Keeper of the Home: Part 3 – What You Were Created For

[img align=left]http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i234/halos_glow/Blog/flowers_in_tender_blook.jpg[/img]
Okay, the last couple of weeks we have worked on setting goals and establishing time to spend alone with God.

Today, what I am going to address, as a keeper of the home, is doing the job that the Lord created us for…. Being a helper to our husbands.

“Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not suitable for the man to be alone; I will make a helper suitable for him’” Genesis 2:18

Women were CREATED for their husband. We are called to be a helper to our man. This was God’s plan for us from the beginning.

The question is now, “So what do I need to do to be a helper to my husband?”.

That is a tricky question because my husband may need me to be a helper in a totally different way than your husband needs you to be his helper. The best way to answer that question is simple: Ask you husband.

Let me warn you, if you husband is not accustomed to you being a helper, this question may take him off guard. In fact, he may even be suspicious. I would suggest that before you give your husband a heart attack (lol), that you sit down with him and express to him that you want to be the wife to him that the Lord created you to be. You may even need to repent of wrong behavior from the past (manipulation, trying to be the leader instead of the helper, belittling him, being disrespectful toward him, etc.). Once you repent and ask for his forgiveness, he will be more likely to see that you really want to honor the Lord (and him) in your role as his wife.

Besides doing the things that your husband asks you to do, there are other things that the Bible clearly commands us to do. I wish I could really delve into these but I will have to save that for another day :0). I am going to list a few but please feel free to ask questions or add to this list in the comments section:

1. Don’t be a nag (the Bible refers to this as being a “constant dripping’.

LOL – as I write this, I pause to complain to my husband about something…. Okay, that’s not good, huh? I really do try to optimistic and upbeat, to be meek and quiet but I fail miserably at this sometimes. It is okay to share your heart with your husband but when you just nag and nag and nag, that is not sharing your heart – that is being a constant dripping. Once you share your heart on an issue, if you husband chooses to do something different, then it is not your job to nag him. You are to be his helper and you are to support him. If it turns out that you were right and he was wrong, he doesn’t need you to point that out to him. You just need to continue to love and support him as you have been called to do. You are not in competition with your husband, instead, you are to be his biggest cheerleader.

2. Be a submissive wife and don’t interfere with his role as the leader.

This one is another one that is hard for me sometimes. I think that it is an area that so many woman struggle with. What makes it so hard is that we (as wives) feel like we have a better handle on every situation when we are in control of it.

The problem with this thinking is that (1) God didn’t create the woman to be the protector or “Mrs. Fix It” and (2) since God created men to lead, then we are taking on stress and burdens that weren’t meant to be ours.

Ladies, I am going to be super honest with you on this one because it is something has taken me a long time to learn (and yes, I am still learning). Life is so much sweeter (for both the husband and the wife) when you submit to the authority that the Lord has placed over you. It is a fact that men and women are different, we act different, we think different, we look different and we were created equal but for different roles. Your husbands’ role is to lead his family. He will have to answer to the Lord for the way that he led his family. You will have to answer to the Lord for how you were a helper to your husband.

The husband has a much greater burden to bear than the wife does – but God created the husband to be more ABLE to bear this burden. I cannot fully express how ‘free’ I felt when I started submitting to my husband’s authority. My submission also gave my husband a feeling of freedom too – his freedom was that I would be supportive of his decisions and that I would be trusting in him to lead. It is amazing the changes in both the husband and the wife when the wife chooses to submit to her husband.

Now, I am sure some of you are thinking that you are only leading because your husband won’t lead – but maybe he’s not leading because you have just taken over and he hasn’t had a chance. If this is the case, then you need to go to him and talk to him about this. Yes, you need to repent and ask for forgiveness. I am guilty of wanting to lead sometimes and I will ask Chad (and the Lord) to forgive me and then I just pray that the Lord would help me to continue to be faithful in my role as a wife.

