I was having a casual conversation with a dear friend recently. We chatted for a while about the little every day occurrences of life before our conversation settled on marriage. She mentioned how lonely and exhausting the journey can be. I pondered her words for several days after our conversation.
There are many women who would attest to this truth. We feel tired, frustrated, even hopeless at times because our marriages are not where we would like them to be. Some would say they feel alone. While others would say they feel powerless to affect the change necessary to improve their marriages.
One would ask where does the source of the issue lie?
Let us look for a moment, at our marriages from God’s intended plan. As women we have been uniquely created and called to carry out a very important role in our marriages. God created us to be our husband’s help-meet.
“And the Lord said, It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make him a helper suitable for him.” Genesis 2:18
This unique relational responsibility requires us to respect, love and submit to our husband. We are to encourage and support him in his required role as spiritual leader in the home, respecting the authority God gave him. Man has also been given his own responsibilities. He is to love his wife and serve as the head of the home as he submits to Christ’s leadership. This is clearly laid out for us in Ephesians 5. Husband and wife, coming together in their unique qualities like two pieces of a puzzle creating a whole. A oneness in marriage where two people compliment and complete each other.
God intended our marriages to honor Him. A relationship that strives to exemplify Christ’s relationship with His church, demonstrating sacrificial love. A model to the world of His relationship with us.
However, sometimes we lose focus of our divine calling as women and instead focus on our needs. Yes ladies, we do that and we do it well. The need to feel secure and protected, to feel valued and appreciated, loved, happy. Our list can be quite extensive. This is not to say our needs are not genuine or important. They are. But having our needs met was never God’s primary intent for our marriages though they are usually met as we yield to His plan.
When we focus on having our needs met, we are tempted to see our men as the reason for our discontent. This eventually lead us to devise ways to “fix” our men. We believe the enemy’s lies that we would be better able to fulfill our role as a wife if only our husband would change. We fail to realize our divine calling is not dependent on our husband fulfilling his own calling.
Dear friends, our husbands will fail and disappoint us at times. It is not because they want to or purpose to, but because they are human. And like us, they have a tendency to succumb to living in the flesh instead of in the Spirit. They will struggle with their calling as we will with ours.
Maybe our men do have addictive sins or abusive tendencies, a few of the behaviors we should never have to accept or tolerate in our marriages. Maybe they haven’t taken up their role as the spiritual leader within the home. Or it could be, that along with us, they came into the marriage with unrealistic expectations or unresolved issues from the past. Whatever the reasoning, it opens the door for our heart to become hardened with bitterness and resentment. This can only cause our marriage to suffer as the two puzzle pieces separate; our oneness broken.
I understand why my friend was feeling lonely and exhausted. I have been there. Too often we assume the responsibility of fixing our marriage by trying to change our men. We are no longer a help-meet to our men and we are no longer functioning under the umbrella of God’s divine plan.
The more we fall away from our role as help-meet, the more possible it will be for our husband to fall away from the servant leader he was intended to be. This is not to minimize or excuse our husband’s selfish behaviors. Nor is it to say we are responsible for the bad choices our men make. Indeed we are not. Still, we are to remain steadfast in our role because we are first and foremost accountable to God. And the same is to be said of our men. So when they start acting outside of God’s purpose for their life, we pray for them and then entrust them to God. Many times God cannot get to our men because we are standing in His way, busy trying to fix them our self.
Are we able to comprehend the magnitude of our divine calling?
Ladies please know that our role as our husband’s help-meet was never intended to be demeaning, far from it. It is a call of great honor and power. Yet one we need to understand in order to operate fully in. It is true we may have endured hurts and disappointments in our marriage. We may be tired, exhausted or even frustrated, but we should not allow our feelings and emotions to dictate our obedience to God. Even when we do not feel like helping or loving our men, we do it because we know our act of obedience honors the Lord.
There is an unseen enemy who wants our marriages to fail. He wants to distract us women from our God-given role because he knows, all too well, how important it is for us to stand beside our men as their help-meet. He knows if he can get us to step out of our calling or even distract us, he can destroy our marriages.
“Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.” Proverbs 31:11
This is a difficult journey and one we were never meant to do alone. We desperately need the help of Holy Spirit to aid us in walking out our calling. This can only be done when we determine to develop a deep personal relationship with the Lord. We commit to bathing our men and our marriages in prayer. Commit to fully trust God. Commit to obey His word and submit to His divine plan and purpose for our marriage. As we change and adapt our behavior and attitude to convey love and support to our husband, God will shape us into the image of His Son.
Though not biblical, I love this quote from Spiderman.
“With great power comes great responsibility.”