“Good” is a vague word, and quite obviously there are many more than five qualities considered to be characteristic of a good spouse. To read about a few of them, check out my post Don’t Marry Him Unless.
Today, I decided to focus on five often-overlooked qualities of a good wife. In this post, I’ll be writing about why these qualities are important for wives to possess and cultivate. Please do not take that to mean that I don’t think husbands must possess and cultivate these virtues too. I absolutely think they should. I’ll be writing from a wife’s perspective simply because that’s the role I’m about to take on in just several months here.
Every marriage is a dynamic portrait of the Gospel…a living and breathing image of the relationship between Christ and His church. As members of the church, we have much to be grateful for. Not only did our Lord become incarnate, give His life, and rise again to accomplish our salvation, but He continues to intercede for us and hold us fast in the faith.
Assuredly, our husbands are not Christ. They have not done as much for us as He has, nor will they ever. However, just as the church has reason to be appreciative to Christ, wives have reason to be appreciative to their husbands.
Perhaps your husband works long hours at the office or takes care of the monthly household budget. Maybe he takes out the trash each evening or scratches your back every night. Whether in big things or little things, chances are that your husband provides for you in easy-to-overlook ways. Please don’t take those things for granted. Be an appreciate wife.
One of the five widely recognized love languages is words of affirmation (it just so happens to be my primary love language), and if your husband is a words of affirmation guy, being his cheerleader should be high on your priority list.
Wives, your words matter. Use them to build your man up, not to tear him down. Tell him that you value his efforts at work. Tell him that you notice and appreciate his efforts to love you well. Tell him that you see the Holy Spirit working in a specific area of his life and that you’re grateful for his continued sanctification. You can even tell him that his weightlifting at the gym is really paying off! Whatever it is, be an encouraging wife.
Even if you don’t think your husband is a words of affirmation guy, I encourage you to give this a try. Studies show that we all benefit from all five of the love languages, even the ones that are not our primary. So reflect on your husband’s graces and encourage them daily.
I recently heard the following quote: “Be more interested than interesting.” And it made me think about my interactions with people. I thought about the ratio between how many times I talk about myself and my own interests and how many times I ask about the other person in an average conversation. It turns out I could be better about being more interested than interesting.
As a wife, it’s important to cultivate an interest in subjects that interest your husband (as he should do for you). Of course you don’t have to become a New England history enthusiast or an NHL super-fan overnight if those aren’t your passions (I used those subjects as examples because those are my fiancé’s and dad’s big areas of interest respectively), but developing at least some level of interest in your husband’s passions will allow the two of you to share meaningful conversations and enjoyable experiences.
Observe, observe, observe! For my fiancé’s 25thbirthday, I bought him a necktie that he had mentioned liking once. When he opened his gift, he asked me how I knew he wanted that particular tie, and I told him that I made a mental note of it when he mentioned liking it that one time.
Not only will observing make you a better gift giver, but it will also help you care for your husband’s heart more effectively. Observe when he seems down and ask him if something is weighing on his heart. Observe when he seems distant and ask if there’s something he’d like to talk about. Observe and take note of things that stress him and pray for him accordingly. Open your eyes, wives, and observe.
Women are not men, and men are not women. It seems ridiculously simple, but failing to understand that truth and its implications can lead to all sorts of conflict.
We can’t expect our husbands to handle life the same way we do. We’re women, and they’re men, and that means that they’ll fundamentally process things differently than we do.
Share your point of view with him, but also listen to his perspective and try your best to understand it. Christ is the cornerstone of any lasting relationship, and compassion and empathy are vital bricks. As you and your husband build your life together, labor to be an understanding wife.
There you have it…my five qualities of a good wife. Of course, there are more though. Please share what qualities you think are essential for a spouse to possess and cultivate below.