3. Honor your husband with your speech.

We are either building our husbands up with what we say or we are tearing them down. If you want your husband to be a good leader, then you need to believe that he is and you need to tell him and others. Don’t miss an opportunity to praise him in public but never stoop to talking about any of his shortcoming before others. Everyone of has faults (both the wives and husbands) and as wives, if there is an area that our husband is struggling with, we need to encourage him in that area and be a helper to him in that area if he asks. There is a very common saying that I’m sure you have heard: “Behind every good man is a great woman.” I think that this has more to do with how a woman speaks of her husband than how great the woman is (but what husband wouldn’t think his wife great if she truly believes in his greatness?).

4. Show respect to your husband.

This sounds easy enough but it actually is a result of the three points above. If we are respectful of our husband, then we don’t nag, we are submissive and supportive and we speak with kindness about them. Not so simple after all, huh? We also must realize that our actions (not just our words) show respect. Are we being a helper with a huge chip on our shoulder or are we serving our husband just as we would serve Jesus?

5. Love your husband physically

We also need to love our husband – not just with our hearts but also with our body. Scripture tells us that husband and wife were created for each other and encourages the physical act of love between a husband and a wife. I know that men’s hormones are often… stronger than the wife’s but I cannot emphasize how this will speak volumes to your husband of your love for him. Even if you really aren’t in the ‘mood’, you can still take pleasure knowing that your husband is having his needs met by you. This (as all of the above) is something else that I have struggled with previously. One thing that has made such an impact in this area is that when I took the focus off my needs being met and placed my desire on seeing the needs of my husband being met, well, things changed dramatically in the bedroom and it became not just a ‘wifely duty’ but a shared blessing between husband AND wife.

6. Love your husband above all

The last point that I want to touch on today (although there are many more) is simply love. You should love your husband above everyone else (except the Lord – the Lord should be your very first love). Sometimes, our love will call for sacrifices, but you will quickly see that they are actually blessings.

Tell your husband that you love him and show him that you love him. What are some ways that you can show him? This also will vary from husband to husband but here are a few ideas: a hot dinner, nightly back rub, starched shirts, planning family trips, wearing things he likes to see you, sending treats to the office…. A really good book that I read about showing love to your spouse was The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. This book may give you some ideas on how to best express love to your husband.

There is so much more that I could write regarding our roles as a wife but then this would end up as a book and not just a blog entry. I truly hope that this message as been an encouragement to those of you who are working everyday to be the wife that God created you to be. Please know that this is not an area that I feel as if I have “arrived”. I still struggle with many of these issues but it is also an area where I can see incredible changes that the Lord has made in my life and in my marriage. I only seek to take my weaknesses and give the glory to the Lord for all that He has done.

Art print by Norman Rockwell can be found on [url=allposters.com]All Posters[/url]

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13 thoughts on “Keeper of the Home: Part 3 – What You Were Created For

  1. I had only one thing to add to this excellent summation.

    Wives are never commanded to love their husbands, did you know that? We are to honor, obey, submit, respect, and yield to him, but nowhere are we taught to love him.

    For a wife, love is not an emotion, but it is a commitment we renew constantly. A decision we make to give of ourselves, to sacrifice, to share even our most intimate weaknesses. All to the glory of God.

    I am thankful to be female. 🙂 Being a husband is really, really hard.

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  2. Teacher said:
    “We are to honor, obey, submit, respect, and yield to him, but nowhere are we taught to love him.”

    No, first, wives are never told to obey their husbands. I’d like to know where you got that idea. And second you said that “nowhere are we taught to love him.” That is categorically false. All through out the Bible, Old and New Testament, men and women are taught to love their neighbors as they already love themselves. Do you care to clarify how you arrived at these unorthodox conclusions?

    Have a God day!
    Mike M

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  3. Teacher: I respectfully disagree. One of the responsibilities laid on older women in a congregation is to teach the younger women, “to love their husbands, to love their children, …” (Titus 2:4) It should not be needed, but I will add that if the older women aren’t loving their husbands, they will find it hard to teach the younger women to love theirs.

