10 Verses that Describe a Wife’s Role

Here are ten verses that describe a wife’s role in the Bible. When I studied this and applied it, it began to transform my marriage.

In my early years of marriage, I had no idea what my role as a wife entailed. The Bible has verses that describe a wife’s role, of course, but the thought of digging in to discover that wisdom never crossed my mind.

Oh, I had the physical jobs down fairly well. I knew I wanted to make food, keep the house organized, and do the laundry, but I didn’t visualize God wanted much more of me other than praying for my husband. Love him, yes. But the revelation of that hadn’t materialized yet.

See what clouded my view of that revelation was a certain “Honey-Do List.”

My Plan to Work Change in My Husband

One day, I made a list of a half dozen changes I wanted my husband to make, and “found” some verses to go along with my judgments of him. The changes I desired weren’t necessarily bad, but I went about it wrong.

Have you ever made a mental list of changes you wanted your husband to make (or anyone for that matter) and in your heart demanded he make the changes right away? Most would stop there or share with gentle, open communication.

I gave him the list and pretty much demanded he make the changes—soon. Wow, I’m cringing remembering that. Yeah, I’m not proud of that moment.

I took over the role of the Holy Spirit; I prayed over him every day, going down my list. With my Bible verses attached. Most of it was a blind attempt to manipulate God into changing my unhappiness.

What’s the Answer?

Then a couple years later, I was still unhappy about some things and wrote him a letter. He always responded how he wanted to make me happy. Hopeful, yet unsatisfied, my eyes were peeled for any missteps on my list. It seemed like we never went past square one.

One night when he was out of town on a trip for work, I felt like I couldn’t take it anymore. My heart wounds sat festering. Desperate pleas to God and two boxes of tissues later, I realized I wanted to threaten him with an ultimatum. Yet I knew that wasn’t right.

But I sincerely wanted the answer. What on earth do I do to change these problems? To change him?

I looked toward the bookshelf to my left. A sliver of hope lit my tear-stained eyes when I saw a book He seemed to illuminate. It wasn’t a book on marriage exactly, but it seemed to be about living as one with your spouse.

I began to drink in the words with full expectation that the secrets of my husband’s transformation were now at my fingertips. Each day I decided to read a new chapter, but as I absorbed the words on the page my pace slowed. Through the author’s words, the Holy Spirit sliced away at my perceived righteous actions.

The “submission” word surfaced. I tried to keep the magnifying glass away that God had pointed toward me, but the Spirit was relentless. He answered my call for help through dealing with me. I succumbed to His examination. Was my heart turned to my husband in submission the way God designed?

Wait God, I thought I already told you I was working on what I needed to change. Isn’t this about how HE needs to change?

But God wanted to open my eyes to how He designed a wife’s role to her husband to be. The book I was reading didn’t delve into that. God led me to seek out the verses on my own—and then begin to apply them.

Verses that Describe a Wife’s Role

What are Bible verses that describe a wife’s role to her husband? God has given the wife some directions and wisdom concerning this delicate relationship.

When He led me to find the wife’s role according to His Word, He showed me that even though love is on the list, I could preface each with the choice to love. Doing this transformed my marriage.

  • Ephesians 5:33…respect him
  • Colossians 3:18…be submissive
  • Titus 2:5…obey him
  • 1 Peter 3:1-5…have a gentle and quiet spirit
  • Genesis 2:18…be his helper
  • Titus 2:4…love him
  • 1 Corinthians 7:34…please him
  • Proverbs 31:12…do him good
  • 1 Corinthians 7:2-5…keep the bedroom hot
  • Exodus 20:14…be faithful

Addendum: Do Not Abuse the Truth

In case you are tempted to take some of these words (obey, please) to an extreme and abuse the truth of the Bible, let me clarify from a deeper study of the Greek word given. 

  • To please one’s husband, (G700 from The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament, Zodhiates), means “to make one inclined to, to be content with, soften one’s heart towards another.” → That is coming from a beautiful sweetness. That doesn’t mean that you’re his slave.
  • To obey one’s husband, (G5293, section II, from The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament, Zodhiates), means “to subject oneself, place oneself in submission…Although there is an ontological spiritual equality between men and women, there remain physical, positional and functional differences. There are designated functions for a husband and wife which man cannot change because God has ordained them…God has made one woman to become a wife to one man, and she is so constituted by God Himself. But this is not due to her being inferior to her husband, for they are both equal before God. It is a willing personal subjection demonstrated in Ephesians 5:21, ‘submitting yourselves to one another and the fear of God.’” → In other words, this yielding is coming from a sweetness of spirit. But again, this does not mean you’re his maid.

Look a the list of verses that describe wife’s role again. Study them out and let them sink in, consistently making them a part of you with God’s help.

Look at each of these as if they were ingredients to your favorite dessert. If you were missing some or even one of the ingredients then your special treat might not taste as delicious!

When marital problems arise, I must not try to be my husband’s Holy Spirit. It isn’t my job.

When marital problems arise, I must not try to be my husband’s Holy Spirit. It isn’t my job. #LiveYielded #ThrivingInMarriage Click to Tweet When loving comes hard, I make the decision to love in spite of difficulty. #LiveYielded #ThrivingInMarriage Click to Tweet

My responsibility is to love him. And when loving comes hard, I make the decision to love in spite of difficulty. Then focus on fulfilling the verses that describe wife’s role. After almost 20 years of marriage, I’m still growing in it!

Are there any on the list I missed? 

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  1. Amen! We were never called to be the Holy Spirit to our husbands. Better to be listening to His voice of correction and comfort in our own walk!

  2. Kelly, Thanks for sharing these great reminders from Scripture of how to show Christ to our husbands.

    This is the second time you and I have been on the same leading in our writing. 🙂 I wrote a similar post on relationships and shared a quote by Ruth Graham who told her daughter Anne that “it is her job to make her husband happy and the Holy Spirit’s job to make him good.”


  3. Kelly, such great wisdom here! Your ten verses are spot on. I think the biggest thing I had to learn is that respect wears different appearances for different men. What I thought he wanted and what my husband actually considered me showing respect were sometimes very different. I won’t analyze it, but learning what respect looks like to my husband is one of the biggest things that transformed our marriage.

  4. Such a helpful list, Kelly, and just the reminder I need as well. Thanks for this. Praying for us as we continue to grow as wives and bring glory to God.

  5. Great list here, Kelly! I think many times God changes us instead of our husbands!

  6. Convicting and encouraging! This is a good list, one I need to keep around.

  7. Love this post! I started trying to change my husband like this too then grew pointed out the logs in my eyes. So instead of aiming for perfection, we are going for God-pleasing which will hopefully mean we please each other too. I’ve got some of those verses still to work through like having a quiet spirit!

    1. kellyrbaker says:

      Yes, pleasing God over perfection! Thanks for sharing, Vicky!

  8. Oh, I’ve certainly been there, Kelly, and done that! You are not alone at all on trying to change our men! But I’m so grateful that you let the Lord turn the mirror that you were pointing to your husband back to you. Isn’t that just how God is? He’s able to convict in the most gentle and compelling of ways! Thanks for this reminder and the wonderful graphic too! I’m pinning and sharing, my friend!

    1. kellyrbaker says:

      Yes, it’s definitely a work of grace! 😉 Thanks for sharing, friend!

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