pain and
insults, He did not retaliate, “Instead, he entrusted himself to him who
judges justly.”
(1 Peter 2:23)  
When you entrust your life to the Father, it’s
much easier to be the wife of an imperfect man, particularly when you may have

Note: Some of you
may live with abuse or in excessively unhealthy and destructive conditions in
your marriage.  At times, it may be
inappropriate or even life-threatening for you to apply unquestioningly the
principles of submission.  For example,
if you are being physically or verbally abused, you may need to take steps to
protect yourself and your children.  You
may need to say “enough is enough.”  If you are in that situation, please
discerningly seek out your pastor or someone wise who has been trained to help
with your specific issue.  PLEASE! Do not
hesitate to seek help!  Loving, forgiving,
and submitting DOES NOT mean that you become a doormat or indefinitely tolerate
destructive behavior.

So, how does
this all fit together?

If you have
ever sewn a dress, or attempted to sew one, you know how a pattern works.  (And yes, I know which end of the needle to
thread)  The pattern is made of many pieces,
some large and some small, none of which accurately resembles the finished

pattern has pairs of parts: two sleeves, a front and back skirt, and even the
collar and facing pieces are usually in twos.  When it is properly assembled and made usable
with buttons or a zipper, these pieces make a complete dress.  A marriage is very similar.  God has designed a master pattern for husbands
and wives that when followed will create a whole, usable, beautiful marriage.

In the same
way a dress can be made in different sizes and colors with numerous differences
in detail from one pattern, so your marriage may look different from someone else’s.
 As you acknowledge Christ as Lord of your
lives, you must work out your marriage according to God’s plan.  The key is for each wife to follow God’s plan,
know her part, and work to fit in with her husband’s responsibilities.

If you have
any questions or comments, or suggestions for a topic, I would love to hear
from you in the comment section below.
See you next week, and May God bless you!

Can God change your life?

God has made it possible for you to know
Him, and experience an amazing change

in your own life.

Discover how you can find peace with

Editor's Picks

Editor's Picks