A while back I got an email from Family Life. It was from Dennis and Barb Rainey who together as husband and wife wrote “Moments Together for Couples”. You can subscribe to the daily emails here. They are very enlightening at times and at others hit home hard. Today’s email addressed husbands as being a “servant-leader.” The husband and father is to lead, to love and to serve.
Well I have been thinking about this for sometime now and although I think it is important to inform husbands of what Christ requires of them, the only time we hear about what is required of wives is on mothers day. (i.e. the virtuous woman) I finished a book a while back (about 6 months before Richard and I were married) by Laura Doyle, The Surrendered Wife. This book opened up my eyes to marriage and life as a woman and mother. I highly recommend reading it.
It the book of Titus, Paul talks about teaching the older women to be reverent in the way they live so they can teach the younger women “……….To love their husbands and children, to be self controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands…” so that the Word of God will be honored.
Women were CREATED for their husband. God carefully chose us as gifts to them and them to us. 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?” The best way to answer that question is simple: Ask your husband. Now, if your husband is not used to you being a helpmate, this question may catch him off guard. He may even be a little scared of what your intentions are. Sit down with him and tell to him that you want to be the wife that the Lord created you to be. You may even need to ask for forgiveness of behaviors exhibited in the past. (Trying to be the leader instead of the helper, belittling him, being disrespectful toward him, etc.). Once you ask for his forgiveness, he will 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 God clearly commands us to do through His word.
Don’t be a nag. In Proverbs 27:15 it says a quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping on a rainy day; restraining her is like restraining the wind or grasping oil with the hand. Nagging is a form of torture. People nag because they think they are not getting through, but nagging hinders communication more than it helps. When you are tempted to nag at your husband, stop and examine your motives. Are you more concerned about yourself – getting your way, being right – than about the your husband whom you are pretending to help? If you are truly concerned about HIM, think of a more effective way to get through to him. Try speaking to him with words of patience and love, and see what happens. 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 him, instead, you need to be his biggest fan and cheer him on.
Be a submissive wife and don’t interfere with his role as the leader. This 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 women) 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. In Genesis 2:18 it says “Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not suitable for the man to be alone; I will make a helper suitable for him’” The key word in that verse is HELPER. God created men to lead the household. If women are taking on stress and burdens that were meant for our husbands than we are only creating unnecessary stress for ourselves. God did not equip us to handle that.
I am going to be honest with you on this one because it is something that has taken me a long time to learn (and yes, I am still learning). Life is so much sweeter (for both Richard and I) when I submit to the authority that the Lord has placed over me. Your husbands’ role is to lead his family. He will have to answer to God for the way that he led his family. You have to answer to God on 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. When I started submitting to my husband’s authority, I didn’t realize the tremendous amount of stress I relieved from my body. 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. Outsiders think that Richard just runs my life. Tells me where to go, what to do, and how to do it. This is not the case. I submit to my husband and together we have a richer marriage, a happier marriage, and we actually want to be around each other all the time. We can’t stand being away from one another. It is not a lack of control on my part but a blessing of less control. I LOVE IT!
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 Richard (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.
Honor your husband with your speech. You can either build up your husbands up with what you say or tear them down. If you want your husband to be a good leader, then you need to believe that he is a good leader, and you need to tell him and others. Don’t miss an opportunity to praise him in public but never talk about any of his faults in front others. Everyone has faults (both the wives and husbands) if there is an area that your husband is struggling with, you need to encourage him, pray for him and be a helper to him in that area.
Love your husband physically. We also need to love our husband – not just with our hearts but also with our body. The bible tells us that we were created for each other. 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. If I take the focus off my needs being met and placed my desire on seeing his needs being met, well, things change dramatically and it becomes not just a ‘wifely duty’ but a shared blessing between husband AND wife. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than to know I please my husband. One thing that is a plus in our relationship is that my husband gives me an opportunity to experience intimacy outside the bedroom. Not just with snuggling on the couch-watching movie but with words of encouragement as his wife. Not all women have this but believe me if you submit and treat him with the above commandments from God you will start reaping the rewards.
Love your husband above all. 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 will vary. Ways that are of interest to Richard may not be of interest to your husband. Here are a few ideas: a hot dinner, nightly back rub, starched shirts, planning family trips, wearing things he likes to see on you, sending treats to the office…. A really good book that I read about showing love to your spouse was “101 Nights of Great Romance” by Laura Corn. This book may give you some ideas on how to best express love to your husband. It has everything from the extreme weekend getaway to the simple task of leaving love notes in his shirt pockets for the next time he wears that shirt.
This ended up being More like a short story than a blog entry but God has been impressing upon my heart to share this with those of you who read my blog. Some of you already know this information, some are struggling within a marriage where God isn’t present, and I am sure some of you are reading this saying “what is she talking about?” No matter what the circumstances, please stop what you are doing right now and pray “God today is the beginning of my marriage. I give it to you and I pray that you will help me become the Godly wife you created me to be. Please give me the courage to make the changes I need to make, to show my husband that I truly believe in him as the head of our marriage and leader of our family. Show me the way Lord, to becoming a wife my husband and You can be proud of. Amen”
Go on over to hubby’s blog and read about being a Godly husband.
We have a great marriage in Christ. Can ya tell?