Chapter 6: Lies Women Believe About Marriage
Day 3: A Virtuous Woman
Lie #23: “My husband is supposed to serve me.”
I know it’s been a while, but I’m back! And since it’s been a while, let’s recap what we’ve learned so far about marriage:
-Having a husband will not suddenly make me happy and satisfied.
-It’s not my husband’s job to make me happy.
-People will eventually fail me; God never will.
-I can’t change or “fix” my husband.
-I must surrender to God’s control in my life.
-God uses difficult people and circumstances in my life to shape me and remake me.
-I must let people be people and God be God.
It’s important to point out, once again, how all of these truths are built on the foundation of what we believe about God. If we do not believe that God is good, that He loves us, that He is in control, then we will never surrender to His work in our lives, never experience the joy of letting go, or the peace of contentment that comes from gratitude.
And just as these truths about marriage are built upon the truth of who God is, each of these marriage truths build on each other. We cannot understand the faulty thinking of expecting our husbands to serve us if we don’t first see that the purpose of marriage is glorify God, that marriage is about giving 100% to the other person, and ultimately, that I come last, because I trust God to satisfy me.
What’s wrong with a woman wanting to be served by her husband? Perhaps nothing; perhaps everything. At first glance, this lie, “My husband is supposed to serve me,” seems fairly harmless. But as with all lies, its implications are dangerous and far reaching. Let’s dig in.
The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.
But for Adam no suitable helper was found. 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 then 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.”
That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.
In this passage, we see that God not only created Adam and Eve differently (which we all remember pretty well, I’m sure), but also that Adam and Eve were given different jobs – they were created for different purposes. While they shared one purpose, to enjoy a relationship with God, they each had a separate job that God assigned to them. In verse 15, we read that God gave Adam the job of taking care of Eve, the animals, and the earth. But Eve, according to verse 18, was created to be his helper.
Now I know this might ruffle a few feathers, but let’s go ahead and be honest about what God’s design was: Eve’s job was to help her husband succeed at his job. Her life centered on his.
God gave Eve a great responsibility to help her husband. And He gives us that same responsibility today. But far too many women are more interested in taking from their husband than giving to him. This reveals idolatry – countless women place unrealistic expectations on their husbands that are rooted in their own selfish desires.
The role of a godly wife is to serve her husband; the role of the husband is to love and provide for his wife.
Let’s go back to what we determined previously: in order for my marriage to succeed, I must give 100%. How much room is there for taking? None! Because focusing on rights is what destroys relationships. Joy is the result of being a giver and looking for ways to benefit others.
Is it wrong to desire that your husband do the laundry? It is when you begin to expect it, demand it, and get angry when he doesn’t.
Is it wrong to wish that he would make dinner? Maybe, maybe not. Are you willing to sin if he doesn’t? Or sin to get him to do it?
The mark of a mature Christian is to be a giver, not a taker. And this is most clearly demonstrated in the home, because it is the hardest at home. We often take those close to us for granted, and are quick to place expectations and become frustrated when they aren’t met. Instead, we must make a concerted effort to look for ways to give, not take, while we’re home with our family. If you cannot be a giver in the relationships closest to you, you will never be able to give to the least of these, whom you do not know.
It’s easy to find excuses to be self-indulgent in life. We’re experts at finding justification to make demands on other people. Sometimes it’s because we’ve had a rough day; sometimes we feel we deserve it because we think we’ve been taken advantage of. Regardless, our reasoning always reveals a selfish mindset and motivation. The problem we have is not really that our husbands didn’t take the trash out, or that they left their dirty clothes in the middle of the room. What we really have is a God problem; we’ve slipped back into the mindset that marriage is for our own personal benefit, and that it’s our husbands job to make us happy, and that means serving us, benefiting for us, and working for us.
Our service to our husbands must start with understanding that we are God’s servants. And if we’re God’s servant, than we are to serve everyone. Consider Jesus’ example – He came to serve and humbled himself greatly in order to love others, to put their needs above His own. And we are called to follow in His steps.
“Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
If you begin to feel as though you’re being taken advantage of, it’s time to ask yourself who you’re serving and why. Are you serving yourself? Are you serving your husband in order to get something in return? Or are you serving God, and letting Him reward you?
If you are tired and had a bad day, it’s time to ask yourself who you’re serving and why. Will you trust God’s grace, to be obedient to Him by continuing to give even when you feel empty?
There’s a song that goes,
I am tired, I am drained, But the fight in me remains
I am weary, I am worn, Like I’ve never been before
This is harder than I thought, Harder than I thought it’d be
Harder than I thought, Takin’ every part of me
But empty’s never felt so full
This is what love Feels like
Poured out, used up, still givin’,
Stretching me out to the end of my limits
This is what real love Feels like
You don’t really know how to love until you love when you don’t feel like it. And you’re not really a giver until you give when you’ve got nothing left. Because that’s when grace comes in.
When you become determined to give and to be proactive to put others before yourself, to bless, encourage, and provide for those God has given to you, He has promised to take care of you and reward you. The only question is will you trust Him?
When I feel taken advantage of, when I’ve had a rough day, and when I just want to take, take, take, I must take the time to seek God, surrender my rights and desires, and let Him satisfy me, reward me, and encourage me. And then I can can begin to have compassion, empathy, and love. I can begin to give.
My father is a pastor, and for any of you who think that’s an easy, part-time job, I’ll just go ahead and let you know, it’s not. My mom also has worked in the ministry alongside him in various ways throughout the years. Yet, even with working full-time (really, all-the-time), she has always made the home a priority, and has been committed to make our home a refuge and a place of rest for my dad. I remember hearing my mom talk about this years ago. She said it was her goal to make sure that home was a place where he didn’t have to work, worry, or stress. And if that meant that she had to do some extra stuff, stay up late, or get up early, it was worth it, because she wanted him to be able to rest so that he could be more efficient in his relationship with God, his relationship with others, and his responsibilities throughout the day.
Some wives have done the opposite, and have made their home more stressful than work, and many husbands have a sense of dread at what will happen when they walk in the door. The nagging, complaining, and venting wears them out and tears them down. Neither the husband or the wife wins.
So what does it look like to make your husband succeed?
Maybe it means you don’t start complaining about your day as soon as you see him.
It could mean you watch football instead of a cooking show.
It’s taking the trash out yourself.
It means you don’t complain when he forgets to throw his laundry in the basket.
It’s when you take the time to ask him what he wants, instead of telling him what you want.
It means listening first, and talking last.
And when you get to where you don’t expect or demand that he serve you, you can be surprised and grateful when he does. And let’s be real: men like to do things to bless their wives. They DON’T like being guilted into doing things for their wives. When you become a servant to your husband, you will begin to empower him to be a better man before God, before you, and before others. And you’ll find joy in serving that you didn’t think was possible; because joy isn’t found in demanding instant gratification; it’s found in trusting God and having the faith to do the hard things first. The reward of delayed gratification is so much greater than you can imagine.
I dare you to try it.
- You can never out-give God.
- God created women to be helpers.
- Focus on rights destroys relationships and testimonies.
- Joy is the result of being a giver and finding ways to serve others.
- We are servants to Christ and to others.
- Love is about giving, not taking.
- Christian maturity is evidenced by how much you give.
- Feminism and the Christian Woman
- Marriage – It’s Not Give & Take
- I Know My Rights!
- 10 Ways You Might Be Disrespecting Your Husband
In a word: passionate. About Jesus, church, ministry, music, reading, family, friends, and sometimes even iced skinny soy mochas.