Do you realize that we have at least five kinds of wives? Wives can be as troublesome and sweet as husbands. We cannot blame all of the vice in the world on men. I know many men are sitting on the edge of their seats. There are some wives who are wonderful and represent the ideal kind of wife. On the other hand, there are some wives who are a pain in the neck. What kind of wife are you? Here are my descriptions of the five kinds of wives:
The roaring lioness wife: This is the strong-headed, military-leader kind of wife who bosses everyone around. Similar to the “lion king” authoritarian husband, she is controlling and gets most of her requests done by others out of fear and trembling. She is often far ahead of everyone, dragging them along with her. Her husband, usually the quiet type, is embarrassed to be with her in public. She is a troublemaker. She has an unhealthy form of independence we call super-independence, and she is not interested in becoming a partner with her husband. This kind of wife perhaps is best described as an aggressor.
The barking, critical wife: She is described in the Bible as a constant dripping on a rainy day (Proverbs 25:15). She criticizes just about everything and everyone. Very little positive, encouraging words can be heard from her lips, and she is often stubborn with it. In the home, she is a pest to her children and her husband. At church, her critical spirit stifles growth. In the community, she prevents positive growth. If growth is to take place, it has to be under her influence. This is the kind of woman who was raised not to respect her husband, but to use him. If he does not do what she says, she criticizes him. This kind of wife may be best described as a troublemaker.
The quiet, subservient wife: This is the kind of wife many traditional men dream of having. She is the “yes” woman. She is sweet, supportive, gentle and very easy to get along with. Because of this kind of personality, she is often used, abused and misunderstood. This kind of wife usually ends up marrying a “lion king” authoritarian husband who controls her. She is perhaps the greatest supporter of leaders, and is very loyal and committed to them. She honors her husband and was taught to serve him without question. In fact, she has been raised to be dependent on men and values what she believes is her biblical mandate. However, in her quiet world, she may be troubled, often depressed, and feels used and abused. She cannot express herself because she is not supposed to. This kind of wife may be best described as a peacemaker.
The popular, nice lady wife: This is the independent, thinking wife who makes it her duty to treat her husband with respect. She is nice to everyone, and because of her attitude, gets along with most people. This kind of wife may be an effective leader (not like the “roaring lioness” wife who controls rather than cooperates with others). She has creative ideas and seeks to get the cooperation of those she works with. Although she enjoys making joint decisions with her husband on family matters, she believes that her husband has the final say on most major issues.
The vitalized-harmonious wife: This is the ideal wife who may be called by theologians the Christ-centered wife. She enjoys sharing home leadership and decision making with her husband, who values her as his equal partner. When both husband and wife have a healthy form of independence, together they form a vibrant interdependent, harmonious relationship. Together they create a synergy that is unmatched by any other kind of husband-wife relationship. She empowers her husband with her supportive attitude and sensitive communication skills.
The vitalized-harmonious wife is the kind of person who helps create the perfect marriage. A perfect marriage is one in which both married partners realize and admit their imperfections and find ways of reducing them one by one, thus creating a synergy of marital forces that only brings harmony. A perfect marriage is not free from pain, but free of misery. It is not the absence of anger, but absence of resentment. It is not free of disagreement, but free of discord. It is not the absence of challenges, but the absence of confusion. A perfect marriage is not free from diminishing romance, but free from an apathetic spirit. This understanding is what a vitalized-harmonious wife brings to a marriage.
What kind of wife are you?
Perhaps you are a combination of more than one of them. Your goal should be to become a vitalized-harmonious wife. This is the kind of wife that truly fulfills the principles of love found in 1 Corinthians 13. We need more and more wives who are willing to cooperate, share and become harmonious partners with their husbands. Marriage is not a competition between two consenting adults. It is a covenantal relationship that combines two unique individuals into one harmonious, whole marriage.
• Barrington H. Brennen is a marriage and family therapist and board-certified clinical psychotherapist. Send your questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org; write to P.O. Box CB-13019, Nassau, The Bahamas; visit www.soencouragement.org; or telephone 242-327-1980.