Finished Reading: A Wife’s Secret to Happiness 

Marriage books are hard. Marriage is hard. No one should ever step into it thinking it’s a cake walk. After nearly 10 years, my husband and I are still learning.

I admit, I started this book apprehensively. After my 10 years, I don’t admit to being an expert but I know what works for us…most of the time. No we aren’t perfect, but we are more interwoven than I ever thought possible. We are woven together like a tapestry, it’s messy, there are a lot of things & threads everywhere but we’re weaving together our story. Our imperfect story.A Wife's Secret to Happiness by Jen Weaver

Jen Weaver tells us not only the secret to a happy wife but a happy marriage in her new book, A Wife’s Secret to Happiness. Although the book is for us, wives, it reveals a lot of truth for our husbands. Chapter 2 “The Blessing of a Godly Husband” was better the second time I read it. I appreciated my husband’s role within our relationship after this chapter, but the next one on the ‘S’ word {hint: it’s submission} had me scratching my head. I tried, tried to be open-minded but I just didn’t relate to or quiet grasp this chapter. Maybe it’s an area of future improvement…

I guess my problem with submission is how it’s perpetuates the idea of a ‘woman’s place’.

Submission Definition

Alternate words for submission, are not uplifting or building up. The word used when we were preparing for marriage was respect, instead of mutual submission to one another (something Jen thinks is taken out of context from Eph 5:21) but mutual respect feels more biblical. Feels more like a marriage WE both want.

Don’t get me wrong, we always consult one another on making plans or buying habits. It’s not so much that we want each other’s permission but to respect that we both have needs, including time to spend with each other, by ourselves and to make sure we’re considering one another before our friends or obligations.

Respect Definition

I believe in respecting my husband and him in turn working with me as One the same way the Trinity is unified as One. (pg 56) She even mentions the famous Matthew Henry Commentary quote on the equality of Eve to Adam:

Eve was not taken out of Adam’s head to top him, neither out of his feet to be trampled on by him, but out of his side to be equal to him, under his arm to be protected by him, near his heart to be loved by him. (pg 30)

While Jen is a firm believer in husband as head of household, when I asked my husband his thoughts on the issue he didn’t seem adamant that he was the ultimate decision maker. Also, I genuinely asked my husband this and he joked about it, so there’s that. After Seminary, he became a firm believer in equality in marriage & before God so making one person from our team of 2 the captain/leader seems patriarchal and unrealistic. If I am to follow my husband’s lead if he chooses to share the leadership role with me what does that mean?

Me & Travis at Half Moon Bay

Let’s read from Ephesians, I especially love the NRSV of this text because it includes verse 21 with the Christian Household section, not in the previous section like some more conversative translations, like my beloved ESV.

21 Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ.

22 Wives, be subject to your husbands as you are to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife just as Christ is the head of the church, the body of which he is the Savior. 24 Just as the church is subject to Christ, so also wives ought to be, in everything, to their husbands.

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 in order to make her holy by cleansing her with the washing of water by the word, 27 so as to present the church to himself in splendor, without a spot or wrinkle or anything of the kind—yes, so that she may be holy and without blemish. 28 In the same way, husbands should love their wives as they do their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hates his own body, but he nourishes and tenderly cares for it, just as Christ does for the church.

-Ephesians 5:21-29 (NRSV)

Just Married, 2007
Just Married, 2007

I admit to struggling with perfectionism [and submission apparently] but perfectionism in my Instagram feed, my blog, when I get dressed, my home, and in my marriage. When things go wrong, I am a sucker for feeling like a failure. Jen’s perspective on the blessing of a confident expectation was an uplifting read after the ‘submission’ chapter. I loved this and would encourage all women, wives, and single ladies (everyone is now sing Beyonce’s all the single ladies) to read this section and ponder what Jen has to say!

A Wife's Secret to Happiness by Jen Weaver

A Wife’s Secret to Happiness really covers all the bases, Jen talks about everything being unified in marriage, to being your husband’s crown of valor & wealth, the planning of dreams, creating a safe & godly home for you & hubby as well as the ever loved subject of sex. Yep, even she went there. The over arching theme is defiantly communication and submission. And thankfully submission is different for everyone (not something Jen actually says but something I really believe).

Each chapter has additional printables, for those of you who don’t want to write in your book. And I loved the Wife Style Quizzes at the end of each chapter and suggestions on how to not improve but be a little better for the sake of yourself and your hubby. As well, as the reminder that no one is perfect and we all have room to improve.

Overall, I believe both partners shoulder heavy burdens in a marriage to melt either of them down to a simple to do list is demeaning and disrespectful. Jen does a good job of sharing her marital perspective and invites women at all stages of marriage to learn something new and grow a deeper more meaningful relationship with their spouse.

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