Tuesday, July 15, 2008

How to be a Good Wife, Part III

13. Study your husband's character. He has his peculiarities. He has no right to many of them, but he has them, and you need to know them; thus you can avoid many hours of friction. The good pilot steers around the sunken rocks that lie in the channel. The engineer may remove them, not the pilot. You are more pilot than engineer. Consult his tastes. It is more important to your home that you should please him than any body else. Patience, time, and tact will enable you to clear out the channel, or make new channels through the very substance of his character. A given amount of study expended on him will yield a larger amount of happiness for your family than it can invested anywhere else.

14. Cultivate his better nature. Avoid appearing to be shocked at his rude or crude notions, but set him to thinking about things that will elevate the plane of his convictions, tastes, and feelings. Books, extracts, incidents that contain truths which you wish him to imbibe, can be put in his way or read to him in his leisure. As his standard is more elevated his actions will improve. The winter's blast causes us to hug our wraps, but an hour's spring sunshine causes us to throw them open and off.

15. Study to meet your duties as a wife. Criticise your own defects without mercy. No one else will treat them mercifully. Correct the points that are wrong. If you are indifferent, cultivate interest. If you are negligent concerning your domestic duties, take on care. Whatever a good wife does or ought to do, do that. You can master the science of being a wife as well as you can master any other science.

16. Seek to secure your husband's happiness. Blessing, you shall be blessed. You cannot anchor your end of the ship in a haven of peace while the other end is carried down the cataract.

17. Study his interest. Many women wreck their fortune, and darken their future by indifference to the business interests of their husbands. They fix their hearts upon some display which they cannot afford. The husband must choose between bankruptcy and a family quarrel. Hoping against hope, he purchases peace at too high a price, and ruin comes in at the door which the wife opened to admit her pride or comfort. If need be, live in one room. Eat from the end of a trunk, but do not go beyond your means. Nothing is more respectable than independence.

18. Practise economy. Many families are cast out of peace into grumbling and discord by being compelled to fight against poverty. When there are no great distresses to be endured or accounted for, complaint and fault-finding are not so often evoked. Keep your husband free from annoyances of disappointed creditors, and he will be more apt to keep free from annoying you. To toil hard for bread, to fight the wolf from the door, to resist impatient creditors, to struggle against complaining pride at home, is too much to ask of one man. A crust that is your own is a feast, while a feast that is purloined from unwilling creditors is a famine.

At last we reach the end! Were you as convicted as I was? After twelve years of marriage, I feel like I'm still just barely learning how to be the wife I want to be.

I really loved how simple, yet straight-forward this article is. It all comes down to living the Golden Rule, doesn't it?

May you be blessed in fulfilling your duties,



  1. I am *still* convicted after almost 37 years of marriage...it is a process and it is wonderful and you always have to work at it...
    Great posts....I have really enjoyed them...and yes, have been convicted...GREAT BOOK...

  2. Dear Marqueta, I do so struggle with this. I come from a very feminist mother so my teachings in how to be a good wife differ greatly from God's teachings. I would like to thank you from deep in my heart that I have needed to read this and practice it. I will print this out and study it. Thank you so much for posting it.

    Thank you so much for visiting...

    blessings to your little ones,


  3. Dear Marqueta,
    I too, was convicted by this! I am so glad you shared it. We have been married 19 years and I still have much to learn! Like, Mari, I come from a feminist mother and the Lord has given me so much grace and has helped me in so many ways through His word, books and other godly women! I am still learning! Thank you for sharing this book with us!

  4. Dear Paula and Mari,

    I am another daughter of feminism! My parents divorced when I was three, and my mother held a lot of bitterness toward men in general (still does). That is so hard to overcome, since it becomes part of your subconscious. I think what we're all doing is so wonderful, filling our minds with beautiful things. That is the only way to overcome.


  5. I just found your blog and I love this list! So simple and beautiful. This study would be wonderful printed out for my home management binder.

    You have a beautiful blog. I'm glad I stumbled upon it.



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