These days, it's considered countercultural or antiquated for a woman to focus more on giving and serving in a marriage (seen The Oprah Show lately?).  In fact, the world seems to be doing everything it can to encourage spouses to live separate lives instead of becoming one:  "How does he/she make me happy?  Protect your interests and keep your money separate.  Why should I have to give up [fill in the blank] for him/her?  What's best for me?  This is my time!" 

In author Gary Thomas' Sacred Marriage, he offers a different point of view: 

"What if God designed marriage to make us holy more than to make us happy? … Marriage calls us to an entirely new and selfless life … Whether it is delightful or difficult, your marriage can become a doorway to a closer walk with God, and to a spiritual integrity that, like salt, seasons the world around you with the savor of Christ."

That's radical.  But it's right.  The Bible encourages us to focus not on ourselves, but on what and how we can give to someone else, as two become one (Genesis 2:24).  A woman must practice daily dying to self, as she is fused together with her husband in marriage.  And her example can be a witness of greater sacrificial love (the love of Christ) to others. 

Following Christ's Example in Marriage

As a wise woman is motivated to bring the qualities that Jesus exemplified to her marriage, she also knows that she will not take the place of primary importance in her husband's life.

She is a co-laborer in the cause of Christ and a sister in God's family.  And she should do all that she can to help point her husband to Christ first, so that he is the center of their marriage and the primary focus of their relationship.

And the intangibles that a woman packs in her hope chest?  They will hopefully bear forth Kingdom-minded qualities that she will one day offer her husband in marriage. 

Surely he will be blessed and will praise her as they begin their marital—and spiritual—journeys together.

He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD (Proverbs 18:22).

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised (Proverbs 31:30).

 

Laura MacCorkle is Crosswalk.com's Senior Editor and oversees the Books, Movies, Music and Singles channels.  While she's still holding out for Mr. Right, Laura has recently downsized her "perfect" wedding day ideal from high-budget, blow-out extravaganza to inexpensive, beachfront ceremony or informal, backyard barbecue.

She also cowrites the monthly "He Said-She Said" column with contributing writer Cliff Young.  Click here to read the latest edition in Crosswalk's Singles Channel.