The first five years of our marriage revolved around getting my husband to see things my way, wondering why his Bible never cracked open in the wee hours of the morning like mine always did, helping him see all the areas he failed, and fighting the urge to just take over the staff of the family.
Of course, there were times of encouragement, growth, and listening on my part, but the gentle helper God had fashioned me to be for my husband wasn’t at the forefront.
Like many who embark on the journey of marriage, the first years were hard.
They were hard because we went into marriage with expectations and a lack of understanding of just how selfish we really were (and are).
I never realized I had anger problems until the day I broke our second oscillating fan as I lashed out in a rage against my husband. My husband can often be heard telling newlyweds that he thought he was a patient guy until he got married.
Both of us came into marriage as sinners saved by grace. Both of us exist today in our marriage as sinners saved by grace.
We’ve come a long way from those first few years.
We still experience conflict, but we’ve tasted the fruit of forgiveness enough that restoration comes much more quickly than before. I haven’t broken any more fans.
The issues we faced the first five years of our marriage are different than the ones we’re encountering now. Troubles don’t cease to exist, but with time and commitment, we’re molding into the oneness of a marital covenant whose roots are sunk deeply into the finished work of Christ. We’re more committed to praying for our marriage because we know we need Jesus.
We’re now halfway through our seventh year of marriage.
As a wife to the man of my prayers, there is one thing I have learned that I pray will always be at the forefront of my thoughts and actions for the rest of our married life.
I am my husband’s helper, and my idea of a helper is very different than God’s idea of a helper.
My man doesn’t need me to tell him what to do. God will do that.
My man doesn’t need me to point out his failures. He already knows them. Like me, he’s his own worst critic.
My man doesn’t need me to take over the staff. He needs me to hold up his arms in the battle and teach our children to take hold of his other arm.
Whenever Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed, and whenever he lowered his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses’ hands grew weary, so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it, while Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side. So his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. And Joshua overwhelmed Amalek and his people with the sword. ~Exodus 17:11-13
My role as helper to my husband is important.
My role as helper to my man is not one without purpose. Moses needed Aaron and Hur to win the battle against Amalek. We needed Aaron and Hur that day so that the story of Jesus Christ would prevail.
My husband will fail. From time to time, he will take the wrong path. Sometimes, he’ll head to Tarshish when he’s supposed to be going to Ninevah. Other times he’ll feel like a fool, and he’ll wonder why God gave him this family to lead, provide for, and love better than he loves himself. Sometimes I’ll wonder if he has lost his mind.
More often than not, when my husband fails to lead his family, engage with his family, or love his family it’s not because he doesn’t want to. He just needs help.
He needs help believing that he is the one for the job. He needs me to remind him that God calls, enables, empowers, and invites him to lead his family. He needs me to remind him that he is loved with an everlasting love that is not contingent upon his success or failure.
He needs help believing that his wife will go with him wherever this life takes them. He needs to know when he fails that I will be right there to hold his hand, lift his arm, and try again and again and again. He needs to know that I will never leave him or forsake him.
When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. ~John 16:13-14
I am my husband’s helper. I am learning what it means to stand as a guide who helps my husband find his way into truth. I am learning what it means to not speak for my own good, but according to God’s Will and in His authority. I am learning what it means to listen to the Lord and seek His guidance before helping my husband. I am learning what it means to declare truth and glorify God in my role as a wife to the man of my prayers.
I am learning what it is to be co-laborers of the Gospel of Jesus with my husband.
Living the Gospel at home starts with a right understanding of our great importance within our family unit. We each have an important part to play in advancing the Kingdom.
What a privilege we get to participate in the work of God together! As a wife, living the Gospel at home starts with my marriage.
Take time to prayerfully consider the following questions. Then take action on what you discover and as the Lord leads.
- Does your husband know you are for him?
- Does your husband know that you respect him?
- Does your husband know that you aren’t going anywhere no matter what?
- Does your husband have freedom to fail as he seeks to live out his calling in the Lord?
- Does your husband know that you are committed to seeking the Lord with all your might so that you will live out your calling as a perfect helper fashioned specifically for him?
- Does he know you cherish him?
- Does he know that wherever he goes you will go?
- Does he know that he is loved by an Almighty God?
Additional posts you might find helpful:
- Be Intentional in Your Marriage with this Free Resource
- Forever By Grace: 21-Day Prayer Challenge for Your Marriage
This post is part of a 31 days series on living the Gospel at home. You can see all the posts in this series here.