“Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.””
Genesis 2:18 NLT
Ladies, it’s our turn.
What is our role in a marriage? This study was interesting because I think our role is more nuanced.
Men can know their role by reading about how God love us. That’s throughout the Bible. Women have to look at specific examples as well as make some connections to get an idea of our role.
For starters, let’s talk about that word “helper” in Gen. 2:18. According to Strong’s that word is “ezer” in Hebrew (Strong’s H5828) and when you look it up it’s most often used when talking about God being our help in times of need.
This establishes that the word doesn’t carry connotations of slavery behind it. This isn’t a slave/master relationship between men and women, it’s a relationship of completion. Man wasn’t meant to be alone.
“So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”
Ephesians 5:33 NLT
I always found it interesting that men are commanded to love, but women are commanded to respect. Whole studies have been written about this verse. The idea that women value love more and men value respect more etc. I don’t disagree with this, but I also value having more verses to back up ideas. We are told to respect our husbands, and we are given examples of what that doesn’t look like:
“It’s better to live alone in the corner of an attic than with a quarrelsome wife in a lovely home.”
Proverbs 25:24 NLT
“A quarrelsome wife is as annoying as constant dripping on a rainy day.”
Proverbs 27:15 NLT
“It’s better to live alone in the desert than with a quarrelsome, complaining wife.”
Proverbs 21:19 NLT
“A foolish child is a calamity to a father; a quarrelsome wife is as annoying as constant dripping.”
Proverbs 19:13 NLT
Ladies, as much as I hate to admit it, I think we are more inclined to fixate on things and to talk them to death until resolved. In same translations “quarrelsome” is translated as “nagging”. This treatment, constantly arguing and complaining, isn’t something you do when you respect that person. When you respect someone you trust that they hear you and that they will follow through with their word. Maybe our husbands need an extra reminder, but there are ways of doing this without becoming a drip.
“For the believing wife brings holiness to her marriage, and the believing husband brings holiness to his marriage. Otherwise, your children would not be holy, but now they are holy.
Don’t you wives realize that your husbands might be saved because of you? And don’t you husbands realize that your wives might be saved because of you?”
1 Corinthians 7:14, 16 NLT
Just because your husband may not be fulfilling his role, that doesn’t mean you can stop fulfilling yours. Your faithfulness to God’s will can bring holiness to your marriage. You can be a light to your husband through your actions, which is why it is important to obey God and respect your man. That respect can become inspiration for him to be a better man.
God created an order to marriage. We talked yesterday about how men are the head of the family. We are told to submit to that authority:
“And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord.”
Ephesians 5:21-22 NLT
A husband following God’s plan will love the wife self sacrificially and take her into account while leading the family. Even if he isn’t following God’s plan, we still have to follow God’s commands and try our best to submit to our husbands (unless they tell us to renounce God!).
The thing is, this doesn’t mean women are to sit around waiting for instructions. We are given an amazing example of a strong wife in the Proverbs 31 woman:
“Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies. Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.”
Proverbs 31:10-12 NLT
Her husband trusts her. This is important! Any good leader delegates. A husband who trusts his wife hands over responsibilities in the marriage to her and her judgement.
“She goes to inspect a field and buys it; with her earnings she plants a vineyard. She is energetic and strong, a hard worker. She makes sure her dealings are profitable; her lamp burns late into the night.”
Proverbs 31:16-18 NLT
She inspected and bought a vineyard! That is no small feat. I’m not qualified to inspect a vineyard. This is not some shrinking violet. This is a strong partner in marriage. Her husband trusted her and she started her own successful business.
“She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness. She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness.”
Proverbs 31:25-27 NLT
She is wise and gives kind instructions. Her husband trusts her to run the house. I like to think that he seeks her opinions because he knows his wife is wise. She’s the one who is making his clothes and because she’s dressing him for success he is known at the gates:
“She makes her own bedspreads. She dresses in fine linen and purple gowns. Her husband is well known at the city gates, where he sits with the other civic leaders.”
Proverbs 31:22-23 NLT
She is a active figure behind her husband’s success! This is a partnership! This is a balanced marriage made up of love and respect for each other. In turn she is also a very successful businesswoman.
The Proverbs 31 woman was the very first overachiever. Read the whole passage and you will see what I mean. This woman was making money hand over fist.
I’m not even going to get into how children fit into this equation! This study is long enough!
Ladies, we are called to respect our husbands. We are told to submit to their authority in the relationship. When our husbands are following God’s will this is easy because they are in turn putting us first, listening to our needs, and loving us unconditionally. No relationship between two sinners is perfect, but if we keep seeking God’s wisdom and follow His instructions the pattern of our marriage can be two people considering each other’s needs first. The Bible wants us to put others first, not only in marriage but in all relationships.