A favorite book that I like to return to is The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace. I cannot think of a better resource next to God's Word in preparing women for marriage. The Excellent Wife is saturated with Gods' Word and biblical principles for every topic.
Martha Peace addresses the heart issues and how our thoughts, actions, and attitudes reveal what is in our hearts. I appreciate that she is not just trying to transform our outward behavior but brings us back to God who is the only One that can change our hearts.
Eighteen Ways a Wife May be the Glory of Her Husband
1. Ask your husband, “What are your goals for the week?”
2. Ask your husband, “How can I help you to accomplish these goals?”
3. Ask your husband, “Is there anything that I can do differently that would make it easier for you?”
4. Be organized with cleaning, grocery shopping, laundry, and cooking. As you fulfill your God-given responsibilities your husband is then free to do his work.
5. Save some of your energy every day for him.
6. Put him first over the children, your parents, friends, job, ladies' Bible studies, etc.
7. Willingly and cheerfully rearrange your schedule for him when necessary.
8. Talk about him in a positive light to others. Do not slander him at all, even if what you are saying is true.
9. Do whatever you can to make him look good, to accomplish his goals. Some examples are offer to run errands for him, organize your day to be available to help him with his projects, pray for him and make good suggestions. Give him the freedom not to use your suggestion, and do not be offended if he does not follow it.
10. Consider his work (job, goals, hobbies, work for the Lord) as more important than your own.
11. Think of specific ways that you can help him accomplish his goals. Examples are get up early in the mornings to help him get off to work having had a good breakfast, take care in recording telephone messages for him, anticipate any needs he may have in order to attain a specific goal, and keep careful records of money spent to keep up with the budget.
12. Consider the things that you are involved in. How do they glorify your husband? Ask his guidance.
13. Be warm and gracious to his family and friends. Make your commitment to him obvious to them.
14. Do and say things that build him up instead of tear him down.
15. Dress and apply your makeup in an attractive manner that is pleasing to your husband.
16. When you husband sins, reprove him privately and gently, always giving him hope and pointing him to the Lord.
17. Encourage him to use his spiritual gifts in ministry.
18. Realize that just as God is glorified when man obeys Him, your husband is glorified when you obey your husband.
“The question always comes up, what if your husband is not a Christian? What if he is not glorifying the Lord? I'm reminded of a story that my grandmother told me once about her parents. They were born around the time of the Civil War. Apparently, her mother was a Christian and her father was not. Reflecting back, my grandmother told how her mother always wanted to please him. In order to please her husband, she was gentle and kind, and cooperated in all of the many relocation moves they made. Her usual answer when he requested something was, “yes, Dad.” She did not complain or grumble. She seemed to go gladly along with him in his plans. Even when she differed, she still respectfully supported him. I asked my grandmother, “How did your father treat your mother?” and she said, “He adored her.” Well, my great-grandfather may not have glorified Christ but my great-grandmother did by magnifying her husband, by living out the role that God intended for her. A special blessing for her was how her husband treated her and loved her. You see, a Christian woman can do the right thing and fulfill her God-given role regardless of whether her husband fulfills his or not.”