Thursday, January 18, 2007

I'm reading a book that is so good that I want to buy one for each of you ladies that read this blog, but, unfortunately, that's not feasible. What I can do is share portions with you in hopes that it will encourage you to be the best wife (present or future) you can, as it has done for me.

"'For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man" (1 Cor. 11:8,9) Four thousand years after creation, Paul, Timothy and Peter wrote to us, telling us God's original plan was still the same as it was in the beginning when Adam and Eve were first learning how to be husband and wife. Now, two thousand years since Paul's teaching, amazing as it seems, God has still not changed His mind. Regardless of who you are or what your talents may be, God's will is that you be a suitable helper to your husband. Paul says, "But she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband." (1 Cor. 7:34)
I know that as you read this it sound almost like blasphemy, because it is so weird to think that your husbnd deserves you as his help-meet. But who said anything about what he deserves? You can only realize your womanhood when you are functioning according to your created nature. To covet his role of leadership is to covet something that will not make God, you or him happy. It is not a question of whether or not you can do a better job than he; it is a matter of doing what you were "designed" to do. If you successfully do the job of leading the family, you will not find satisfaction in it. It is far better that the job be done poorly by your husband than to be done well by you. Your excellence as a help-meet to him may very well be God's plan for impoving his leadership role in the family. Your female nature cannot be retrofitted to the male role without permanent damage to the original design.
The role of being a perfectly fit helper does not make one inferior to the leader.
In our office there is an entire staff of workers. Every person in the office spells better than I do; most know the computer better, and they certainly know finances better. Yet, when I walk into the office, I can tell anyone of them what to do and how I want it done, and they are all glad to do my bidding - including the men. My place of authority does not mean I am better, it only means that they are there to help me do my job - better!
Men are created to be helpers of God. Jesus willingly became a helper to the Father. The Holy Spirit became a helper to the Son. Society is structured so that men and women must submit to authorities like government, employers, police, the IRS, child protection agencies, the courts, etc. There is no loss of dignity in subordination when it serves a higher purpose. God made you to be a help-meet to your husband so you can bolster him, making him more productive and efficient at whatever he chooses to do. You are not on the board of directors with an equal vote. You have no authority to set the agenda. But if he can trust you, he will make you his closest advisor, his confidante, his press secretary, his head of state, his vice-president, his ambassador, his public relations expert, maybe even his speech writer - all at his discretion.
A perfect help-meet is one who does not require a list of chores, as would a child. Her readiness to please motivates her to look around and see the things she knows her husband would like to see done. She would not use lame excuses to avoid these jobs. A man would know he had a fine helper if she were this kind of woman. Such a blessed husband would receive honor from other men as they admire and praise his handy wife. "A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband." (Pro. 12:4) It is our job to learn how we can help our husbands in every way possible.
...When you are a help meet to your husband, you are a helper to Christ, for God commissioned man for a purpose, and gave him a woman to assist in fulfillnig that divine calling. When you honor your husband, you honor God. When you obey your husband, you obey God. The degree to which you reverence your husband is the degree to which you reverence your Creator. As we serve our husbands we serve God. But in the same way, when you dishonor your husband, you dishonor God."

For me, this book has been so liberating in finally understand that I am doing something with my life, and that it is the perfect job for me. I don't know why it never hit me before, but I feel so much more joyful in being a wife knowing that it is pleasing to God to be using my gifts as such. The rest of the book is so great in showing practical ways to really do your job and find joy in it. We as wives have so much more control on how our marriage goes than we think. Our husbands respond to us and so when they do something that can be detrimental to marriage, it is most likely brought on by our attitudes, actions and speech.

"Likewise, ye wives, [be] in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation [coupled] with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward [adorning] of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But [let it be] the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, [even the ornament] of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement." (1 Peter 3:1-6)