Uncategorized

4 Ways To Live Out Your Role As Helper

Your role as a helper

One of the reasons many wives struggle in their marriages is because they refuse to embrace the role God has given them as helper to their husband. The word “helper” ruffles their feather and their pride demands a higher position, a more noble title. But such desires sabotage marriage and prevent us from fulfilling our calling.

“To act his part well, according to the will of God, in the lofty drama of human life, should be the ambition, solitude, and prayer of each of us. It is the first lesson of wisdom, to know our place; the second, to keep it.”
– John A. James

But, let’s start at the beginning to see what it means to be a helper and how it works itself out.

The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone.
I will make a helper suitable for him.”
Genesis 2:18

God chose to make man different than anything else he had already created. He made man in his image (Gen. 1:27) but also made him to be in intimate fellowship with another. It was not good for man to be alone and so God created woman. She was not an afterthought, but a part of his perfect plan of revealing his love for the church through the bonds of marriage. And the woman he made for the man is called a “helper.”

So let’s get a little technical. The Hebrew word  for “helper” used in the verse above is  the word “ezer”. It is a combination of two roots, meaningto rescue, to save”, and “strength/power.” This word is used to describe the woman twice, but it is used to describe God 16 times. So we could translate the verse more properly by saying “It is not good for man to be alone, I will make a strength (or power) suitable for him.” (Hard Sayings of the Bible, Walter C. Kaiser)

So think of yourself as his “ideal partner”, his equal and his strength. How do we use this role to help our husbands? Here are 4 ways.

1. For Holiness

You are not called to make him sandwiches or refill his drinks, though that is a nice thing to do. Your calling is be such a strength and power in the life of your husband that your conduct, your words, and your actions point him to Christ and make him want to be a more godly person.

Paul said that the reason we talk about Christ, the reason we teach and admonish others is that so that they will become mature Christians (Col. 1:28). We do this, not through lectures, nagging, or manipulation, but through Christ shining in our lives. To be this kind of wife you must know the Lord and his word. Share what you are learning with your spouse and in doing so you are helping him become the man God wants him to be.

2. For Companionship

Gen 3 tells us that it was not good for man to be alone. He was, in a sense, incomplete and lonely. He needed a companion, a friend. Your husband needs to know that you will walk with him, hand in hand, through illnesses and job losses, through failure and disappointment. But on the flip side you must also work at having fun within your marriage; to laugh a lot and to show interest in the things your spouse enjoys (Prov. 17:17), to be silly, to remember the fun you had when you first started dating or at various times in your marriage. Your place is to be his friend. His best friend.

But companionship doesn’t ends there. A part of being a good friend is being able to keep a confidant. Does your husband trust your discretion? Can he share his heart without the fear of you running to your girlfriend and sharing what he has told you? As a helper, you are your husbands closest ally.

3. For Encouragement

Everyone feels discouraged from time to time, and we all know lectures and nagging isn’t exactly an inspiration. What we need are words of encouragement, gracious words that cheer us and breathe life back into our tired hearts and give strength to our disintegrated motivation (Prov. 16:24).

When your husband feels discouraged and frustrated you are to be the strength he needs to see the beauty of Christ, the blessings found in his life, and the love he has in his wife. He needs to be reminded of Christ’s crazy love and sacrifice on his behalf. We all need this reminder, and your place is to remind your husband.

4. For Correction

Everyone who sins is in need of correction. As a wife you hold a special position that allows you to speak into your husbands life in a way that no other can. You live with him day in and day out. You see things that others don’t see and therefore you are best qualified to speak words of correction. But we must tread carefully here. No one likes to be corrected in a callous and cold-hearted way. We must make sure that wisdom is exercised as to when and how the correction takes place and that you always point him to God’s word and Christ’s example.

We are not called to help our men become the perfect specimen of a husband. We are called to help him become the man God has called him to be. Namely holy and mature in Christ.  You are your husband’s helper. This is not a demeaning position, but a high calling–the calling to be a strength and power your husband needs. It is a position God himself holds as our helper, our power and our strength (Ps. 54:4), so we should be honored in knowing our place in this world and in our marriages.

