How does a woman serve her husband?
I asked online for topics women would like to see covered and I got this sweet reply: Hello Anna from South Africa (What does it look like to serve a man using everyday examples).
To answer the question of what it means to serve your man, as Christians we must begin with the Word of God. God’s purpose in designing woman is stated in Genesis.
Genesis 2:18, Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”
God created women to be a helpmeet, that is a helper suitable to her husband. A helper comes alongside the one he is helping. A helper serves, he does whatever he can to make things work smoothly, to carry out the plans of the one he is serving. Since woman was designed as a helper, this is true also of us. As our husband’s helper, we must help him carry out his plans and serve him.
But what does this service look like?
In Titus 2: 4-5, Scripture commands older women to train younger women in this way: And so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.
In His wisdom, the Lord commanded older women to teach younger women what it means to be a godly woman, a wife, mother, and homemaker. God’s purpose doesn’t change. What was true when Scripture was written, is true today.
Back to our question: How does a wife serve her husband? By being obedient to God. When a woman fulfills her duties to her husband, she is serving him. We can break down the practical aspects of service but it’s bound up in this: A wife is to submit to her husband and love him, love her children, be kind, a worker at home (she isn’t lazy), pure, and self-controlled. Consider women today: Do these attributes describe most of them? No, because feminism has destroyed the idea of godly femininity. God knew what He was doing in commanding a woman to be obedient in these ways.
A man with a godly wife, a woman who is pure (devoted to Christ, he doesn’t have to worry about her getting addicted to romance novels, pornography, or having an affair) is a blessing to her husband. He can trust her to love him. He can trust her motivations and desires. Such a woman is a blessing to her husband. This is part of her service to him.
A woman who is kind, self-controlled, and submissive is a treasure most men can only dream of. Time and space prohibits an in-depth discussion of this but consider: When a woman willingly is kind to her husband and willing to serve him–even if he is late to supper, has come home stressed from work, is burdened by his obligations, is a woman who is serving him in the most loving way possible.
A woman who is self-controlled and fulfills her obligations to her family is a rare find. Her service to her family trumps her service to others. This is one reason a woman working for a boss isn’t able to fulfill all of her duties to her family: If her boss tells her she has to work late, in order to please him she has to fail to fulfill her duties to her family. She can’t serve her husband in the way the Lord commands if her service to her boss comes first. So a woman who puts her husband first and is self-controlled and does what needs doing when it needs doing, and is able to control herself in other ways–words, thoughts, desires, temper, and so on–is fulfilling God’s command and is a blessing her husband.
God commands women to submit, to love our husbands and children, and to care for our homes. Caring for our homes, loving our family, means far more than showing up to toss the laundry in the washing machine or sticking a frozen pizza in the oven. We are to care for them, to love them, to serve them–how? By caring for their needs. A home without a homemaker is more a temporary rest station than a home. When our heart and our time is in our home, we can attend to the small and large needs of our family. Whether it’s preparing a meal or tending to boo-boo’s, sewing or cleaning, these are acts of service to our family. When we attend to them in such ways, our family knows that they come first with us.
In 1 Peter, women are told “let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands,” Many women are brash, loud, and bawdy. This is the way of women in these dark and modern times. But the Lord commands us to have a gentle and quiet spirit–the opposite of what our culture and even many of our churches teach is acceptable. What man wants to come home to a nagging, braying, wife? If they are honest, not a one. A woman with a gentle and quiet spirit is a blessing to a husband who goes out into the world to earn a living and fight his battles. We serve our husbands by nurturing such a spirit.
This passage also shows that God says we’re to submit to our husbands. Even our so-called conservative churches frequently try to tell us that submission is entirely mutual (and, as believers, we are to submit one to another but this isn’t addressing marriage). These same people claim that mutual submission trumps God’s command to women to submit to their husbands.
Some women use sex as a tool to get their husbands to do what they want them to. But 1 Corinthians 7: 3-9 commands against that. It says, The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. Now as a concession, not a command, I say this. I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another. We can draw the conclusion that one of the wife’s duties is to please her husband sexually with her body and not to withhold sex from him (and for certain, this goes both ways). This is another way she can serve him.
A woman serves her husband by respecting him and teaching her children to do the same. Ephesians 5: 33
However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
Submission does not equal abuse. Wives owe it to God and to their husbands to submit to their husbands. This doesn’t mean he has the right to stomp all over you. He doesn’t. It means you follow his leadership. To fail to do so is to sin against Almighty God. Ephesians 5: 22-24, Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
Proverbs 14: 1, The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down.
Ladies, how do you know if you are tearing down your house? Are you fulfilling your duties as a wife and mother? Do you submit to your husband, obey him, respect him, take care of your home so he has a comforting place to come to at the end of a day that he has spent trying to provide for you? Do you nag him? Condemn him? Gossip about him? Do you fail to treat him as your dearest and most cherished neighbor (for that is what he is)? If so, you are tearing down your house.
Let’s read through Proverbs 31: 10-27:
10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. 11 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. 12 She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. 13 She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. 14 She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar. 15 She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. 16 She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. 17 She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. 18 She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night. 19 She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. 20 She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. 21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet. 22 She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple. 23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land. 24 She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant. 25 Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. 26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. 27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
What is it about this woman that makes her worthy of the praise uttered in these verses? Vs 28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Or, vs 31 Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.
It’s that she fulfills her duties and her husband can trust her (because she doesn’t gossip about him, has his best interest at heart, isn’t wasteful, is wise, etc.). She’s a hard worker and fulfills her duties. She takes care of her family and those who are in need. This woman is wise, never idle, and prepares for what is to come. She handles the affairs of her home so her husband is free to do what he needs to do. She’s kind in her words and actions.
She serves her family and by doing so, she serves her husband.
To summarize, we serve our husband by simply being obedient to God in fulfilling the duties He’s assigned us. Do you take care of his needs? Cook for him? Clean his house? Nurture his babies? Come alongside of him? Trust him? Build him up instead of tearing him down? Support his dreams, his vision, and his goals? Do you believe in him? Do you speak words of comfort when he needs it? Submit and obey willingly? Respect him in word and deed? Ladies, do you encourage him? When he’s tired, do you allow him to rest and relax (rather than dumping your duties on him)? If he’s hungry, do you make him a sandwich? Prepare his favorite meal just because? Do you adapt your life to his rather than expecting him to adapt his life to you? These are just a few examples of ways you can practically and daily serve your husband.
Soli Deo Gloria!