Help Meet? What is a Help Meet?

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Her husband also, and he praises her, saying:
“Many daughters have done nobly,
But you excel them all.” Proverbs 31:28-29

Sunday mornings can get rough around here!  We begin our day in a lazy sort of way.  I sit around in my pjs drinking coffee.  The kids stay in their pjs until breakfast is finished.  My husband stays in bed as long as he possibly can.  (Occasionally the kids drag him out by jumping on top of him until he cannot possibly go back to sleep!)

Around 8:30 everyone goes into panic mode.  We realize that if we are going to be at church by 10:00am, we better get moving!

Yesterday morning was no exception.  I hurriedly got both kids ready.  Superhero Son didn’t like ANY of his clothes.  Darling  Daughter needed a nap and cried while we all rushed around her.  Finally, only five minutes late,  I was ready to leave.  As I picked up Darling Daughter to carry her through the pouring rain to the car, my husband asked me for a screwdriver.  I looked at him like he was a big doofus and asked, “Why do you need a screwdriver?  Get in the car so we can leave!”  

His reply went something like this, “I have to drive separately.  I have to go to work after church.  I need to put new license plates on the new car before I leave.  The thirty day tags ran out!”  

I took a deep breath….and went off on him.  I am sure everything I said sounded perfectly acceptable to me at the time, but was probably mean.  While I was ranting about never getting enough help with the kids, always being late, feeling unappreciated, overworked, and overwhelmed, I got the screwdriver out of the drawer.  I picked up Darling Daughter, again, and ran both kids through the rain to the car.  

While driving to church, still fuming, I prayed that God would allow me to calm down before I got to church.  I suddenly remembered something my pastor said about every man needing a help meet in his wife.  He explained a help meet  as a wife who served her husband.

I don’t appreciate that expectation in my life AT ALL! I have never thought of myself as submitting to my husband in any way.  I was not raised to be that kind of woman.  I am independant, strong, and bossy!  My husband would agree with everything, especially the bossy part.  

But in the moment of driving through the torrential rain, listening to a screaming baby, wondering if my husband got the license plate on without getting soaked in his work/church clothes, it occurred to me that maybe God is calling me to be my husband’s help meet afterall.  Maybe God knows that my husband needs an assistant.  My husband needs someone to do his laundry, cook his dinner, and take care of his kids because he works crazy long hours.  He needs someone to boost his confidence when facing poopy diapers, scraped knees, and potty training.  Yesterday morning, he needed someone to tell him where the phillips head screwdriver was because I was the last to use it.

I don’t have to become a slave to my husband, submit to his every demand, or let him treat me poorly.  However, I am called to be his help meet.  Genesis 2:18 says, “And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him” (KJV).  I imagine the Proverbs 31 woman was a great help meet for her man!

Blessings!

 

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While Everyone Else is Sleeping…

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She gets up while it is still night; (Proverbs 31:15a, NIV)

Nothing fills me with more resentment toward my husband than working while he naps with the kids.  This is most typical on Sunday afternoons.  We eat lunch after church and change into play clothes.  He crashes on the couch to nap while I begin my chores for the day.  It drives me crazy!!!!

His grand excuse is that it is his only day to lie around and rest.  My usual reply is something like this, “Oh yeah? Which day do I get to do that?”  Honestly folks, I struggle with this one as much as anything else in our marriage!

To make my point a bit more poignant, I usually try to go to the gym on Sundays while my husband is home with Superhero Son and Darling Daughter.  When I return later, the house is usually an explosion of toys, snacks, toys, costumes, and more toys!  It will take me just as long to clean up as it did to work out in the gym!

So how do I handle this short of divorcing my husband?  

1.  Focus on my blessings.  My biggest blessings stress me out the most.  Taking care of our home, raising my children, working on a happy marriage, and teaching my students all cause stress in my life.  On Sundays I try to remember that each of them is a blessing granted to me by God.

2.  Plan ahead.  If I can get most of my housework, writing work, laundry, and papers graded on Friday evening and Saturday, that frees up Sunday.  If I am not feeling so bogged down in work, I don’t care so much that my husband is lying around the house.

3. Delegate ahead of time.  If I warn my husband around Thursday or Friday that I have a chore I would like for him to do, he is usually willing.  If I just start nagging once he is lying on the couch, forget it!

4.  Enlist the help of the kids.  Darling Daughter is too young.  She still isn’t walking.  However, Superhero Son can help with small chores.  He is learning to fold clothes.  He loves to run the vacuum and mop. (I really don’t know why!)  He also loves getting change for his money jar once a chore is complete.  

5.  Remember that I am cleaning, washing, writing, and grading papers because God has called me to do His work.  These are the blessings He placed into my life.  I do not complete my chores because I am Supermom or my family is more wonderful than anyone else’s.  I do it because God instructs me to do so. I know that He will always provide rest for me when I need it, even it is isn’t on Sunday afternoons!

Blessings!

Respectful Actions

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Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.  She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. Proverbs 31:11-12 (NIV)

Here is another well known verse about the relationship between a husband and wife.

However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. Ephesians 5:33 (NIV)

For all of you who just bristled at the thought of treating your husband with respect or rolled your eyes at the thought of your husband having full confidence in you, read on!

My marriage isn’t perfect.  We argue occasionally.  We pass each other in the hallway at times and barely speak to one another.  However, we both committed to having a Christian marriage  that put God first.  If we both agree to follow God’s will and plan for our lives, we cannot ignore God’s instructions laid out in the Bible.   I am called to bring only good things to my husband and to respect him.  This is not because I am a wonderful, amazing person.  Nor is it because I married the perfect man that any woman would fawn over.  It is because God instructs me to do so, and I am committed to serving God.

What does all of this mean?  I interpret the verse from Proverbs as meaning that the wife should help her man build a strong reputation rather than tear him down in public.  Here are some practical ways to show respect to your husband that apply to women of today.

  1. Only post positive comments about him on social media.  No matter how mad you may have gotten after an argument, don’t go air your dirty laundry online!
  2. Only say positive remarks about him to his family.  My husband totally called me out on this one not too long ago.  He made a purchase that I was totally against.  He spent way too much money on it knowing I didn’t want him to buy it in the first place.  I found out while we were having dinner with his parents.  Unfortunately, I reacted poorly and said a few remarks that belittled him in front of his parents. He later told me that he welcomed me telling him how I felt, but he was embarrassed by my reaction and my unkind words.
  3. Tell him often how much you appreciate his contribution to the family.  Focusing on what he does right rather than his shortcomings can drastically change the mood of the marriage.  Let’s be honest!  Would you want to come home if all you heard was what a terrible spouse you are?  No! Welcome him home to a positive environment.
  4. Finally, pray for him.  Often!  And tell him about it!  Let him know that you want God to take charge of your marriage.  Remember, you cannot change your husband, but God can!

Blessings!