Recently, during one of my studying sessions, I heard someone say the definition of wisdom is discerning God’s voice and following it harmoniously.  I really appreciate this definition.  We’re discussing the question of what I want in a wife in this article and only wisdom can answer what I thought was a simple question.  It’s not nearly as simple as I thought…  

I have always wanted an intriguing woman.  I wanted someone who was intelligent and sophisticated, classy, yet funny.  Those things are good traits to have, but they don’t necessarily apply to traits of a good wife.   Intelligent and sophisticated in a bad marriage can also be translated as a self-serving, pompous diva.  What I have found is that traits of a woman are often different than traits of a good wife.  An independent woman is somewhat intriguing and there is nothing wrong with that.  A wife can also be independent, but I have found that women who think of others first are the type of women who want to be wives.  Independence takes a back seat to selflessness.  It’s not about making a man the center of their life, but it is about thinking of someone else before one’s self.  This is the work a wife is willing to do to make her marriage thrive.  

Another important characteristic of a woman that really aspires to become a part of a true covenant is she is comfortable enough to follow when necessary.  Women often want a man to lead, but won’t step out of the way for him to do so.  Ladies, if you honestly desire a blessed covenant, allow him to lead.  Pray for him to make good decisions.  In a marriage, someone has to make most of the tough calls.  Let him do what he should be equipped to do…or you wouldn’t have married him in the first place.  

Unconditional love is sometimes called “a mother’s love” or something to that effect.  Ladies, you have to have this kind of love in a marriage.  Shellie and I have a mutual friend who was telling me this story of how someone in her family was treating a young in-law like they were not a true part of the family.  My friend talked about how this is unacceptable and once someone becomes a part of her family, they are a part of her family forever, whether they share a last name or not!  My friend has so much unconditional love for this in-law; it showed me a rare view into the depth of what true love really looks like.  I would like to clarify that unconditional love is not the same as what we think of as “in-love.”  Unconditional love is not butterflies in your stomach; it’s waking up at 3 in the morning to care for your sick husband.  It’s a lifelong commitment that through whatever, you have got his back.  If a woman isn’t ready for that, she’s not wife material.

These are the characteristics I’m looking for in a wife.  Selfless.  Helpmate.  Committed and loving unconditionally.  Some others are being constructively critical (yes, we need that sometimes), nurturing, appreciative, kind and patient.  I chose to delve a bit deeper into the first few, but these are necessary as well.  

Finally, I think it’s important for a wife to be consumed by the Spirit.  A woman who is living for Christ helps a man make much better decisions.  It still doesn’t mean that she takes the leadership role, but the wisdom in her advice will bear so much fruit.  When women in my life have dealt with me in the Spirit, they have always found a way to reach me when others couldn’t.  I take that very personally because a Godly, praying wife may be interceding for me, when I’m lost and can’t take care of myself.

These are the characteristics I desire, pray for and patiently wait for in a wife.  I can’t speak for anyone else, but for me, those characteristics are worth waiting for.