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Dr. Walter D. Huyck Jr. D.Min.

How To Be A Successful Wife

1 Pet 3.1-6


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[Previously we studied, Five Keys To Be a Successful Husband, in that message we discovered what God reveals in His living and life changing Word to help Husband’s  nurture their relationship with their wife, and make their home a little bit more like heaven here on earth.  In that message we discovered that a Husband needed to,[1]] 

·         [Be Intimate with his wife.]

·         [Be Insightful of his wife]

·         [Give Increase to his wife]

·         [Be Interested in his wife (spiritually)]

·         [Be Inseparable from his wife]

[If a man will work on those five things in his marriage, then he will be doing the right things to bring joy, happiness, and peace into his home.  His children will see the changes that will take place and their attitudes and character will begin to change as they see the difference that God’s plan will bring into their parents relationship.  Men your home can be a harbor of happiness if you will strive to improve your relationship with your wife.]

[But wives, you need to know that your husband cannot transform your home on his own.  You must do your part, and God is equally revealing about what every home needs of a wife and mother.  Our study today will strive to reveal those things that a women needs to do, according to God’s Word, to be a successful wife.]

[Read Text]

[Illustration - A Wife's Humility]

["Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth" (Matt. 5:5).]

[A drunkard husband spending the evening with his jovial companions at a tavern boasted that if he should take a group of his friends home with him at midnight and ask his Christian wife to get up and cook supper for them, she would do it without complaint. The crowd considered it a vain boast and dared him to try it by a considerable wager. So the drunken crowd went home with him and he made the unreasonable demands of his wife. She obeyed, dressed, came down, and prepared a very nice supper just as quickly as possible and served it as cheerfully as if she had been expecting them. ]

[After supper one of the men, a little more sober than the others, asked her how she could be so kind when they had been so unreasonable, and, also when they knew she did not approve of their conduct. Her reply was, "Sir, when my husband and I were married, we were both sinners. It has pleased God to call me out of that dangerous condition. My husband remains in it. I tremble for his future state. Were he to die as he is, he will be miserable forever; I think it my duty to render his present existence as comfortable as possible." This wise and faithful reply affected the whole company. The husband thanked her for the warning, and became a serious Christian and a good husband.[2]] 

[The five things we are about to draw out of God’s Word will help a wife to be successful in her home whether her husband is striving to be the godly husband he needs to be or not.  I am often approached by good Christian women, whose husbands are not saved or have wandered away from the Church and God, they ask, “What should I do with my husband who is living such an ungodly life in our home?”  The Bible is clear and speaks loudly,

[1 Peter 3:1-2 1 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; 2 While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. ]

[Then again,] 

[1 Corinthians 7:10-16 10 And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband: 11 But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife. 12 But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away. 13 And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him. 14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. 15 But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace. 16 For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?]

[Now, I do not believe that anyone should remain in a physically abusive situation, but spiritual abuse is not physical abuse and God is undeniably clear.  In both of these texts godly Christian’s are to remain with ungodly spouses because their spouses and family may one day get saved.  Is this a hard reality to live out in one’s life?  Yes it is, but it is God’s clear direction to all of us.] 

[God’s Plan Works - My point here is simple, God’s plan for a successful home will work to transform your home if you trust God and execute His plan in your family and marriage. Husbands, implement the five keys to be a successful husband and your home will change.  Wives implement these five keys to being a successful wife and your home will change.  However, if you get discouraged, and either do nothing, or do all the worldly things you see in our culture (On those soap opera’s, or hear about on doctor Phil) rather than what God reveals that you should do; you will get the world’s results.  What are the world’s results?] 

  • [Short lived situational ethics and happiness]
  • [Broken relationships and divided homes]
  • [Sexual immorality and impurity]
  • [Despair and despondency in your life]

[God’s way works! The world’s way fails.  Now which way will you choose to go?] 

A Godly Wife Must, 

A.    Confirm God’s Plan For Her Family (vs 1, 5; Eph 5.21-24; Prov 31.30) [– 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; . . . 5 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: - What is God’s plan for your family.  God has planned order for your family.  As a godly woman you must agree with God and cooperate with his plan for your home.] 

[A reminder to men – Men you should never say, “You have to obey me” or “You have to submit to me” to your wife.  If you feel like you have to say this to your wife then you had better look inside yourself, because it is likely that your pride is driving you to this idea, and pride always results in a hard fall.  Your wife likely knows what the Bible says, and if she is a Christian she already wants to be right with God.] 

[God placed order in your home – The late great Adrian Rogers used to say, “Anything with no head is dead, and anything with two heads is a freak.”  Everything needs structure and order, including your home.  The Bible says,] 

[Ephesians 5:21-24 21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. 22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 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. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. ]

[When God says that the man is the head of the wife God is not talking about the value of the man or woman, he is talking about the structure of your home.  In the message to husbands we discovered that God values both men and women equally in His family.  While our Heavenly Fathers sees equal value between the sexes He does not view men and women as identical. The Bible says,] 

[1 Peter 3:7 7 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.]

