Being a Helpmeet

I don't believe when I was first married I thought too much about what being a wife really means.  By the time I'd been through the hurt of a divorce, I found that attending a wedding was a sweet agony.  The marriage vows, as they were read off by the pastors, were especially meaningful and I was aware of my own failings as a wife. After I became a Christian I read the New Testament and the words Paul wrote to wives about being submissive to their husbands.  I took these things to heart. Even so, when I took my vows with John, I still had little idea of the full meaning of what it is to be a wife.

The world view of a wife tends to be that the woman is stepping into a protective covenant, that she is weaker and needs that additional protection.  I was ready to embrace the idea of myself as a 'weaker' sex after being placed in a lead role in my first marriage.  I had no problem with the idea of being submissive to my husband. And yet...I struggled. I'd been an independent woman.  I was not, am not a feminist. .  It seemed to me there was something I'd missed, however.

This past week I think I discovered what that was.  John and I were watching a ministry channel and saw a telecast of Mike Barber ministries.  The pastor who spoke took his sermon from Genesis, about Adam and the creation of Eve.  He began talking to the women (who were prisoners) about the need of every woman to be strong in who she is.  Not equal. Not better than a man.  But strong in order to go into a relationship as a partner to man.  That spoke volumes to me.  My background is a background of strong women.  Women capable of standing on their own two feet.

So here's this man, a pastor, telling these women that they've been mistaken all these years.  They thought they needed a man to give them a home, buy them a car, take care of their kids, earn a living for them...When in reality they were meant to be strong, capable, able.  Why?  Because they were created as a helpmeet, a partner.  He believed in learning to live life on their own they were building spiritual, mental, emotional muscles that would make them better partners for good men. He said as weak women they found weak partners.  They needed to be good strong women for  GOOD, strong men.

I realized as I listened to the sermon that it's like this:  When I was in school and we were choosing a team for a game, the leaders always chose the best players first, the ones they knew were strong in the skills required to play the game the best.

My husband is forever telling me how smart I am, how much he values my intuition and people reading skills, my ability to stretch the money at my disposal for clothes, decorating my home, and buying our groceries.  He congratulates me when I accomplish a physically tough job or when I handle a crisis well.  In short, he treats me like a partner, a woman who is strong and capable.  But it took that sermon to make me see just why my husband is right to value me as his helpmeet.

As a wife, it is my privilege to be under my husband's protection. As a homemaker it is my privilege to have a partner who is wise in his financial resources so that I can be a full time homemaker.  As a Christian it is my privilege to have a head priest in my household who seeks guidance on our behalf.  But I realized that my husband too is privileged to have a partner who has her own strengths.  At long last, I feel I am a whole woman,  because that is how God made me.  


lislyn66 said...

I think this is my favorite post of yours so far, even from your "Penny" days. The amazing thing is I had this revelation in church tonight. While Ted and I are not married (yet is how I think of it), he is going to need and I'm certain wants, a strong helpmate. Thank you so much for this.

MotherHen said...

Thanks so much for this post!! You answered alot of questions I was having about being a helpmate!!

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