Tuesday, 24 July 2012

God's Four Words for Wives

This morning I want to have a wee look at the four roles Elizabeth George identifies for us as wives. Now I’m not talking about roles as in jobs – I had a good laugh when I read somewhere that a wife is supposed to be a cook, maid, saint with the children and something different in the bedroom as well as countless other things all at once… but thankfully that’s not what we’re talking about today!!

We’re going to look at “God’s Four Words for Wives”– to help, follow, respect and love our husbands. It is amazing how much power we women have when it comes to our husbands – and this can be a good thing or a bad thing.  We have the power (because they love us) to persuade them to live right or wrong; to do good or evil; to live for God or against Him. Don’t think so? Just thinking about this - it was the power Eve had over her husband that persuaded him to eat the apple and we all know how that ended and it was the power that Esther had over the King that helped to save the all the Jews in the kingdom! It may not be right – but we all have a certain amount of power and its how we use it that matters.

As Christian wives we should be aiming to be the best wives that we can be in order to help our husbands become the best husbands they can be. We want to truly embrace God’s roles for us in order to help both us and our husbands become the women and men that God created us to be – the best versions of ourselves. We should long to encourage our husbands in all of their lives, but most especially to lead them to Christ every day and to do everything we can to encourage their relationship with Him to blossom.

So we’ll start with HELPER.

Genesis 2:18 seems to be the best place to start!

' Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone.
I will make a helper who is just right for him.” '

God created us to be a helper to our husbands. This is such a privilege. We will talk on Friday about the most special way we can help them (blush!) but for starters we need to be able to grasp this. We were CREATED to help them. I know of plenty of wonderful Christian women who love God and love their husbands, but act as if it is their husband’s role to serve them, cherish them and basically do everything that they ask! I even heard of one the other day (online) who will ring her husband at work if she’s not feeling great (and we’re talking slightly unwell here) and ask him to come home to look after the kids while she rests!! While there may be women who need a little more help from their husbands for medical reasons, this isn’t the way it was designed. WE were created to help HIM!

Of course it is a partnership and of course we are equal – but this verse makes it clear why we were created and I, for one, love the fact that I have been created for a purpose – to help my husband in every way I can and to bring glory to God in the process.

The second word we’re going to look at is FOLLOW.

We as wives need to follow our husband’s leadership and while this is against everything the world of feminism tells us, it is something that God asks us to do.

Ephesians 5:22-24 tells us to…

“For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord.
For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church.
He is the Saviour of his body, the church. As the church submits to Christ,
so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything.

So while we are in a partnership and while we are all created equal, in marriage we are called to submit to our husbands and learn how to follow his leadership as he follows and submits to Christ. This may be a hard thing for us to do – especially when the world is still encouraging women to take control of their own destinies, but I think that women really do misunderstand the word submit. This is not about handing control over to a dictator… it’s about handing your life over to your husband in a way that tells him that you trust him completely to make the right decisions for your family and then standing by him when he does. You don’t have to agree with every decision either – you can tell him your views and your concerns, but you have to trust him enough to make the final decision, trust him enough that he has made this decision with God and trust God enough to be able to help you to stand by your husband in that decision. All-in-all it is an amazing gift to give your husband. And when you think he’s getting it wrong – you pray! (It really works!!)

Following on from that is to RESPECT your husband.                             

Respect is what a man craves – where we as women crave love. If you think about how important it is for your husband to tell you and show you how much he loves you, then you’ll see how important it is that we figure out how to respect our husbands and how to show them we respect them.

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

Obviously respect is something that is earned – and if you have had something happen  in your marriage that has destroyed the respect you once had for your husband, then I would either talk to your Pastor or minister, get some good Christian counselling or spend time praying that God will restore this for you. I am not an expert on any of this so please – if this is you, do get the proper help you need. It will be worth it in the end.

For most of us, we respect our husband but don’t always show it. Elizabeth mentions three quick ways we can show our husbands respect.

·         Look at him whenever he is talking to you

·         Never talk about him – EVER – speak only words of blessing about him to others

·         Ask him – whenever you have ANY decisions to make – ask him for his opinion before you answer.

Little things that can make a big difference – they help us to respect him more and to show him how much we respect him.

And the final thing word is LOVE.

Titus 2:4 says

“These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children…”

Ladies, it is obvious that this is something we need to do, but let’s face it – sometimes it is hard to truly love our husbands. Things go wrong. Life intervenes. They fail us – they are only human after all. They hurt us or make decisions we don’t agree with – and we huff or puff or generally make life difficult trying to get them to change their minds.

To love him is not a feeling – it’s a decision that we must make every day. We’ll talk about this a little more later in the week, but here are a few ideas Elizabeth mentions in her book.

·         When he is sad, cheer him up

·         When he is noble, praise him

·         When he is generous, appreciate him

·         When he is talkative, listen to him

·         When he comes or goes, kiss him

I hope I haven’t bored you all and that you can see how we can really change our home lives by giving love, respect, submission and help to our husbands. I have a lot of fantastic links for this series so I’ll post them on Saturday so that you can have a read round some much more godly women’s blogs and thoughts.

Until then why not try some of the ideas above and keep shining… J

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