Thursday, August 19, 2010
A Spiritual Helpmate
I Thessalonians 5:11 "Therefore, encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing."
Ephesians 5: 22-27 "Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything."
Our church is taking sign ups for an upcoming Men's Conference. The approaching weekend conference had me wondering how many wives responded to this event with excitement and encouragement. How many ladies asked their husbands if they were going, told them how great it would be and explained to their spouse that they were happy to watch the kids that weekend and pray for them while they attended?
On the other hand, I also thought about how often wives might respond with frustration, dread and reluctance when their husbands miss a night or day at home for conferences, accountability, prayer group, Bible study, or quiet time. I know I have sinned in this area. On the weekends, it is so nice to have help with the kids after a long week at home with them. I don't always jump for joy when my husband has a Partners discipleship meeting or a time of accountability on Saturday morning. However, this is not a righteous response. My priority should be my husband's spiritual growth, not my own feelings of comfort and entitlement.
Sisters, this is a very imortant calling. We need to be encouraging our husbands' spiritual growth. He is the leader of our home, and we need to have a healthy head of the family in order for our family to thrive in the Lord together.
Here are some practical ways you can make sure you are being a spiritual helpmate to your husband and spurring him on in the Lord:
1. Praise him for any area in which you have seen increased obedience to God and spiritual growth. Be specific and tell him how proud you are of his choices to grow in righteousness.
2. Ask your husband questions you have about the Bible or Bible study. This gives your husband respect and shows him you care about his leadership. This also spurs him on to find out the answer and be knowledgable in the Word of God.
3. Cheerfully send your husband out the door as he is on his way to accountability, prayer group, Bible study, conferences or other Bible programs. Joyfully receive him home again and ask him how it went.
4. Ask him what God is teaching him in his quiet time.
5. Inquire of him if there is something you can do to make it easier for him to fit in quiet time or Bible studies. (This is not meant to be nagging in disguise, ladies).
6. Pray for his spiritual maturation.
7. If someone must miss church due to an ill child or emergency, have your husband attend church and then come home and explain the points of the sermon to you.
8. By your attitude and response, make it easy for your spouse to repent and ask for forgiveness. Quickly forgive, love and encourage him so he can move forward.
9. Have your husband lead prayer and family devotions.
10. Submit to your husband and do not let your marriage relationship become a snare which satan can use to derail your husband's walk with God.
11. Honor your husband in front of others and be grateful for the gifts and personality that God gave specifically to him.
12. Share your prayer requests with your husband and ask him if you can pray for him.
13. Do not be overly scheduled with moms' nights out or even church functions to the point that your husband cannot be a part of his own Bible study or foster his own godly friendships. Remember, our spouses often work all day in worldly settings and need time to grow relationships with other men at church.
14. Pray together daily with and without your children.
15. Be selfless and take on "extra" so that your husband can, for instance, attend those weekend conferences, go to night time Bible studies, help people at church move, and take someone through Partners (our church's one on one discipleship program).
These are just a few practical suggestions to encourage your husband in the Lord. In the moment, we often let exhaustion, frustration or selfishness keep us from allowing our husbands to flourish spiritually. Let this not be. Pray for God to strengthen you to be a helpmate in the most important manner--a spiritual helpmate. Pray that you can encourage your spouse effectively so he may one day hear Christ say, "Well, done, good and faithful servant."