Men Need Help
Do you have the aptitude, the capacity, for learning how to
become a godly wife? Of course you do! Have you ever wished
that there was some kind of job description telling you just how to
do that? There is! It was given long ago in a garden called Eden to
a woman named Eve.
God's plan is far different from the world's.
It is harder. It is higher. It is holier.
His plan for marriage isn't hard. It's impossible! You can never be
successful on your own. But the impossible becomes possible
because of Jesus. He alone gives us the power to be who He
designed us to be-godly women and wives.
Can you do it? Of course! All that's required is your willingness to
Look to Christ . and let the changes begin in you.
Men Need Help
* * *
The turning point in a marriage is often so small
and unheralded that you can almost miss it.
There it was. The suitcase. Sitting at the top of the basement
stairs. The very sight of it made her angry. Her
husband had just returned from a business trip and
had left the suitcase there, assuring her that very soon he would
take it downstairs and put it away.
A week later the suitcase was still there. Since the washing
machine was in the basement, she was forced to step over it time
and time again as she did the laundry. Before long, the way she
treated her husband was directly related to the number of times she
stepped over the suitcase. It was the middle of January, and outside
the temperature was dropping rapidly. Inside, it was plummeting as
One day she decided to move the suitcase. No, she didn't take
it downstairs and put it away. Helping was the last thing on her
mind. Instead, she carried it into their bedroom and put it down in
the middle of the floor where her husband walked, effectively
blocking his path to the bed. Now he would see firsthand how irritating
it was to arrange one's life around a misplaced suitcase.
She returned to the kitchen, expecting to feel a certain amount
of satisfaction and relief. She felt neither. Nor did she feel the least
bit smug. What she felt was an overwhelming sense of sadness and
grief. She knew her husband had not intentionally left the suitcase
out; he had simply forgotten about it. Yet even knowing that, she
clung to her "right" to feel offended and hostile.
She stood in the kitchen and thought about the suitcase. Had
it belonged to guests, she would have happily taken it from their
hands and insisted on putting it away herself. So why, she wondered,
was she unwilling to help her husband in the same way?
Why was it so much easier to serve others than it was to serve her
husband? She took a good long look at herself and didn't like what
she saw. No wonder she felt grieved. Something needed to change,
all right, and it had nothing at all to do with a suitcase.
A WIFE'S CALLING IS FROM GOD
If someone asked you what the most satisfying aspect of your life
is, what would you answer? Is it being a
mother? teacher? friend? career woman? grandparent?
Where would being a wife fit? Would it make the top five, or
would it fall miserably toward the bottom?
For many years, our marriage relationships were the least fulfilling,
least satisfying, and least successful relationships either of us
experienced. Though we didn't know each other at the time, our
lives were amazingly similar in this regard. We got along well with
everyone else in our lives-our families, friends, neighbors, the
postman, bank tellers, store clerks. Everyone except our husbands.
This was troublesome and discouraging, but at some point along
the way, we let ourselves off the hook by deciding that this surely
must be "their problem."
But it wasn't our husbands' problem; it was ours. We had no
idea what God's job description was for us as wives, so we weren't
doing what we could to be the wives God wanted us to be. It was
only when we discovered this job description and began applying
biblical principles to our marriages that we began to find satisfaction
and happiness as wives
God never intended for us to be frustrated or confused. He was
clear and exact about our role when He stood in His freshly formed
And He hasn't changed His mind.Popular opinion would
have us believe that as the world progresses so should our thinking.
But that simply isn't true in regard to God's Word. It remains
the one steady thing in a constantly changing world.
GOD KNOWS OUR DIFFERENCES
In testing the market for this book, we went into a large, nationally
known bookstore and asked the manager what books were available
on a wife's job description.
"After scanning five hundred entries, all I can find on
listed under fiction," she said.
We told her of our plans to write such a book, and a doubtful
expression crossed her face. As we left the store, she called out, "Be
We asked her what she meant.
"Every woman is so different, how can you possibly write one
job description that would fit all women?"
Of course God knew just how different we are when He
specifically spelled out His expectations, promises, and blessings
for a woman who takes on the role of wife as He created it. Just as
His Word does not change in a changing world, it does not vacillate
according to our differences.
Three main points will be discussed in this chapter.
• The Role: Helper
• The Reason: Man's Aloneness
• The Relationship: Marriage
As we look at these aspects of our job description, we will see
that they are perfectly designed for us by God.
THE ROLE: HELPER
God's plan for us was revealed as He put the finishing touches on His
creation. It's found in Genesis 2 and is simple and straightforward:
It is not good (sufficient, satisfactory) that the man should
be alone; I will make him a helper meet (suitable, adapted, complementary) for him. (v. 18, AMP)
There it is, God's perfect plan for a wife! To be a helper. God's
role for a wife today is the same as it was in the Garden of Eden.
Why would God create and bless all He had brought into being,
from the skies and seas to the plants and trees, comment that "it is
good," and then deliberately shortchange women?
He would not,
and He did not.We were called by God to a role that only we could
fulfill. In God's eyes, creation was not complete without woman.
And God Created Woman
God had created the heavens and the earth and all things that
existed therein and declared them to be not only good, but
verygood. Then God formed man of dust from the ground and breathed
life into his nostrils, and Adam became a living being. God gave
Adam the responsibility of rulership and of cultivating the Garden.
He was given the freedom to eat from any tree but one. God warned
him that if he did eat from the forbidden tree, he would die
(Genesis 1:26-31; 2:7-8, 16-17).
Then God said that it was not good for man to be alone (2:18).
alonenesswas deemed to be "not good" by a perfect God.
Have you ever thought about that? This was the first time He said
that something about His creation wasn't good.
