by Tad Lindley
You know that I don’t spend a lot of time on Facebook. The account “Tad Lindley” is managed primarily by my wife. But once in awhile I get sucked in and start reading peoples’ posts. Sometimes I come across a post and replies like this one (not a real post).
Husband posts: Every time I come home from Anchorage I find other men’s T-shirts in my house. (Then underneath a picture of a crumpled up Nike shirt).
Wife replies: Who’s the hussy you’re seeing in Anchorage.
Husband replies to wife’s reply: You need to stop drinking and clean the house!
Wife replies again: Buy me a mop! Or did you spend all the money at bingo again, Girlyman!
Could I pastor you for just a moment?
Before I get on to the secrets of getting a better wife, let me pastor you for a moment. If you are in the habit of sharing your spouse’s dirty laundry on facebook, or any other social media, you need to stop right now and never do it again. Your children may be seeing it, and your friends see it and are embarrassed for you. Who do you think wants you to criticize your spouse on Facebook, the devil, or Jesus?
Back to the secrets of getting a better wife
The Bible talks about a tremendous wife, you read about her in Proverbs 31: A good woman is hard to find, and worth far more than diamonds. Her husband trusts her without reserve, and never has reason to regret it. Never spiteful, she treats him generously all her life long. She shops around for the best yarns and cottons, and enjoys knitting and sewing. She’s like a trading ship that sails to faraway places and brings back exotic surprises. She’s up before dawn, preparing breakfast for her family and organizing her day. She looks over a field and buys it, then, with money she’s put aside, plants a garden. First thing in the morning, she dresses for work, rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started. She senses the worth of her work, is in no hurry to call it quits for the day. She’s skilled in the crafts of home and hearth, diligent in homemaking. She’s quick to assist anyone in need, reaches out to help the poor. She doesn’t worry about her family when it snows; their winter clothes are all mended and ready to wear. She makes her own clothing, and dresses in colorful linens and silks. Her husband is greatly respected when he deliberates with the city fathers. She designs gowns and sells them, brings the sweaters she knits to the dress shops. Her clothes are well-made and elegant, and she always faces tomorrow with a smile. When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say, and she always says it kindly. She keeps an eye on everyone in her household, and keeps them all busy and productive. Her children respect and bless her; her husband joins in with words of praise: “Many women have done wonderful things, but you’ve outclassed them all!” (Proverbs 31:10-31 Message)
So you want a wife like that?
Notice in the passage above I have made the references to the husband bold. The passage focuses mostly upon how great the woman is; she’s hard working, gets up early, keeps the clothes mended, uses her family’s resources to help the poor, the list goes on and on. However, it makes three important points about the husband: 1. He trusts her (he doesn’t stalk her, he doesn’t read through all of her texts, he doesn’t call her up all day long to see who she’s with), 2. He is greatly respected (he is active in the community, an honest man who cares about other people), and 3. He praises her for the things that she does (he only compares her with other women in cases where she is better than all of the rest. If you want a Proverbs 31 wife, what are you doing to get a Proverbs 31 wife?
But Brother Lindley if you knew my wife, you’d…
I know that your wife is not perfect. It’s possible that she asked you to stop right in the middle of a 12 hour Fortnite binge and change the baby’s diaper. It’s possible she lost her temper when she found out you spent some of the stove oil money on Bingo. It’s possible that you might have a flat out lazy wife, and while you are reading this she’s sitting on the couch in the 20th hour of a pop and Dorito-fueled Candy Crush binge. But I am not here to discuss your wife, I am here to discuss you, the husband. She will never become a Proverbs 31 wife unless you are willing to become a Proverbs 31 husband.
Forget about your wife for a moment
If you want a better wife, help her to be a better wife in these three ways:
1. Trust her (even if she doesn’t deserve it),
2. Work on yourself, build your own reputation through hard work and helping others,
3. Praise her. Find the things that she is good at and brag on them. Let her overhear you praising her to someone else.
If you can do those three things, you will be carrying out the role of a Biblical husband. She will never become the wife you want her to be without your participation.
Tad Lindley is a minister at the Bethel United Pentecostal Church.