The Role of Woman as a Wife – Ideal Guidelines for an Exemplary Wife
Man has been curved in a way so as to take the outdoor roles and responsibilities of the home while the female is designed to stay indoors and take care of the family needs. She has the qualities of emotions and tenderness, love and care, which makes it possible for her to generate infinite love for her husband and her family. Man, on the other hand, is made strong and like the manager of the house, an in-charge upon all matters, having the responsibility to earn for his family, protect his family, raise his children, taking care of their health, behavior and education, and thus the Quran uses the word ‘Qawwam- Maintainer, Guardian’ for the purpose. The Quran says:
“Men are in charge of women by [right of] what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend [for maintenance] from their wealth…” (Surah Nisa, verse 34)
Allah Subhanu-wa-Ta’ala has put immense barakah in the decision making of man, and therefore, an intelligent wife will always sought to the decision of her husband, which will result in barakah.
The women have been created weaker; she needs protection of her life, her wealth and her respect. Man is supposed to protect her, stand by her side and take care of her needs. It is mentioned in a Hadith:
“The best of you are those who are best to their families, and I am the best of you to my family.” [Tirmidhi, Sahih]
The husband is supposed to treat his wife good, the family and be a source of mercy for his family. This type of husband can be the best one. The money that a person spends upon his wife and children is the best type of sadqa(charity) he can spend.
Man is encouraged to help his wife but the house is the house of the wife. That is the reason she is called a house wife. The woman has the power to create and destroy her house actions, decisions and behaviors, and can create it the way she wants it to be.
The best rule to spend life is to spend it with love between each other. If they have love between them, even poverty or lack of food doesn’t matter and they can spend a good and happy life together.
However, there are some practical and easy guidelines for a wife to depict a sensible behavior towards her husband and family, in order to generate a healthy long lasting relationship.
1. Communicate Effectively
The most important aspect to be worked upon is communication. Effective and open communication helps resolve issues. Wives have this general behavior and tendency to sugar coat or mask their intended meaning in ambiguous words, expecting and hoping their husbands to translate and understand. However, some husbands may fail to do so, resulting in conflicts. A wife should effectively express her feelings in obvious words so that the intended message is communicated.
Also, she must talk to her husband about the disputes at hand, or issues that bother her, rather than discussing it with the whole wide world. She must have a positive tone when talking, and should admit her mistakes when she is wrong instead of blaming someone else. Also, wives must avoid blaming their husbands for tough times experienced in the past, because such hard times are a practical reality of everyone’s life, and the husband may not necessarily be solely responsible for those hard times.
2. Be Respectful
Respect given to the husband is an integral part of the relationship. A man can bear anything except the attack on his dignity. Islamic Shariah has placed immense emphasize of the respect of the husband. Lucky are those women who respect their husbands and gain rewards in return. Quran uses the word ‘Qanitat-Obeying out of love and devotion’ for a wife for her husband. The same verse of the Quran, as mentioned earlier, further goes on to say:
“So righteous women are devoutly obedient, guarding in [the husband’s] absence what Allah would have them guard…” (Surah Nisa, verse 34)
Therefore, wives must learn to obey their husbands out of love and devotion. They must avoid treating their husbands like a child of older age, which frequently happens. A wife should try to win her husband’s heart by being loyal to him, and demonstrating a similar behavior likewise. She should acknowledge her husband’s achievements and positive attributes prior to identifying his weaknesses and improvements. This must be a rule for other matters in life as well. She is also expected to be constructive in her attitude.
The unappreciated sacrifices of a wife
3. Be Accepting
A wife should accept her husband’s position as the head of the family, and should abandon the myth of equality. The Islamic law has upgraded the status of men, and the women have been created subordinate to him in the family life and matters of the house. The husband is the guardian and caretaker of the family and the wife has duties focused on household chores, and the upbringing of her children.
Also, the wife must learn to change herself with changing roles and times. She must be flexible and adaptive, adjust herself with changing situations and deal with the changes life brings with it. She must also take care of herself, look attractive and beautiful and dress up especially for her husband.
4. Let the Husband play his Role
The wife should let go of financial concerns and let her husband handle such matters. She should allow him to become the father to her children. The husband should be encouraged to involve himself in the lives of his children. Matters of upbringing must be mutually discussed between the spouses, and the husband should direct his children, where needed. She must be open to his viewpoint during arguments, and should welcome diversity of opinion instead of developing negative feelings. She should also let him value her problem, and have realistic expectations with her husband, and with what life has to offer.
The wife must learn to bring up issues at appropriate times, with respect to the context, situations and people around. Important matters should not be brought up in front of children or when the husband is exhausted or busy.
5. Argue with Wisdom
There may be times when fights may be inevitable. The wife must however learn to choose her battles with wisdom. The arguments should be based on principles. She should give up control to her husband, should not become a hindrance in his plans, and rather stand as a supporting pillar for him. She should avoid criticism.
6. Be your Husband’s Best Friend
The wife should behave more like a friend to her husband. She should have such an attitude that the husband automatically comes and discusses his issues with her. This will only happen if she becomes a helping hand, and support for him at difficult times, and if she admits his attributes. The wife should test her relationship by questioning herself if she is really like a best friend to her husband. The answer will help her build up and repair her relationship with her husband.