Mark's (the guy) wild hair and ruddy face often welcomed us at the door to the elementary school where our small start-up church met. It was a small community and everyone knew everyone, we visited each other's homes, we held each others babies...there were not a lot of resources but there was a TON of intimacy and fellowship. I loved that about that church.
Mark's son's were a bit older (teenagers), his wife ran her own business, he worked hard as an electrician to meet his family's needs. He was the kind of guy, you could tell from his face, that knew a thing or two about life.
The gift he bestowed on Scott was likely one of those nuggets of wisdom he had learned through his years and experience as dad and husband. He jovially presented Scott with the gift in church one Sunday. It was a sign that said...
The sign is floating around the house somewhere...We seem to come across it at random moments and end up joking about it for several days. We always intend to hang it up and then it finds its way back to a corner of our basement before we get a chance to do so. Scott would probably tell you that there is more truth to that sign than to anything else he has learned in his life as a husband and a father...
I'm not so sure I'm happy he feels that way...
The last time it was out and about and making it's way into prominent spots in our house (jokingly on top of the counter or a workbench or some other place one of us would place it as evidence for the other), I remember being a quite convicted by that little sign.
I know that when that nice guy from church gave the sign to Scott it was meant to be in jest at the life and the relationship that typically ends up coming to fruition between men and women, especially after they have children: Nagging wife...Henpecked husband.
Wife has a honey do list. Wife wants football turned off. Wife wants help with a meal, or vacuuming the floor. Wife wants husband to be more gentle with the children, more engaged with their discipline, more spiritual, more hands-on, more in tuned with all of the details going on in her head at any given moment of any given day.
Basically...according to the sign...if man does all of the things we want of him, then we will be happy and life will be good.
How's that approach working for you? I know it hasn't been super successful over in this little corner of the world.
That sort of mentality does not really seem to lead to a happy life...it simply seems to lend itself to a husband who feels undervalued and not appreciated...maybe a little bit sarcastic and resentful at the expectations set for him. It lends itself to a wife feeling self-righteous and deserving and frustrated that her husband is not meeting her unachievable expectations.
At the end of the day...it's just plain selfish.
"But for Adam no suitable helper was found," says Genesis 2:20b. "So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of man's ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God mad 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 untied to his wife and they will become one flesh."
I am convicted by the words of that sign. But I am even more convicted by the words of God. We were created to be our husband's helper...Not the other way around, which is how we ironically often like to see it.
This week I'm going to make it a priority to ask my guy if there are any ways that I can help him? He's probably going to be so shocked that he might fall right over and onto the floor.
More than likely he will get a broad smirk across his face because he'll know that I recently read something, or heard something, or was convicted by something that I know I should be doing...He might even guessed that I've blogged about it and now need to follow my own advice....I'll smile back and say, "I know babe, I'm trying."
Meanwhile, I may just try to unearth that sign from our basement this week. I'm going to put it in my office...a space in which the sign will be meant not for my husband and how he should be approaching our relationship, but a reminder to me that I have the power to bring happiness into my household simply by, well, being happy...
Sometimes that's a choice. Sometimes that's a feeling. Always it should be the aim of our actions as women who set the stage as the 'barometers of our homes' (not sure who said that, but I love it's implications).
Be a happy helper this week and see for yourself if it doesn't lend itself to creating a happier life.
Little Writer Momma
P.S. On Mondays the idea is to offer thoughts, ideas and suggestions on how we can be better wives, moms and quite simply, women in general...If you have a recent post that in some way, shape or form, does that, please link up here! (I.e. it could be a way you are teaching the Bible to your children, thoughts on how to manage your emotions, eat healthier, provide healthier meals for your family, organize your house...etc, etc. etc....the list of ways we "better" ourselves and our homes is long and broad...so feel free to link up and hopefully encourage someone else along the way!