1) The primary purpose of every person is to bring glory to God. This is why we were created - to live in relationship to God and to bring him glory by lifting up his name in the world, and magnifying him in the eyes of others. Every single thing we do (and how we do it) should glorify God. "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." 1 Cor 10:31
2) If you are a married woman, your purpose is also to bring glory to your husband. "A man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; neither was man created for woman, but woman for man." I Cor 11:7-9
This second point - that my purpose is to bring glory to my husband - was something I had never thought about before in quite those terms. This concept was what the Lord deliberately brought to me attention, to show me what my purpose and priorities should be.
The marriage relationship is intended to be a model of Christ and the church.
God created man and women in his own image - both are created in God's image, and as such the essential natures of both are the same. However, there are differences in our physical bodies, and differences in our intended roles. Neither is intended to be greater or lesser, but complimentary to and completing one another.
At Creation, man was created first, and the woman was created for the man, as a "helper" that would suitable for him.
Consider the Trinity as a role-model. Within the Trinity there are three distinct roles:
God the Father - the planner who makes the plans
God the Son - the one who carries out the plans
God the Spirit - the one who also carries out the plans, as well as keeps and empowers Christians.
Jesus was clear about his role - he came to "work the works of Him who sent me" (John 9:4), he "glorified Thee (the Father) on earth, having accomplished the work which Thou hast given me to do." (John 17:4). In obeying God and carrying out his plans, he brought God, his father, glory.
Also, Jesus taught that the Spirit would glorify Jesus (John 16:14) and that he (Jesus) glorified God (John 17:4). Neither worked to bring glory to themselves.
Just as Christ glorified the Father by doing the Father's "work," I am to glorify my husband by doing my husband's "work." My role is to glorify my husband. I was created for him. Just as you were created for your husband.
The fall interrupted the intended relationship between man and wife - but all is not lost!
Your husband is the one in charge. That does not mean he has to do everything; it means that he is responsible for managing his home and family. A part of managing is delegating to others, including you.
A wife is to model ("act out") the church being submissive to and glorifying Christ. (Eph 5:22, 24, 32)
The husband is to model ("act out") Christ's response to the church. Christ died for the church, a sacrifice of self (Eph 5:25). Christ loves, nourishes and cherishes the church. (Eph 5:28, 29, 33)
These two relationships are designed to come together - on the one hand the husband cherishes, sacrifices for, nourishes and loves his wife. On the other hand, the wife is to submit to and glorify her husband. This is a model of the relationship between Christ and his church.
Why is it important to submit to and glorify your husband?
It is only in fulfilling and living out these roles as God intended that you and your husband will have close unity and harmony in your marriage. In Christ, the closeness that was lost at the fall of man can be regained.
What if your husband is not a Christian, or does not currently live out Ephesians 5:22-33?
What are some practical ways I can be the glory of my husband?
1. Ask your husband what his goals are, and how you can help him to accomplish them. Ask him "Is there anything I can do differently to make it easier for you?"
2. Be organised with cleaning, grocery shopping, laundry and cooking. As you fulfil your God-given responsibilities, you husband is freed to do his work. (Goodbye Chaos, Hello Peace may help you with this).
3. Save some energy for him every day - put him first over the other people, work, hobbies and commitments in your life.
4. Talk about him in a positive light to others. Do not slander him at all, even if what you are saying is true.
5. Do whatever you can to make him look good, and to help him accomplish his goals. For example, offer to run errands for him, organise 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 suggestions, and do not be offended if he chooses not to. Willingly and cheerfully rearrange your schedule for him whenever necessary.
6. Consider his work (job, goals, hobbies, work for the Lord) as more important than your own.
7. Consider the things that you are involved in. How do they glorify your husband? Do any of them interfere with your ability to be available as his helper? Ask his guidance.
8. Think of specific ways that you can help him accomplish his goals. For example, getting up early to see him off to work with a good breakfast, taking care in recording phone messages for him, keeping careful records of money spent to help with the budgeting, anticipate things he may need in order to achieve a certain goal.
9. Do and say things that guild him up instead of tear him down.
10. Dress and present yourself in an attractive manner that is pleasing to your husband.