The Purpose of a Wife

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

 An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who brings shame is like rottenness in his bones.

~Proverbs 12:4

Have you ever tried eating your steak with a spoon?  How about writing with a carrot?  Do you find yourself trying to take pictures with your microwave?  I certainly hope you answer no to those questions.  If we tried cutting steak with a spoon we would become quite frustrated.  If we judged a carrot by its ability to write we would be disappointed indeed.  If we kept trying to take pictures with a microwave we would have empty picture albums.  An item must be used for its intended purpose to be appreciated.  Likewise, we need to find our purpose to understand the role we have to play in this life. 

The world would have us believe submission is for weak doormats who have abandoned a higher calling.  I submit to you that there is no higher calling than the one you are called to fulfill.  If you are a wife you are called to fulfill that role by seeking God’s Word not the world’s advice and prideful arrogance.  To know our purpose, to fulfill our calling, we need to know why we were fashioned.  Why was woman made?  What is our purpose as a wife? 

Let’s first discover the answer to why woman was made by God.  We learn in Genesis that the first woman, Eve, was made to be a helpmeet to Adam.  Adam named her, woman, as she was fashioned out of his flesh and bone.  Adam’s authority was reinforced by the naming of his wife.  Eve’s purpose was to be a helpmeet to her husband.   

A wife is to support and respect her husband’s God given authority.  A wife finds purpose in fulfilling her role as a loving, submissive, and God fearing woman.  She is not ashamed of this position.  She does not demean the will of God in her life.  What greater achievement can be made but to fill the shoes the Lord cobbled for you?  A wife is depended upon by her husband for support, love, compassion, and wise counsel.  A wife is her husband’s closest confidante.  Our purpose is to help our husbands serve the Lord and follow the will of God.   

Submission is the beautiful picture of the church’s love and devotion to Christ.  Our willingness to serve our husbands is about our willingness to serve the Lord.  Submission is not about being downtrodden but about being uplifted.  Submission is not about playing second fiddle or playing second string but about being the first fiddle and MVP for our husbands and families.    

As I sit down for dinner I look across to see a king seated at my table and realize I am his queen.   The sooner a queen learns to respect her position and work within it the sooner she will see the blessings of her role.  As she prepares herself daily with the Word of God so she can be a necessary spiritual element to her family. A queen will find her joy in serving her heavenly father through being the wife her husband needs and relies upon. A queen never belittles, ignores, or disrespects her king.  A queen does not conspire against her king or consort with his enemies.  A queen speaks highly of her king in public while uplifting him in private.  She has the power to build up or tear down her kingdom.  A ceiling cannot stand without the support of the walls.  Likewise, our king cannot stand without the support of the queen.  Wives should strive daily to become the queen her Heavenly King intends her to be for her earthly king.         

In Service to Christ,


The Wise Woman Builds Her Marriage

With dirty dishes in the sink, food stains on my clothes, play dough stuck in the carpet, meat trying to desperately defrost ten minutes before dinner, and hair in a messy pony tail, I tend to lose perspective. My husband changes from the love of my life to an annoyance as fast as Clark Kent changes into Superman. It is this attitude that hits my husband like a Mac truck as soon as he walks in the door after a long hard day at work. It is no surprise that a fight too ridiculous to even admit to ensues. We then spend the evening having a quiet dinner and watching TV with ourselves.

Can you see where that evening went wrong? Can you see that even a tiny act of disrespect can erode at a marriage? The descent of a marriage begins with a hint of selfishness and disrespect. When we begin to forget that we are on the same side we begin to feel isolated, unappreciated and frustrated. Those are feelings that build up in our marriage like a poison builds up in our body.

Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands. 
~Proverbs 14:1

This does not mean that a wife holds sole responsibility for the health and well being of a marriage. However, we can only change our own attitude. We need to face our failings and take ownership of our flaws. A wife tears down the walls of her marriage each time she allows herself to disrespect her husband based on her own frustration. Your husband cannot be held responsible for the dirty dishes and play dough on the carpet while he has been at work just as you are not responsible for his boss yelling or not finding a good parking space that day.

We need to view each other as a haven, instead of allowing the frustrations of the day to rule our attitudes. Your husband walking through the door should be like the desert experiencing the rain not another dirty dish thrown in the sink. Greet him at the door with appreciation for the time he puts in at work. Smile! Build the walls of your marriage on teamwork, love, respect, admiration and a sense that the two of you are on this life’s journey together. I promise that he will join you by adding bricks to that wall. When you experience bad days let it serve as a reminder that he also experiences bad days. This is a time to look to each other for comfort not for conflict. So instead of having a quiet dinner because you can’t yell and swallow at the same time, have a quiet dinner embracing the peace of mind you bring to each other. If your husband replaces chocolate and becomes a relaxing element in your life you may even loose a few pounds.

