This is the fifth post in a series about being children of God and how that informs our various roles as women. Read all of the posts in the series here.
To be transparent, I feel rather unqualified to write on the topic of being a wife and child of God. I love being married, yet learning how to be a wife and adjusting to marriage from singleness has been the most difficult commitment I have made. God has kindly and faithfully taught me about Himself—His enduring love and commitment to me—through my husband, and slowly, I see Him conforming me to His purposes in marriage.
While single and in the months leading up to our wedding, I read many books about marriage, studied the role of husband and wife, and hoped that I would be able to enter into marriage always keeping Christ as my first love and center. Since being married, understanding how marriage is a picture of Christ’s love for the church (Eph. 5:22-33) or how to love God first in the midst of smashing your life into another’s still seem difficult to comprehend, particularly in the mundane aspects of daily life, raising a family together, communicating about dinner plans, and so forth. As I pondered what to share for this piece, the following thoughts came to mind.
- God’s purpose for each marriage is to bring glory to Him and mirror the love Christ has for His beloved church (Eph. 5:22-33). Yet, the means by which He achieves this purpose looks different in each relationship. Many of our friends have, thankfully, enjoyed their first years of marriage relatively conflict-free and in some state of wedded happiness. Some experience disagreement with financial priorities, walk through difficult life-changing circumstances, navigate complicated family situations and relationships, or very commonly, labor every day through some minor squabble. The temptation to compare your marriage to the marriage of your friends or parents or sisters or brothers is fruitless, sister. Focus instead on building each other up in love and pray for the marriages around you.
- Study your husband, and learn to be his best friend. So much of the rhetoric around marriage in our culture focuses on generalized differences between men and women and the frustrations we feel because of said differences. Yet, we see God’s early purposes for marriage at the very beginning of the Bible in Genesis 2:
“Then the man said,
'This at last is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called Woman,
because she was taken out of Man.'
Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”
In marriage, you are united to your husband—you are one. This unity creates intimacy and a healthy dependence upon each other. You are one flesh with him. The more you know and understand your husband and the more he knows and understands you, the more intimate and close your relationship becomes—a reflection of the oneness the Father and Son share in the Trinity.
Practically, I am learning how to be united with my husband in how I share my heart and its deepest desires and fears, as well as my daily life. The committed love my husband has for me provides me with the freedom to freely share. There is great blessing and peace in the intimacy we experience simply by being involved in every aspect—both the mundane and the deep—of each other’s lives. It is refreshing to be around women who cherish their husbands; the uplifting words they share encourages me to strive to love my husband well.
By uniting two separate lives into one, marriage cultivates dependence on one another. Often, the areas in which you are weak are areas in which your husband is strong and vice versa, and the very traits that attracted you to your spouse are what have potential to cause frustrations in marriage, requiring us to remember our first appreciation for these traits. Tackling weaknesses in your marriage requires you to work together. Since vowing my life to the good of my husband three-and-a-half years ago, I have found marriage to be lethal to the independence I strived for in my single years and the subsequent pride that sprouted from that independence.
- Marriage is a gift and blessing. The opportunity you are given to love your husband well on this earth for the duration of your lives is unique and something only you can do for him. God saw that Adam was lonely and created Eve to provide companionship and help. This partnership and friendship is good. In the midst of life’s clamor, joys, and trials, you have been given a lifelong partner and friend, and you have been given to your husband as a lifelong partner and friend. Cherish this friendship, foster it, and observe how God grows and deepens your love for one another. It is an incredible gift.
Whether you are single and desire to be married or are married, God’s desire is for you to love Him and grow in Him, bearing much fruit and enjoying every good He gives to you. I would love to hear whatever thoughts and comments on marriage you wish to share about being a wife, the desire to be married, or anything else in the comments below.