[Men and women are not the same, according to God’s design.  Men are stronger, women are weaker.  What does this mean?  Which is stronger a crow bar or a table fork?  Which do you typically use more?  But they are both important and valuable in  their purposes.] 

[Wives, you need to agree with God about the structure he has placed within your home.  You also need to understand your personal value in Christ and your home, and recognize your husband’s value in Christ and your home.  Your children need to see God’s plan and structure lived out joyfully and peacefully in your home.] 

[Kings and Queens – In our study for Husbands we discovered that your husband needed to recognize you as the queen of your home.  Wife, you also need to recognize your husband as the king of your home.  Husband, recognize and treat your wife as your queen and she will find it easy to treat you as a king.  Wife, if your husband does not treat you as a queen, you still need to treat him as a king, trusting God that your husband will be transformed by your honor toward him and will then begin to treat you as a queen.] 

[What happens when a wife confirms God’s plan for her family?] 

1.      [You bring God’s blessings into your home – Obeying God is always the right thing to do, and God responds to your obedience.] 

2.      [You give your Husband something different to respond to – Perhaps there hasn’t been much peace or joy in your home.  Maybe, a wife has not been honoring her husband as she ought; because her husband is not a godly man or hasn’t treated his wife right.  If a wife will start confirming God’s plan in her home she will give her husband something different to respond to and he may change himself.  Whether your husband responds to your obedience toward God or not, you will never go wrong going God’s way.] 

3.      [You demonstrate your dedication to your Lord – The Bible says,] 

[Proverbs 31:30 30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised. ]

[Nothing will increase a woman’s value more than her dedication and purity toward our Lord Jesus Christ.   Many have said, beauty is skin deep, but ugly goes all the way to the bone.  Nothing will make you more beautiful than having a heart fully given to God and a character that reflects the Lord Jesus Christ.]

[Wives, when you confirm God’s plan for your family, in word and in deed, you will find yourself one step closer to being a successful wife in God’s kingdom.]

B.     Cherish Her Family (Eph 5.33; Prov 31.10-12) [–  A godly wife and mother will deeply cherish her family.] 

[Webster’s defines Cherish as 1 a : to hold dear  : feel or show affection for  *cherished her friends*  b : to keep or cultivate with care and affection  : NURTURE  *cherishes his marriage* 2 : to entertain or harbor in the mind deeply and resolutely  *still cherishes that memory*[3]] 

[When I think of a woman cherishing her husband and family I think of a woman who protects and promotes her husband and her family.] 

[This is a woman who,] 

1.      [Cares enough to Protect her husband and families reputation – She affectionately speaks of her husband and family and never speaks a dishonoring or despairing word about her family.  This is a woman who understands the hurt that can be caused by the wrong words and she cherishes her family too much to speak an ill word about her family in public.] 

2.      [Cares enough to Promote her husband and family – This godly woman will constantly edify (build up) and encourage her husband and family.  She will strive to elevate their self esteem, especially with things seem to be down.  This woman realizes that the whole world is trying to tear her husband and family down, but she has decided that she will purposefully build them up.] 

3.      [Cares enough to Praise her husband and family – This godly woman will realize that she is the chief cheer leader for her husband and family.  If she does not cheer her family on in life, then nobody else will.  Every team needs cheer leaders, including your home.] 

[The Big Head Syndrome – When I have suggested to wives that they need to protect, promote, and praise their husbands I typically and often get about the same response.  They might say, “Preacher, if I do that then my husband will have such a big head he won’t be able to get through the front door.”  Ladies, you need to change your minds.  You are the only cheer leader in this world for your husband, and he needs a cheer leader.  If you follow this reasoning and fail to cherish your husband then you will see his discouragement and you will find despair in your home.  If you fail to cherish your husband then it is likely that some seductive wench is out there who will and you will find your home a divided home.  A Godly successful wife must cherish her husband and family.  Ladies, you will never find yourself able to over inflate your husbands ego, there are just to many in our world who are working to tear him down.  You cherish your husband.] 

[Biblical evidence that a wife must cherish her Husband and family includes,]

[Ephesians 5:33 33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband. ]

[Reverence - φοβῆται (Gk) - from phóbos (5401), fear. To put in fear, terrify, frighten. In the Class. Gr., to cause to run away. In the NT, only in the mid. phobéomai (contracted phoboúmai), aor. pass. ephobé̄thēn and fut. pass. phobēthé̄somai, meaning particularly to become fearful, afraid, terrified.[4]  This word sound a lot like our English word phobia meaning fear.] 

[I do not believe that the intension here is that the women should fear their husband but they must honor and respect their husbands.  Ladies, if you will not honor and respect your husband, by cherishing him, then you had better fear the distress your lack of a cherishing heart toward him will bring into your home and family.  A discouraged and despondent husband will result is a gloomy home.] 

