Introduction

Will a good woman make a good wife? There is a lot of press on social media about the plight of men in our woman-sympathetic society. Men work hard to provide for their wives and families, only to sometimes have it all taken away from them. The woman a man marries is often not the woman he is married to. Something happens after the wedding day, and his wife becomes someone else. Much of that is due to his expectations of her being his ideal good wife.

Many men think they have a good woman but later discover she is not a good wife. That begs the question, does a good woman make a good wife? In this article, I will show that there is a significant difference between a good woman and a good wife. I hope it will help men choose wisely when considering marriage and women to pay more attention to the marriage relationship.

What is Good?

Before we define what it means to be a good woman, we must define what we mean by good. The word good can mean different things depending on the context. Here are a few of them.

There are three aspects of good that I will focus on.

  1. Complete or sufficiently perfect in its kind, i.e., a thing is as it was designed to be. “And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good” (Genesis 1:31).
  2. Possessing desirable qualities, beneficial, agreeable, e.g., “good for food” (Genesis 2:9)
  3. Pleasure-giving, beautiful, useful, worthy, e.g., she looks good.

Therefore, something or someone is good if they are as they were designed to be, have desirable or agreeable qualities, or give pleasure.

What is a Good Woman?

There are many ways that a woman might be classified as being good. She could be good in cultural, relational, educational, financial, and other ways. So being a good woman should be viewed in light of a particular environment. Not only that, but a good woman may also be different for different men.

Let me list some attributes that a man might attribute to a woman he is dating or observing.

A good woman is…

  1. Honest
  2. Respectful
  3. Kind
  4. God-fearing
  5. Passionate about something
  6. Encourages her man
  7. Stands for something
  8. Responsible
  9. Not lazy
  10. Works hard at something
  11. Intellectual
  12. Optimistic
  13. Empathetic
  14. Ambitious
  15. Cares about herself
  16. Healthy
  17. Looks good
  18. By your side
  19. Always working to make herself better
  20. And more

Again, a good woman is defined by the man classifying her.

What is a Good Wife?

A good wife, from a biblical perspective, is described as follows.

  1. She forms a union with her husband (Genesis 2:24)
  2. She is a crown of her husband and causes him no shame (Proverbs 12:4)
  3. Proverbs 31
    • She is trusted by her husband
    • She does her husband good and not evil all the days of her life
    • She willing works with her hands and provides food for her household
    • She does business and invests
    • She is strong in character
    • She helps the poor and needy
    • She provides for her household according to her business/work endeavors
    • She is wise
    • She is kind
    • She watches over the ways of her household
    • She is not idle
    • Her children honor her
    • Her husband honors and praises her
    • Fears (reveres, respects) the Lord
  4. Respects her husband (Ephesians 5:33)
  5. Her husband’s helper (Genesis 2:18)
  6. Submissive to her husband (1 Peter 3:1, Ephesians 5:22-23)
  7. Discreet, chaste, homemaker, good, and obedient to her husband (Titus 2:5)
  8. 1 Corinthians 7:2-5
    • Renders due affection to her husband
    • Does not deprive her husband of sex
  9. She is not contentious with her husband

A wife should be good for her husband and her family. Good in the sense that she is what a wife is designed to be by God, brings pleasure to her husband and is beneficial and desirable to her husband.

Now, a good wife to a man will be based on his expectations of a wife. Some attributes may be more significant than others. For example, a Christian man may desire a woman who is a Christian, respects him, loves him, etc. Some men prefer their wives to be housewives, and others for them to make money through a job or business. Some men are looking for partners in their lives, i.e., someone that will be by their side.

Generally, a good wife is determined by the expectations and desires of the husband. Those expectations and desires should be discussed and observed before proposing. Men, i.e., husbands, may consider a woman to be a good wife if she…

  • Respects him
  • Listens to him
  • Take what he says seriously
  • Has sex with him sufficiently
  • Partners with him in the household
  • Partners with him in business
  • Is an integral part of his life
  • Spiritually involved with him, e.g., prays and reads the Bible with him
  • Enjoys time together
  • Loves him
  • Desires him
  • Appreciates him
  • Takes care of herself
  • Witty
  • A strong woman, e.g., not emotionally unstable
  • Honest with him

The list could go on because different men may have other ideas of what is a good wife.

A Good Woman Versus a Good Wife

You might have noticed that what a man considers a good wife contains attributes of a good woman. For example, a man might consider a good woman to be honest. However, he also expects his wife to be honest with him. He might not expect a good woman to please him sexually, but he might expect that of a good wife.

Therefore, what constitutes a good wife, and a good woman depends on the man/husband. However, a man wants a good wife to be a good woman too. I hope that makes sense. So, a good wife is most likely a good woman, but a good woman may not make a good wife. Why?

A good wife is classified in the context of a marriage relationship. A husband expects affection, sex, partnership, and submission from his wife but not from a woman he is interested in or dating. He has the challenge of projecting what he knows about a woman into marriage. He asks himself if she would be a good wife or not. Sometimes, perhaps many times, men don’t ask that questions and end up with a good woman who a terrible wife is.

Whether a man thinks his wife is good hinges on his expectations and desires. She may be industrious, a great housewife, has a good job or business, and does well with the children, but lacks placing a priority on her relationship with her husband. She worked and is working to be a better person (woman), but not a better or good wife. That is the difference between a good wife and a good woman.

A woman is a good wife because she wants to be a good wife and strives to be one. She prioritizes her relationship with her husband and works at her marriage the way she strives to be better at other endeavors, like a promotion, a big account, higher education, etc. A good wife aims to build an increasingly intimate relationship with her husband, whereas a good woman may not.

Conclusion

A good woman and a good wife are separate things. A good woman may not necessarily make a good wife primarily because she doesn’t work to be one. A good wife is most likely a good woman who takes her marriage seriously and strives to be a better wife to her husband daily.

A good woman has specific characteristics considered good by society and men. A good wife has particular factors that are considered good by a man. A good woman can be a good or terrible wife, depending on what she wants. It is the man’s task to determine, perhaps interpolate, if the good woman before him will make a good wife.

Just because you are dating or interested in a good woman doesn’t necessarily mean she will be a good wife. Observe carefully and choose wisely.

It Goes Both Ways

I was thinking about writing the converse article, i.e., “A Good Man Versus a Good Husband.” However, as you saw in this article, what a woman determines to be a good husband is based on her perspective, which I do not have. Therefore, I will say that a good husband to his wife has to desire to be so. He may want to excel in his job or business and be considered a good man by others. However, it is unlikely that a good man would be a good husband if he doesn’t desire to be so.

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