Thursday, August 21, 2014

Want to help your husband?

Greetings to those of you stopping by via the Encouragement Cafe! I'm grateful for your visit! The devotional I shared today (you can read it by clicking HERE), is one that is close to my heart and over the last few days it's been one God has used to test my heart.

Like I wrote I never expected or even wanted to be a farmer's wife...I lived on a farm all my growing up years and I knew the work it required, hours it demanded and plans it changed. But as always God knew more than me...He knew the lessons I would learn, fun I would experience and growth that would occur. So He had plans for the farmer's daughter to become a farmer's wife.

Pics on a tractor after our wedding.
I share a bit more about that in my devotional, but for the sake of this post I want to share what God is teaching me as I try to live out the role He's given me. Just so you know this is a lesson that may take me a lifetime to learn!

Genesis tells us God created woman so that man would not be alone and so he would have a helper. This truth alone can stir up quite the discussion, but friend if we say God and His Word are our authority we can't pick and choose what we believe or apply. So rather than discuss this, let's talk about how we can live it out.

I've known this devo was going to post for nearly a week and I also knew I'd be tested in this area, so one of the first things I did was pray and then I eve asked a friend for prayer. I asked God, "How can I help Job?" He gave me some practical things to do, but also provided four keys I hope I can remember in the days to come. Perhaps they'd be helpful for you as well.

NEVER COMPARE - If I ever won a title, I think I'd wear the "Comparison Queen's" crown. Comparison is a sin and it's one that can destroy your marriage. Personally, I don't find myself comparing our marriage to other couple's, but I have been convicted of comparing Job's "stuff" to mine. For instance, he recently took a week long fishing trip to Canada and I'll be honest there were moments I wished I was the one who was gone. In reality I know there's no way I'd leave for 7 days! I've compared his roles, responsibilities and freedoms to mine as well and that's like comparing apples to oranges - it just doesn't work because I typically compare the good, fun part of his to the hard, monotonous side of mine. God didn't bring man and woman together to compare or compete, but to complete. Friend, if you and I want to help our husbands we must never compare!! In a way comparison stems from selfishness, so it would do our marriage good if we'd humble ourselves and live out Philippians 2:3, "Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourself."

ALWAYS COMMUNICATE - Communication isn't my strongest skill, but it's one I've learned to work on. I entered marriage a bit naive to how important this would be; all too often I assumed Job would just know or he would read my mind. That assumption (like most) led to trouble. Add to this that I am one who tends to go into silent mode when I'm upset and it's obvious God has had to transform me! Friends, our husbands can't read our minds and often they don't understand our hints...if we want to help them, let's start by communicating with them. When we are open and honest, we each understand one another better. If I want my husband to be the man God created him to be, I must be willing to share my heart, speak Truth and use words (and tones) that build him up. A key verse for this point - Ephesians 4:29, "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen."

PRAY CONTINUOUSLY - In 1 Thessalonians we are told to "Pray continuously". (5:17) If we would live this verse out as wives I can't imagine all God would do in us, our spouses and our marriage! Friend we need to pray for our husbands and our marriages, but may we remember we must also pray for ourselves. This is a concept that has taken time for me to learn. As a wife I realize it is important to ask God to help me be the woman He created me to be so that I can live out the roles He's called me to. I trust He will bless you, and your marriage, if you do the same.

GIVE THANKS CONSISTENTLY - The fourth tip in helping your husband is the very next verse in Thessalonians, "Give thanks in all circumstances because this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." Let me ask you, "Do you appreciate when someone says 'Thank you'?" Me too and I'm sure our husbands would agree with us as well. When is the last time you thanked your husband? How about the last time you thanked him for the simple, everyday things he always does? Thanking him is a way to help him...words encourage, build up, and show respect - they help our husbands be the man God created them to be. Friend, don't let the thanks stop there; today I encourage you to spend some time in prayer thanking God for the husband He gave you. Sure he's not a perfect man, but none of us are perfect wives either. Thank God for the way He provides, encourages and loves through your man. If you really want to step out, ask your husband to join you in this time of prayer.

The Farmer and me 13 years later!
Our Best Crop!!
Friends, I pray these tips are helpful and I'd love to hear your wisdom in regards to being a helpmate for your husband. I never wanted to be a farmer's wife, but I'm grateful God's plan is much better than any I could have put together!

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