Today, as married women, the society around us teaches us to be strong, independent and outspoken. We are told not to play second fiddle to any man. We are asked to “wear the pants” in the family and be supermoms who “do it all.” Yet, while “doing it all” may at first sound like a noble goal, we need to ask: For whom and for what are we trying to “do it all”?
As women who may often find ourselves over-committed with duties in the workplace and at home, we need to ask ourselves: Are we keeping our priorities straight? Are we putting God first, husband second, followed by others—and ourselves last? Read Proverbs 31:10-31 and Ephesians 5:22-33.
In the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding, one character observes, “The man is the head [of the house], but the woman is the neck. And she can turn the head any way she wants.” This mentality can be inharmoniously true today. Wives often are fully aware of our ability to bat our eyes and to manipulate conversations to get what we want, “guilting” our husbands into withdrawing.
Yet the Bible teaches us not to be manipulative of our husbands (or anyone else)—nor is it to be “all about us.” We need to understand that submissiveness to our husbands is not a weakness. Though the term “submissive” has in some contexts gained a negative connotation, this was not God’s intent at all. God intended a balance in life between husband and wife.
In Judges 16, we read of the story of Samson and Delilah. Delilah was using these same tricks to obtain the truth behind the secret to Samson’s strength from him. Verses 15 and 16 portray Delilah nagging to get what she wanted. Finally she wore Samson down, learned his secret, sold it to the Philistines, and it ultimately led to his death. Most likely what we desire will not lead to our husband’s loss of sight and death, but the manipulation and pestering is just as undesirable.
We can be supermoms and superwives, but without the skew and abuse of power that modern secular society often expects of us. “Biting our tongues” may be easier said than done—especially in our own homes. We need to remember that we as wives have our roles, and our husbands have theirs. That is God’s intent. Together, when the two halves pull their weight, life can work beautifully—unified and balanced.
With the correct attitude and respectful communication, let us as women be the neck that supports the head—keeping it steady, not trying to “turn the head any way” we want. No pouting. No nagging. No trying to foist work on our husbands by making an exaggerated show of end-of-the-day exhaustion, hoping they will take care of the children or do some of our other chores. Remember, if your husband is pulling his weight—just as you are—he is likely to be just as exhausted as you are at the end of his busy day of work. A wife is doing a world of good even when she is observed as a quiet pillar of strength for her family.
Are you feeling stressed, even overwhelmed? Stop, say a prayer, and take the time to remember what God asks of each of us. Put your husband before yourself. Try complimenting him instead of nagging or venting. And ask yourself, to echo Ephesians 5:33, have you used your voice today to tell your husband that you love and respect him?
Through it all, we should remember the promise of God’s Kingdom, which can be obtained if we obey God’s desire for us as wives. When we are tired or at wits’ end, our goal of pleasing God should come to the forefront. Let us recall that goal daily as we strive to remain motivated in all we do for our husbands, our families and all those we serve!