I recently read Candice Watters's article, "When to Settle." It was absolutely what I needed to read right now in my life. Candice clearly listed four non-negotiables for choosing a husband. As a woman who wants to be a wife, I want to know what the four non-negotiables for picking a wife might be. What should I be striving to become?
Thanks for the gushing affirmation of what we do. Hopefully you get a little of the podcast in before you actually drift off to sleep. I tend to download the show to my computer and listen in bed on Friday nights; nice to know I'm not the only one.
As you mentioned, my article "When to Settle" listed the biblically-based non-negotiables that women should be looking for in a future husband. The are:
In order to build a list for what men should be looking for in wives, I need to go back to Scripture. The first qualification is the same:
A woman must be a believer. Paul wrote, "Do not be yoked together with unbelievers" (2 Corinthians 6:14-15). That's a requirement we must all adhere to.
The next requirements are different for men and women and here's where it gets interesting. Despite our culture's best efforts to convince us otherwise, men and women are different. Jesus said,
"Haven't you read ... that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,' and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh'?" (Matthew 19:3-5).
Where husbands are commanded to love sacrificially, wives are commanded to respect unconditionally. Paul wrote,
Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything (Ephesians 5:22-24).
While both husband and wife must be open to the blessing of children, and teach their children to fear, love and obey God (Malachi 2:15, Deuteronomy 6:1-9, Ephesians 6:1-4), wives must be willing to bear the babies and take primary responsibility for their physical care in the early years (Titus 2:3-5, Proverbs 31:10-31).
Where men should be striving to have the qualifications of a spiritual leader, women should be developing the qualities that will make her a help to her husband. (Genesis 2:18) They include being self-controlled, pure and kind, as well as effective home managers.
In his commentary on Proverbs 31, theologian John MacArthur praises the role of woman, saying, that "caring for her household ... was the foremost priority of her life" (MacArthur Study Bible, p. 907). About Titus 2:5 he writes, "Keeping a godly home with excellence for one's husband and children is the Christian woman's non-negotiable responsibility." Noting that the book of Titus was written to a culture steeped in radical feminism, he says, "Modern feminism is neither new nor progressive, it is age-old and regressive" (p. 1856).
This is not to say women can't or shouldn't work outside the home; most women will when they are still single and even into the early years of marriage. But once married, and especially once the children arrive, there should be a perceivable shift in a Christian woman's priorities. This is about the attitudes of a woman's heart.
As you search your own motives and desires, I pray these Scriptures will prove a vital guide.
Copyright 2011 Candice Watters. All rights reserved.