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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Created to Be a Helper...

In just over two weeks my husband and I will celebrate twenty one years of marriage. With each passing year I become more and more grateful for God’s redeeming work not only in my life but in my marriage. Let me explain.

In June of 1986 a young bride-to-be prepared for her special day like many young women her age. She put forth all her dreams into the wedding making sure every detail was exactly as she had hoped. The day came and her prayer was “If the flowers are dead, the cake rotten, the music bad, and if no one shows up, but if the Lord is there, it will be the perfect day.” It was a great day and the Lord’s presence was there in the midst of it all. This young bride with her new groom at her side set off on this new journey of marriage and service to the Lord. But, little did she know beneath the beauty of new love, hopes, and dreams crept a huge crack in her foundation and understanding of a biblical marriage. No one had ever explained the biblical role she just took as a wife. She viewed marriage as a partnership, one in which they would love each other, take care of each other, and share life together. It all sounded good. Her needs and desires were equally as important as his. If she chose or needed to continue working after their children were born, they would equally share in the duties of the home and children. And it all seemed right in the eyes of this young Christian woman who had a strong desire to please God.

When there is a crack in the foundation of a home it would take enormous skill and effort to repair. Walls and flooring would have to be ripped up in order to repair the damage. This would prove to be very difficult if a family had to continue living in the house while the work was being done. This is exactly what had to take place in my life. I can’t say that at one given moment I realized that my thinking was wrong, but rather God in his gracious and loving way slowly began to do the work in my heart and thoughts in the midst of living life with my husband and a growing family.

When you remove the beautiful flooring that you have laid, remove any padding, get down to the foundation and finally uncover what is wrong, it is liberating. I was completely liberated in my thinking when I could see for the first time how my view of the marriage relationship was somewhat flawed. I am so thankful to God today for doing His great work in my life and heart while although not perfect and without rough spots along the way, keeping my marriage and home in tact. It was one simple verse that spoke to me so deeply, Genesis 2:18 says, Then the LORD God said, "It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him." (ESV version)

As I studied this verse my eyes were opened and I began to gain a clear picture of God's purpose in creating woman. The apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 11:8-9, "For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man." For too long like so many others I had accepted Satan's lies that I needed to stand my ground for position against my husband. No, it was blatant but very subtle. Lies had seeped into my thinking out of ignorance and let's face it what do we hear constantly from every direction but the ultimate lie being that my own worth would be determined if I could do everything he could do and still be a wife and mom.

When I accepted God's truth that I was created to be his helper and I began to live my life with this understanding and slowly function completely in my God created role, my life and thinking was slowly transformed. It didn't mean I couldn't have a job or a career or that he wouldn't help with cleaning, cooking, laundry, diaper changing and so on. So why does our blood pressure rise at the mention of the word HELPER? If you went about your life and told others you were here to be a helper to your husband, most people (including some Christians) would look at you as weak. Eve, created a “helper”, was to assist Adam in caring out God’s order to rule and subdue the earth. The role has not changed. We are to assist our husbands in fulfilling God’s will for their lives. The more I walk in this role, even with an imperfect man, the more God has fulfilled me as a woman. I am viewed by God with the same dignity and value as my husband, but my role and design is distinctly different.

Men and women, though equal in essence, were designed for different roles. Women are in no sense intellectually or spiritually inferior to men, but they were quite clearly created for a distinctive purpose. (excerpt from “Twelve Extraordinary Women” by John MacArthur pg. 8)

In sharing this type of post I am fully aware that for many women the role they have taken on in their marriage has resulted from years and years of doing things a certain way and the thought of viewing it any different seems next to impossible. Or their relationship with their husband at this time is not where they would hope it to be and so viewing themselves as a "helper" to a man who may not be fully committed to the Lord himself does not seem possible or even realistic. Yet I know the Holy Spirit can work in hearts and change lives if we will allow His word to transform us. Invite Him today to begin a new work in your own heart and thoughts towards a biblical understanding of a woman's role as "helper".

In Him...Chris

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Note: previous comments were lost for this post ~ sorry.

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Blogger Darlene said...

Chris, again--I loved this post. Sorry the comments got lost in the repost :(

Enjoy the upcoming celebration!

May 24, 2007 at 10:16 AM  
Blogger Laurel Wreath said...

Chris I enjoyed reading this. Thank you.

May 24, 2007 at 8:09 PM  
Blogger The Preacher's Wife said...

Loved your thoughts on biblical womanhood...quite a misunderstood subject! :))


May 24, 2007 at 11:08 PM  
Blogger Natalie Joy said...

Thank you for speaking the truth in love. I strive to live with a pure heart and attitude of helping my husband. Someday I may get there. Thanks for the encouragement.

May 25, 2007 at 11:05 AM  
Blogger eph2810 said...

I totally agree with you, Chris. I have had the incorrect understanding, but more of the word submission. God had clarified it for me, and I am becoming the wife I should have been years ago - still struggling in some areas, but getting better :).
Congratulations to 21 years of marriage :)
We just celebrated 24 years last Sunday...

May 26, 2007 at 5:24 PM  

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It is good to hear from you... thank you so very much for leaving a note on the table. That makes us smile!

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