Tag Archive | help meet

A Simple Test

It was a busy day. I already had my list of things that I needed to accomplish. I knew I would have to utilize my time well to complete all of the tasks that I had placed on my list. And a quick glance at the list would remind me that they were all needful tasks, so I had better get busy.

But then came that gentle, quiet pull to the Scriptures.  A specific scripture entered my mind.  I attempted to push it away without any consideration to the truth contained therein.  I really did have a lot to do, and I really didn’t have time to sit down right now. But, there it was, the same gentle pull to the same scripture.  I passed on through the house to set about to do my duties, but my heart heard it again:

She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.

I knew that scripture well, but why was it echoing in my mind this morning?  I knew, then, that I needed to stop. I reached for my Bible and sat down.  I turned to that well-known passage in Proverbs 31, a passage that I had studied through the years, one that is often dismissed because of such great familiarity with it – just as I had dismissed it this morning.

She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.

I began to read and be reminded of that virtuous woman of Proverbs 31.  I recalled that this Biblical word virtuous was actually a word that means strength.  The woman described in the passage is the one that God describes as a strong wife.  And I also recalled that it is not easy to find such a wife!

I moved to the next verse and pondered the great confidence that this husband had in his wife.

The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her.

This husband really didn’t need anything else, because he had her.  He could rely on her.  I knew how that level of confidence had developed – why he so confidently counted on her. I knew because the next scripture explained it:

She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.

She actually did good – and not evil – to him each and every day!  And that is why his heart could safely trust in her!

That is when this simple test came into my heart:

Did I do good to David every day?

Did I do good to him in my actions?

Did I do good to him with my words?

Did I really help him?

Did I encourage him?

Or were my actions or words used as evil towards him?

And much more pressing, did I even have time for him?

I really wasn’t liking this little “test”.  I knew that I wasn’t a bad wife, but was I this strong wife that is described in Proverbs 31?  What did I need to change?

First, I needed to have my mind renewed.  I had to be reminded, and I had to think according to the truth of Scripture.  Then, I had to change my priorities.  I had to put my husband and his needs in the forefront of my mind.  I had to be ready to do him good as the opportunities arose and as The Lord led.  I prayed through the day ahead.  Something changed.

Now the press to accomplish the tasks on my list seemed to diminish.  My heart was rested.  Yes, I still needed to work on those tasks, but my mind and heart was on my husband and things that would bless him.  And I knew that when he came in for lunch, the atmosphere of my home wouldn’t be in such a hurry and scurry.  I would even attempt to make a lunch that I knew he would enjoy.  And I would take time to sit down and just listen to the things that he might say.  I would be encouraging and positive to him.  As crazy as it sounds, I was starting to look forward to him coming in for lunch.  My heart was set to do him good.

God works in the simplest of ways.  One simple verse can change the whole tone and direction of a day.  I think that going into the day, I was certain to fail the “test”.  But now, God had prepared my heart for the day!  I guess it is as though I had taken time to “study” – to be reminded of truths that God had already taught me –  and I believe that I am going to pass that simple test:

She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.

And that includes today!

Why the Struggle?

Imagine that you are standing beside a towering, wooden fence. You peer through the tiny cracks that seem to call your name.  Through those inviting spaces, you see a beautiful garden. Your heart is captivated, and you intently examine the beauty of the garden.  You desire to walk in the midst of this delightful garden, but you are forbidden.  Something holds you back. Something prevents your entrance. The tall, wooden fence seems to loom In front of you.  You can see the beautiful garden, and you desire to live within those exquisite surroundings, yet you find you are still standing on the outside.  Why can’t you enter in and walk there forever?

This simple analogy is meant to portray what sometimes happens to us as we study the truths of Scripture regarding marriage.  We can go to the garden in Genesis and see the beauty of marriage as God created it. We get a glimpse of the goodness of it, yet we find ourselves standing on the outside.  We would love to be able to walk in the truths that we have learned, yet something prevents us, and we cannot enter in.

