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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Who's Number One? Seven Practical Suggestions for Wives

Illustration by: mapichai

“Look out for Number One.” (Anonymous)

“If you don’t treat yourself like number one,
then others will treat you like number two.” (Anonymous)

“Being the best is great; I’m number one. But being unique is greater;
I’m the only one.” (Anonymous)

“Don’t make me your number one; make me your only one.” (Anonymous)

 “I don’t want to be number one.
Being number one means there is a two and three.
I want to be the only one.” (Anonymous)

When I read quotes like these—all written by Mr. Anonymous, I notice—I am amazed at the egocentrism. Me first. It sounds like a three year old. Mine. It’s all about me and what I want, me and who I am.

What does the Bible have to say about who’s first?
  • I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. (Exodus 20:2-3)
  • My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him (Psalm 62:5).
  • And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment (Mark 12:30. Similar verses: Matthew 22:37; Luke 10:27).

God is Number One. He is the Only One Who merits that place. No one else or any thing takes that spot. It belongs to Him.

For the married woman, she has two Number Ones. Number One is God.

Her Number One Person is her husband. Let’s see how the Bible explains this.

1 Corinthians 7:34 makes the distinction between a single woman and a married lady, There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband. The single woman serves the Lord directly, and the married woman serves the Lord by pleasing her husband. Both are serving God, but the married woman yields herself to her husband’s wishes.

Proverbs 31 is the portrait of the Virtuous Woman. Here are a few verses about her relationship with her husband: Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her (10-12, 28).

Ephesians 5 gives us a good grasp on our role as wives. Please understand that the word submission means to willingly yield to someone who is higher in rank than you. It’s a word that expresses the soldier’s relationship with his superior. He arranges himself under the leadership of another. That’s what is meant by submission.

Keep that in mind as you read these verses: Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband (22-24, 33).

This next passage is perhaps less easily understood, since it is addressing two ideas at once. It’s about women’s clothing coupled with godliness and our respectful attitude towards our husbands.

Let’s read: Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement (1 Peter 3:1-6).

The key verse is verse 5, which says that holy women adorned themselves with a meek and quiet spirit and showed respect to their husbands. The example is Sara, Abraham’s wife. In Christ, we are children of Abraham by faith. (Galatians 3:7) In verse 6 of this passage, we are also Sara’s daughters!

How can we make sure our husband knows he’s Number One? Here are seven practical suggestions: 
  1. Each morning, ask your husband, “Is there anything I can do to help you today?” Whatever he answers becomes your priority. Get it done, if at all possible.
  2. Always kiss your husband good-bye when he leaves the house, and greet him when he comes home. Listen as he tells you about his day. Do not clobber him first thing with your hard day. That can come later, if necessary. Let him feel your eagerness to see him, and then let him chill.
  3. Be flexible. Make sure you have enough “wiggle time” In your own schedule, so you can do a few extra things for your hubby.
  4. Make your husband your top priority, not your children. Your children, especially when they are small, will take more of your time, but remember to give special attention to your marriage relationship, even while the kids are little. Your marriage is for life. The children are only with you for eighteen to twenty years.
  5. Resolve problems quickly and completely. Don’t wait days, months, or years to deal with something important that bugs you about your spouse. Talk it over sweetly, and make sure you do whatever is necessary to resolve the issue. Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath (Ephesians 4:26). Don’t go to bed mad. Find a happy compromise. Many times, problems are just misunderstandings. Make sure you’re on the same page.
  6. Praise your husband verbally. Does he have muscles? Let him know you notice. Does he sing well? Tell him so. Did he do something to help at home? Thank him, and praise him for the good job. Is he a good father? Tell him so. Is he smart or funny? Let him know you think so. Does he work hard? Praise him for it. This is what the Bible is talking about when it tells the wife to reverence her husband. (Ephesians 5:33) Never, ever down your husband in front of the children or in public!
  7. Put your husband up on a pedestal and keep him there. Build him up. This can be verbally, or the way you look at him, or the way you defer to him in public. The Virtuous Woman knew how to do this. She did him good and not evil all the days of her life! (Proverbs 31:12)

God is Number One. He has your heart.

Your Husband is your Number One Person. Let him know it. You’ll never regret it!

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