Chapter 19 –A Wife is Her Husband’s Body

Just as the church is a metaphor Jesus’ body, (1 Corinthians 12:12-13), the Bible also draws a parallel between a wife and her husband’s body. Ephesians 5:28-30 says:


“So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies… for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body.”


Just as Jesus accomplishes His will through the church, many of the greatest works and godly dreams a man is meant to accomplish in his life are actually meant to be accomplished through his wife.


Think for moment about how Jesus and the church function. Jesus is the Head. He casts the overall vision for His family (through the Word, the Great Commission, and the Holy Spirit). His bride, the church, is then responsible for carrying it out. However, she continually consults with Him and asks for help through prayer.


In the same way, a husband is the head of the home. He is responsible for casting an overall vision for His family’s spiritual growth. However, the wife (typically) is primarily responsible for carrying out the daily routine and practical details in the home. However, she regularly consults with her husband and asks for help as needed.


 Motherhood and Salvation

1 Timothy 2:15 says, “But women will be preserved through the bearing of children if they continue in faith and love and sanctity with self-restraint.” The word translated “preserved” in the NASB is translated “saved” in several other versions and is the same Greek word typically used for eternal salvation.


Do you remember I wrote in an earlier chapter that a husband’s “crown” is his wife and that he needs her to fulfill his calling? Do you remember I said he is more vulnerable to the enemy and prone to deception if he does not cover her, serve her, and listen to her input? Well, 1 Timothy 2:15 continues this logic by moving to the next level of authority in God’s hierarchy for family. According to the passage, a woman’s children are not just her crown; they are her salvation! Just like a man needs his wife, a woman needs her children to become who she is called to be. She will be more vulnerable to the enemy and prone to deception if she does not cover, serve, and lead them.


It’s true that some women are called to singleness and/or childlessness. However, if a woman chooses childlessness not because of a calling but because she esteems our culture’s family-hostile values more than God’s values, this is dangerous indeed. The same is true of a mother who neglects her children or abdicates her responsibility to others.


This can apply to fathers as well. The truth is that we need our children as much as they need us. In our flesh we gravitate toward self-centeredness, but parenthood teaches us to put others first. Women were created to raise children. God releases grace for personal transformation when we do what we were created for. However, if we turn away from it, that grace may not come any other way.


The Empty Next Years

When children grow up and leave the home, it is can be an invitation for a woman to enter her most fruitful season. In one sense, everything in her life up to this point has prepared her for it. There is a reason women typically go through a much longer waiting / training period than men before becoming fully devoted to their outside-the-home callings. God often intends to entrust them with more influence than their husbands. This does not necessarily mean her influence will be more visible, but it may be more impactful. Even influence exercised privately through prayer can impact an entire church, city, or nation.


There is character-shaping power in motherhood. The patience and perseverance required to raise godly children is better training than any seminary. When an empty nest season comes, a man may need to take a step back from his own pursuits to help launch his wife as she discovers the ministry God has spent more than half a lifetime preparing her for.


Hope for the Barren?

What about women who long to become mothers but are never given the chance because of life circumstances? Does the Bible offer any words of solace?


I’ve often pondered Psalms 113:9, which says, “He makes the barren woman abide in the house as a joyful mother of children.” To me, this verse clearly has a kingdom age context because the verses just before it describe the resurrection and exaltation of saints to positions of authority over the earth: He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap, to make them sit with princes, with the princes of His people.” The chapter also describes the Lord as being established “high above all nations”, which will be overtly fulfilled during the millennial kingdom.


Think of all the children throughout world history that died prematurely and went to heaven because they were not old enough to be held accountable for choosing or rejecting the Lord. Will their mental and emotional development instantly advance to that of an adult when they arrive in heaven, or do they still undergo a maturation process and require adult nurturers? At the resurrection, will they be given physical bodies corresponding to the age they died or will they be given adult bodies? Also, is it possible at the second coming there will be countless orphaned children on earth who survived the chaos of the last days and need resurrected saint nurturers to help raise them? I don’t know the answer to any of these questions with certainty, but Psalm 113:9 seems to give strong hope to childless women who might otherwise fear they lost their only chance for motherhood.



In the next chapter, we will examine the life of a woman who I believe is one of the greatest saints in scripture.