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Monday, July 2, 2012

My Husband's Helper

In the first few days that this world existed, God looked at Adam, the human he had created, and said, "It is not good for the man to be alone.  I will make a helper suitable for him" (Genesis 2:18).

God had created many animals.  He brought them to Adam so that Adam could name them, and see if one of them would be a helper for him.  "But for Adam no suitable helper was found."

So God created the woman.

This was the helper suitable for the man.  This was the person with whom he would become "one flesh."  This was his perfect partner!

I'm smiling as I write this.  Because I know how twisted this truth has been.  "Women weren't created for men," some have said.  "We aren't supposed to take care of them.  They can take care of themselves!  Women should be able to do whatever they want, take care of their own lives, and not have to worry about men."

I beg to differ.

God created women to be the helpers of men.

This doesn't mean women are of any less importance than man!  On the contrary, Paul's words to the Galatians, inspired by the Holy Spirit, say this: "You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.  There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3:26-28).

God created all human beings to be of equal worth in his sight.  We are all equally sinful and we are all equally saved and forgiven, and we are all equally loved by our Creator.

But we were created with different roles.

Men were created to take care of women, and women were created to be the helpers of men.
That doesn't make us weaker, although physically, most of us are.  But spiritually, emotionally, mentally, women are not weaker, they are just different!  Imagine how boring the world would be if women acted like men in everything, or vice-versa.

My role as a woman, as a wife, is to be my husband's helper.  The writer of Proverbs 31 said this about the "wife of noble character":
"A wife of noble character who can find?  She is worth far more than rubies.  Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.  She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life."  -Proverbs 31:10-12
In what ways can I be my husband's helper, bringing him good, and not harm?

Surprisingly, it's not in ways I would expect.
Men consider help to be a different thing than women do.

For example, I thought it would be helpful if I placed mail, including bills, on my husband's desk so he would see them the first thing when he came home.  That way we would both know what was going on, we'd be on the same page, and there wouldn't be any confusion.
Well, my husband was already aware of the bills.  He didn't need that reminder when he came home from work tired and worn-out.  He knew what needed to be taken care of, but an unpleasant reminder like that was not helpful.
Some women might consider it helpful to rearrange their husband's dresser drawer, but their husband may well be frustrated to open his drawer and not know where everything is right away.
So what can I do to help my husband?  Here are a few things I've been learning:

1) Talk to him.  I'm no mind-reader, and although I can sometimes guess at what might be helpful for my husband, I've messed up enough times to know that my guesses aren't always correct.  So I ask my husband what he would like me to do, and in what ways I can be a helper for him.  This has included things like: let him sit quietly for a few minutes right when he comes home instead of bombarding him with talk right away; get his attention before telling him something important, especially if he's distracted; keep up with the laundry so he always has clean clothes to wear.

2) Listen to him.  This is almost more important than talking to him!  My husband has given me verbal hints in the past as to ways I could help him, and I wasn't paying attention so I missed them.  Men communicate in different ways than women do.  I need to be careful to pay closer attention when he talks so I can fully comprehend what he means, because I might not understand it in the way he wants me to.

3) Learn about him.  What are my husband's habits?  Does he need coffee before anything else in the morning?  Does he want to check his email as soon as he comes home?  Does he want a fresh towel in the bathroom every day?  Does he have a favorite food he would like to have once a week?  If I know what he usually does, I can predict ways that I can be helpful to him.
If he checks his email when he comes home every day, I can leave a love note on his computer to let him know I'm thinking of him--without getting in his face or talking to him too much.
If he's hungry when he comes home from work, I can have a snack out on the table already so he doesn't go digging in the fridge and eating tomorrow's supper.  (That's helpful for me, too!)
If he's running low on clean socks, I can do laundry today so he has clean clothes for tomorrow.

The ways a woman can be a helper to her man are as different as men are.  Talk to your husband.  Listen to him, and learn about him, so you can discover ways you can be his helper.

God created us women to have this role.  He will give us the strength, wisdom, and resources necessary to fill it to his glory and our husband's benefit.

What ways can you be a helper to your husband?  Share them in the comments!

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1 comment:

  1. Excellent post. Even after 30 years of marriage I still need reminders like this. We are uniquely called to be unique helpers to our unique husbands. I'm still learning everyday how to do that. Keep up the good work!


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