In Service to Christ,


Lessons from Herodias

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Herodias is a name you will not hear when great wives of the bible are mentioned. She was a vindictive and ruthless woman willing to do whatever necessary to get her way. There is nothing in Herodias’ character a woman would desire to mirror.  This does not mean correlations of her character and our character cannot be drawn.  Herodias provides an important lesson through her conduct in her marriage.   

Herodias became enraged when John (the Baptist) accused her marriage with Herod to be unlawful.

Who would dare say anything so brazen about the king and his wife?

Who could get away with implying that the King’s marriage was incestuous and unlawful?

John could.

While surprising John was able to make these bold statements without fear of punishment from the King Herod. Herodias become infuriated when she learned her husband had no intention on punishing John. Having been offended once by John and a second time by her husband’s inaction she decided to take action. However, as the bible states that she intended to kill John but lacked the power to get the act done.

Increasingly frustrated, angry and possibly feeling betrayed by her husband’s lack of defense on her part, she devised her own way. She would manipulate her husband to force his hand to her will. Her tool was her own daughter; Salome.  She planned her scheme on the night of Herod’s birthday party.   

While Herod was drunk, Herodias had her daughter dance seductively for the king. There was no question that Herodias knew her husband would be pleased by this display of hedonism. In fact, he was so pleased he promised with an oath that Salome could have anything she wanted. This was the moment Herodias had planned for. Prompted by her mother, Salome asked for John the Baptist’s head on a plate. Too ashamed to refuse after promising to grant any request, Herod reluctantly had John arrested and killed.  Later the head of John the Baptist was brought to Salome on a plate.  She promptly gave it to her mother.  Herodias got the result she wanted despite the consequences, feelings or thoughts of her husband or daughter. Herodias could certainly be proud of herself that day, not only did she get rid of John but she also got even with her husband.

Is there someone like John coming in between you and your husband? Have you seen to it that a friend of your husband’s that you did not like would never show his face around your house again? Anytime you force your husband’s hand to bend to your will you are acting like Herodias. If you are forcing his hand on the decision of new carpet to which school your children attend you are not being a Godly wife. Have you used your children to force him to concede to your plan?  We may think we are acting in our husband’s best interest by encouraging him to take action against a boss or his mother, yet we need to examine our hearts and God’s will. 

Let’s face it, our husband’s will eventually make decisions we do not like or may disappoint us with inaction. In these situations we need to remain faithful and act in accordance with what is pleasing to God. We need to trust that God will guide and convict our husbands properly. Most importantly we need to lift our husbands up in prayer continually.  While there will be times our husbands stumble or make decisions unpleasing to us or even the Lord, it is not our role to manipulate him.  

Is there anyone’s head you want on a plate? 

In Service to Christ,

The Heart

The bible (KJV) uses the word heart 762 times.  In the plural form it is used 114 times. The term is used in different contexts and throughout both Testaments.  The Hebrews did not have a separate word for mind so often "heart" is used to indicate intellect or thought.  While "heart" has been referred to the physical organ in the Old Testament it is more often used to indicate personality, will, emotion, and intellect.

I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.

Jeremiah 17:10

As the Jeremiah 17:10 teaches, God looks to the heart.  The heart reveals our true nature.  While man may look on the outward and praise for actions or reject persons, God looks to the inward and sees the motivation behind all our feeble or deceitful ways.

And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

Deuteronomy 6:5

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

Proverbs 3:5

In the above verses we are told to love and trust the Lord with ALL our hearts.  Given that our hearts indicates our mind, intellect, will and emotions you can easily understand the weight of these verses.  Our hearts cannot be divided and please an all powerful God.  If our hearts are fully trusting and loving the Lord it will be revealed in our thoughts and actions.  

And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.

Joel 2:13

Here we see the Lord wants our hearts not our possessions or empty church attendance or giving.  It was customary for a Jew to tear his outer garment as a sign of grief.  However, this action did not necessarily indicate an internal change.  It is the heart that reveals such change.  Without a heart broken for repentance an action taken is meaningless.

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

Jeremiah 17:9

Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

Proverbs 4:23

Man's natural disposition is deceitful.  When man accepts the grace and salvation offered through the blood of Jesus Christ his heart is changed.  Yet, man must always guard his heart and lean not on his understanding but that of a perfect and loving God to fill his heart with the proper desires and motivations.

We briefly see how important our hearts are to God.  The condition of the heart is what we should most concern ourselves with as we walk with the Lord.  Guarding our hearts from evil is essential to our spiritual well being.  Examine your heart and pray that the Lord reveals to you unconfessed sin or ways in which you are failing to trust or love with all your heart.  What does your heart reveal about you?  Jesus explains in Matthew 6:21 that our hearts can be revealed by our treasure.  As we examine what the Lord wants to teach us about the heart, I challenge you to examine your own hearts.

