Thursday, May 22, 2014

Strength and Dignity Are Her Clothing: The Wife as the Supporter

I think some individuals get offended by the term “help mate” or “helper” when it refers to the wife’s position in a marriage. I see it as a difficult post which requires great tact, wisdom, compassion, and gumption. Why, exactly? Well, we are all sinners, right? So you know, as the “helper” or “advisor” (as I like to say), there are going to be times (maybe many or perhaps few) when something needs to be said that is not going to go over well, at all. Does that mean the wife should shy away from it or sit quietly while a terrible mistake (that could have been avoided) is being made? Does a general’s right hand man/woman stay silent when a grave error is about to occur, like the leading of an army into a massacre? I should hope not! So, I ask, why would a man’s most trusted counsel remain quiet during one of his most dire times of need? That does not sound very loving to me!

I am going to try to be very pointed, here, because I feel this is important and comes from my heart. Let me begin by saying, I know and understand there are dangerous relationships that take place (about 1/3 overall, from what I understand) and those need to be handled delicately because there is high risk of injury or even death. For those I say, get assistance. You most likely cannot handle that alone (nor should you have to)! With that said, I am addressing the other 2/3 of relationships (with a focus on wives).

I become very agitated when I am told, “A wife does not question her husband.” Really?! Let me take a hypothetical, very hairy situation. Let’s say my spouse is an alcoholic or drug addict (my spouse and I are many things but this is not one of them so I feel I can speak freely here without infringing on my hubs’ privacy). When a husband is under the influence he says and does things he normally would not. He might get violent, go home with random women, try driving his family from point A to point B in the car while impaired, etc. Now, really, should I just stand by without saying a word and let the cards fall where they may? No way! Why would I? In this state, my husband is at risk. He might get hurt or harm himself or someone else. Let’s take the focus off of him and think of the collateral damage for a moment. What about the people that are innocent bystanders. And, there is the husband’s vulnerability at this point, also. Would a devoted army allow harm or even death to come to their leader (or any of their fellow comrades)? No! They fight! They protect each other.

I feel just as the husband should guard his wife (because God’s word says she is the “weaker vessel”…and frankly no matter how hard I train I will never be as strong as my husband) she should shield him from danger (even when he is such to himself). Does that make sense or am I way off, here?
11The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. 12She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. (Proverbs 31:11-12. ESV.)

Being the “helper”, the “advisor”, also comes with great responsibility! The station should not be abused just as the husband’s should not, either. He should never be a tyrant dictator and I should never manipulate or harass him, right?

25 Strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come.
26She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29“Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
31Give her of the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the gates.
(Proverbs 31:25-31. ESV.)

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