Biblical Womanhood: I am a Protector

I am starting a new series: Biblical Womanhood.  I am uncovering the 4 areas of purpose in a woman’s life: marriage, motherhood, ministry to the church and ministry to the world.  As culture leaves us confused over gender identity, gender roles, and our purpose as women I have been searching high and low in Scripture so that Christian women don’t have to wonder what their purpose is.

The first purpose God gave woman was in marriage. The world, media, and culture has robbed us of a true picture of God’s design for marriage. We have a picture of drudgery, burden, door-mat status, 2nd class citizen, fill-in-the-blank. Some women confess that they’ve only ever heard it preached that women’s role is to be submissive without a theological explanation of how or what the word means broken down. That men are the authoritative definitive voice in the marriage and women must submit to their authority. In our lifetime we haven’t had a true illustration of God’s original design for woman in marriage.

I’ve heard it preached many times that a woman’s role in marriage is her husband’s helper. But I never quite got how I should help him? As a house wife, I can pull a good weed in the garden, help mow, make dinner, change diapers, shoot, I can even give a good back rub! but I am not sure this is exactly what God had in mind when He made Eve. Although given the greenery she dwelled in, the pulling weeds part just might’ve been one.

One role I’ve never heard preached before is the role of ‘protector’.  The word for helper is ‘Ezer’, it literally means to help in times of hardship and distress. I read more. There is a root word that means: surround, protect, aide.  And I still need help understanding.  I need examples! {Ever feel like you just need some visual aides?  Like when your building a piece of furniture from Ikea and you just need a little visual.} So, I dig more and find that the same word is used is 19 other times in the the Old Testament and every time it is used it is to describe the Spirit of God as helper.  GOD AS HELPER!!!  In other words when God created women he inserted a strand of Helper-DNA cause he knew man was gonna need it. Let me repeat that, the same Spirit of God Almighty, YAWEH, the Almighty Healer, the Alpha and Omega, the Great I am, The Redeemer, the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the grave was given to woman to surround, protect and aide their husbands in times of hardship and distress.  Now that’s strength ladies!

So, the question remains after reading the 19 other passages how does God want me to surround, protect and aide my husband with the same image of help He provides His people.  I can do this by:

  1. Surrounding him in prayer (the word ‘ezer also means to surround). Pray for him in all areas of purpose God has given him. That he wouldn’t be deceived. Pray over his bedside, make a war room out of closet.  He is your first priority in ministry. I’ve started to surround my husband when he gets home. I gather the kids and we make a circle around him and pray that he take off the word day and welcome him home. Try this, it’s powerful!
  2. Providing a safe home.  The world is an ugly place, does your husband have a place to rest in when he gets home.  Is it safe from criticism, safe from hate, violence, disrespect, negative thinking, temptation? We have the power in how we treat our husbands as much as what we expose our husbands to. We can encourage spiritual growth by canceling the Victorias Secret catalog, or not encouraging shows that are not appropriate for the male-eye. All guys were created to “look”. Think Adam looking at Eve. We can encourage our husband’s accountability in this area by  helping him stay faithful when he is at home. (also, read Everyman’s Battle, Arterburn, Stoeker, Yorkey)
  3. Protecting him from the darts of his enemies (Does your husband know that when others think the worst of him you still think the best?) When David cried out to the Lord in Psalm 70:1, David knew he didn’t deserve God’s protection based on his merit but he also knew God wasn’t looking at his past nor was he keeping a track record of his mess-ups and failings. He cried out to the Lord in confidence that God was looking deep into the man he really was…”a man after God’s own heart.”
  4. Protecting his reputation.  Do you give him honor in-front of others? There’s a place to seek counseling for marital issues.  Venting to friends or the company Christmas party is never helpful in helping a spouse grow.  If you want your man to reach his full Christian-man potential start with this one. The Proverbs 31 woman must’ve practiced this one well. In all of that passage it only mentions her husband’s character once. It speaks of his reputation.  Did they have a perfect marriage? Unlikely, they were after all human but she did practice a discipline that is extremely difficult in our age of venting, self-gratification, the era of social injustice outcry, and the I-everything generation. She practiced the art of self-control.  Our cultures trains us to care more about our reputation, our needs, our rights, that we often forget about the man we are doing life with. The man that apparently needs us more than we knew.  We don’t need to vent. {A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.- Proverbs 29:11}
  5. Comforting him.  I love the very short picture we get of  Rebekah in Gen. 24:67, an illustration of a wife comforting her husband. There are not many details but the transfer from mother to wife, from mother to comforter is apparent. How precious is the gift to {help} heal our husband’s wounds, calm his distress, lift up head and help him through tough times in life. So many times we miss opportunities to help heal our husbands because we are too busy with our own happenings or too busy living like enemies.
  6. Helping with economic stress. On this one the Bible isn’t black or white. To work or not to work that is the question. If there is financial stress in the marriage somethings gotta give. Sometimes our spiritual convictions are not our husband’s. Ask him where he needs help? If your a “stay-at-home” mom is the choice to stay home mutual? Than maybe less spending is necessary.  In our house we live by a budget, that saves us so much stress. However, we also love to spend and give leeway to unnecessary purchases and credit card debt…(which by the way I am happy to report are now cut up and taken off my apple wallet…I think I wanna cry). The point is to initiate help in this area, seek counseling if it is necessary, make a plan, be supportive (even if it means you can get those new pair of shoes…I am crying for you).  And if your husband is the spender and it’s hurting your marriage then maybe intervention is needed?!! In that case feel free to send me his credit cards and I’ll take care of them;).

Remember none of this is impossible…hard maybe…impossible, no! We, apparently have the spirit to do it! Now, let’s live it.