Helpmeet. Yes, that is an old-fashioned, King James Version word. Yet, it is a word I longed for. As I have shared before, I was single longer in life. There were days that the longing to be a helpmeet ,helper, and wife was so overwhelming. When the time finally came, I was beyond thrilled. Chapter six of Courtney’s book Women Living Well talks a lot about being that helper that God created you to be, letting your husband be the leader he was created to be, and respecting your husband.
For Scott and I, our relationship had a similarity to Courtney’s in the beginning of chapter six. Although we were far from high school sweethearts, we did have distance between us. Scott lived in South Carolina, and I lived in Florida. All we had was communication. Our biggest difference was we did date in a time of the internet – and so our communication was often through email, text, and Skype. Yet, without the distance, I don’t know if we would have built the communication skills that we have had. This was specifically helpful for us, since I would move from Florida to South Carolina right after our honeymoon. Communication has been everything for us. We face different struggles in our marriage than other couples because Scott lost his first wife, and we do have kids who had a mother who passed away. We have to be able to communicate – especially about hard things. Yet, it was the communication that we learned in the good times that has helped us communicate in the times that are not always as easy or pleasant.
The Bible teaches that the husband is the leader in our home. He is a picture of Christ in our marriages. I feel the picture that marriage is – Christ being the Husband, and the wife, the church – is the most important picture of Christ I can live out before the world today. It is one area that I feel like is so contrary to the way the world views, and lives out, marriage. All of our husbands are different, and so, that means, they all lead different. However, I believe that God has placed me with the husband he intended me for, so that means He (God) is going to mold me more into His image through my marriage and that includes in the area of letting my husband lead. Like Candace Cameron Bure has said often these days, I am no passive woman – yet like her, I choose to take a more submissive role in our marriage. I am passionate about it – and I feel like it is a reason our marriage is solid. This is probably one of my favorite quotes from Courtney in regards to marriage:
“The Biblical principles we apply to our marriage should be the same, but how it is carried out in our homes will look different. There are no cookie-cutter marriages. Your husband is not my husband, but my God is your God, so our principles should match.”
This statement is powerful to me. With this in mind, I need to be careful that I don’t compare my husband, or my marriage, or myself, to anyone else in how their marriage works. Yes, the principals are the same – yet we are all created – and God says it is fearful and wonderful! Yet, there are some things that are clear about marriage from the Bible, and that is: The husband is the leader (Ephesians 5:22-24) and that my role, given from God, is to be a helper and to respect him. Yes, even submit to him. There. The word is out there.
I was created to be a helper. That is hard to swallow. I feel like there are a lot of areas in my life where I am a leader. I lead my children. I am a school teacher. I lead Bible Studies. Yet, when it comes to my marriage, I recognize that is not my role. God has given me many opportunities to grow in this – both in and out of my marriage! Oh, I have had many teachable moments! However, when I help my husband the way God designed me, I am bringing God glory in my marriage in a way that only he designed me to. My husbands response to his God-given role in marriage should not determine my obedience and response to the role God has given me.
So the question is, how?
Listen to your Husbands Heart- Oh Ladies. Just like John, the beloved disciple, that wanted to know Jesus more, and loved him so, that he would lay his head on his chest, just to hear His heart beat, we need to desire to know our husbands hearts. We need to know more than the words that come out of his mouth. I think the most important thing we can do is study our husbands. Know what his likes and dislikes are. Know ways that you can meet his needs, and be the helper that God intended you to be. The more you listen to his heart, and study who he is (and this is CONSTANT- he changes OFTEN – just like you!) the better helper you will be. Here are some practical ways that I am a helper to my husband.
– I also (like Courtney) ask if there is anything I can get for my husband when I go to the store. I also watch for sales on things I know he likes, and make meals often that are his favorite (again- these are not always my kids favorites!)
– I close shop each night. That means, after the kids are settled, and the kitchen is cleaned up- I close up shop and spend time with him.
– We go to bed at the same time. We pray together and have an opportunity to talk about the day. This also helps in areas of intimacy.
– I take care of all our errands.
-I take care of paying bills, keeping up with birthdays and family occasions and our calender. Scott loves to do things with our families (all sides!) yet, it overwhelms him to plan and remember everyone’s schedules. This is also why I pay the bills. He is totally capable – he has just asked me and this is a way I can be a help.
– I try to have a home cooked dinner ready when my hubby gets home.
Again, these might not be areas YOUR husband would want help in. Maybe he likes to cook and it is a stress reliever for him. Cooking HELPS him- so you doing it all the time isn’t helpful. You get the idea! But, you have to be willing to listen to him, and ask him about his needs. When I asked Scott, as I was writing this article, he felt like I help him, and he never helps me! This isn’t true- because he keeps me company in the kitchen, plays with our kids at night, and always leads our family devotions. My husband is an awesome help – in the ways that brings him joy and fullfillment – in our home! My husband feels like he can trust me with our home, and that is a very biblical thing according to Proverbs 31! It is also important to remember that you are doing the things you are doing to please God, and not man – and, as ironic as this sounds- that includes your husband! Sure, these things will make him happy and please him- but our ultimate goal is to glorify God in our marriage!
This topic is a passion of mine. I believe marriage is a gift – and all good gifts come from God. I believe I worship God daily when I live out the Biblical role of a wife- and worship of God – bringing Him glory in all I do – is my life goal and desire. Please plan on joining me tomorrow as I share more thoughts on respecting and caring for your husband.
Worshiping with my Life,
This post goes along with the Book Club over at Women Living Well