Today is part one of a two-part mini-series on being a thoughtful wife in collaboration with Hannah from Just Bee! Hannah is a lovely blogger, teacher, wife, and believer who writes from rural Minnesota. Today, both Hannah and I are sharing what being a thoughtful wife means to us; next Thursday, we’re each sharing some practical and implementable ways to love your husband and live out being a thoughtful wife.
I crave structure in life and writing, so first, let’s define thoughtful. (I know this is level 10 cliché, but stick with me!) The definition of thoughtful is three-parted: absorbed in or involving thought; showing consideration for the needs of other people; showing careful consideration or attention.
The concept of thoughtfulness, though somewhat abstract, is rather simple to grasp. Really, it’s thinking enough about something or someone so as to make wise, considerate choices for its/his benefit. In the context of this blog post, it’s thinking about your husband often and deeply, and making positive choices with your words and actions based on this thinking.
Doesn’t that last sentence look so lovely tied up in a neat little bow? If only it were so easy to live out. Being thoughtful and kind, especially when you don’t feel thoughtful and kind, can be so trying. It’s gritty. It’s tiring. It’s holy work, but it’s worth-it work. As a woman of faith, Christ is central to my marriage with Riley. It’s important to me to be a God-honoring woman first, and a kind, thoughtful, loving, forgiving wife second. (Because the former will always flow into the latter.)
Here’s what the Bible says about being a wife of noble character (excerpt from Proverbs 31):
Who can find a virtuous and capable wife?
She is more precious than rubies.
Her husband can trust her,
and she will greatly enrich his life.
She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life. (v.10-12)
All three of these verses are so important when it comes to thinking about being a thoughtful wife. I so desire to be virtuous, capable, trustworthy, enriching, and a blessing to my husband. The last verse, “She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life,” is especially convicting. I’m meant to bring good to Riley all the days of my life. I think: how about a Monday-Wednesday-Friday schedule, and I’ll be a little less thoughtful on the other days? That would be so much more manageable. But that’s not what I’m called to; I’m called to more.
Here’s what being a thoughtful, good-bringing wife really means to me: it’s saying the kind thing (or nothing) when the harsh words are on my lips. It’s showing an interest in the things he’s interested in, even if they aren’t my cup of tea. It’s assuming the best of him and giving him grace when he fails. It’s apologizing and asking for forgiveness when I’ve hurt him. It’s empathizing with his stresses and anxieties and being gentle in those places instead of judgmental or cruel. It’s choosing words and timing wisely when conflict arises. It’s thinking about his heart and mind and caring for them as only a wife can.
Don’t think for a second that I’m sitting around shining my halo. I know in my heart what it means to be a thoughtful wife, but my words and actions often fall short. This marriage work is so challenging. It’ll knock the wind out of your lungs. Two becoming one doesn’t come without a cost–we have both made major sacrifices for the benefit of our marriage. Anyone who says marriage is easy is delusional. It’s so beautiful, and so worth it, but it’s not easy. Co-existing or living under the same roof isn’t the same as cultivating a transparent, open, vulnerable, intimate marriage. Marriage is hard and holy. It’s refining and glorious.
Being a thoughtful wife, at the end of it all, is about thinking about Riley before I think about myself. Like I learned at summer camp–“God first, others second, I’m third!” (Again–way easier said than done.) Through the challenges of marriage and seasons of life, I pray that I would fix my eyes on the beauty of Christ and His perfect love, which will enable me to pour out that love on my husband and others. Here’s to being a genuinely thoughtful wife.
// How has being a thoughtful wife benefited your marriage? What’s most challenging to you about being a thoughtful wife? If you’re not yet married, how do you practice thoughtfulness in your relationships?
Head over and read Hannah’s post on being a thoughtful wife here! You can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You will love her refreshing, soul-soothing, life-giving way of writing. Enjoy!