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
Before I got married, I spent hours dreaming about the man my future husband would become after we said, “I Do.” I was sure that my soon-to-be status as his wife was just the ticket I needed to invoke the “changes” I wished to see. I intended to take my role as my “husband’s helper” quite seriously, and I was fully committed to the task of “helping” him grow into the man I had always hoped he would be.
Who cared that the man I was going to marry was an introvert? I planned to help him right on out of his introverted shell by hosting plenty dinner parties in our home. Who cared that he was stressed in his current line of work? As his wife, I would help him by researching new career opportunities that he could pursue in his spare time. Who cared that my love didn’t love holidays as much as I did? Once we were married, I would gladly help my husband open his eyes to the fact that Christmas really is the most wonderful time of the year.
I had grand plans of being the most helpful wife in the world until I actually got married and all illusions of my helpfulness flew right on out the window.
It didn’t take long for me to realize that my new husband did not seem to appreciate my help. I was shocked to discover that my seemingly good intentions were not being well received. What I had intended as help was only causing my husband hurt. Where had I gone wrong? Hadn’t God called me to the specific task of being my husband’s helper? Desperate to actually help the man that I loved and fix the mess I had made of our marriage, I began to meditate and pray over Genesis 2:18 like never before. And slowly, but surely, I began to study the Scripture with new eyes.
It turns out I hadn’t been trying to help my husband at all. I had been trying to change him.
Sometimes, as wives, it’s easy to forget that we are not our husbands’ makers. It’s not our job (no matter how much we might want it to be) to mold our husbands into the men we want them to be. It’s our job to help them become the men that God wants them to be. Armed with a new understanding of this truth, I set out to become the helper that my husband needed. The following are a few lessons I learned along the way.
Start Where You Are
No matter where you are in your relationship, it’s never too late to improve in your role as your husband’s helper. Let the past be a lesson that springs you forward into new actions. Thankfully, the Lord’s mercies are new every morning, which means that our marriages can be, too. Today is the perfect day to come alongside your husband and lighten his load in the way that only you can.
Ask God to open your eyes to your husband’s current needs. I have found that when I spend time in prayer for the one my heart loves, something beautiful begins to happen… my gaze is lifted off of myself, and I’m able to focus more clearly on him.
I love to talk. My sweet husband does not. (This was one of those issues I thought I would help him change.) I wrongly believed that the more I said, the more my husband would be forced to respond. Unfortunately, the opposite happened. Instead of talking more, my husband shut down. Sometimes all it takes is the wife silencing her tongue so that the husband feels free to use his. Listening is a great way to see what is going on in your husband’s heart so you are better equipped to meet his needs.
Learn His Love Language
Not all people receive love in the same way. We are created differently, so it makes sense that it’s not a one size fits all when it comes to giving and receiving love. I can buy my husband one million gifts, but those gifts won’t matter at all if what he needs is an encouraging word. Figure out what makes your husband feel loved and commit to loving him in that way.
God knew from the very beginning that it would not be good for our husbands to be alone. And what a privilege it to journey together.
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