Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Helpmeet in Training!

I've been married for 1 year 9 months, and 18 days! (I'm too lazy to figure out hours, minutes, and seconds, sorry).
I'm still very new to this wife stuff. I have learned a lot in the past almost-2-years (I'm lazy, now rounding). I thank God for the blessing of His Word, Christian authors who have written books on the subject, mothers, friends, pastors, and others along the way that have helped encourage, edify, instruct, teach, help, offer advice & counsel me in my journey of being a wife.

We often think of wives (at least I do) as women who are matronly housekeepers who are supposed to be loving, supportive and submissive to their husbands. They are the ones with the duty of keeping the house clean, meals cooked, laundry clean.... and folded. They do the grocery shopping, and the bookkeeping, pay the bills if needed, and keep track of calender appointments. All while their husbands go to work 5 days a week, 9-5 and earn the pay check.

All of those things are true, and good. And I understand completely that every good wife doesn't look like the stereotype I just described because each woman is unique, and has different lifestyles and circumstances. But you get where I'm coming from.

My passion in life was always to be that stereotype, and someday add children to it. I wanted to be the stay-at-home homemaker, to plan meals, keep house, and build a comfortable, happy home. To take care of my husband, support and submit to him.
But in almost-2-years of marriage I am beginning to understand being a wife goes a little bit deeper than that. For a few weeks now I have been contemplating "What is a helpmeet? How does a woman become a "helpmeet/helper/helpmate"? How can I help my husband, what is the best way to help, how do I know if I'm being helpful or not? etc.
So, I've been studying my husband, trying to figure out and discern how he, as an individual needs help. What his specific weaknesses and strengths are and what the most effective way to aid him in them is. After a few weeks of doing that, and still not having it 100% figured out I was prompted, through various circumstances, to look at the Bible.
The Bible actually has lots to say about wives even if the word wife/wives is not specifically mentioned.

Here is what the Bible says to and about wives:

Genesis 2:18 "Then the LORD God said, "it is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him."  We are created for man.

Genesis 2:23-25 "Then the man said, "this is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man."  Reason Man is the head and woman submits.
"Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed." Intimacy is good!

Genesis 3:16 "To the woman [God] said, "I will multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he shall rule over you." Submit, even though we desire to rule over our husbands.

Proverbs 31:10-31"An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not harm, all the days of her life. She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands. She is like the ships of the merchant; she brings her food from afar. she rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens. She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard. She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong. She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night. She puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle. she opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in scarlet. She makes bed coverings for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple. Her husband is known in the gates when he sits among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them; she delivers sashes to the merchant. Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. she looks well to the way of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: "Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all." Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Give her the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates." (emphasis added).

1 Corinthians 13:1-8a, 13 "If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliever up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. 
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends....So now faith, hope and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love." Complete self-LESS love.

Ephesians 5:1-2, 8-10, 15-17, 22-24, 33b "Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ love us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.... for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord.... Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.... Wives, submit to your own husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.... let the wife see that she respects her husband."

Colossians 3:18 "Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord."

Titus 2:3-5 "Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled."
For the sake of sparing you an extremely loong blog post I have only recorded a few passages directed to wives, and a few that are not as directed, but still apply.

I am guilty of failing in many of these commands. Especially the ones on Love. I am thankful for the rebuke and correction from the Bible, and even more so thankful for God's forgiveness when I fail. I'm looking forward to continuing this journey, even though I know how challenging it is, and that at times it will be painful and overwhelming.... and I will fail again. But through the power of Christ I can succeed!
In my almost-2-years of marriage I am a very long way from achieving all of this. But I recognize I have only just begun my journey becoming a helpmeet, and have lots of time to learn. I'm am content as long as I am continually learning. When I stop learning, growing and maturing there will be a problem. I am soo thankful that God has given me instruction in His Word on how to fulfill this duty as a helper to my husband!


  1. you're building a good foundation, justine. God bless and guide you.

  2. Well, I think this is the first time I've ever heard somebody say their passion is to be a stereotype.