There is a saying that goes something like,“Behind every great man is a good woman.” For my whole life I mostly ever heard this saying come from feminist types, trying to take credit for their husband’s success. “He is the man he is because I pushed him or gave him advice.”  I’ve also heard this saying being attacked by anti-feminists for the same reason. “Did she sit in those meetings? Did she negotiate those deals? No!”

But as I’ve grown older and wiser, I do believe that there is some truth to these words. You see, I’ve spent a significant portion of my life with a couple of bad women, and one very good woman. So I’ve learned the ways that both types can affect a man’s life in multiple ways. And because I have been through years spent with awful women, I can see the absolute difference a good woman makes.

Life with a bad woman is bad. You go out and spend your day laboring to provide. You wake up early, go to bed late, and never seem to get enough sleep. You battle the world all day, only to come home and fight some more. Your home is the one place where you should be king. It is supposed to be your refuge, your place of rest. But instead you get harassed, henpecked, disrespected. There is no appreciation for the life that you provide. You are often undermined in front of your children, if not bad-mouthed. And the treatment is just the first layer of problems she causes. Women like this are often money pits. She ruins your credit, wastes your money, and doesn’t take care of things. The stress that she causes you at home? You carry that with you everywhere else. You seem angry or distant to co-workers and supervisors. You tend to approach your work with apathy because you’ve been conditioned to think that nothing you do is ever good enough. A bad woman is like a dark cloud over your entire life.

But life with a good woman is good. You go out and work, and when you come home, your home is a place of rest. It is a refuge. Your woman has made a place of peace, where you feel respected and appreciated. You may both work, and you may both take care of the house, but no matter what, she makes you feel like a king. If you’ve had a hard day, she will pull you close and lay your head in her lap and soothe you with her touch and her voice. Because she knows that you are partners, and you will do the same when she needs it. She believes in you. She encourages you to succeed and builds you up with her words. She teaches your children to respect you and relies on you to be the authority figure. And her treatment of you is only the first layer of blessings she brings. Without all the stress and negativity in your home, you are prepared to take on any challenge and give it your all. You have a positive outlook at work, and your co-workers and supervisors see it. You are motivated because as much as your woman believes in you, you don’t want to let her down.

No, a good woman doesn’t deserve credit for your achievements, as if she had a hand in the work. But she does deserve credit for helping you to be the best that you can be. She deserves credit for giving you the peace and support at home that gives you the freedom to achieve. Yes, the love of a good woman can make a bad man good, and a good man great. When you are loved by a good woman, you can truly see the gift that the Lord created her to be.