Godly Wives

Harrisburg, PA

Our world, society, and families cry out for holy women, and more specifically, godly wives. There are four prominent characteristics of godly wives mentioned in four different passages of God's Word.

1. She is a Spirit-filled Woman. "Be not drunk with wine wherein is excess, but be filled with the Spirit" (Eph. 5:18). This verse lays the groundwork for the following verses in which a list begins to emerge with the conditions needed to identify a Christian who is filled with the Spirit. A general view begins with "speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs" (v. 19). This same verse states that we ought to be joyful in the Lord and verse 20 tells us to be thankful in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Having a grateful and joyful heart is often easier to obtain than what God requests in verse 21, "Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. "God resists the proud, yet Christians often find this the most difficult to understand.

Because submission is difficult for any Christian, these instructions to wives are often viewed with resistance; however, God gives straight forward guidelines. "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord" (5:22). Thus a Spirit-filled wife is one who is living in subjection unto her own husband. Notice that in verse 24 it adds, "therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything". A godly wife chooses to be subject to her husband not because he is worthy, demands it, has earned it, has met all expectations, or is especially godly. Rather she is subject as unto the Lord - a woman filled with the Spirit.

2. The Word of Christ dwells in her richly. "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom" (Col. 3:16). This is another trait of a godly wife. As before, the verses that follow list the traits such a person will demonstrate to the world around them. Though at times these traits may be highly visible, more often they are small facets in the beautiful life of the godly sister.

As verse 16 continues we are told to be one who is joyful and whose heart is moved in grace to the Lord. This is not someone concerned with themselves but with the Lord. One who serves and is giving thanks in the name of the Lord Jesus, who continues to demonstrate unselfish acts of kindness (v. 17). Godly wives demonstrate this unfailing devotion to God by submitting themselves unto their own husbands, "as it is fit in the Lord" (verse 18). A wife in whom the word of Christ dwells richly will be a woman who willingly is subject to her own husband, not because he is a model person, but because the word of Christ dwells in her richly.

3. Her behavior is "becoming" to sound doctrine. "But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine" (Tit. 2: 1). A godly woman's behavior will be that which is "becoming to" the Word of God. Such behavior is given in verses 3 through 5, which among other things instructs younger wives to be obedient to their own husbands.

The godly wife will be filled with God's Word, sound doctrine, and found living in daily subjection to her husband. Such behavior will be ".becoming" to God's Word in order that it "be not blasphemed."

4. She is adorned with submission. "Likewise ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands... for after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands" (I Pet. 3:1,5). A wife who has trusted in God, having adorned herself with holiness, is a wife living in subjection to her own husband.

These four characteristics of a godly wife are shown forth by her life of subjection to her own husband as unto the Lord.