The Wife You Want to Be

wife with thought bubble of perfect family illustration
Laura Perez

What kind of wife will I be in 20 or 30 years? Will I be more loving and devoted to my husband? Will my husband still enjoy being married?

I first asked myself these questions when I was at home with three little ones. I watched as my husband, Jody, moved down on my list of priorities, and I soon realized how easy it would be to live my marriage by default.

But I wanted to be intentional; I wanted to be able to say in the end, ''I've done the very best I could."

Being intentional about your marriage means that you must establish a goal. What is your goal as a wife?

As a young wife, I thought I had a goal: to develop a deep intimacy in all areas of my marriage. My problem proved to be that I had my goals and my desires mixed up.

A goal is something I want and have the power to make happen. A desire isn't something I can plan for, and often it cannot be controlled.

My goal was really a desire. Although I longed and prayed for intimacy in my marriage, I could not control whether my husband wanted intimacy, too. I could only make choices for me. So my goal and prayer became: Teach me how to be a godly wife.

I took my new goal and formed it into a marriage purpose statement, a written objective reflecting who I wanted to become. Like a rudder on a ship, it has for years been steering my marriage boat.

I used the word faithful as an acrostic to construct my purpose statement. I know other wives who have taken a passage of Scripture such as 1 Corinthians 13 or Philippians 4:8 and personalized it.

In the busyness of life and the disappointment of unmet needs, it's natural to drift away from the Lord's design for you as a wife. I implore you, whatever season you may be in, to be intentional in your marriage, thoughtfully considering the kind of wife you want to be. Commit to pray, plan and persevere.

I've been married for 47 years now, and my husband and I are reaping the benefits of living our marriage by design. It took thought, time and sacrifice, but it's an investment that's proven well worth the effort.

Linda is a missionary, speaker and author of What's It Like to Be Married to Me?

If your marriage is in trouble, there is hope. The Focus on the Family Marriage Institute is here to help — call one of our counselors at 866-875-2915 or visit

This article first appeared in the August/September, 2011 issue of Focus on the Family's Thriving Family magazine.
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Copyright © 2011 by Linda Dillow. Used by permission. From the Focus on the Family website at

Next in this Series: Making a Marriage Purpose Statement

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