Is your identity in being a wife? That may mean marriage is becoming an idol!
I’m looking forward to an amazing weekend with my husband, and I’m getting all ready to have some fun, but I wanted to leave you with one quick thought before the weekend starts.
I see it all the time in my social media feed–“how to be an excellent wife”, “how to be a Proverbs 31 woman”, “how to be a godly mom.”
I want to excel as a wife, too. But there is a huge difference between “10 ways to love your husband more” and “how to be a loving wife.” See, one tells you things you can do; the other reinforces an identity.
If I were to look back on all the blog post titles I’ve done on this blog, I’d likely find that I’m guilty of this too–I’m sure I’ve got some starting “How to Be…” It’s really our default, isn’t it? Yet increasingly I’m becoming uncomfortable with it.
I know “be” is just a little word, but the more I talk to women, the more I feel like sometimes the focus is off. Our job is not to BE good wives; our job is to glorify God in our everyday life. And when we do that, we will end up loving our husbands more. But the focus must always be on Jesus. Chase after God, and everything else falls into place.
Quite often when I look at some blogs and some books written for wives, I get the feeling like they’re telling women that we were primarily created to serve our families.
No, we’re all created to serve God.
One way we do that is to love those closest to us, including our husbands and our kids. I loved being a stay-at-home mom and focusing on my girls first and foremost. But let’s never let our family stand in the place of God. We were ALL created to reach the world for Christ. One way we do that is as wives and mothers. But when we restrict women to only that, I do think we lose the right focus and we start idolizing the role rather than the role-giver.
And then what happens to a young girl growing up in this culture if she never gets married? Is she inferior? What happens to the woman whose husband passes away at a young age? Is her usefulness over? What happens to the woman who put all of her identity in raising her kids, and then her kids leave home (or, even worse, leave the faith?)
And, most sadly, what happens to the woman who is married to an abusive or bad man? Does she stay and subject her children to that toxic environment because she can’t imagine her life if she’s not a wife?
We put too much pressure on our husbands when being a wife is our identity.
When you think that your purpose is to be a godly wife, then if your marriage starts to get rocky, or if your husband doesn’t seem to appreciate all the effort you put in, that can be extremely frustrating. And because you’re so focused on the “wife” aspect of your life, you’re also going to be naturally focused on the “husband” aspect. You’ll be measuring him up more. You’ll see more easily why he’s failing (and, as I’ve talked about before, one of the two keys to a successful marriage is to scan for things to praise, not to notice things that are wrong.)
One woman left this insightful comment on my Facebook profile when I was discussing this recently:
For years there have been household tasks I dreaded, felt I was always “messing up”. I was constantly striving to measure up, to do it well in the eyes of one specific man. Sure, I wanted to honor Jesus too, but my primary focus was on serving, pleasing, astounding, the man I love. One morning I got up and attempted one of those dreaded chores with the perspective that I was doing it for Jesus, not in the “what if Jesus came to my house today?” mindset, but in an act of worship. And when my husband saw what I had done (I didn’t even have to point it out to him this time!), a legitimate compliment stunned me because I hadn’t been focused on my husband as I did it.
Chase after God. Fill your mind and your life with God’s words and live them out in the here and now, in your daily life. Let His love motivate your own for all of those around you. Revel in everything and everyone that He has given you! But never, ever think that your purpose is only in relation to other humans. Your purpose is for God, first and foremost. And don’t let anything, or anyone, else stand in the way of that.
Do you think women sometimes make marriage their idol? Have you? Let’s talk in the comments!
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