In Service to Christ,

Marriage Lessons from Leah and Rachel

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Leah and Rachel  have much to teach us about being a wife. I will first explore each woman's struggle separately and then conclude with how the Lord has used these two women to teach a lesson I did not anticipate.

Let’s take our first look at Leah. It is important to point out that her name means weary. Leah was not a chosen wife but one thrust upon her husband out of trickery. In those times, it was proper for the older daughter to marry before the younger. However, in this case the groom preferred the younger daughter. As a result, Leah felt rejected and jealous of her sister. 

Leah spent her marriage seeking the love of her husband.  Her firstborn was named Reuben which means “the Lord has seen my affliction”. She believed that the Lord had provided her a son so her husband would finally love her. She was wrong. As we see today having a child does not heal a marriage. I suppose the idea that women will do anything to gain the love of a man goes way back! 

Leah tried desperately to gain the love she was missing by continuing to provide sons for her husband. She was never successful in her quest for love. She was a faithful woman who prayed to God and leaned on him for answers. Yet even that did not change her pain or her situation. She did have the only love she would ever need;  God's love. In her pain, she could not see a purpose in her marriage yet God did have a plan. Leah is the mother of Judah which in turn makes her the ancestral mother of the Davidic line which is the line of Christ. God proves to us that despite the agendas of man or woman his will cannot be altered. This also teaches that we cannot always see the purpose in our struggles yet we still need to trust in the Lord’s plan.

Rachel, on the other hand, is the beautiful woman whom Jacob truly loves. Due to her father’s plot, Rachel is denied Jacob only to later share him with her sister. One would think that even through this difficulty Rachel would be happy in her marriage. What woman would not be  blessed to have a man that loves her as much as Jacob loved Rachel? However, Rachel had a problem that colored everything. As you may remember, Rachel was barren.  Rachel failed to see that this was not the root of her problem. Jealousy was planted in her heart. Rachel may have had the love of Jacob but Leah had his sons. This beauty would soon turn into a beast. 

Leah was not immune to this contest as she took great pride in her ability to provide sons for Jacob. Leah was so jealous of her sister having Jacob’s love that she threw Rachel’s barrenness in her face. Rachel was seeing so much green that she lost her way and forgot about the Lord. She disrespectfully  went to Jacob and demanded that he provide her a son. How often do we make irrational demands based solely in our own insecurity? 

Jacob was not to blame for her inability to conceive a child. Yet, her jealously and bitterness caused her to irrationally blame him.  A frustrated Jacob responds in anger and tells her that he cannot change the will of God. Now, when was the last time the will of God stopped a determined woman from at least trying to do what she thought was best? Rachel was surely not taking no as an answer nor did she turn to the Lord. She had a better idea. Rachel tired to circumvent the Lord by having her maidservant bare a son in her place. Rachel soon learned that going outside the will of God afforded her nothing. Leah matched and beat Rachel at every turn in the area of maternity. Rachel was so jealous and obsessed with HER goal that she fell away from the Lord and discounted the love of her husband.

Leah and Rachel were so involved in their own quest and jealous contest that each failed to see the love in front of them. Rachel had the love of Jacob. Leah had the love of the Lord. Each could have had love for one another. The sisters could have joined together for support instead of tearing each other down. In the midst of all this both suffered in their marriage. Each allowed their own agenda and suffering to be a shadow over their duty as wives and women of faith.
Final Thoughts:

Leah was not the intended wife, yet she was ever present and impacted the relationship of the intended wife. Jacob would never say he loved Leah yet he was powerless to give her up. She also provided him with something he needed, his sons. Are you sharing your husband with another? Is your Leah in the form of his family, his friends, sports, his job, an addiction, or video games? 

Could you be involved in a struggle so intensely that you have lost sight of what you are fighting for? Do you feel your husband has a need being provided for by another source? What form does your husband’s Leah or Rachel take? Feeling you are not the object of your husband’s love may cause you to fight against yourself and blind you to the love in front of you. 

Are you the woman spoke of in Proverbs who tears down her house with her own hands? Whatever the case Leah and Rachel proved one thing; that this battle has no victor. They showed us how we can easily get so caught up in our own insecurity that we loose sight of what is important. When struggles come, and they will, we need to cling to the Lord for guidance. It can be tempting when you want something to circumvent the Lord to achieve your purpose. We never allow ourselves the reality that we are making the decision to go outside His will yet it happens. You see, during times of struggle we become impatient and self centered. The Lord has His own timetable and even when it does not keep time with our own we need to trust and obey. The Lord is interested in the success of our marriages. He is the only one who can change hearts and heal the wounded. Let’s not fight battles where no one wins and everyone looses. Turn to the Lord and be patient and trust that he does have a plan for your life and your marriage.

In Service to Christ,