This question came from two Christian women he works with. I am so encouraged that they are asking this, and wish I had been as wise!
As you can tell from my response, I wanted to say much more than a text would suffice. I have spent
Find a Godly, older wife to disciple you.
No kudos to me for this advice. It comes straight from Titus 2.
It is so easy for us to think that we don't need someone to disciple us. When we first got married, I thought, "I am going to read the Bible; I understand the Gospel; I know what a wife should be; I should be able do it on my own." Right? Wrong.
This is not me JUST saying the typical "marriage is hard." I am saying more than that: your sinful desires will make it so difficult to submit to your husband in a God-honoring way that you will think you are doing "pretty good" when in fact your submission is only motivated by your sin!
And, there is nothing in the Bible that even hints that we are supposed to do the Christian life autonomously. We are supposed to "spur" one another on - encourage, exhort, and disciple one another. But, this advice was so hard for me to practice early on... I was too prideful to admit that I needed help like this.
So, what does this look like?
Well, I think it looks less like a mentoring "program." Less like going up to someone and saying, "Hey, will you disciple me?" (Although there is nothing wrong with these.) I think it looks more like a Biblical, natural friendship. I have found that a more natural approach has yielded so much more fruit! Instead of finding someone to do a book study with, maybe find someone you can spend time with just doing life - watching, learning, and talking.
So, what should this woman be like?
Well, first she should be sinful. Why did I list this first? I say this because in our quest to be discipled there is a temptation to think that there is no one sanctified enough to teach us. OUCH. I have been there. Hello, pride. Except I said it this way, "There is no one whose marriage I want to ours to be like." Oh the sinfulness! So, don't assume you can't learn anything from someone just because you don't want to be just like them - because they are sinful. As we look to others for discipleship we are still desiring to be conformed to Jesus, not them. So, as you read the rest of this list, remember all women are sinful and won't be perfect! Show them grace.
She must have evidence of sanctification in her life. She is not in habitual, unrepentant sin. She is quick to confess her sins against you, others, and especially God. She is reading the Word. She is attempting to live it.
She bases advice on the Word of God. She shares scripture with you. She would tell you something you don't want to hear because it is in align with the word of God.
She tells you to pray about something before she offers her opinion.
She is quick to listen and slow to speak.
She prioritizes her God over her husband and her husband over her children.
She NEVER, EVER suggests you undermine your man.
She doesn't speak ill of her man.
She is older and more experienced.
The Bible says that women like this are hard to find - Proverbs 31:10. So, don't be discouraged if it is hard to find her. But, don't give up. And, don't assume you'd be better off not having a mentor.
Once you have found a woman who you want to learn from be friends with her. Spend time with her (but, not more time than you spend with your man). Watch how she relates to her husband and her children. Watch how she cares for her home. Ask questions. Minister to her. Pray for her.
Remember, she is sinful, just like you. Her advice should be filtered through the Word and prayed over. Don't let her become an idol. Don't be a relationship leech, either. Give back to her.
This is the wisdom I wish I had known early in our marriage. I believe this is the best advice I could give any wife-to-be or even wife-already. Oh, how I pray each of you finds a Godly woman to disciple you.
To all the women who have discipled me. Thank you, thank you, thank you. You have given so much to me, my husband, my child, and my future children!
What would be the wisdom you would share with a wife-to-be?