He had Adam uncover his own need by first directing him to
give names to all the animals. In doing so, Adam discovered that
there was no one suitable for him (vv. 19-20). Woman was then
created (vv. 22-23). Many are surprised to learn that this role was
given while the world was still in its perfect state-
The Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and as
he slept, God took a rib from him and fashioned Eve. God then
brought Eve to Adam. When Adam saw her he said, "[She is] bone
of my bones and flesh of my flesh" (vv. 21-23). In effect he was saying,
"I am complete when I am with her."
A High and Holy Title
How does it make you feel to know that you are called to be a helper
to your husband? Do you like it? Or do you wish it were different?
We seem to love the idea of God tossing out the stars and calling
each of them by name (Psalm 147:4). We are speechless at the
very thought of Him, God Almighty, knitting us together in our
mothers' wombs and ordaining all our days (Psalm 139:13-16).
We are awed when we read that He measured the waters in the hollow
of His hand and marked off the heavens by His hand's breadth
(Isaiah 40:12). These things only confirm to us what we already
know-He is God. Awesome, almighty, and perfect. Yet we tend to
balk at our role as helper.
In fact, this role is a reflection of who God is.
A Precious Name
Helper is a title God uses of Himself over and over again in
Scripture. The term helper is a precious word. There is nothing inferior,
demeaning, or second-rate about it.
"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I
am your God. I will strengthen you and help you" (Isaiah 41:10).
In this verse, God is reassuring His people, telling them not to
worry or fear because He, the God of the universe, will be their
A friend told us, "Never once have I thought about being a
helper in this way. I thought of it as one of the many things I do.
But now I see it as who I am. I no longer see
doingsomething; I see it as
I realize that I've never given it the priority
it was meant to have because I was
never taught to do so. If Jesus considers being
a helper a worthy calling (Hebrews 13:1),
then I want to aspire to that calling as well."
This woman had grabbed hold of what
being a helper is all about. It's not something
you do after you've done everything else. It's
not about what you do at all. It's about who you are.
Helper:One who gives assistance or support to another, making
life more pleasant or bearable.
Would your husband say that because of you, his life is more
pleasant and bearable? Would he say he can depend on you for
assistance? For support? Or does he shy away from making even
the simplest request, fearing your reaction?
A Stubborn Heart
When I (Connie) first heard this teaching, I thought to myself,
must be kidding. Are you sure about this? God's will for me in my marriage
is to be a helper to my husband? And that's all? Simply a helper.
Only a helper?
The verse had a familiar ring to it, yet there was little doubt in
my mind that the words "helper to her husband" weren't meant to
stand alone. There must be another phrase qualifying those words.
There had to be more to that verse than just that verse!
When I got home, I looked at this verse in other versions of the
Bible. They all said the same thing. I was thinking,
Why has no one
brought this to my attention before? And why now?
Little did I realize that I was rapidly approaching the turning
point in my marriage.
I was less than excited about the idea at the time, however. If
being a helper was what it was all about, I'd far sooner
What a compromise
, I thought,
and what a misuse of the
abilities God has given me
. I didn't understand what there was to be
excited about. If all the job titles in the world were listed on a sheet
of paper and we could choose just one, I frankly didn't think there
would be a mad scramble for the title of helper.
In the early years of my marriage, however, I actually had been
a devoted helper to my husband. Not because I was focused on
God's Word, but because of my deep love for my husband. I
delighted in making him happy, and I looked for opportunities to
lighten his load. Somewhere along the way, though, I got tired of
helping. My enthusiasm faded, and I no longer enjoyed doing this.
My delight was no longer found in making him happy, and soon I
began to keep score.
, I thought,
it's time for my husband to do his part. I've done
my share. Now he can do his.My plan was quite simple. I would just
slip my heart into neutral until my husband caught on.
He didn't catch on very quickly.
This could take longer than I
, I said to myself. I dug my heels in a little further, determined
to wait him out.
And so began the long journey of waiting for my husband to
change. My heart no longer felt like it was in neutral. It was definitely
in reverse, and the engine was cold. The young wife who had taken
pleasure in tending to her husband's needs was a distant memory.
Over time my heart had grown hard. And harder. And harder still.
Things were not working out the way I had envisioned. I
shouldn't have been surprised. I was trying to rewrite God's job
description to benefit myself. I discovered that neither our hearts
nor our wills are able to slip into neutral. They go one way or the
other. We are either obeying God, or we are disobeying. At best,
using the word
neutralwas an attempt to cloak my disobedience.
When I learned more about God's job description for me as a
wife, my heart was stirred. I believe it was the Holy Spirit convicting
me of my need to change. It was a humbling time as I considered
stepping back into being a wife God's way. I found myself
taking small steps, even half steps. I was still uncertain, perhaps
because of my lack of knowledge, lack of trust, or not wanting to
be the one to change. Probably it was a blend of all three. But my
way obviously wasn't working. So I confessed
my pride, my disobedience, my contentiousness, and my scorekeeping.
I told God that, shaky and unsure as I was, I was willing to do
things His way. With a prayer in my heart, I began to reclaim the
calling God had given me. I set out, wobbly legs and all, to be a
helper to my husband. Once I chose to do that, I began to feel a joy
and peace I had not felt for a very long time. I began to experience
a deeper relationship with my husband, and with my Lord as well.
How About You?
If you have been resisting God's Word, what is your reason? Could
it be pride? Or bitterness? Or an unforgiving spirit toward your
husband? In my case (Nancy), it was ignorance.
I feel that I've had two lives in my marriage. For the first twenty-three
years I was busy being a wife in whatever manner suited me
for the day. I let my emotions rule my behavior. I didn't know God
as He reveals Himself in Scripture-I didn't own a Bible until I was
forty-one. I certainly had no idea that He had a plan for me as a wife.