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7 Ways To Be The Perfect Wife, According To The Bible

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How To Be A Good Wife, According To The Bible Scripture

What is a good wife, exactly? It's not something people talk about with intentionally before marriage, but maybe we should.

Instead, when we are kids we picture what it is like to be married.

We picture walking down the aisle in a beautiful dress, a woman or man waiting for us, locking eyes as our veil is lifted from our face.

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We picture what song we're going to dance to and what our bridesmaids are going to wear.

We think about how weird it would be if we had an ice cream cake and what it would take to keep that cool.

As we get older we picture how many kids we are going to have, what their names are going to be, and if we want dogs or cats and how many of each.

We picture growing old with someone we love, but not how being a good wife can make marriage last.

We envision holding old wrinkly, veiny hands on our wrap-around porch waiting for our grandchildren to come over for the afternoon. We picture a wonderful life with someone we love.

What we forget to picture is the day-to-day monotony of marriage that can make it hard to be a good wife.

We don’t think in terms of who needs to use the bathroom first in the morning. No one asks who doesn’t pick up their dirty laundry off of the floor or who’s in-laws are the worst?

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It's rare to hear about who’s been distant or who suffers from depression. There are issues with feeling overburdened and overworked. Sometimes there are people that hurt us, who we hurt.

We don’t picture the hard times. So we don’t plan how to handle them.

In talks of marriage via the Bible, it can get confusing. Without reading the Bible carefully it can easily be misconstrued as a transfer of property, a woman being released from her father's house into her husband's house.

Some scripture makes it seem like the woman is a servant of the man, being malleable enough to bend to his every whim. But this isn’t the case in most verses. Most verses speak mainly of love between the husband and wife.

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The attempt is to teach each person how to best respect their counterpart. Now we must remember that the Bible was written some thousands of years ago, so times were different. The expectation for women was different.

There are some quotes in the Bible that speak to the woman submitting to a man, and we can break those down.

But mainly the message stands to say women must love, respect, stay faithful, and work together with their husbands to be a great wife. And in turn, he must do the same to her.

1. Being a good wife starts with commitment. 

“But, because of sexual immoralities, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. Let the husband give his wife the affection owed her, and likewise also the wife her husband. The wife doesn’t have authority over her own body, but the husband does.

Likewise, also the husband doesn’t have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Don’t deprive one another, unless it is by consent for a season, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer, and maybe together again, that Satan doesn’t tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”

This one is pretty straight forward. The part that I want to focus on is the part that references ownership.

Where it says the wife doesn’t have authority over her own body, but the husband does, and vice versa. I don’t think what they are saying is that the husband may make love to his wife whenever he wants, regardless of consent.

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I think it is saying that when you are married you and your husband belong to one another. It is no longer your body to give away. If you step out on your husband, you are doing so with the body you willingly gave to him.

He becomes apart of the affair. And vice versa. If a man were to cheat on his wife, he would be doing so with the body he willingly gave her.

The part that speaks to depriving one another, unless it is by consent, I don’t think refers to every day. I don’t think it is saying that if your husband wants to be physically with his wife, and she has a headache, that denial is a part is a form of betrayal.

I believe what it is saying is that if there is a long stretch where intimacy is lacking in the relationship, it should be a mutual decision. And if it is not, it should be discussed between the couple.

2. A good wife is aware of the relationship's emotional status. 

“Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the assembly, being himself the savior of the body. But as the assembly is subject to Christ, so let the wives also be to their own husbands in everything."

This is the Bible verse that I think can most easily be misconstrued. Maybe it's even a little dated but it’s often misquoted.

A lot of what is said here seems sexist as if the love between these two people is transactional. But a lot of it I think is actually beautiful if interpreted correctly.

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3. A good wife replaces 'submit' with mutual respect.

When it references the husband being the head of the wife… that part might be a little outdated. Things just don’t work like that anymore.

I don’t think you need to submit to your husband’s desire to be a good Christian wife.

I also don’t like the metaphor of the wife being to the church as the husband is to Christ. I think that has implications of the wife’s body being used as an altar in which to worship her husband.

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4. A good wife thinks in terms of exclusivity.

I think that perhaps what they mean is that husband and wife are not mutually exclusive. They work their best together like Christ and the Church.

A church without Christ is just a beautiful structure, essentially without purpose. And Christ without a church has no support. There is no one to lift him up and to spread his word. They two only work together.

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5. A good wife focuses on her partner and herself.

What I believe is being said here is not that a married woman should bow down at the altar of her husband, but I believe what it is saying is that she should live her life for her husband.

6. Put each other first.

Not for his benefit but for her love for him. She should put the love for husband beyond the love of herself. As he should for her.

That is what a marriage is. Putting your own needs aside for the person you chose to spend your life with.

It only works if both parties put the needs of their partner before their own.

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7. A good wife is flexible.

Times were very different in Biblical times than they are now. It doesn’t talk about how to handle in-laws, or small fights, or big fights.

It doesn’t talk about how to handle emotional affairs, or when one partner becomes distant.

It doesn’t discuss how to support your partner's mental health. But I think the main thing we can take away from the Bible, on matters of marriage and being a good wife, is that the core of everything is love and respect.

Just truly, selflessly, unconditionally love each other, and everything will be alright.

Whether you have been married for 50 years or you are newlyweds, whether you are gay or straight, woman or man, husband or wife, just love each other.

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Kaitlin Kaiser is a writer who covers astrology, pop culture and relationship topics.