Helper: One who gives assistance or support to another, making life more pleasant or bearable.
“It is not good (sufficient, satisfactory) that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper meet (suitable, adapted, complementary) for him. I will make him a helper.”– God Genesis 2:18 (emphasis added)
So, how do you feel about being a helper? I’ve always been okay with the term, as on of my gifts is acts of service, so helping people is something I love to do, but I know many women who struggle with feeling like this title is ‘less than’ or inferior. My struggle is different. My struggle is remembering who I am called to be and putting the energy into it.
If you do struggle with this word, it might help to remember that the word Helper, is actually a precious word that God uses to describe himself!
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. Isaiah 41:10
In this verse God is assuring His people, telling them not to worry, because He will be their helper. He considers it a worthy calling, so I do to.
I’ve recently had a reawakening when it comes to wanting to be the wife God has called me to be. This has come along my heart for a couple of reasons.
I am just coming out of a season where I was quite sick for a long period of time. It has taken months to get back to myself, of which I really will write about soon, (let me reassure you that I am still in remission, much of the sickness has come from ongoing hormone treatment and side effects from that treatment) but I was so sick that I went inward, and really could only focus on getting through everyday. It was quite a selfish period…not really… but kind of. I did my best to give as much as I could each day, but physical and emotional illness caused me to not be able to give like I was used to.
The second reason is an amazing couple I know and who I wrote about, that recently went to Heaven. They had the marriage I think we all long to have. They were best friends and just did marriage so well! Here is a quote from Terri…I must share as it just hit me so hard how beautiful her thinking and way of living was.
“‘You become what the most important person in your life thinks that you are. “At the end of Ty’s life, I want him to be able to say, ‘Terri was the greatest earthly blessing in my life – the best thing that ever happened to me – and that I’m a better man because of how she loved me. And that’s the goal that I live with every day. That’s how I want to love this man.‘”
Now that I am able to focus more on others, and I have a very tangible example of what a great marriage looks like, I am very excited to start by focusing on my own and the one that is most important to me…my Todd.
In doing that, I have been reading a book and the beginning chapter talks about being a helper.
It is not really doing something, but being someone. An identity that I want to keep in the forefront of my mind. It is a worthy calling.
I ask myself: Do I make my husband’s life more pleasant and bearable? Does he depend on me? Can he now that I am feeling better? Have I communicated this to him? Does he feel my support? How do I react when he asks me to do things for him? What are things I do or can do to accomplish this?
Lately I have been able to practice the answers to these questions as it is my Todd’s most busy time of year. He works for a non-profit organization as a programs director and also as an after school reading center director. This week and next he is just swamped and has needed me to step up and take care of things he normally would take care of. This plays out practically in lots more time in the car for me…rides for our 3 girls in the evenings that he would usually give. It also looks like me going to teachers meetings alone and being quite proactive in being the main parenting figure right now, at least during the week. I hope he is starting to feel the unconditional support as my attitude in doing this purposefully and cheerfully is still pretty new. It’s not that I was unwilling before, it is just that now I want to do it in a way that makes him feel confident that the house can be run well even when he is working extra hours; and that he has a wife who is capable of picking up where he needs to let go.
Honestly, the past 2 months this would have been really, really hard to do as my health was so precarious, but thank our sweet Lord I am stronger now and able to really be proactive in my new convictions. I am so thankful for better health!
I must admit, not only did it take a change of health, but also a change of heart. It is so easy to become apathetic and not want to change. My motivation came from seeing the beauty of a marriage done God’s way, and I will forever be grateful for such a beautiful example.
My new attitude will not always come easy. I know there is an enemy of our souls that wants to bring fear, disobedience, scorekeeping, contentiousness and cause me stumble over pride. I will not let him win.
So what does being a supportive, pleasant, bearable, dependable helpmate look like for me? How am I going to live this out practically?
Well, I plan on asking Todd specifically what is most helpful for him. But in the meantime, I know him well enough to know where to start.
A few steps I’m taking in being a supportive, pleasant, & dependable “Helper”:
I will soften my face when I look at my husband.
I will smile at him, even if only with my eyes.
I will be attentive, acknowledging when he walks in the room.
I will be attentive, without putting pressure or expectation on him to be attentive back.
I will hug/kiss him hello and goodbye.
I will give him time to decompress and do ‘Todd’ things when he gets home.
I will do my best to make him feel special to me, like I’m his biggest fan.
I will exude warmth.
I will not share with him all that has gone wrong with my day the minute he walks in the door.
I will pray “Lord, please help me be willing to be willing.”
I will have my closest friends ask me about how I am doing in being “helper”
I will continue give my heart only to him and no other, with protective barriers up against all others.
I will not compare him unfavorably with others
I will work on making our marriage bed the warmest place known to the both of us.
I will use words like “good morning” “have a good day” “I love you” “how are you?” “need anything?”
I will look for ways to make him feel special in my presence
I will find ways to let him know he is of great worth to me
I will figure out how to best communicate how much I respect what he does and who he is
I will be committed to all of this even when I don’t feel like he might deserve it at times.
I will love and treat him as the man I know he can be even if he is having an off day.
I will choose to see the good.
I will make “deposits” into our marriage, more than “withdraws.”
I will pick myself up and try again, even if I ‘drop the ball’ in these goals.
I will do all of this through Christ, who is the only one who can fully and perfectly love me in the way I long to be loved. As I grasp how very head over heals in love God is with me, I can then love others in the same way.
What about you? Does this list resonate with you? Does it make you fearful or nervous? Are you already doing most of these things? What are your experiences? What are your thoughts?