By Sharon Glasgow
"Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves." Romans 12:10 (NIV)
Being a good wife is a lot like being a good cook.
Any cook using the same recipe and instructions can produce a dish that tastes entirely different from another's. Why is this?
Well, attention to detail is one characteristic that distinguishes a good cook from an average one.
Take fried apples for example. All you need are apples, sugar, butter and cinnamon. But, not every cook prepares them the same. I cook mine on high (I want them caramelized) and I never put a lid on the pan or they get mushy. If you take the same ingredients, cook them on low with a cover, you get a dish that doesn't resemble mine at all. The same recipe produces a totally different result.
The same is true between a good wife and an average wife. There are hundreds of recipes for being a good wife using the same few ingredients: love, respect, communication, intimacy, time, service, and prayer. Even if the recipe is followed without one ingredient omitted, the outcome can be totally different.
If you love in proportion to what is given you, the recipe will not rise to the fullest. Our key verse, Romans 12:10, tells us to be devoted in love. The word love as used here is an unconditional one with no expectations of a return. Love with every ounce of your being and when you have given all, squeeze even more out.
I grew up lacking an understanding of respect. I loved my husband, but didn't respect all of his ideas or his role in our family. But through reading Scripture, God showed me the importance of respecting my husband. In fact, Romans 12:10 encourages us to honor our husbands by thinking more highly of them than ourselves. This meant I had to stop thinking my way was the only way! Once I learned to listen before reacting and respect his thoughts, I find Dale is actually right most often.
Communication is a delicate balance of listening and talking. Listen not only with your ears but with your heart. One author broke down our key verse by saying, "They should speak honourably of each other ... and discourage that evil practice of whisperings, backbitings, and innuendos; they should treat each other with honour and respect in their common conversation."* Allow nothing to hinder this vital ingredient, including interrupting, assuming, or past conversations. He needs to know you care about his every thought, goal, and burden.
Do not neglect intimacy! The spicier you make this ingredient, the easier the other ingredients gel together into the perfect recipe.
I'm not the perfect housekeeper, but I try my best. Serving my husband by keeping our home organized and clean, cooking meals he enjoys, and creating an atmosphere of love makes my recipe great!
Time with him is a vital ingredient too. So, I go everywhere he goes whenever possible. When our five girls were little we would all hop in the vehicle to get gas or pick up nails from the hardware store just to be with him.
Many nights I wake up and while he sleeps, I watch him and pray. I pray for his health, his work, and his dreams to be fulfilled. Make time each day to regularly pray for your husband, and sprinkle in prayers throughout your day as well. The Lord will be faithful to answer.
The Good Wife Recipe is about being devoted to one another in love and honoring each other above ourselves. I've noticed that the more I put into the recipe, the more I get out of it ... and the more passionate my marriage is. The more passionate it becomes the less work it is. My desire to love becomes greater, ability to respect becomes second nature, communication becomes like-minded, intimacy is sweeter, and time with him is my desire not a duty.
Being a good wife is a lot like being a good cook. Anyone using the same recipe and instructions can produce a marriage that is entirely different from another. The secret to The Good Wife Recipe: do not neglect one ingredient. It will be how deliberate you are with the finer details that will determine the outcome.