Stan Cox


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The Responsibilities of the Wife


Since the relationship between an husband and wife is a partnership, it is not surprising that many of the responsibilities each have may be identical.  For example, just as the husband is to be selfless, affectionate and kind to his wife, the wife should be the same to her husband.

Paul told Titus in Titus 2:1-10 to give instructions to certain of the brethren in the church.  To the older women he charged a responsibility to teach the younger women.  They were to admonish them to "love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed" (vs. 4-5).  This verse can be used as a template for discussing certain responsibilities peculiar to the wife.

The Godly Wife

The woman who is pleasing God with regard to her familial obligations is characterized by several important attributes.

  • Love (Philandros, Philoteknos).  The love that is enjoined upon the wife by the apostle here is a different kind of love than that mentioned in Ephesians 5 as the man's responsibility to his wife.  Where that love (agape) had no specific reference to affection, and dealt with the responsibility of the man to treat his wife correctly,    in  this  text   affection   is   the primary thrust.  The woman should have an affectionate love for her husband and her children.

    The term philandros literally means "fond of man"; philoteknos likewise means "fond of children."  This is the only time these terms are found in the New Testament.  The key here is the root philos, which indicates fondness or friendliness, and has reference to the tender feelings that a woman is to have toward her husband and children.  The happiness a wife can bring to her home with such tenderness is so important in the lifetime commitment of marriage.

    Below is a poem written by an elderly man as he looks back upon the tender love he received from his wife in their life together.

Embers

Warm by the fading embers of my dreams,
Which lived as lively fires long ago.
Still they comfort as though kindled yesterday,
I stir them gently, ever gently in my heart.

You are part of every ember which still warms,
And your glow is how I live from day to day.
I close my eyes and gently then I see,
All the years and years of embers warming me.

I carefully tend my thoughts of what has been,
They are but a feel of the life I've yet to know.
You have warmed my life and spirit constantly,
I've been gifted by your love surrounding me.

Roger E. Honzik

    The final line of the poem is especially suitable for our study.  "You have warmed my life and spirit constantly, I've been gifted by your love surrounding me." This is the type of love a wife should have for her husband.

  • Discreet and Chaste. The term discreet is a slightly different form of the same term found in verse four when the older women are told to admonish the younger women to be "sober".  Being discreet, or sober, indicates a woman who is in control of her emotions and actions.  She has a sound mind, and is not given to excess.  She will not embarrass her family.

    Chaste (hagnos) is defined by Vines' as "pure from carnality, modest."  Happy is the man whose attraction to his wife is primarily to her character and personality rather than her physical attributes.  A person's looks have nothing to do with their character and righteousness.  A godly woman is one who influences her husband by "your chaste conduct accompanied by fear.  Do not let your adornment be merely outward; arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel; rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God" (1 Peter 3:2-4).

  • Homemakers.  It is an unfortunate aspect of our society that a woman whose primary work is making a home is looked upon as less valuable or accomplished.  This is completely untrue.  While it is true that a woman can work outside of the home (see Proverbs 31), no woman can do so righteously if she neglects her home.  Too often this is happening, even in the church.  All women must understand that if they are entering into a marriage relationship, it will be their responsibility to be the homemaker.  The work is given them by God.

  • Good.  Actually, the term is more accurately rendered "kind".  There is an old saying that you find from time to time on refrigerator magnets and the like.  "If momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!"  It is the wife who is the emotional control in the home.  If she is kind to her husband and children, the home will happy.  A strident, sharp tongued woman can cause tremendous distress.  "It is better to dwell in a corner of a housetop, Than in a house shared with a contentious woman" (Proverbs 25:24).

Conclusion

A wife has much incentive to be the type of woman described above.  She will  please her God by having this character.  Too, this type of woman is loved by her family.  "Her children rise up and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praises her: 'Many daughters have done well, But you excel them all'" (Proverbs 31:28-29).

 

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