Why do we struggle in living out the truths of God’s Word?  Why does a marriage often end up being a miserable battleground rather than the delightful companionship that God intended?  Why, when we desire to change, do we continually return to the battle?  Interestingly, the answer can be found back in the book of Genesis.

A careful examination of the Scriptures will shed light on our dilemma.  In Genesis 1, we a saw God speaking His perfect Creation into existence. Then in Chapter 2, we saw details explained concerning the creation of the man and the woman.  We got a glimpse of the perfect harmony between the man and the woman. Chapter 2 closes with the joining of the two into one flesh. And they both were naked, the man and his wife and they were not ashamed.

But as soon as Chapter 3 opens, deception, temptation, disobedience, and sin unfold.  God’s perfect Creation is marred by sin.  Innocence, perfection, peace, and harmony immediately disappear.  How drastically different the relationships become.  For the first time, the man and the woman become aware of their own selves. And the eyes of  them both were opened, and they knew they were naked. For the first time ever, they become aware of their own flesh.

In addition, their response to God Himself completely changes.  They are afraid, and they hide themselves from God. And as God questions them about their sin and disobedience, blaming and accusations emerge. God declares the consequences that will face not only them, but mankind, forever.  And it is here, as a result of sin, that the struggle is born.

But an even more careful examination of Genesis 2 and 3 will reveal more!

Regarding the man:

In his creation:  God created the man from the dust of the ground.

In his work:   God took the man and placed him in the garden to dress it and keep it. (His  work was directly related to the substance from which he had been created.) And God took him and placed him there.

In the consequence of his sin:  Now difficulty would arise in the very calling and placement of God.  Sorrow, toil, difficulties, thorns, thistles, sweat, struggles would exist in the very calling and purpose for the man.

And follow the parallels regarding the woman:

In her creation:  God created the woman from the side of the man, from his rib

In her work:  God took the woman and brought her to the man. (Her work was also directly related to substance from which she had been created – to be by his side as a help and companion to him.) And God took her and brought her to the man.

In the consequence of her sin:  We  know simply from the design of the woman’s body, that she was the one who was designed to carry children within the womb, to provide a safe, nurturing environment for those children to grow and develop, and she was the one who was designed to nurse children as she snuggled them close to her breast.  But, a part of her consequence would be that in the very thing for which she was created and designed, she would now experience pain and sorrow! She would struggle not only in the bearing of children, but in the raising of them!

Additionally, though she had been created to be a help to the man, she would now desire to rule over him, and, in return, he would rule over her!  Recalling that all of these were negative consequences, we now can understand more clearly the struggle.

What really happened?

The consequences of sin brought an awareness of flesh, a separation from God, and struggles in the very purpose for which God had created both the man and the woman.

Why the struggle, we ask?

We struggle so hard in our marriages because those consequences remain for mankind.  We now have a keen awareness of our own flesh and its desires and are ruled by them; we are separated from God and live apart from Him; and we fight and struggle within the consequences of sin declared from the beginning.

The picture is bleak. Is there no hope? Must we always stand on the outside looking in to God’s perfect ways, but never enter in?

Oh, no, no, no, my friend! There is an answer, but it must be God’s way, and not our own. What, then, is the answer?

First, we must be reconciled to God, and He has made that possible through Jesus Christ. In actuality, He reaches out and calls us to return to Him! And the struggles of life serve to cause us to see our need for Him.

Secondly, we must subdue the flesh.  We must understand that it is impossible for our flesh to produce any good thing.  Our flesh only produces selfishness and strife, both in actions and words.  We must allow the Spirit of the Living God to fill us and control us.  For if you recall, it was the presence of the Spirit of God that Adam and Eve lost which caused them to become so aware of their flesh.

And finally, we must return to the purpose for which God created us.  For the man, dressing and keeping the garden seemed to have the concepts of provision and protection woven within. And for the woman, God’s creative purpose would include being a help and companion to the man.  Additionally, from that union of the two becoming one, God would bring children into the marriage for the husband and wife to nurture, love, and raise to the glory of God.

