Housekeeping Monthly in May of 1955 reportedly published an article on how to be a good wife. It was called, “The Good Wife’s Guide.” Women mock these today, but most marriages would be strong and survive until death to they part IF these were followed. (I will add my commentary on some of them!)
1. Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready, on time for his return. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospect of a good meal (especially his favorite dish) is part of the warm welcome needed.
2. Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you’ll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your makeup, put a ribbon in your hair, and be fresh-looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people. (Not sure about the ribbon! 🙂 )
3. Be a little gay and a little more interesting for him. His boring day may need a lift and one of your duties is to provide it. (I would change the word “gay” to cheerful; for the joy of the Lord is our strength!)
4. Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives.
5. Gather up schoolbooks, toys, paper, etc. and then run a dustcloth over the tables.
6. Over the cooler months of the year you should prepare and light a fire for him to unwind by. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift too. After all, catering for his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction. (We reap what we sow!)
7. Prepare the children. Take a few minutes to wash the children’s hands and faces (if they are small), comb their hair and, if necessary, change their clothes. They are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part. Minimize all noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet. (Train the children to not scream in the home. This is possible and makes home life far more enjoyable!)
8. Be happy to see him. (This is the first assignment I would give women when I began mentoring them over 20 years ago. Smile at your husband every time you see him!)
9. Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please him. (Yes, we are commanded to please our husbands – 1 Corinthians 7:33.)
10. Listen to him. You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first — remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours. (They may not be more important but learning to be a good listener is a good quality to pursue – James 1:19.)
11. Make the evening his. Never complain if he comes home late or goes out to dinner, or other places of entertainment without you. Instead, try to understand his world of strain and pressure and his very real need to be at home and relax. (One woman I know has practically destroyed her marriage over always scolding her husband when he is home late. Don’t do this!)
12. Your goal: Try to make sure your home is a place of peace, order, and tranquility where your husband can renew himself in body and spirit.
13. Don’t greet him with complaints and problems. (Complaining to him when he gets home will not make him eager to get home.)
14. Don’t complain if he’s late for dinner or even if he stays out all night. Count this as minor compared to what he might have gone through that day. (Hmm, stays out all night? I think most women would want to know about this. This is far-fetched, but it’s important to do all you can to make him want to come home to you every night!)
15. Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or have him lie down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him.
16. Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice. (Make sure this is what he wants first.)
17. Don’t ask him questions about his actions or question his judgment or integrity. Remember, he is the master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness. You have no right to question him. (Not all men will exercise their will with fairness and truthfulness. This isn’t a fairy land. If he is asking you to sin or wants to harm you in any way, you don’t submit. Plus, we are free to discuss things with our husbands in a kind and considerate way. Just make sure these discussions don’t turn into arguments where you demand to be right because then you’re wrong.)
18. A good wife always knows her place. (Her place is in the perfect will of God: being a help meet to her husband, loving him, pleasing him, and submitting to him in everything except for sin.)
Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.