“Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.” – Ephesians 5:33
I recently started being mentored by one of the godliest women I know, & I am so thankful for the opportunity to seek wisdom and learn from her. I feel such a big calling on my heart to raise champions for the Lord, and I also know that the BEST way to be a great mom is by being a great wife first. I truly believe the enemy attacks the family unit because it is so precious to God, so the best way to safeguard your family is through having a strong marriage with a foundation in Christ.
I know I definitely have some work to do in that area to ensure that I am truly honoring the Lord in my role as Jonathan’s help meet. And that’s exactly why I prayed for a mentor. God was faithful.
My mentor and I are reading through Created to Be His Help Meet & working through the workbook called The Help Meets Journey. (I already had the book because Lori recommended it.) **FYI: They are incredibly challenging (for me, anyway) & if you decide to go through them, I encourage you to take your time and really DIG in. And also to be open minded because it definitely goes against the world’s view of a wife’s role & of marriage in general. Ask the Lord to prepare you heart and show you areas where you can grow to become a more godly help meet.
At the beginning of the workbook it asks for some specific goals you’d like to see come to fruition in your marriage as a result of the study. One thing I wrote down was for Jonathan to feel more honored/reverenced and for me to feel more cherished. If you have read Love & Respect then you know one of a husband’s greatest needs is to feel respected and one of a wife’s most innate needs is to feel loved. I believe that is true and something we strive towards in our marriage. It was even part of our vows. But to me, reverencing & cherishing take those a step further. They dig even deeper into marriage, beyond just love & respect, and THAT is my desire. I want our children to see that not only do we love & respect one another, but we CHERISH & REVERENCE one another. That we are “heirs together in the grace of life” (1 Peter 3:7).
Going through this study, the Lord has really impressed that word upon my heart. REVERANCE. I looked up the Hebrew word and origin & studied some commentary on Ephesians 5:33 (and a few other Scriptures I listed below). Reading those & truly understanding what it means to be a help meet has completely changed my mindset about my roles as a wife. It is no secret if you’ve read my blog for some time then you know I think Jonathan Butler is THE MAN. He has some really, really great qualities that I respect & admire and pray our children learn. I think our world desperately needs more Jon Butlers in it (which is part of why we want a big family). But if I can be totally honest & transparent, I have lived the majority of our marriage as if HE was created to be a help meet to me instead of the other way around. 1 Corinthians 11:9 says “Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man.” (Shew- I know some ladies – even Christian ladies- who might not like reading that one.) I might have respected Jonathan for the past 4 years of marriage, but I cannot confidently say I have “reverenced” him as Ephesians 5:33 says to do.
I know what the Bible says about marriage and my role as a wife. I understand Biblical submission and totally agree with it. Jonathan is the head (1 Corinthians 11:3), & my job is to support him in that role. I have written blog posts about it & taught Bible studies on it, but just being totally real with y’all,
sometimes a lot of times I have a tough time actually living it.
I’m not confessing that here for accountability. There is no way anyone other than me, him, and the Lord know whether or not I am being the help meet I am called to be. I just want to share this because I know there are other wives like me….who desire to be that virtuous woman…to be obedient to the Lord (even when it’s tough, which submission can definitely be)…to be a help meet to her husband…to be a godly mother. And maybe you’re like me and feel like you’re “trying your best.” But that’s just it. Although God certainly wants our best, more than anything he wants our HEARTS. When we give Him that, we can REST & allow the Lord to work through us. (So now I’m working on accepting that despite this revelation, it is still a process.) When HE has our hearts, we can have a marriage that glorifies HIM and allows us to feel loved and cherished while our husbands feel respected and reverenced.
The biggest wake up call came for me while I was praying for Jase’s future wife. I do that often. I was praying for her specific qualities and character traits as described about a Biblical wife, and as much as it makes me want to puke & cry all at the same time, I have to confess that I do not want him to marry someone like me. Not like the wife I am right now anyway. I have always said I want to be the kind of wife to Jon that I want my daughters to be and my sons to marry, but the truth is, I am not being that wife. When I realized that, I knew I needed to do some serious repenting & growing.