[Notice how a virtuous women’s husband will view his wife,] 

[Proverbs 31:10-12 10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. 11 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. 12 She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.]

[A godly, successful wife must cherish her husband and her home.]

C.    Clothe Your Family (Prov 31.13-17; Titus 2.1-5) [- This deals with the day to day domestic affairs of a woman’s home.  The Bible says,] 

[Proverbs 31:13-17 13 She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. 14 She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar. 15 She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. 16 She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. 17 She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. ]

[Now look at,]

[Titus 2:1-5 1 But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine: 2 That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience. 3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; 4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. ]

[Our society today screams out in rebellion toward God’s plan and structure for the family.  Especially this part of it.  Women today often say, “I will not be his maid!”  Others might say, “Woman ought to have a career just as a man has a career.”  In saying this they imply that somehow true meaning in life is found in the workforce and in fulfilling a successful career.] 

[The Truth About A Career – A career or job is only fulfilling in life while it is worked.  Many have dedicated their lives to a career only to retire, and to realize shortly after retirement that the business they dedicated their lives to seemed to forget them almost as soon as they walked out the door into retirement.  A job is not eternal in nature.  A job is merely a means to the end of providing support for the family.  It brings a provision to the table but it cannot bring lasting meaning to ones life or the home.] 

[The Truth About A Family -  Everything that mother’s and father’s do with their families is potentially eternal in duration.  If a godly mother nurtures and builds godly character in her children, which can only be accomplished through extensive time and commitment, then that godly character will last into eternity.  There is nothing more meaningful than what a wife and mother can do for her family by making her family her career.] 

[Keeping A Home Is A Fulltime Job – Look again at all this virtuous woman in proverbs thirty-one (31) did for her family.] 

·         [She works with her hands (vs 13) - She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.] 

·         [She cooked delicious food (vs 14)She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar.] 

·         [She sacrificed for her home and more (vs 15) - She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.] 

·         [She secured her home (vs 16) She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.] 

·         [She was strength for her home (vs 17) - She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.] 

Godly, successful wives make their house into a home.  Men provide great caves, women turn caves into homes. 

D.    Comfort Her Family (Prov 31.26-27) [- When we looked at the keys to a successful husband we noted that men and women have a very different make up within them.  We noted that men are logical and normally think with their minds, while women are more emotional and think with their hearts. This is why men and women may often be using the same words but saying something very different.  Wives you need to realize that while men desire to be a comfort for their families they usually struggle in this regard.]   

[Differing comfort - The comfort a man gives is very different from the comfort a woman gives.  A man gives the comfort of security and physical strength to his family.  A woman gives the comfort of compassion and emotional strength to her family.  Ladies, wouldn’t you agree that logic is a poor comforter in many situations.  A man does not mean to be cold and logical, but that is just what most men are.] 

[Notice what Proverbs thirty-one reveals about this virtuous woman.] 

[Proverbs 31:26-27 26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. 27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.] 

[A godly successful woman is the primary source of compassion and comfort for her husband and home.  A husband will learn much about comfort and compassion from his wife.]   

[What do we know about a godly wife’s comfort?]  

·         [Her comfort will give counsel and guidance (Prov 31.26) - She openeth her mouth with wisdom; – Her comfort is permeated with godly wisdom and truth.  She does not let her heart rule her purity.] 

·          [Her comfort will be tender and kind (Prov 31.26) - and in her tongue is the law of kindness.–Reaching out to the heart more than the mind.] 

·          [Her comfort will nurture and encourage (Prov 31.27) - She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness – She does not just sit by in neglect she is actively involved in her home and family, striving to lead them in the right ways through compassion and counsel.] 

E.     Convince Her Family (Prov 31.28; 14.1) [– If there is anything that will establish your children in their resolve concerning right and wrong it is the example of a godly, successful wife and mother.  Notice what the Bible says,] 

[Proverbs 31:28 28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.]

[Get a child and husband to rise up and call a woman blessed and you find children and a husband who have been convinced by the life and example of a godly woman that life is worth living when the Lord Jesus Christ is a part of your life.  If a husband and family would praise their mother then they will likely willingly adopt the faith and character of their mother and wife.]

[A godly successful wife and mother has the power to shape her husband, home and heritage by the life that she lives and the counsel that she gives.]

[Proverbs 14:1 1 Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands. ] 



[2] Richard A. Steele and Evelyn Stoner, comp., Bible Illustrations – Practical Bible Illustrations From Yesterday and Today, (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 1998), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: "556. A Wife’s Humility". 

[3] Webster’s 11th Collegiate Dictionary, Cherish.

[4]Zodhiates, S. (2000, c1992, c1993). The complete word study dictionary : New Testament (electronic ed.) (G5399). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.


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