As mothers, we tend to put most of our focus and energies into our children because, let's face it, children have a lot of needs. Very young children are quite demanding. Since our children have a high demand of our time and energy, often our husband's needs are pushed to the side, sometimes without realizing it.

Sometimes I entertain the wrong thoughts, such as, "Well, he's not helpless. He can do that himself. My children can't do things for themselves yet." Or, "If he wasn't doing that he would have more time to do this. Why should I enable him to be irresponsible with his time?"

My husband and I have been married for 15 years. God has taught me so much about what it means to be a wife in that time — and let me tell you: it's probably not what you think.

But let me add a little disclaimer ... being an excellent wife doesn't mean you cannot work or pursue your own interests. Always follow the Lord's leadings on these desires, but know that you can love your husband well and still care for yourself!

The idea is that marriage should be a give-and take-relationship, but often this just isn't the case. It's more like a give and give ... and give relationship.

Our goal should be to give without any expectations of receiving in return

That's not to say you won't receive, but that shouldn't be your goal.

You must kill your expectations before they kill your relationship

We can only be responsible for ourselves; for what we give, for how we conduct ourselves. We cannot (and should not try to) be that for our husbands. That is the Holy Spirit's role and when we get in the way of His work, it typically only makes it harder for our husband's to hear Him.

"Well, what if my husband isn't saved?"

That does not stop God from moving in marriages; including through the life of an unsaved husband. This is where you come in.

Wives, in the same way, be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives." - 1 Peter 3:1-2

Serving your husband fulfills God's purpose in you.

He created you for the purpose of helping your husband

The Lord God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him." - Genesis 2:18

I think that often we feel unfulfilled and try to fill that void in doing other things. But if we would come back to the role we were given, I truly believe peace and fulfillment would be found there. This is not to say that it will be easy. Some husbands are harder to serve than others.

However, coming back to the place where God wants us to serve, and with a willing heart, can help close up that void we're out looking for in all other places.

God created you to be a gift to your husband. Friend, you are a gift!

You were created to fill the needs in your husband's life and no one can do it like YOU

The Bible speaks highly of wives who devote themselves to honoring their husbands. Even among Christian churches this is not a popular belief, but is the truth, friends. God made you uniquely for your husband.

Are you being that wife that God has called you to be?

Being a helper works much the same way as love because it is a large extension of our love. It should be unconditional.

Being a helper to our husband's should not be based on how well he performs

If the same were true for us, we would get little indeed. We are all fallen people and we will never fully live up to each other's expectations.

Do your remember that old, saying that some men would use to accuse other men of their pride:

"Look at his guy! He thinks he's God's gift to women." Isn't that ironic? The truth is really the opposite!

Women are God's gift to men! Are we living up to that role, even a little? Are we a gift our husbands are happy to receive, or do we make them want to return it?

Editor's note: This article was originally published on Christin Slade's website. It has been republished here with permission.

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