Three things are a must:  1) a living, loving relationship with The Lord,  2) control by the Spirit of God, and  3) walking in the calling for which God created you.

The struggles will diminish, the joy will increase, and you will forever delight that you entered in!

Susan’s Story: A Crumbling Marriage

Sharing Your Story, one of the components of Wisdom and Kindness, provides a place for women to anonymously share their stories.  This category was developed with the ultimate intent of emphasizing God’s faithfulness, even in the difficulties and struggles of life. Each story is true. Each story is anonymously written.  Each story is written to proclaim the hope that is found in The Lord! May The Lord bless!

Susan’s Story – A Crumbling Marriage

My story is neither flashy, nor extravagant.  It is a simple story of how the Lord has worked in my life.  Though there are many things that I could share, I would like for you to enter my life on the day that I got married. I married the man that I loved, though I would later learn that I knew very little about what God’s love in marriage is all about.  My husband and I had what one might call “a friendship marriage.”  I say this because we had been friends for many years before we entered the romantic stage of our relationship.  We enjoyed each other’s company, spent many hours together, and looked forward to being together.  Seeing him drive up in the driveway was the highlight of my day.  Most of our friends thought that we had the perfect marriage.  It wasn’t long, however, before a subtle, but serious, problem began to crumble away at our marriage .  The crumbling was so slight and so minute that, at first, it was totally undetectable.  However, as time passed, the crumbling continued.  Although there was very little arguing and were very few disagreements, the serious, but subtle crumbling continued through the years until our very marriage was about to fall apart.

What I came to learn and understand was that our marriage crumbled away ever so slightly because I did not know the purpose for which God had created me.  I didn’t understand that God had created me to be one flesh with my husband.  Neither did I know that I was to be a help to him.  You see, I lived my own life.  I had my own job, my own responsibilities , and essentially, my own life apart from him.  The more that I headed in my own direction, the farther my life took me from my husband.  At the same time, my husband, who had his own job, his own responsibilities, and his own life, headed in his own direction.  We moved farther and farther apart until the day that my husband no longer desired to be married.  I had not even seen the problem coming.  It so happened that my husband decided to stay with me “for the children’s sake.”

Perhaps the most interesting part of this story was that I had become a Christian about two years earlier. The Lord had been working in my life, but I was still plagued with fears.  By God’s hand, I began to study my Bible.  And then, I began to study what the Bible says about marriage.  My eyes began to be opened.  I began to see what God intended for me as a wife. I also saw how far short I fell.  Studying passage by passage, God began to change me and my understanding of my purpose as a wife.  Little by little, a new marriage began to emerge in place of that old crumbled marriage.  Several months into this “new” marriage, my husband decided to be honest with me about where his feelings – and life – had been and why he stayed in the marriage.  He asked for forgiveness.  The Lord was very clear, “Just as The Lord forgave you, so also should you do” (Col. 3:13, Eph. 4:32).

That is when the real test came in.  Knowing all that I now knew, could I walk in the truths that the Lord had taught me concerning marriage?  Day by day, an amazing thing happened.  The Lord, through His grace, and by the Word of God, began to fully rebuild my marriage.  Change is not instantaneous, but just as my marriage had slowly crumbled away, brick by brick, piece by piece, my marriage was restored.  I would never make this sound like an easy thing, but this I know: when you humble your heart and say that you will obey The Lord, no matter what, He truly blesses that humility and obedience.  As I sought, through obedience, to become the wife that the  Lord had designed and intended, He built my marriage into more than I ever dreamed that a marriage could be.

It has been many years since those difficult days.  My marriage has continued to mature and grow, as The Lord continues to remind me that I was created to be a help and also a companion to my husband, one flesh with him.  The Lord still applies those truths to my life in a multitude of ways, and I am repeatedly blessed in this precious calling as a wife.  The greatest fulfillment that I have ever known is being a wife to my husband.  My prayer for you is that if God so calls you to this calling that you will lay down your own life and pick up the life that God has ordained for you.