Blessings,
Jen

Jen Torn

 

 

Jen Thorn and her husband, Joe, live in IL with their 4 children. She loves studying theology, reading the Puritans, and has a passion for horchata and all things chocolate. Jen blogs at JenThorn.com as well as Love God Greatly. Follow her on Twitter @jenlthorn and Facebook.

 

messyfooter

20 Comments

  • Rachael

    My “feathers get ruffled” about being a helper when the definition of being said helper is reduced to babysitting and household chores!!

    If that sounds snarky it is probably because I’m feeling that way today. 🙁

    Love the article… very nice!

  • Julianne

    This is so well written; thank you.
    This was beautiful.
    I’m striving to be all this and more for my fiance, and we are both very much on track with this, for both our roles. I just can’t get enough of reading these!

  • Stefanie

    I looove this post! As a twenty two year old woman engaged to a wonderful man, I want to really prepare my heart for our upcoming marriage. Sadly, in our society it is taught that the way I want to live makes me weak or a doormat. I am so blessed that there are women out there I can learn from. God bless!

  • Elena

    Thank you for breaking this down. I especially liked how you included the Hebrew form of helper and pointed out that the word also describes God. It makes me view my role as a helpmeet in a more positive light. Along the same lines, when I first really studied wifely submission/respect and realized that Jesus was and is in voluntary submission to God and that everything he did on earth pointed to the Father, then I felt yes, I can do this. Who am I not to do this? I know society doesn’t exactly put a positive spin on biblical marriage and this knowledge helped me value my role.

  • Beth Lawrence

    Good and powerful word for our generation. And for me. Even as a pastor’s wife, I sometimes forget my helping role is much bigger than getting the kids ready by myself so he can be at church early. The help God designed us for is that of holy influence and healthy companionship. I appreciate your words and the challenge that spring from them.

  • Michele Morin

    I can remember Elisabeth Elliot talking about this very thing waaaaaaaaaay back in the 90’s when I was in the midst of procreation and trying to remember what our vows had said about “mutual submission.” She wisely reminded women that the God’s designation as helper is “not a lesser role,” and she supported this biblically in much the same way the you have. We need to hear it — not because it’s pragmatic or because it makes for better team work or because it’s good for the kids. We need to hear it because it’s true.

  • Romelle

    Thank you for including the correction part of helping. Too many times people think helping means giving no resistance. Sometimes we help our husbands with some tough love and hard truths, just as we would want someone to do for us.

  • A Husband's Thoughts/Reply

    The best thing a husband can ever receive is the encouragement from his Wife in all things. Even when the husband is wrong in an area (and he knows he’s wrong and doesn’t need to be told how wrong he is), to encourage him in a “gentle” voice. I think wives get it wrong and tone can make or break a conversation and turn it into a fruitful conversation or a knife throwing argument of blame and accusations. It is amazing to me how a Wife can know so much about scripture and yet completely act the opposite and not “Point the husband to Christ”. Love is patient and kind..etc as 1 Cor 13 says but (and I know we are all sinners and will sin until we die) but we are being sanctified daily (if we are true believers who are called to be saved) and that should show through your actions. People, especially husbands and wives aught to see your fruit and know that you are saved. Just like James talks about in his letter of scripture. I’m afraid a lot of marriages could say that as much as they would like their marriage to be like Christ and the Church, the Church is crucifying Christ. (and vise versa). Praise the Lord for the Gospel through Christ our Savior where he is our perfect Bride.

  • Danielle Hull

    I really want to share this, but I am concerned about #4. I guess I struggled with that for so long and would have used it inappropriately! I’m afraid some women would take it as their right to correct every. little. thing. Thank you, though! Very practical and helpful 🙂

    • Darlene Schacht

      Yes, I know that you mean. I wouldn’t want anyone to use that to usurp authority over their husbands. But there are gentle ways we can correct by reminding them of the word of God. I like that she says tread carefully here–that’s important. We must keep in step with God’s plan for our marriage and allow our husband to lead.

  • Kim Valentine

    Love your post. It took me 20 years, a separation, walking through the fire and marriage restoration to finally figure this out. Amazing how much joy you have when you follow the steps He has set out before you.

  • Syreetz

    That was amazing. I am single and have struggled with what “help” to husbands actually mean. That was Christ centered, life giving, and freedom giving. Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *