Most of us have given thought, and perhaps even have high ideals, of what makes a good wife. I know I thought about it often in the days before my marriage, for I wanted to be not only a good wife, but the best wife, by God’s grace, I could be. I did not expect perfection (I knew myself too well), but I certainly thought that at the very least, my husband would come home to a fairly neat and clean home each night, with dishes washed, dinner prepared, and a smiling wife, smelling of rose oil and hair shining. Little did I think that six months into our marriage, I would fail all of my expectations.

I did not expect that my husband would come home to a mess of clothes, dirty dishes, and papers. And a bathroom that hadn’t been cleaned in longer than I care to remember. I did not expect that dinner would be that last thing on my mind, or that I would be lying on the couch in my nightgown, hair unbrushed, sipping water out of a spotted glass. Had I never heard of morning sickness? Yes, I suppose, but I didn’t think it would ever happen to me. At least, not to this degree.

Some days I do feel well enough to actually get dressed, do the dishes, and at least attempt to plan dinner. But I cannot help but sigh, as that vision of a good wife, the best wife, slowly fades into the distance.

But there is one more thing that I did not expect: a husband so understanding, so loving, and so kind, that after a long day of work he comes home happy to see me, telling me that I am beautiful–even when I look green and bedraggled. A husband who does everything in his power to ease my discomfort and keep our home running smoothly. Who tells me every night that I am the most wonderful wife, when all I can do is smile weakly and kiss him from my reclining position. I am deeply humbled, and reminded daily: is this not our position in Christ?

I may have failed all my expectations, but I have learned some things about being a good wife, too. She is not the one who can do everything she dreamed of perfectly. She does not always have the cleanest house, or the most nutritious suppers laid out every night. She does not even always get dressed. But she does rejoice in whatever circumstance she finds herself in, she does continue to praise her God when things don’t go her way, and she does love her husband with her whole heart, even when her ability to show him through works has been diminished.

Oh, and the morning sickness? Knowing we will be able to see and hold our little blessing in a few short months makes it completely worth it.

I may have failed all my expectations of being a good wife...