Partner: “a person who shares or is associated with another in some action or endeavor; sharer; associate; a person associated with another in a joint venture, usually sharing its risks and benefits; a player on the same side or team as another.”
Companion: “a person who is frequently in the company of another; a person employed to accompany, assist, or live with another in the capacity of a helpful friend; a mate or match for something.”
Helper: “a person or thing that helps or gives assistance, support, etc.; aid, assistant; supporter, backer, auxiliary, ally.”
The day we profess our commitment to our husbands on our wedding day, and recite our vows, is the day we become his partner, helper, and companion in God’s eyes. The cumulative definitions above exemplify what those vows really mean, and how God calls a wife to be – but sometimes filling these shoes is much easier said than done.
In Genesis 2:20b-22 says, “But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.”
God created Eve so that she could be Adam’s companion, helper and partner in life. The first love story known to man, ordained by God.
But considering the fact that we live in an entirely different world than Adam and Eve lived in, with an entirely different set of societal issues and problems to face and overcome, does God still expect us to be our man’s helper?
In fact, is it even still relevant for us to consider ourselves a “helper” to our husbands, here in the 21st century, when women’s equality is a burning hot topic?
You may not want to hear this answer – but absolutely! Gods Word Was, and Is, and Is to come.
If He proclaimed it as truth then, it still holds strong as an infallible truth today. His Word never changes in meaning, implications or applications for our lives, regardless of how much time passes, or how much society would like us to believe that scripture is irrelevant or outdated.
However, being our husband’s helper does not mean being subservient, less than, inferior or controlled. It does not mean surrendering or accepting any type of abuse, or considering ourselves as inferior to our husband. It does not mean justifying abuse or blaming ourselves, or surrendering to a life filled with patterns of pain.
Being a helper means giving our husband our very best and making him a priority in every area of our life, so that our marriage can thrive. It means helping him become the man God called him to be, by being the wife God called us to be. Being a helper is not an admission of weakness, but a sign of strength, confidence and great faith.
Recently I was reading through the passages in Leviticus about the many sacrifices and holy practices that the Israelites were required to do in order to stay in God’s favor, since the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus Christ had yet to take place. These Old Testament passages can be very hard to get through because of all the bloody sacrifices and exhausting details about everything and everyone. Yet tucked within all those details are simple yet profound truths.
In Leviticus 23:9 for example, the Lord said to Moses, “….. When you enter the land I am giving you and you harvest its first crops, bring the priest a bundle of grain from the first cutting of your grain harvest.”
Notice he said “first crops”, “first cuttings” and “first harvest”.
Not our second crops. Not the crops that we don’t really want to keep for ourselves. Not the crops that we feel we can spare. But the first crops. Not the second cuttings of harvests, after the best has been consumed, but the first and best harvests for God alone.
The reason God asked for their “first crops” of the harvest is because He wanted their very best, not their leftovers. And God wants us to give our very best too – in every area of our life.
We are called to put God first in all that we do – in our faith, our work, our parenting, our marriages, and our commitments to our husbands. But the reality is that on far too many days, I know I give my husband my leftovers. I may have given my “first crops” to ministry, work, housework, community, extended family or children. And he gets the leftovers of what I have to give – if anything is left at all. And ashamedly, I sometimes give God my leftovers too.
A few years ago, I read a story in my friend Melanie Chitwood’s book, “What A Husband Needs From His Wife”, that went like this:
“What are we having for dinner?” When I said that we were having macaroni and cheese with hot dogs (again!), I was sharply convicted of my wrong priorities. I had put someone else… ahead of my own family. I had gone many extra miles to make the meal I was taking to someone I had never met, but I was throwing together something quick and easy for my own husband and children. In short, I was giving something to someone else that I had not first given to the people closest to me!”
I could certainly relate to Melanie’s confession. I have put others needs above those of my own family at times, and given my family the leftovers. I have given my sweetest attitude to people in my church or community, while exhibiting a lack of patience and tolerance to my own husband and children. I have been willing to go out of my way to help someone else with a servant’s heart, but then felt resentful when I had to go out of my way to help my husband with something he requested of me.
As a helper, companion and partner to our husbands, I believe God calls us to give our first crops to Him first, but then also to give our first crops to our husbands.
God wants us to put helping our husbands at the top of our priority lists; to be someone he can share life with and enjoy the blessings that come from that togetherness; to be a helpful friend; to be their mate; to be their encourager; to be someone who gives assistance, support and acts as their ally. First crops that might be hard to offer, but that will reap a harvest of bounty in every way.
This verse in Leviticus, although nestled quietly in the stories of sacrifices and rituals, helped me remember the importance of giving God, and my husband, my first crops. My very best on both accounts. Because neither one deserves any leftovers.
DAY 13 CHALLENGE: Embrace the role of being your husband’s PARTNER/HELPER/COMPANION
The challenge today is to consider whether or not you are you giving God your “first crops”, and secondly, are you giving your husband your “first crops”. Are you giving God your very best, and are you giving your husband your very best? Despite emotions, feelings, circumstances and memories of happenings of the past?
Is there anything in your heart that is preventing you from being able to offer those “first crops”? Have you wedding promises to each other become a dusty memory? Have you given any thought lately to the importance of being your husband’s helper, companion and partner in every sense of the word?
Sometimes it is hard to give selflessly, especially if that help/companionship/partnership is not being given in return. But I do believe that if someone takes the first step, other steps will follow by both people involved. But even if we don’t see immediate progress, we can still rest in knowing that God is doing a great thing in us and through us, and we can always feel good about that.
Pray about this concept of “first crops” today if needed, and ask God to help you remember to give Him, and your husband, your very best.
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