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  4. Mike M: I can’t speak for Teacher, but I would refer you to Titus 2:5 “in subjection to their husbands…”. I can’t conceive of subjection with no obedience.

    The quotation from Titus 2 at the header of this weblog should be carefully reviewed.

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  5. Titus 2:3-5

    In the same way [as older men, since that was what was being discussed befor] older women are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not addicted to much wine. [They are] to teach what is good so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands and children, to be sensible, pure, good homemakers, so that God’s message will not be slanderers.

    ===

    Encouraging is not commanding, in my understanding. I never said it wasn’t a good idea to love one’s husband; of course it is. But it isn’t a command from God, as is “Husbands, LOVE YOUR WIVES…”

    Mike, I do say that submitting to one’s husband’s authority (Eph. 5:22-24) is the same as being obedient. Submitting to authority means to follow the dictates of that authority; hence, to obey.

    ===
    In many eras of history, arranged marriages were the norm. In many of these marriages, the man did request the hand of a much younger woman, so he was commanded to care for her, in that light. And God demands so much more!

    A woman, though, was not given a voice, traditionally. She was expected to perform in certain ways with certain attitudes, yes. And to conform and be of good spirit, of course. An older wife who had been married should encourage, yes, a younger wife in the love of her husband. But it was not a command.

    That’s all I was saying.

    For me, love is not a feeling. It is an action, a committment of the heart and mind. And it is that committment we are called to, under God. The actions of love will bring on the emotion if we let it; but the actions can preclude the emotions for years.

    Thus it was in “Bible times” until “marrying for love” became standard. In some countries, arranged marriages are still the cultural norm.

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  6. So just as Paul says that slaves are to be “subject” to their masters so wives should be “subject” to their husbands? Hmmmm yeah… let’s take one word from one verse and use it in the most ridged way possible. Or we could also see that Paul also says that we should submit one to another. Ephesians 5

    I like to think of submission this way. Submission is willingly laying aside your own wants and desires because your love for the other person compels you to do so. That sounds a lot different from the cold hard obedience described in the above comments. Is my definition “unscriptural”? Does the Bible describe the marriage relationship as a dictatorship of demands by the husband and submission by the wife? Hardly!! 🙄

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  7. “Wives, submit to your own husband as to the Lord.”

    Mike, to me this is pretty unequivocal. As we are slaves (the Greek word for “servant” or “bondservant” is slave, so let’s not forget that) to Christ, who has paid for us with a price and so we are subject to HIM, so wives are subject to their husbands.

    That is what Scripture teaches. We are to submit to one another out of reverence for Christ, and wives to submit to their husbands as to the Lord.

    So it is not a mean and ugly thing, submission and subjugation. It is beautiful, but it can be misused and misconstrued by both parties.

    In the end, someone has to be the head of the home. Someone has to lead. And it is to be the husband, always. As an obedient wife, it is my joy and duty to make suggestions *smile* because I am naturally more aware of some things than is my husband. But he is responsible for the final word and I have to go along with him.

    I might not always like it, I have to work at it, but I believe wholly in wifely submission, yes.

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  8. Scripture tells us that wives are to be like the church, and husbands are to be like Christ. Well, maybe it’s just me, but I think Christ does more submitting that His Church does. For didn’t Christ subject Himself to a human body that He may lay down His life for His bride? Didn’t Christ serve His bride and wash her feet? I think Christ set aside His own rights and desires for His bride more so that we ever will for Him.

    And Christ never demands obedience from us. We are free to do as we choose. For a relationship to be one of love, there must always be the element of free will and choice. A wife is free to do as she wishes. She is not constrained to do her husband’s bidding. And I don’t see Scripture commanding her to do that either. There’s a distinct line between a love relationship and a power struggle. The stipulations I’m reading in these comment are rules that govern a power struggle and not principles of a mutually loving relationship.

