I think we can take a bit of wifely advice from two eighteenth-century women. Sarah Edwards (pictured left) was the wife of the uniquely brilliant theologian and pastor Jonathan Edwards, and Eliza Pinckney was wife to Charles Pinckney, a prominent South Carolinian lawyer. Sarah, it has been said, made it her goal to “study to suit” her husband. Eliza echoed these sentiments when she resolved, “To make a good wife to my dear husband…to make it my study to please him.” Cokie Roberts, Founding Mothers (New York, NY: Harper Collins, 2004), p. 7.
Study to suit, study to please. This mentality runs contrary to the modern idea of a wife as an independent creature who should be free to pursue her own ambitions. And it goes against my natural, selfish tendency—which is to study to suit none other than myself. However, we should all strive to imitate these women’s godly model.
What are words we can say to our husband that would most bless and encourage him? How can we shape our lives, our priorities, and schedules around serving them? What are little preferences—about our appearance, the home, our life-style—which we can adjust to their liking? What is one way we can change to please them most?
Whether we’ve been married for thirty years or thirty days, let’s not assume we have achieved wifely perfection. Let’s go back to school if you will. Let’s study to please our husbands. Let’s closely observe them, take notes, and even ask them: “how can I suit you better?”
The result: our husbands will feel, and know that they are the most important person on this earth to us. And we will follow in the godly footsteps of wives such as Sarah and Eliza.