“He who finds a wife finds a good thing,
and obtains favor from the Lord.”
— Proverbs 18:22 (NRSV)
The phrase “happy wife, happy life” comes from the Bollywood movie, Bride and Prejudice (2004), and, though it can easily be taken as a patronising offence against wives, there is another vital, indeed I believe biblical, truth behind such a phrase—such a truth as to highlight the need for husbands to treat their wives like princesses.
Being a husband, such like, could seem an impossible task—to treat the love of his life like a princess, notwithstanding how neglectfully she may treat him. But the gospel principle resonating from the Bible is we are to serve our contemporaries as if we are serving God—without condition. God deals with the rest.
We could imagine what it might look like for a husband to sacrifice for is wife, particularly in the things he could do for her, the time he could give, and the affection, in serving her as a princess should be served. How might it look?
Being royal, princesses are entitled to royal treatment, and with the privilege of regal position, comes honour always. Never is she to be apart from honour. No matter the circumstances respect is due to her. (Yet, us husbands will never get it perfectly right—but our intent is the important thing.)
The Truth about Wives for Husbands
Ask any single man this question: how beautiful is the woman you would like to marry? They will not be able to find words satisfactory to describe such a woman. They’d do anything for her. Single men hate to see married women treated roughly, disrespected, and neglected. They see an ungrateful man tending to his wife. They see a coward.
Because of the phenomenon known as “male [white] privilege” most women are disadvantaged, not just physically, in comparison to men. As a result, most women learn to expect less than most men do. This may be a hard truth to accept. But the truth is women are generally more virtuous and deserve a higher respect (we could call it “love”) than most men are ready to give to them.
I can say from personal experience it has been hard to learn the importance of treating my wife like a princess. I have very often fallen into the trap of considering us equals. But, of course, this is not quite right. Any man with daughters would agree. We want our girls—our women—to be treated specially; for good reason.
Men who don’t treat their wives properly reflect an ungodly society, just like those who neglect the marginalised.
But, a man who finds a wife finds a good thing, according to the Word of God. He finds favour in the sight of God. In a very similar proverb (Proverbs 8:35), whoever finds Wisdom finds favour in the sight of God. When a man marries a woman he is blessed more than he imagines, but he may not know it for years, if ever. We should pray more husbands might see God’s revelation in this matter and intend on being a true prince to their wives.
When a man learns to treat his wife in ways that makes her happy he has a happy life. This is a life that both she and he deserve. But a man must make his wife happy first. He takes the initiative. That’s his job.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.