    If you take away a wife’s freedom to choose, you might as well call the divorce attorneys right now. Cause love does not force or control. Rather, love has it’s recipient in mind in all decisions. A wife does not have to obey her husband on anything! If she wants to be in a power struggle with him, that’s her choice to do so. But I’ve been in that power struggle, and really it’s no fun for anybody. And when a wife is being combative with her husband, it is because she is not convinced of her husband’s love for her. Show me a combative wife, and I will show you a man who has failed to lay down his life for his bride as Christ did the church. I really think the husband is the root of most power struggles within failing marriages.

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  9. I agree with you, Mike, that it is the husband’s duty to love his wife as Christ loves the church. Sacrificially, giving over his own wishes for her well being, etc. We are Christ’s BODY, remember, and we are told to love our neighbors as ourselves. As Christ loves us, his body, his church.

    A good wife does not engage in a power struggle as a rule. She gives over her own wishes to, ideally, a man who wants better for her than she would think of for herself.

    This giving over in obedience (because, remember, a brand new, thirteen-year-old bride in the year, say AD 66 would not have had the opportunity to grow to love her husband) is what is called for. Not resentfully, but willingly. It is a choice, as it is our choice to obey Christ, but it is a choice that God would have us make.

    I could choose NOT to obey my husband. I could choose to insist that I know better than he does, that I should be the one who says what it what, since I am better educated, have a more varied life experience, was raised in a more loving home and so have a better example before me than he did, and so on… But I do not. He knows all that; I don’t have to tell him. Instead, he hears me, but makes our family decisions on what he wants, which may or may not be what I would have wished. And once he has made that decision, it is final. Which is as it should be. If I didn’t yield, ours would be a combative home indeed. We’re both incredibly stubborn!

    The reason it works for us is because I choose, with all of my heart out of love for God Almighty, to submit to my husband’s authority. Even when I believe him to be in error. Even when he proves to have made mistakes. I make them too, but he is the one responsible.

    That is a heavy burden for a man to bear. Submitting is far, far easier.

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  10. Hi, Dana! I came across the story your reprinted re: the woman in gray visiting the woman working on the farm, helping her husband, that was linked from a Cathoic homeschooling website. You have such beautiful insights on marriage and how to be the helper to your husband that God created you to be. I actually only got halfway through the story this afternoon, and dropped it so I could clean up the downstairs b/f my dh came home from work. Needless to say, my priorities have shifted. Thank you for your help in my vocation as a wife. Now I’m going to watch tv with my dh. 🙂

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  11. Hello Anne,
    I am glad that you took the time to visit my site and look around a bit. I agree that the story “When Queens Ride By” is wonderful. It really made me re-think my role as a wife!

    Thank you so much for your kind words. I still have SO much to learn even though I am a totally different wife than I was nearly 10 years ago (and hopefully, mostly for the better – lol).

    My prayer is that the Lord would use this site to encourage others (and encourage me to keep up – lol). I am by no means a Titus 2 older woman (yet) but I do know that we, as sisters in Christ, need to encourage each other as much as we can! (BTW, your sweet comment was an encouragement to me :0D)

    Have a blessed day,
    Dana

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  12. Excellent post. For those who don’t see the Bible saying that wives are to obey their husbands, read the King James Bible in which Titus 2 instructs older women to teach the younger women to “be obedient” to their own husbands. No, it’s not at all popular, but God’s truth seldom is. By the way, I agree with you that obeying/submitting to my husband has been one of the most freeing actions of my life. It seems like a paradox, but my obedience relieves me of responsibilities that rightfully belong to him. I have enough to do without adding his responsibilities to mine!http://lifewithchrist.org/uploads/smil3dbd4d4e4c4f2.gif

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  13. After we had been home for about an hour I started feeling really sick! I don’t know if it was something that I ate or if I caught some kind of virus but I was really sick!

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