My natural instinct is to want to be a “good wife” in the eyes of the world. And sometimes I don’t “feel” like being a good wife at all because Jonathan offends me or I don’t feel like he deserves it. It takes “being transformed by the renewing of my mind” daily to break that thought pattern. Romans 12:2 tells us “Do not be conformed to the patterns of the world,” and let’s just be honest…it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that whatever the world is doing is NOT working anyway. I want to submit to and reverence my husband because that’s what the Lord is commanding of me in His Word. I want to be a godly wife out of obedience to Christ. And THAT’S what I have to remember! It doesn’t matter what Jonathan IS or is NOT doing…I am responsible to Christ for my own thoughts, actions, attitudes, and behaviors. There is such freedom & satisfaction in doing what you’re called to be doing. And it’s really amazing how it works…the more I reverence and respect my hubby, the more he loves & cherishes me. (Shocker, right? Nagging & complaining & pouting aren’t going to get the results you want.)
It’s not because Jonathan does or doesn’t deserve it. Or because I want a pat on the back. Or because he is loving me like Christ loves the church. (Yikes…may have thrown that one around a few times.) If you read both before and after those verses in the Bible, you’ll notice it doesn’t say “reverence your husband IF”… “submit to your husbands IF”…It just says DO. And that goes so against what the world teaches & what our flesh (my flesh anyway) want to do. Ladies, that is EXACTLY why I have to allow the Lord to do it through me. Because as strong as I would like to think I am, I cannot do that on my own. I just can’t.
I can remember growing up being told to find a man who “treats me like a queen.” Why in the world would he or should he want to treat me like a queen if I’m not treating him like a king?? If we get caught up in the “well if he’ll ______, then I’ll _____” then we will never have an Ephesians 3:20 marriage that is “exceedingly, abundantly above all we could ask or imagine.” As wives, we have so much more control over the type of marriage we have than we realize. If you’re unhappy, then change. Don’t wait for your spouse to do it. A husband’s ability to lead is largely dependent on his wife’s ability to follow. (I think during the Fall, women began desiring to lead. We have to fight that nature & trust our husbands to lead as they’ve been called to do. But they can’t do that if we refuse to step down.)
I love 1 Peter 3:1-6. “Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct. Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, ...”
A huge problem for me is my big, fat mouth. That bad boy gets me in trouble, so I feel like this verse was written for me. I am praying the Lord helps me have a more gentle and quiet spirit.
Anyway, I wanted to share all of this with you in hopes it helps you have a more clear understanding of our Biblical role as wives and help meets to our husbands. I need the reminder often. I know God has BIG plans for our family and for Jonathan especially, so he needs me to be a godly wife who reverences him. My desire is that God be glorified through our marriage and we raise up champions for the Lord who will be godly spouses some day.
I’m going to leave off with these this excerpt from the book that hit me right in the heart.
“Does your husband share Adam’s feelings of delight when he looks upon you? Do you wake each morning ready to make your husband happy and blessed- to serve him to the best of your ability- to be his helper? Are you engaged in active goodwill to your man? That is God’s perfect will for you. When you are a help meet to your husband, you are a helper to Christ, for God commissioned man for a purpose and gave him a woman to assist in fulfilling that divine calling. When you honor your husband, you honor God. When you obey your husband, you obey God. The degree to which you reverence your husband is the degree to which you reverence your Creator. As we serve our husbands, we serve God. But in the same way, when you dishonor our husband, you dishonor God.” (Created To Be His Help Meet, Pearl, p. 22)
Wives, are you reverencing your husband??
If you get a chance, look up The Message version of these verses too.
- 1 Peter 3:1-22 - Likewise, ye wives, [be] in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;
- Proverbs 31:10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price [is] far above rubies.
- Colossians 3:18 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.
- Proverbs 12:4 A virtuous woman [is] a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed [is] as rottenness in his bones.
- Titus 2: 4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
- 1 Peter 3: 5-6 Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct. Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands
- Proverbs 21:19 It is better to dwell in the wilderness than with a contentious and an angry woman.
- Proverbs 14:1 - The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down.
- Proverbs 19:14 House and wealth are inherited from fathers, but a prudent wife is from the Lord.