Can a husband ask his wife for wisdom on certain issues?

Question
Can a husband ask his wife for wisdom on certain issues?
Answer
A husband can most definitely do this. And on more than just certain issues! A woman is a husband's helpmate (Gen. 2:18), and a godly one is a crown (Prov. 12:4). "Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her" (Prov. 31:28). A godly wife opens her mouth with wisdom (Prov. 31:26; cf. Prov. 11:16; Prov. 3:15; 8:11; 31:10). Such a wife is more precious than jewels (Prov. 3:15; 8:11; 31:10). She is known at places of prominence (Prov. 1:21; 8:3; 31:31) and brings honor to others including her family (Prov. 3:16; 4:8; 31:25). A godly man should praise his virtuous wife for her wisdom (Prov. 31:10-31; cf. Psa. 111:10; Prov. 1:7; 9:10).

Moses' sister Miriam was wise and not only helped to save his life, but her actions helped towards the eventual freedom of Israel from Egyptian slavery as well. As a prophet and judge to Israel, Deborah was known for her wisdom and compassionate zeal for justice. Besides Miriam and Deborah, we could also mention Huldah (2 Kings 22:14-20), and even Ruth who followed the practical advice of her mother-in-law, Naomi (Ruth 3:5). Then there was the wisdom of Anna (Luke 2:36-38). And Mary sought out her cousin Elizabeth concerning her own pregnancy (Luke 1:4-45; 2:19) when she was carrying Jesus, the very Son of God!

In addition, Apollos learned from Priscilla and Aquila (Acts 18:24-28, esp. Acts 18:26). Jesus and Paul both recognized the work and role of particular women. Therefore, surely a husband can gain much wisdom from his godly wife! As a matter a fact, considering the partial “women's hall of wisdom” just mentioned [1], it would be extremely unwise for a husband to not listen to his wife. After all, the two are one flesh (Gen. 2:24; Mark 10:8-9; cf. 1 Cor. 6:16) and are meant to work together in all areas of their marriage and life (Eph. 5:22-33), especially their children (cf. Mal. 2:15; 1 Cor. 7:29-31; Eph. 6:1-4).

Like men, women can have exceptional abilities that benefit family, church, business, or nation, etc. For instance, Paul teaches us in Titus 2:1-5 that godly women live a powerful life and may have a wonderful ministry. But because the Bible speaks of levels of authority, difficulties sometimes arise particularly in the church (1 Tim. 3:1-13; cf. Acts 6:3; 20:28-31; 1 Tim. 2:11-14; 5:17; Tit. 1:5-9; Jas. 3:1). This can cause some women to think that if men are in authority over them, then they must in some way be inferior. But they're not! John Piper clarifies this distinction in his book Recovering Biblical Manhood & Womanhood (Crossway, 1991):

The relationship between Christ and the Father shows us that this reasoning is flawed. One can possess a different function and still be equal in essence and worth. Women are equal to men in essence and in being; there is no ontological distinction, and yet they have a different function or role in church and home. Such differences do not logically imply inequality or inferiority, just as Christ's subjection to the Father does not imply His inferiority.

Part of loving one another is listening and gaining insight from others. While all things should be properly weighed to see if it is in accordance with Scripture (cf. Acts 17:11; 1 Thess. 5:21; 2 Tim. 2:15), a husband would be a fool, like Nabal was in 1 Samuel 25:3-44, to not listen to the godly wisdom of his wife.

Footnote

[1] There are hundreds of named individual women and numerous other unnamed women and groups of women in Scripture. While there are more named men in the Bible than women, we should understand that the Bible is the Book of books related to God's covenant with his people. The covenant heads were all men (Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Christ). The Fall of Man was because of the first-man Adam in the Garden (Gen. 3:1-7; Rom. 5:12-19) and the salvation of God's elect was made by the second and last man Adam in his life, death, and resurrection (1 Cor. 15:45, 47). Additionally, the covenant head in a marriage is the man (cf. Gen. 2:16; Eph. 5:23-24). So, we should expect a male emphasis within Scripture. This said, the Bible in no way diminishes the role of women in life (cf. Eph. 5:22, 33). They are even included in the genealogy of Jesus Christ himself (i.e. Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba, and Mary).

Related Topic

Christian Women That Made a Difference

Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (IIIM).