Yesterday, I was talking to my husband about some decisions we need to make. My concern was that I was allowing my fears to hinder Eric from following the path Christ would have for us. I leaned over to him and said, “I want to be your helpmate, not your helpweight!” After I said it, I laughed hysterically at how silly it sounded; but, after thinking it through, I wondered how many times I’ve acted more as a weight for him to carry than as a suitable helper propelling him forward in his calling.
When I was single, I remember asking the Lord for a husband that knew his calling and would not turn back from it, no matter what I said or did. There were a few guys that I dated that mentioned callings or dreams they had, but I could tell by the way they swayed back and forth that if I had said, “No, let’s go this way…,” that they would have followed me to simply stay in the relationship. The Lord convicted me deeply about these relationships and I came to increasingly understand that God put me on this Earth to serve Him – and as someone’s wife, I knew I would be serving Christ by being a suitable helpmate to my husband as he pursued the calling God had for his life.
It didn’t happen all at once, but after several times of begging God to make a boyfriend the “right one,” I discovered the obvious truth that if I was going to be someone’s helpmate, I needed to be suited (having complementary talents, personality, skills, etc.) for the calling my future husband would have on his life. Just because I chose to flippantly throw my heart into a relationship did not mean that I had the God-given ability to aid this man in his calling. Thankfully, God brought me a wonderful man who shared my love for relationships and counseling. When we were married, I thought that because we had such close knit dreams and goals that this helpmate business would be a piece of cake…. God has amazing ways of humbling us.
As our marriage began, and our personality differences came to the surface (okay, they exploded through the surface), I found submission to be one of my least favorite words in the English vocabulary. Eric is extraverted; whereas, I am introverted. Eric needed errands done that he wanted or needed me to do which required my stepping out of my comfort zone… and I did not want any part of it. I kicked… I screamed… I got in touch with the three-year-old inside of me.
After questioning his leading constantly, I began to feel more like a weight in his life than a helpmate. It was extremely convicting – and continues to be when different situations continue to arise that require me to step out of my comfort zone. Some areas of submission are no problem. If being a helpmate simply meant that I needed to fold his socks a certain way and only cook the same meal once a month, then anyone could do it with ease. As a woman, being a helpmate, as romantic as it sounds when you’re single, is the toughest job you will ever take on, and the most rewarding, emotionally, and spiritually. When you serve your husband with a meek and gentle spirit, you are serving God. It is politically incorrect in America to use the phrase, “serving your husband,” but as daughters of God, that is our calling. And it is not a doormat position… it takes incredible strength to do it well without attempting to usurp his role or influence him selfishly.
Ladies, as you are praying for your future spouse (or current spouse, if married), ask the Lord to fashion you into the helpmate you need to be to honor God, and to honor your husband. Gentlemen, if God has birthed a vision and/or calling inside of you, pursue it with your whole heart. Do not marry simply to have someone or to escape loneliness. Pray for a woman who will complement your calling and provide you support, wisdom, and help as you pursue that calling. If you are married and believe that you and your spouse are on completely different pages, the Lord can still use your relationship to glorify Him. You and your spouse just have to be willing to follow Him no matter what He tells you to do or where He tells you to go.
An amazing tool we use to help people understand their relationship (dating, courting, engaged, or married) in a very powerful way is The PAIR Test. We offer this assessment in our office (central Virginia) or via Skype in two, two-hour sessions. I guarantee you will come away knowing a lot more about each other after going through it.
Gentlemen, do you know the calling you have on your life for which you are looking to find a complementary helpmate?
Ladies, do you well-understand your developed talents and strengths to know if you are a good match for the guy in which you are interested?