Portrait of a Godly Wife: The First Wife (Part 1)

Portrait of a Godly Wife
Photo by Renaud Camus

I will make a helper suitable for him.  Genesis 2:28

Portrait of a Godly WifeSince the beginning of the human race, women have been wives.  It is a role we look forward to from the time we can put our mama’s white slip over our head, hold a handful of yellow dandelions, and march toward our waiting (imaginary) groom.  I have vivid memories of playing wife on the back porch with a neighbor husband.  I swept, cooked, and bossed him around. The groom has changed in my story, but have I?

God’s Word is full of examples of how to be a godly wife.  And how not to be a godly wife.  The first brush strokes on our portrait of a godly wife is the first wife: Eve.

Eve was created with a single purpose–to be a helper to Adam.  This idea is counter-cultural in our “I am woman, hear me roar” society.  The role of helper is not a bad place to be; it is a place of honor and influence.

The origin of the word helper is ezer, or help meet.  The same word is used to describe God as our helper in passages such as Psalm 33:20 and Psalm 115:9.

We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield.

O house of Israel, trust in the Lord–he is their help and shield.

Ezer is from the root word azar, meaning “to help.”  It is used in the Old Testament during times of battle (as in 1 Chronicles 5:20).  In a military battle, can you say the General is more necessary than the soldier?  Both are vital to the victory.  If both try to command or both try to defend, there are gaps; defeat is imminent.

With this shift in our thinking, Eve is transformed from a delicate and frail muse into a warrior woman, standing guard over her home, her family, her husband.  God put us in a place to protect our husbands from the world.  We run interference, support his efforts, and help him to accomplish God’s work.

Eve was created to be Adam’s helper–his assistant zoo keeper and gatherer of fruit (more on that one later). What does that help look like in a modern marriage?  Helping will look different in every marriage.  Start with this question:  What can I do to help my husband today?

When I ask myself that question, three things come to mind.

Make breakfast and pack a lunch.  This is simple and very June Cleaver, but it speaks volumes to my man.  He rarely misses an opportunity to encourage this small act of love by telling me, “This was a difference maker in my day.  Thank you so much!”  His mind is occupied with work and the things men worry about.  When I help by preparing those 2 meals for him each morning, I am supporting his efforts to provide for our family.

Listen.  Really listen.  My dear husband is a talker.  He processes everything verbally.  Everything.  I tend to tune him out after a few sentences.  I can help him process by listening and providing the feedback that he craves.  It is a discipline I am working on.

Encourage his efforts as the spiritual leader in our home.  When I see him make a move to guide our family, I try to give him an emotional “high five.”  I shush the kids when he wants to read scripture after dinner.  I invite him to say bedtime prayers with the kids after our story time.  I let him decide which service we will attend on Sunday.  It is the role I want for him most of all and I want to do all I can to make it easy and rewarding for him.

Action time!  Ask yourself the question:  What can I do to help my husband today?  Now, go and do it.  Be an Eve to your Adam.

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