Being just a plain old wife is hard enough, but have you ever tried to be an excellent wife?
I’m serious. Believe it or not, there’s a manual: The Excellent Wife,* written by Martha Peace. This levels up “how to be a good wife.” It’s a guide for how to do it.
I must confess: I thought I was excellent already. So, when someone recommended the book to me, I almost laughed. I’d been a wife for long time. Compared to a lot of wives I knew, I was a pretty good one. I cooked, cleaned, took care of kids, stayed home. Heck, I could’ve written the book.
But, I decided to read it anyway. I also wanted to confirm my excellent-ness. I felt pretty confident picking it up. It begins with Martha defining the role of a godly wife.
“The role of a godly wife is to glorify and submit to her husband.”
The “s” word. Even if I was not the greatest at it–okay, I stunk– I was still a pretty good wife. In the beginning of the book, Martha explains the challenges she faced early in her marriage. I could relate. Maybe you can, too.
I’d been a feminist. I wasn’t a card carrying member of the National Organization for Women (NOW), but I had a female superiority complex. And, submission, who does that?
Okay. So things didn’t roll so smoothly in my marriage. No one’s perfect.
Blame, animosity, resentment, and frustration–just a few of our issues.
It didn’t take long to figure out I was NOT as excellent as I’d thought.
As I read the book and began to understand the role of a godly wife, I knew I could never be that kind of wife without some help.
I also knew I’d be making a conscious decision to disobey God if I continued wife-ing as I’d been.
Trying to be an excellent wife isn’t easy. It goes against everything society says a woman should be. Some days, I don’t even feel like trying. I’m tired. Life’s hard. Not to mention, some days I don’t feel like my husband deserves an excellent wife. I don’t always get excellent-ness back.
But, as unpopular as the ideas may be, the book is biblically sound. Martha’s not advocating being a doormat or treating your husband like a god.
She’s saying loving and knowing God gives us a desire and the strength to become more like Him. In doing so, we become more excellent as wives.
Reading The Excellent Wife hurt. It dented my pride. I thought I had it all together, but I totally missed the mark. The book did change my marriage because it gave me a desire to change.
Am I perfect? Absolutely not. Not even close. I fail daily.
But God has placed a desire in me to want to be the kind of wife He wants me to be. Not excellent compared to others, but excellent by His standard.
Where could you make changes to become a more excellent wife?
First appeared on sheilaqualls.com February 2015.
*My only compensation for recommending this book is a stronger marriage.