Following is a collection of letters written to a young wife. It is not sure when or who wrote the letters or who the recipient “Lizzy” is, but the advice is strong and timeless. The complete letters are HERE.
Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored. (Titus 2:3-5 NASB)
There are two things for the reader to consider;
1) Older women, if you have godly advice to give to younger women, please do with grace.
2) Younger women, want this kind of advice and head it.
Excerpt from letter #1
You must learn to yield even when you seem to be in the right; to give up your will even when your husband seems obstinate and unreasonable; to be chided — when you expected praise; and have your utmost endeavors to do rightly — regarded as mere duties. But, be not cast down by this dark side of the picture. You will be happier, spite of all these trials, than you have ever been — if you only resolve to be firm in the path of duty: to strive to do well always; to return a kind answer for a harsh word; and, above all, to control your temper. There may be times when this may seem impossible; but always remember that one angry word provokes another, and that thus the beautiful gem of wedded affection is tarnished, until what seemed to be the purest gold is found only gilded brass.
Amiability is the most necessary of all virtues in a wife, and perhaps the most difficult of all others to retain.
Excerpt from letter #2
I know there is much to make a young married woman sad. Before many days of wedded life are past, she begins to feel the difference between the lover and the husband. She misses that entire devotion to her every whim and caprice, which is so delightful; that all-absorbed attention to her every trifling word; that impressiveness of manner which is flattering and pleasing — and she almost imagines that she is a most miserable, neglected person.
This is a trying moment for a young and sensitive woman, but if she only reasons with herself, and resolves to yield no place in her spirits to feelings of repining, she will be happier — far happier with her husband as he is, than were he to retain all the devotion of the lover.
Excerpt from letter #3
Remember that you are a wife. A sacred, solemn duty is yours, which will require all your powers to perform with unwavering fidelity. Let me be frank with you, darling, and tell you that love of admiration has ever been your greatest fault, and is one of the most dangerous that a young wife can have. Check it, control it now, before it has led you farther into a snare which may involve your everlasting happiness! If you find it impossible to drive it away from you entirely, endeavor to center it upon your husband. Think of . . .
your personal appearance only so far as it will please him;
your dress, so far as it will gratify his taste;
your intellect, as it will make his home agreeable;
your musical powers, as they will enable you to give him pleasure;
learn to view all your charms and powers of pleasing in this light; improve them with this view, and all will go well with you and your married life.
I was quite charmed with your description of your sweet little home, dear Lizzie! What a lovely place it must be, and what a beautiful prospect of happiness there is before you!
Excerpt from letter #4
You are in the right path, now, darling — God grant that you may never be induced to deviate from it! Go on as you have commenced, and, believe me — more happiness will be yours than you have ever dreamed of. There is no richer treasure in this world — no greater blessing — no more unalloyed happiness to a woman — than the perfect trust and love of a good husband. The tie that binds the wedded couple, is one that must be guarded well — or it may become partially unloosed, and it is almost impossible ever to fasten it as at first.
Cherish that all-absorbing love for your husband, which now so fills your heart. Regard nothing as beneath your watchful attention which adds to his happiness. Consult his wishes, his tastes — in all your actions, your habits, your dress. Above all, never ‘deceive’ him. Be able ever to meet him with an unflinching eye, a true and honest heart.
Ever be guided by the lovely light of right principle — let this direct you in all your paths; keep your eye fixed upon it; lose not sight of it a moment, for it beams from a beautiful home of peaceful happiness, where it would lead you, and where all arrive who follow its guidance.
Cultivate in your heart a love of home, and home duties. Strive to make that place as attractive as possible, and do everything in your power to render it an agreeable resting-place for your husband. The daily routine of home duties, when performed in the right spirit, diffuse a feeling of cheerfulness over one’s heart that can never be found in the applause of the world, or the gratification of any favorite desire.
Endeavor to make your husband’s evenings at home as pleasant as you are able; call forth all your powers of pleasing; bring up his favorite topics of conversation; amuse him with music; do all that you can to convince him that he has a most delightful wife — and trust me, dear girl, you will never fail to make his own fireside the happiest spot in the world to him.