The above anonymous testimony was first printed in Woman – Precious in the Sight of God © 2002.  I, again, extend my thanks to ladies willing to share their story to the glory of God.

So, What Is a Help Meet, Anyway?

Sometimes I wondered why I had so many questions.  It seemed that when I settled one question in my heart, another would just rise up.  But I have learned that questions are not necessarily a bad thing.  I am not talking about the kind of question that Satan spoke through the serpent in the garden when he said:  Yea, hath God said?  Through that question he brought in doubt, temptation, and finally disobedience and sin (Genesis 3).

The kind of question that can produce amazingly good results is the questioning heart that desires to understand truth – the one that seeks to understand what God is really saying in His Word and how that applies to the individual’s life.

And, for the question to result in goodness, the seeking person absolutely must go to the right place to find the answer. The Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit inspired the holy men of old to speak, and thus, write the Scriptures (2 Peter 1:20-21).  The Bible also teaches that it is the Holy Spirit who teaches us and guides us into all truth (John 14:26, 16:13).  Isn’t it incredible that the same One who authored the Word and fully understands its meaning is the same One Who will teach us!

So, here was my question:  What is a help meet, anyway?  Back to Genesis and into the Scriptures I went.  First, I discovered what a help meet is not!  The kind of help that God had designed the woman to be was not a negative thing. When God finished all of His Creation, as He looked at His completed work, He saw that it was very good (Genesis 1:31).  So then, woman being a help for her husband was a part of this very good thing.

Next, I found that this relationship, with the woman as a help to her husband, was perfect and wonderful!  You may raise an eyebrow at that statement in disbelief, but let me explain why it had to be perfect. This relationship was the way that God Himself had designed it, and the woman was called a help BEFORE the fall.  Perfect God, perfect Creation, perfect relationships!  It may take some time thinking upon this truth to get a grasp of it, but for the woman to be a help to the man had to be amazingly good – not one negative thing about it – all goodness!

It was then that I knew I did not understand much of anything about God’s intentions and God’s ways. I also knew the way that the world (and my own flesh) reacts to this truth had been because of not having the right view.  But, I really wanted to understand the right view – God’s view!

I knew that spiritual understanding could only come, by the Spirit, through the Scriptures, so I continued to dig. I got out some concordances to find where this word help could be found in the Scriptures, in what context it was used, and what was the meaning in those passages.  I was so surprised at what I found!  The word help was most often used when God was speaking of Himself. These were just a few of the passages I found:

Psalm 115: 9-11 refers three times to:  the Lord, He is our help.  

Psalm 33:20 speaks of:  … the Lord: He is our help …

Psalm 124 explains that:   .. the Lord who was on our side is our help.

God had used this word help to describe Himself. This word did not carry the meaning of a wimpy, subservient helper. This word portrayed a strong help – someone who was on their side!

Then as I looked up the word meet, I found that the word was actually part of the phrase meet for him.  It was used in a variety of ways, but commonly meant in the presence of; to stand before; to correspond to. Things were beginning to make more sense. The woman was going to live with the man, in his presence.

God Himself walked with the man, as He was in perfect fellowship with him in the garden. But God was creating another person, of flesh and bone, to be with the man.  Then I recalled that it was the aloneness of man that was not good.   It is not good that the man should be alone. And in response to the aloneness, God had created the woman as a help – meet for him.

Oh, and then another question!  The word help was actually the noun that the Scriptures used to name the woman. I wondered what other nouns were used in the Scriptures to name the wife.  Well, we had this word: help. And then, we had numerous uses of wife and woman.  Those two were understandable. Were there any others?  I searched and searched.  And then, I found it! In all of the Bible, there was only one other noun that I found used to describe a wife.  In Malachi 2:14, God called the wife a companion.  A companion … A companion … A companion!  When I thought of that word placed in the setting of Genesis, I understood!  God was not making the woman in a negative, slavish role as the world would portray.  He was addressing the aloneness of the man.  He was making a companion for the man – a special, beautiful, wonderful, very good creation from God – a companion to walk alongside him, to be with him, to be a strong help to him, to be on his side.

