Is it only that wives are meant to help their husbands? Are men called to help their wives?
It isn’t commonly viewed as scriptural, but I believe husbands need to be a helper to wives just as wives are called to help their husbands, if we are all to fulfill our callings and to experience personal fulfillment too.
In the 21st century, while there is still evidence of chauvinism, it is pretty much established to be socially incorrect to be so. Whether it’s women putting down men for not being sensible about child care, or men putting down women for shortcomings, it is taboo to do so in most Western circles today.
Scripture is relatively clear on this when it comes to marriage and sums up the spousal relationship this way:
‘Men love your wives, wives submit to (or respect) your husbands.’
The full version is found in Ephesians 5:
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word,27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord doesthe church. 30 For we are members of His body,[d] of His flesh and of His bones. 31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”[e] 32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
Now you can identify many ways that a man can love his wife. I believe being a helper to her is one of them.
Now the help meet/help mate/helper part comes from Genesis 2:
18 And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.”
Whatever translation you choose to enjoy, what I want to draw attention to is that men need to be helpful in order to achieve all God has them to do. And so do women.
Both spousal partners need to know they are loved and respected by the other. Sometimes the LORD God calls us into the unknown, and the only support we have is from our spouse; sometimes, simply showing faith in our spouses is incredibly helpful to them and it’s what they need in order to accomplish God’s calling. Sometimes our spouse is the sincere friend who tells us like it is, or encourages us when we feel defeated. Always, we need to be able to rely on the love and support of our spouse. For, when that is in tact, we can feel the confidence to move the mountains the LORD allows in order to grow our character and to fulfill His calling.
Fulfilling the call of God is a challenge that invigorates, inspires, nourishes and engages us in life; a sense of purpose gives us the perseverance to carry on through the difficult times in life. But the love of the one nearest to us gives us the courage and hope to persevere, even when all else fails. Each of us has a call in this life. We who are married need to help the spouse we’ve chosen to fulfill his/her call just as much as he/she needs to help us to fulfill ours.
Grace to give and to receive is valuable – and to be valued. Love and grace are closely linked. So let us love one another and be gracious, helpful and kind, so that in all things we mirror the love God has shown us, so that the world will see our love and God will be glorified.
Grace and peace to you in your life, marriage and all relationships.