By: Jenni Walker
“Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies. The heart of her husband safely trusts her; so he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life.” Proverbs 31:10-12
“Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose. Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.” Philippians 2:1–5
Note to our readers: We are focusing on the marriage relationship over the course of this month and practical ways to put verses such as these into practice in the context of marriage. However, if you are single, widowed, dating, or even need biblical insights for other relationships such as with family, friends, or co-workers, we invite you to still stick with us this month. There are inspiring and challenging things to consider for us all!
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“Your attitude can make any action an act of worship.” (More wisdom from Bryan Walker!)
In all areas of life, our attitude is critically important. It affects the words we say, the actions we take, and how we respond to the words and actions of others. Attitude is both how we approach and how we respond to something. As wholehearted women, we are called first and foremost to have an attitude of worshipful surrender to Christ in all things (Romans 12:1–2).
Over the last two weeks, we looked closely at ways for a wife to joyfully love her husband with her words and with her actions. But amid the demands of life, we often need a relational attitude check. As wholehearted women who are surrendered to the lordship of Jesus Christ, we are called to both approach and respond to our husbands in ways that demonstrate honor to them and to our Lord. Let’s choose to adopt the following heart attitudes toward our husbands:
1) I VALUE YOU.
“Are your hearts tender and compassionate? Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.” (Philippians 2:1– 2)
This is the man you married! Be intentional to keep a humble attitude that conveys the love of Christ toward him as your husband. Then let him know that you value him by taking a genuine interest in him in tangible ways. Doing his laundry, making a family meal, having friends over for a football game he’s especially excited about, considering his style of communication, complimenting his particular looks, valuing his talents…Words and actions become deeply authentic when they are expressed from a heart that sincerely values and honors the recipient.
2) I APPRECIATE YOU.
Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too…” (Philippians 2:3–4)
Do you have a tender heart toward your husband? Does your attitude convey the love of Christ and how deeply you appreciate him? Choosing to cultivate this attitude of the heart fosters agreement, compassion, and a unified heart. We are called in the body of Christ to work together “with one mind and purpose,” and that includes marriage! How can you actively cultivate and express this attitude of the heart toward your husband? Specific appreciations for who he is and all he does for you and your family can communicate deep honor and affirmation for him: His work, service, time with kids, mowing the lawn, volunteering at church, his arm around your shoulder, him holding the car door for you, his hair, his smile…Not just our words but our body language and attitudes can communicate to our hubbies that we appreciate them immensely! Consider how even seemingly simple ways of appreciating him can produce a unified purpose in glorifying God in your marriage!
3) I AM WITH YOU.
“You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.” Philippians 2:5
This is a radical command in the face of our “do what’s best for me” culture. Just what was this attitude that Jesus had? It was one of laying down His life, one of humble obedience to God, and one of glorifying His Heavenly Father. (Check out Philippians 2:1–10!) Being godly wives who “do good” with our actions, words, and attitudes of the heart is not only for the purpose of making our marriages more fulfilling (although that is a wonderful result, too!) It is first and foremost a way to put life-transforming commands such as this one from our Lord and Savior into practice so that we might experience HIM and put HIS glory on display.
Marriage is a daily gymnasium of sorts for bowing the knee of our hearts to the lordship of Jesus Christ in worship to Him. The more we cultivate this attitude, the more the tenderness, compassion, and joy of Christ will infuse our marriages. Ladies, doing our husbands good is a holy calling that requires dependence on the work of Christ and the help of the Holy Spirit. The compassion and love of God never fail; He never leaves us or forsakes us. Lean on Him as you cultivate an attitude of the heart toward your husband that lets him know, “I am with you.” Let him know that you love being married to him, thank him for the big and the little things, and make him feel like the hero! Show him respect and honor. He’s the one for you – him and only him…all the way!
ALL THE DAYS OF HER LIFE
Let’s each remember that our husband, despite all of his potential quirks, differences, and yes, even flaws, is the man that we married before God and man. We are called as wives to rely in all things on the grace of God as we love our husbands according to His holy and wise design for marriage. We pray that these three important elements of being a wife who “does her husband good all the days of her life” will bring fresh purpose, joy, and even romance to each of your marriages. May the words of Proverbs 31:10–12 compel you to wholeheartedly and intentionally love and honor your husband in your words, your actions, and your attitude not just around Valentine’s Day but every day!
“Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies. Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.” Proverbs 31:10–12
TIME TO REFLECT
1) Which of these three heart attitudes toward your husband (I value you, I appreciate you, and I am with you) might God be asking you to cultivate with greater intentionality in your marriage?
2) Is there an attitude of your heart that is not Christ-like toward your husband? Humbly consider the following verse. Then ask the Lord to search your heart, to show you where that attitude first started to grow (i.e. from feeling hurt, tired, or even justifying sin in your own heart), and to give you wisdom for reconciling with your husband in this area out of honor for him and in worship to God! God cares about our hearts and will always help us in our time of need as we seek to obey Him and draw closer to Him in all things.
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8
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*****As we conclude our February focus about being a wife who “does her husband good all the days of her life” (Proverbs 31: 12), we humbly offer the following insights:
- If you have found yourself in an uncertain or even abusive situation in your marriage, please seek help! Remember that you are never alone, and there is always hope.
- If you and your hubby are bickering often, and there seems to be frequent unresolved conflict and lack of intimacy, do not ignore it! Keep “loving your man” with the love of Christ and with God’s wisdom and help. Also, do not be afraid to seek godly counsel. Talk to your husband, endeavor to get on the same page about it, and then talk together to a pastor, a trusted couple or church small group leaders, or even a professional therapist. There is no shame in getting a tune-up!
- Lastly, even those of us who believe we have the best husbands in the world still have to be intentional in “doing good” for our husbands. Remember that “Every wise woman builds up her household…” (Proverbs 14:1) Pray for your husband! Be with him! And love him every day.