Home marriage A Wife’s Part: Part 3–What is a Faithful Wife?

A Wife’s Part: Part 3–What is a Faithful Wife?

by Kelly Crawford

A Wife's Part: Is She Faithful?

JR Miller (from his book The Family) lists the qualities he summarizes as “the ideal wife”.   His eloquence and gentleness of description are unmatched!  I find it hard to condense these chapters as each succeeding sentence grows better than the last!

The first quality is faithfulness.  And he has so many wonderful things to say!  As you read through this description, imagine we all threw off the fetters of wrong thinking that plague us, and became the wife he describes!  How life-changing for our marriages, our children, our churches–for all those around us, to witness the true purity of love in marriage meant to represent Christ and his bride….

“The heart of her husband safely trusts her.”

“A true wife by her character and by her conduct proves herself worthy of her husband’s trust.  He has confidence in her affection; he knows that her heart is unalterably true to him.  He has confidence in her management; he confides to her the care of his household.  He knows that she is true to all his interests–that she is prudent and wise, not wasteful nor extravagant.  It is one of the essential things in a true wife that her husband shall be able to leave in her hands the management of all domestic affairs, and know that they are safe.

…she thinks only of what will do him good.  When burdens press upon him she tries to lighten them by sympathy, by cheer, by the inspiration of love.  She is never a weight to drag him down; she is strength in his heart to help him ever to do nobler and better things.

A true wife makes a man’s life nobler, stronger, grander, by the omnipotence of her love ‘turning all the forces of manhood upward and heavenward’.

….she brings out in him whatever is noblest and richest in his being.

She inspires him with courage and earnestness.

She beautifies his life.

She softens whatever is rude and harsh in his habits or his spirit.

She clothes him with the gentler graces of refined and cultured manhood.

While she yields to him and never disregards his lightest wish, she is really his queen, ruling his whole life and leading him onward and upward in every proper path.

..Some wives are utterly useless, becoming burdens even to manliest, tenderest love.  Instead of making a man’s life stronger, happier, richer, they absorb his strength, impair his usefulness, hinder his success and cause him to be a failure among men….the result is wretchedness.

The true wife clings and leans; but she also helps and inspires…No wife knows how much she can do to make her husband honored among men, and his life a power and a success, by her loyal faithfulness, by the active inspiration of her own sweet life.”

And because “the two shall become one flesh” our Lord speaks of treating each other as our own bodies.  What a husband does to cherish a wife he does as to himself.  But also a wife, in furthering her husband as Miller describes, does so to herself, since their union is inseparable.  Beautiful!

(By the way, I found the entire book by JR Miller HERE for free ;-))

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I Live in an Antbed January 19, 2011 - 12:12 am

Inspiring!! Truly inspiring! I wish Mrs. Miller had also written a book. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?! I am challenged, again, to renew my vision, to “raise the bar.” My husband deserves more of my effort toward serving him. My children would be blessed to see me growing more and more in being a better wife. Thank you for reminding us again of just how big the vision is!

Julia January 19, 2011 - 7:33 am

I really enjoyed reading this. It’s so easy to slip into the “I’ll respect my husband during the times when he ‘deserves’ it,” and this post reminds me that not only must I respect my husband at ALL times, but that doing so results in a sort of upward spiral. Thank you for sharing.

Deanna January 19, 2011 - 9:27 am

Love J.R.Miller!

Katie Grace January 19, 2011 - 9:48 am

Ok, so I’ve got to get this book!

Recently, I’ve been concerned over my lack of service (outside my role as a wife & mommy) for God. Being pregnant with a 1 year-old and a two-year old leaves me little energy or time for anything else. As my outside commitments became fewer and fewer, I began to “mourn” that part of my life.

My husband, who is a bivocatuonal music minister at a large church, works atleast 70 hours a week. He is always “on call” with both of his jobs which can be very hard on our schedule. Because of the structure of our church, he is considered one of the pastors. This means he has sheparding reasponsibilities as well. Because of his time commitment, I manage 95% of everything here at home. My hubby often comments that “I make his life possible”. I’ve always done this plus have had many outside commitments of service too. Right now, in this season of life, that is just not possible.

I have come to realize that my service to my husband is just as valuable as his service to the church and community. Why? Because if I did not pour my all into my role as a wife and mother, he would be unable to serve as he does now. If I constantly complained about his work ( when dinner is interrupted for the 3rd time this week) then he would not be able to serve joyfully. If I did not take care of the home and expected him to “pull his weight,” then he would have much less time with me and the children. Being a helpmeet is sacrifical but in my service of my husband, God is glorified. This is his (my hubby) season to serve and my season to serve him.

Randi January 19, 2011 - 9:59 am

Wow, Katie Grace! I am so happy that the Lord has revealed to you how serving your husband so graciously glorifies the Lord and enables your husband to serve. What a real grace it is to see a situation from the Lord’s perspective (with “forever eyes”). I am also at home caring for several young children, and have just committed to homeschooling our children for my husband. It helps to relieve his financial burden (Christian private schooling can be prohibitively expensive for “larger” families). It also helps to ease his mind that his children are well-cared-for. I know he aspires to be a deacon someday, even though he has not admitted it fully in words as of yet. In the Catholic Church, it is a five-year process of discernment and formation, and it entails obedience to one’s bishop. Whatever roles or responsibilities the bishop requests a deacon to fulfill, a deacon must, out of love for the Lord, give his all to the task. And a deacon’s wife is also expected to be in accord with her husband, assisting him in fulfilling his duties. I want to be a wife like what Miller describes, who strengthens her husband by yielding to him. Christian husbands and fathers, and Christian men in ministry, have a great burden. A good wife can help her husband bear his burden with dignity and passion for the Lord.

Word Warrior January 19, 2011 - 10:50 am

Katie Grace & Randi,

These thoughts are excellent. And as I read them, I know the reaction of many women who read and thing, “But why does your husband get to ‘be important’ while you just stay home?” The direct result of years of effort to convince us that “home” and children and being a wife and all that it entails is not valuable when in fact, I consider it a privilege and my poor husband *has* to go out.

Why can’t we see the importance of this role as equal to anything else we could be doing? Why is that so hard? Why do women get defensive when we defend the home?

It can only be the work of the one who “seeks to devour and destroy”.

By the way, stay tuned for the next part–you will LOVE it.

Kelly L January 19, 2011 - 10:27 am

Lovely~ Enjoying these gentle reminders. My husband is so easily pleased and has such rose colored glasses when seeing me, I sometimes get lazy. What shall I do today to make him feel as loved and blessed as I feel?

I loved the point that the wife actually has a leadership role in these kinds of relationships because her husband trusts her with everything. Kinda goes in the face of “poor, helpless, antiquated women roles.”

My husband told me a couple weeks ago that he was praying that morning to have God help him to never take me for granted because he trusts me with EVERYTHING. No wonder I like this guy! It is such a two way street when husbands and wives love GOd with all their hearts!

Anna January 26, 2011 - 2:10 am

What a challenging inspiration! I am a new bride, and I pray that I will be the wife God desires me to be. Thank you for your words of wisdom. I have been reading your blog for quite some time (even before I was married) and you are a blessing in my life! God is definitely using you to minister to my heart.


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