Lets start simple, imagine a "piggy bank" wallet
The slot on the top is our public key, anyone who knows about it can give us funds.
There is also access door to open the piggy bank and get the private key that is inside. Since this is digital money, it is the private key that is inside our piggy bank, not the coins from our childhood.
This is how a non encrypted wallet works, anyone with access to our wallet file controls the funds.
The digital piggy bank is in our example the wallet.dat file on our computer.
With a encrypted wallet, there would be a lock (as strong as the passphrase used) on the access door to open it.
(and no we can't just smash the piggy bank, this is a digital version so the piggy bank would be as strong as the lock).
The Private key, controls the funds stored in the public key (address).
Back to our piggy bank, when we want to send funds to another address (public key)
we do so by creating a transaction.
A transaction contains the number of units to send from our address to the destination address, and a small amount of fee to the network, then we signing the transaction with our private key. Lastly we broadcast the transaction to the blockchain network.
Now the miners are busy at work trying to solve the puzzle to win the prize of getting to make the next block in the blockchain and get the rewards ofc. Until a new block is made our transaction is stored in the mempool, once a new block in made our transaction is written into the new block. Now the confirmations starts, when the next block is made the transactions in the last block is checked to be sure that all is in order and that the signature of our transaction checks out. Once enough confirmations are done (usually 100) the network is satisfied and the miners of the block with our transaction gets the reward for making that block along with the fee for the transaction.
So take from this that the important stuff inside our wallet is the Private key(s).
The wallet is just a convenient storage for our keys.