Recognizing Your Role
The first key to nurturing your marriage is recognizing your role as wife. Modern society and the feminist agenda whisper lies into the ears of many Christian women. One very subtle lie is that marriage is a corporate merger. The idea is that you will bring in your career, assets, goals, and hobbies into the marriage and I’ll bring in my career, assets, goals, and hobbies and we’ll merge the two together. What it looks like played out is the husband goes one way and the wife another. They have two separate visions with two separate goals. This idea is secular and worldly
and it destroys many marriages.
The biblical role of the wife is to be the help meet to her husband. We are shown God’s perfect plan for marriage in Genesis chapter two. When Adam is created God places him in the garden and gives him a job to do and a law to keep. Adam was to work and tend to the garden. But he needed help. “And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him,” Genesis 2:18. God did not created Adam and Eve together. He created Adam, set him on his path, and then created Eve to come along side him to help accomplish all that he had set out to do.
Today, we see a different take on marriage. It seems oppressive to say a wife’s job is to help her husband with his career, plans, goals, and dreams. She should be seeking her own heart’s desire. He should respect her need to be independent and they should both give and take in the marriage vision. While that might sound good and noble, it is a distorted view of biblical marriage. (Remember, marriage is for the saved. God ordained marriage and the unregenerate cannot achieve marriage as He intended. They do not know true love and they certainly cannot follow the mandates of Scripture.) Here is what often happens in today’s society. A husband has a vision and goes to work. But, due to materialistically enslaving ourselves with homes, cars, and consumer debt, we are told that both husband and wife must bring in an income in order to survive.
So the wife becomes career focused and goes out into the world and works for another man or woman. She spends her life building up the empire of another person. She has taken on man’s curse to work by “the sweat of thy face.” She comes home over worked and exhausted, having no energy for her husband and her family. She is no longer “husband focused”. Because she is sharing in his role of providing, he now has
to step in and partner with his wife in tending to the children, managing the home, cleaning house, doing chores, etc. While some Christian women willingly choose this way of life, I believe that deep down most women resent it. I lay this problem mostly at the husband’s feet. He should recognize his role as provider. Unfortunately for them, most men have never been taught this.
Biblical marriage looks a little different. The husband takes the responsibility to provide for his family. The wife comes along side to help him fulfill his goals. Now, it might be that for a season she works for another in order to help her husband do this. I am not implying this is wrong. In no way am I saying that it is a sin for a Christian woman to work outside the home. (I will, however, say in confidence that it is God’s plan for mothers to be at home with their babies and young children and for her life to be centered on the home. Read Titus 2 and Proverbs 31.) Her priority in life should be to help her husband achieve his goals.
Why would I as a Christian wife go out into this world and spend all my talents, time, and energy building up the kingdom of another man by working for him? I would much rather spend my talents, time, and energy building up my husband’s kingdom. When his kingdom is built, so is mine! If we would step back and honestly look, we would see that most of society at best does not understand biblical marriage and at worse views biblical marriage in disdain. Let me give you an example. The other day my husband was talking to man at our church and turned to me and said, “We are going to have dinner up here Friday night at 7 p.m. Please take care of that.” I said, “Sure, no problem.” Later the comment was made that this man felt sorry for me because my husband told me what to do and I had to do it. Let me ask this. If I worked as a secretary for another man and he turned to me one day and said, “We need a meal catered in for a board meeting, take care of it” would people feel sorry for me? I don’t think so. The thought would be that it is my job to do as I’m told. But for some reason when a wife takes her role as “help meet” seriously it is perplexing to people. Sadly, I believe it is partly due to the fact that biblical marriage is just not taught to Christians anymore.
Now, I realize that this article is addressing homeschooling mothers. Most of them do have lives that are centered on the home. However, it should be noted that just because you are not out in the world building up another’s kingdom, does not automatically mean that you are building up your husband’s kingdom. Are you the help meet God intended? Do you use your time and talents to help your husband achieve his goals?
Do you use your energy to further his kingdom? Are you investing in the things that your husband wants you to invest in? Are his plans for life your plans? Or, are you both trying to achieve two separate goals in life? Are you moving in two separate directions? These are important questions to ask.
One of my favorite scriptures in Proverbs is, “Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands,” Proverbs
14:1. In order to build my house I must recognize my husband’s needs. Automatically society will say, “No, no, no, you need to worry about
your own needs.” But, a true understanding of “two becoming one” (Genesis 2:24) is that when I meet my husband’s needs, I am meeting mine. Husbands have three basic needs – respect, sex, and food. All of them are scriptural. Ephesians 5:33 says, “see that she reverence her husband.” This is the number one need of a husband. Whether or not a man deserves respect is not the issue. It is the position of husband that deserves respect. It is no different than respecting those in authority, like the president, because of their position. The second need is sex. Sex is only for marriage and by God’s design the wife is the only one that fulfills this need in her husband. I Corinthians 7:3-5 explains this and the importance of it. My husband will encourage husbands to give their wives 5 to 6 “non-sexual” hugs a day. Women are built to need that. But let me encourage women. Your husband needs 1 sexual hug a day. It truly makes for a great marriage. The third basic need husbands have is
food. They need it to survive. I Corinthians 7:34 says, “she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.” A husband that has respect, sex, and good food will be a blessed man indeed. It will be easy to love and provide for a wife who joyfully meets all of these needs.
Part three in nurturing your marriage will address the second key– Having Clear Priorities.