I do realize that as some wives read this, they may be a bit taken aback by the title for the third principle of The WifeCode, and for various reasons. For some wives, the thought of having to assume a more subservient role in the marriage is enough to make her want to scream.
To assume a more subservient role in marriage requires a wife to serve her husband. It’s understood that her purpose in the marriage is to work inside of the home…to maintain the household by completing all the domestic duties that come with it—cook…clean…take care of the children…do laundry…yada-yada…etc.…all while the husband goes out into the world make a living so that he can provide for/take care of his family.
When we look at what it means to serve in this context, and then couple that view with the reality of how far women have come with respect to securing equal rights and freedoms since the days of old when a woman’s existence and survival were contingent on a man “choosing” her, the idea of a woman serving a man in any context can arguably set women’s progress back at least sixty years; but hear me out on this one.
Regardless of what your personal beliefs and opinions are about a wife’s role in marriage, the truth of the matter is that, as wives, we were called to serve our husbands. While the concept of marriage has remained constant over time, the concept of servitude has become somewhat skewed as the definition of marriage and thoughts about traditional marriage roles have changed over time.
As women, we embody a certain level of duty and responsibility to upholding the true purpose for marriage; one that transcends time and space. As wives, we must use our ability to use that duty and responsibility to leverage our power in our marriages because our power in intrinsically tied to our willingness to and our attitude toward service; which is why the Third Principle of The WifeCode will take a deeper look at what it means to serve in marriage through the eyes of a helpmeet.
Reconnect With Your Inner Helpmeet
When we think of the term “helpmeet,” our thoughts tend to lean toward the Bible because of the association of the term “helpmeet” with the story of Adam and Eve and Creation. In the traditional sense of the word, we’re taught that as wives, our primary responsibility is to be a “helpmeet” to our husband—that we are to be his helper…his companion…his partner…his “other half” …etc. In striving to be all that the term “helpmeet” implies, us women get so caught-up in trying to be everything to all of the people in our lives, simultaneously, that we lose sight of the importance and the value that we add to the one person who matters most—our husband. If we’re not careful to check our motives and our intentions, all our “helpful” actions will create an imbalance that, if unchecked, will cause a serious rift in our marriages, Ladies.
So, “how will reconnecting with my inner helpmeet help me to unlock my power in my marriage,” you ask? The key-to-the-key here is to RECALIBRATE the balance in your marriage by doing the things that helpmeets do. Start by rethinking the motives and intentions that govern the way you interact with and relate to your husband.
Are your motives and intentions being driven by your underlying desire to get your way in a specific situation, causing you to act a certain way or say certain things? If this is the case, you may want to refer to the Second Principle of The WifeCode for insight on the importance of learning how to fight fair in the heat of the moment. Next, you must engage in an act of honest self-examination to determine whether you are truly serving to help or to hinder your marriage, based on what you discover about yourself as you look within to find the answers that you seek.
In understanding how traditional marriage roles have evolved over time, I’ve learned that being a helpmeet is not so much about bowing-down in subservience to your husband’s every whim as it is about understanding the context and virtue with which women were created while recognizing that our capacity to serve is by giving so freely of ourselves for the benefit of others is our superpower. The key is to learn how to strike the balance between servitude and ___ to truly leverage our power in our marriages.
Here are two ways that you serve your husband by showing him that you respect his role and what he contributes to the marriage in much of the same way as you want him to respect you and your contributions. Trust me, he WILL notice your efforts, and he’ll love you even more for doing so!
- Stand by Your Man: Ladies, in the same way that we want to feel supported by our husbands, our husbands need to feel that same level of support from us. We need to make sure that our husbands know that we’re there for them, and that they’re not alone in the struggle—whatever the struggle might be. Although you might not agree with everything that your husband might say or do…and vice-versa…you should always stand in unity with your husband; ESPECIALLY concerning any issue that serves to threaten the foundation of your marriage or your family. In other words, keep outsiders on the outside of your marriage, and never let them witness you not having your man’s back. Your focus should always be on building a relationship with your husband that feeds his spirit and nourishes his soul in such a way that he won’t have room to question your loyalty to him because your loyalty will be reinforced by everything that you do to help him to be a better, stronger man.
- Take Care of Home: When women of a certain age hear the phrase “take care of home,” there’s an unspoken tidbit of advice embedded in the wording that basically suggests that, as a woman, you should keep your man satisfied, pleased, and fulfilled because if you won’t, someone else will. While a healthy sex life is of utmost importance in any marriage, taking care of home is about more than making sure that you serve up hot sex on a platter every night. While our husbands need us to fulfill our wifely duties and take care of their sexual needs, they also need us to take care of the needs of the house itself. A man’s home is his castle, and, as wives, we must have the skills and the ability needed to maintain his castle. As wives, we need to take care of home, literally. We have to flex our domestic muscles so-to-speak…keep the house clean…keep the laundry cleaned and pressed…keep the stove hot with home-cooked meals…attend to your children…maintain a stress-free environment in your home…etc. etc. We need to cover ALL of our bases, Ladies. Taking care of home might sound like something out of the 50s with all the talk about housekeeping and all—ESPECIALLY to the modern woman of today—but again, this is what’s really real when it comes down to it. Oh…and never leave your husband uncovered because there will be another woman somewhere standing at-the-ready to offer him a blanket.
Wives, playtime is over. It’s time for us change our mindset about service. It’s time for us to shift the emphasis away from the negative connotations associated with the thought of serving our husbands to focusing on the manifestation of a stronger relationship with our husbands. This will happen as soon as we realize that our power is intrinsically connected to our willingness to serve, and must be leveraged as such.
To achieve this, we must make sure that our husbands: (1) feel that we support them; (2) know beyond a shadow-of-a-doubt that we’re in-it-to-win-it with them; and, (3) believe that ALL of their needs are being met. We have to get back-to-basics when it comes to shoring-up the foundation of our marriages by being the one thing to our husbands that no other woman can be—his helpmeet.
Stay tuned for the Fourth Principle of The WifeCode, which will focus on the importance of appreciation. In the meantime, keep the conversation going. Join TheWifeFiles e-mail list today to receive each principle directly in your inbox as soon as it’s released! Thank you in advance for subscribing, as well as for following.
Photo Credit: © Creative Commons Zero (CC0)