“I got four kids,” I’ve heard women with three children say, taking a stab at their husband by classifying him as the fourth child. A lot of us women feel this way when we pick up our husbands’ clothes, help them figure out logistics and do housework. We think, “What would they do without us?” or “I didn’t sign up to be his mother.” Though these tasks can be annoying, God’s idea of a wife wasn’t a built-in slave for a husband. I don’t even think it was for husbands to be dependent upon wives; I believe God’s idea of a wife being a helper to her husband was the woman’s role in an interdependent relationship, two different minds coming together to compliment the other for the glory of God’s kingdom. I believe the idea of a helper, or a nurturer, was intended for the husband’s growth, not so he can glory in his achievements but so he would be equipped to accomplish God’s will for the salvation of mankind.
Two are better than one. Ecclesiastes 4:9 tells us this for three reasons: 1) if one falls, the other is there to help her up; 2) if they lie down together, they will be warmer than if they lied down alone; and 3) one may be overpowered by an enemy, but two will be able to resist him. Each of these instances shows interdependence, both parties benefiting from the relationship. And most of us want the person on our team to be at his best. Being a nurturer helps a husband to be at his best to give you his best and to fight the enemy. When you are both at your best, you think clearly and can properly prioritize. And the number one priority for a believer is to make God known throughout the earth, and to defeat our number one enemy, Satan, is at the top of the list in order to achieve this.
I think too many so-called strong black women protest nurturing their husbands with a “what about me? What’s he going to do for me?” And those are legitimate questions, but I believe Ecclesiastes helps to answer those and so do Ephesians 5:25-33, Colossians 3:19, 1 Corinthians 7:3 and 1 Peter 3:7. You need to know what your husband’s role is too. And you shouldn’t enter a marriage if you aren’t sure that your mate can be a husband according to Scripture. But if your husband goes crazy in the marriage and forgets that he is a biblical husband, you are not absolved from being a biblical wife.
What god put together, let no man tear apart (Mark 10:9). We focus so much on this meaning the couple shouldn’t divorce and rightly so because this is the proper interpretation, but I want us to apply this to the roles that God put in place for the wife. We cannot tear away the biblical roles from the definition of wife because God defined the wife. When we decide to do so is like us deciding to be God. We are not free to redefine our roles to our level of comfort. Let us be the wives, the nurturers of our husbands, that God called us to be.
Copyright 2009 by Rhonda J. Smith