As I enter more of the “grown-up” world where a lot of my friends and people I meet are getting married or already there, I hear a lot of bitterness towards the word submit in reference to a marriage. A few years ago, before I became a Christian, I would have never ever ever ever (insert a bazillion evers) ever been okay with the thought of letting the man be the complete head of the household. If anything, I wanted to be large (well, not too large) and in charge! Slowly over time God has changed and challenged my heart in that area. Becoming a wife is a privilege bestowed on us ladies. Let me start at the beginning…
So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, ‘This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman for she was taken out of man.’ For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” Gen 2:21-24 NIV
In my version of the Bible, there is an asterisk next to the word ribs. This is important because it revealed something very vital to me. It said “or took part of the man’s side.” Now obviously, a rib is on the side, but originally I did not consider this essential. Looking at it now after being married I see this as an awesome way God symbolized our importance as women. We were not taken from his head to be the dictator or from his feet to be a doormat. We were taken from his side; his side where we can stand next to and support him as he supports us.
“Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make a helper fit for him.” Gen 2:18
“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper to be with you forever – the Spirit of truth.” John 14:16-17
“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” John 14:26
In each of those 3 verses, the word helper is used. The first time it is used is to describe a wife, a helper for Adam. The next two verses use the word to describe the Holy Spirit, a helper for all those in Christ. How awesome is it to think that the word used to show the Holy Spirit’s presence, is also used to describe our relationship with our husbands. It is not only encouraging for me to hear, but also convicting. How often do I yell or guilt my way into doing things that I want just because I want them? More often then I care to think about. But is that how I should be treating the person that I should be helping to grow in our walk with Christ together? I think I will always wrestle with the notion that I should be the one in charge, that I know best…but I am so thankful that God loves me and gives me undeserved grace so that I can slowly be sanctified.