Have I Forgotten My Ministry As a Wife?
This message is very special to me, one I’m learning more about as a new wife! Before continuing, I encourage you to read about the Proverbs 31 woman.
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“Being my husband’s wife is my most important ministry.”
Some days seem to crystallize my purpose: My husband needs me!
At 2 AM last Sunday, after a torrential downpour exposed our roof’s weak points, my husband journeyed to the living room for a restless night on our tiny couch.
I woke up refreshed in our bed, unaware of his sleep deprivation, and came bouncing into the kitchen ready for QT with him. He told me his day’s agenda had shifted from Wife Time to Roof Repair. I was upset – I’d hardly spent time with him all weekend & we’d made PLANS. I wanted him to focus on us, not the task at hand.
So my kind, thoughtful husband obliged. He’d save the roof for another time and invest in me. Not gonna lie – I was delighted!
A short while later, as I milled about the kitchen making pumpkin muffins, I looked in at him resting in bed. The clouds seemed to part, and I suddenly saw my hubby’s vulnerability: The immense pressure he was under (partially my doing), his exhaustion, his significant need for rest & respite after weeks of getting hammered at work.
He needed a serious nap, but beyond that, he needed my support, encouragement & understanding, not temper tantrums & added pressure. That’s when this question came to mind:
Have you forgotten why God sent Eve to Adam in the first place?
The answer? To be his helpmate, a woman who loved on & cared for her husband with his best interests at heart. Yes, Eve tended to other priorities (including herself!), but she wasn’t supposed to forget the purpose she was created to fulfill.
Portrait of a Godly Wife
I wonder: Have we wives forgotten that our PRIMARY ministry, our main purpose, is to help Adam succeed in every way he can?
What is Proverbs 31 about, the most famous passage about “a godly wife” ever recorded? It’s a mom (yes, another woman!) advising her son on what a good wife can do for him. She points out a significant benefit of marrying a loving, supportive wife: He will be well-respected at the city gates.
The godly woman’s husband is able to excel because she ENABLES him to! She cares for his physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being with excellence, freeing him up to focus on God’s vision for his life. She runs their household well (with his input). She considers ways to save AND make their family money. She encourages him spiritually, prays for him, and trains up their children in the way they should go (with his help, of course).
She encourages areas in his life he could invest & grow in, from a female perspective. She also watches him carefully for areas of stress and strain, adjusting their schedule & her “Honey Do List” to ensure their home is a safe haven for him, a place he wants to come home to… no nagging wife included.
She seeks to do him good & not harm ALL the days of his life. [Single Women: You can bless your future man before you even meet through prayer, saving money, learning valuable skills, and preparing for your future role as his wife]. This passage even says he “lacks nothing of value” because of her. Wow, what a woman!
Besides pursuing the Lord, a godly wife’s top goal is to help her husband realize his highest potential. And get this – she’s happy about it. This woman works so hard because she ENJOYS herself. She’s using her gifts to bless him!
Have you noticed how skilled the Proverbs 31 woman is (& did you ever wonder why)? I hadn’t. As wives, we can get caught up thinking our gifts are for our benefit (or glory). It’s more likely, though, that God gifted us to bless the people in our care, including our man!
Have we forgotten why we decorate our homes beautifully?
Have we forgotten whose kids we’re helping raise?
Have we forgotten why we celebrate holidays, birthdays, and occasions big & small?
Have we forgotten a big reason why we strive to be beautiful (& healthy)?
Have we forgotten that our husband needs our help to lighten his load? To bring joy to his day? To help him unwind? To love & accept him whether he’s employed or not, succeeding or struggling, being considerate of us or wrapped up in his own world?
We wives can make it about ourselves. On this Sunday morning, I did just that. Proverbs has some wisdom for me when I’m being naggy & self-focused:
A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands. ~Prov. 14:1
Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife. ~Prov. 21:9
Ouch! Does the world’s wisest man really believe that living OUTSIDE is preferrable to living in a comfortable home with an angry wife? I guess he’d know, with 700 wives to his name.
When our husbands come home from a brutal day at work – frustrated, discouraged & just plain spent – this is when our ministry to him shines brightest. It’s also the worst time to vent, give him a laundry list of “To Do’s”, or fail to acknowledge his arrival.
I struggle with this so much! I wanna keep doing what I’m doing, and making dinner or greeting him isn’t always at the top of my priority list. In those moments, I’ve forgotten that I’m not here to write, clean, exercise, help people, or even spend time with God if I’m neglecting the person He sent me to help most: Brian.
I honor God by helping my husband unwind at night, balancing our budget, packing his lunch (to save us money), & earning some on my own. In fact, many times this is when God speaks to me most clearly.
It’s important to note that God didn’t tell Eve to do Adam’s work for him – that role was already filled. God simply beckoned Eve to help him!
But this doesn’t mean we enable his bad behavior or micromanage him. Adam needs to do what ADAM needs to do. But as wives, it can be easy to forget that our primary role is to help our man! Before anything else, he’s our number one priority. While I can’t imagine a mother or career woman’s careful juggling act to ensure her husband’s needs are met, it’s essential to maintain. Adam is #1. Adam Jr. & jobs come next.
We may assume the kids need us more than our man (which I’m not challenging). We believe the line: He’s strong, he can help himself.
The truth is, we help our man in ways he could never do on his own. God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.“ Husbands never stop needing us, and we need to keep that in mind no matter how many children circle our ankles.
Ladies, in us our husbands’ have met their match – an equal partner in life, just with a different job description.
But What About Me?
Feminists balk at this idea, and I understand why: Many women don’t want to believe their central purpose is to help further a man’s success. What about me? many ask. I like what Dr. Tony Evans had to say about this: If you’ll notice in Proverbs 31, her man is SO tickled pink about how she treats him that he brags on her (& so do her kids!). She doesn’t have to toot her own horn: Her works praise her at the city gates [likely through her husband’s mouth!].
A good wife receives honor. Maybe not every day, and maybe not right away, but I believe God will exalt every woman as she humbly goes about the task of lifting her husband up.
This isn’t a sexist, oppressive role for us ladies! If you’ll search your heart, you’ll see a woman in there who LOVES to nurture, support & encourage, invest herself in relationships, better her family & community, and yes, please her man. Pinterest – a social media site that’s popular with women (like me) – taps into the role women play both inside & outside the home. No one tells us what to “pin”, yet some of the most popular items shared are recipes, clothing, home decor, beauty tips, & relationship advice! It’s like the Proverbs 31 Woman’s Cheat Sheet for Life 🙂
Women, we have a WONDERFUL purpose — if we’ll stop bucking it. The world encourages us to put our career first, that major sacrifices must be made like delaying marriage & starting a family to “get ahead”. Though Proverbs 31 makes it clear that such a woman is resourceful & enterprising with finances — which may include starting a business or otherwise profiting from the work of our hands — we shouldn’t pursue a career at the expense of our family, our primary purpose.
I pray we can quiet our Inner Feminist long enough to realize that the role God made us for is the very role our hearts long to play. He wants to fulfill many of our deepest desires through being godly wives & women.
My Question for Every Wife
Is anything in your life hindering you from helping your husband? Does your lifestyle, career, or hobbies threaten your ability to make him your #1 ministry?
Let’s reevaluate how we can make our schedules, our workloads, & our lives reflect our priorities. God can use us powerfully if we’ll pursue His primary place for us: By our man’s side.