I knew I had lots to pray about. But God had taken all that I had studied and woven those truths into two simple words: help and companion.  I now understood more clearly my calling:  Be a help and companion to David.  I knew that I didn’t know all that this meant, but I definitely knew that I would need to spend much more time with him.  My life would need to be much more about him and much less about me.

I could see that many changes were on the horizon.  But interestingly, they didn’t look like storm clouds.  On the contrary, it was as if a beautiful sunrise was dawning.  As strange as it seemed, something inside me found goodness in this answer. Yes, sometimes questions produce such unexpectedly amazing answers!

It Is Not Good

I returned to my kitchen table, the place where I so often studied, with a question on my mind. I was trying to determine why the Creation account of Genesis was so important. In so many passages in the Bible, when discussing women and marriage, that is the truth that was referenced. So as the question pressed on my mind, I bowed my head to ask The Lord to show me the truths that I needed to see. I opened my Bible, and began to read.

It always brought awe into my heart to think that God merely spoke and the Creation stood forth. Psalms 33:9 states: For He spake, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.  What a demonstration that He is the Almighty and All-Wise God!

Now I would continue with my examination of this amazing Creation.  As I read through Genesis, I found a repeated pattern.  God created and then looked upon His Creation and made a declaration as to the goodness of the Creation.

  • Day 1:  And God saw the light, that it was good.
  • Day 2 and 3:  And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called He Seas: and God saw that it was good. And the Earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
  • Day 4:  Speaking of the sun and moon and stars:  And God saw that it was good.
  • Day 5:  Speaking of the  sea creatures and the winged fowl:  And God saw that it was good.
  • Day 6:  Speaking of the animals on the earth:  And God saw that it was good.

Over and over again, God declared that His Creation was good. But for the first time in the Scriptures, God declared that something was not good.

And The Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a help meet for him.  Genesis 2:18

There it was – the thing that was not good. It was not good that the man should be alone, and immediately God revealed the solution. He would make a help for the man.

I sat there and pondered the truth.  It is not good for the man to be alone. It is not good for the man to be alone. Then in my mind, my husband’s name was written above that verse. It is not good that “David” should be alone.

Wait! I had one of the most independent and self-sufficient husbands ever! I had even thought, at times, that he could have been one of those mountain men of old. He could have lived alone forever. Wouldn’t have bothered him!

But that wasn’t what the Word of God seemed to be saying.  It is not good that the man should be alone!  There was no indication that the man had realized it was not good, and he certainly had not asked for a help.  No, it was God that said that it was not good for the man to be alone.

I thought some more.  I felt sure that David did not realize that this truth applied to him, but the Word of God was clear – It is not good that the man should be alone!

But that thought was not what impacted me so strongly.  What rang through my heart was:  I will make him a help meet for him!  God was the One who planned for the woman. God was the One who designed the woman. God was the One who created and formed her with one specific purpose in mind – to be a help to that man. The woman was not planned for, designed, nor created by man, but by God Himself.

I could see that being a woman was a special creation – a special creation with a specific purpose.  As surely as the light, the waters, the earth, the plants, the sun, moon, and stars, and all the animals had a purpose, so, too, did the man have a specific purpose, and so, too, did the woman have a specific God-created purpose!

And then, the staggering and startling realization – it was God that had created me to be a woman.  And it was God who had created me to be a help to David. I stopped in the tracks of my mind. God had very individually created me to be a wife to David.  And, at that moment, God called me in a very deep way to give my life to that for which I had been created – to give my life to being a wife to David.

Tears began to flow! How had I missed this?  Yes,  David and I lived in a compatible relationship, but this call was so much more.  My life had been so much about me, and, at times, even about ME being a good wife.  But this was about God! This was about David! I had to get my eyes off of me! I had to look at David in a whole new way!  God had created me especially for my husband!

Humbled, and with tears, I knew God would have to teach me. Truly, His ways are so much higher than mine!  Teach me, Lord. That is all I knew to say!  I had started out with a question, but how personal had been the answer.