Wednesday, March 14, 2012

I am God's Gift to My Husband!

That's a pretty bold statement, isn't it?  After reading I Corinthians 11:9 this morning, I truly believe it.

"Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man."

God created women FOR men.  He created me FOR my husband.

So often, the biblical concepts of wives submitting to and helping their husbands is condemned.  "How out of date."  "How male chauvinistic!"  "That's only because the Bible was written by men who didn't value women!"

Even good-intentioned Christian leaders would have us believe that because of the Fall, one of the punishments was that women would have to serve their husbands.  Horror of horrors.

However, the Bible tells me that I am created for my husband...When I make something or buy something FOR someone and give it to them, it is normally thought of as a gift.  God made woman FOR the man.  He saw that Adam needed someone for companionship, for help, for, He made the woman for him and gave her to him.   That, my friend, is a gift.

Have you ever been given a gift of something you've been wishing for only to be soon disappointed because it didn't work, wasn't all you expected it to be, or it broke because it was cheaply made?  That is a bitter disappointment, to be sure.

Excuse the illustration I am about to use, but I think it shows the nature and need of men:

While men are often criticized for giving gifts that are useful (i.e. - blenders, vacuums, etc.), that is often because they enjoy getting gifts that they can use.  My husband and his dad bought a new combine last year.  It's large.  It's shiny.  It's green.  It's only a year old with few hours on it.  This combine was the greatest thing ever.  There was an adjustment period in learning how to use it, but because they knew it was going to enable them to get more crops harvested in less time and with fewer break-downs, they patiently learned to operate it.  They had the heads they needed for the crops they needed.  As soon as the wheat was ready, they took that baby out and were thrilled with the work it gave them.  It did everything they wanted it to do.  Nothing broke.  It got the job done.  When corn season came, they switched the grain head and they breezed through the fields.

Between the harvests and after the season was over, they spent a few days cleaning the combine - in and out.  While the days in the field had made it dirty, the guys put some time into it and soon the bold green paint was shining like it was the day it was delivered.  Once clean, the combine was put into the barn where it would be protected from the elements of fall and winter.  They know that by taking good care of their combine, they will benefit from many years of work (help) from it.  They know as the previous combine had lasted them 30 years, because of the care and labor they put into it.

While the combine wasn't necessarily a gift, it is something that my husband appreciates and loves.  Trust me, if it was a gift, I'm pretty sure he'd even be happier and take even better care of it!!  Anyway, not to compare women/wives to large pieces of farm machinery, but let's apply the illustration to biblical marriage.

The woman is a gift. If the brand new combine wouldn't start immediately or broke down often its first season and needed parts replacements every other day my husband would have been frustrated and severely disappointed.  While the combine may have, eventually, gotten the job done, it wouldn't have been what my husband was hoping for and it would probably cause crop damage due to delays. He would probably replace it by the next season.  So, also, the wife who argues, fusses, or is "high-maintenance" (that's just a nicer word for selfish) may get the job done, but her husband will not be happy.  He may be constantly considering getting a "new model."

The combine that just sits in the barn keeping its paint shiny & new-looking is of no use to the farmer.  There it sits while the crops rot in the field.  Again, so is the wife who thinks looking good for her man is enough.  Sure, he'll ooh and ahh when he first sees her, but after a while, this gorgeous woman will just make him angry or nauseous while he sees his house & his children falling apart or if he can't get a decent meal after a long day because she's been out getting her nails done, hanging out at the salon, or sun-bathing.

My husband likes the fact that his new combine looks so nice.  He likes the fact that it gets the job done even better.  My husband realizes that his combine will not always look so good.  It will begin to age.  Paint will fade or chip.  Dents will be found on its body.  He's ok with that.  Oh, he takes care of it so it won't happen more quickly than it should, but, as long as it's getting the job done without a lot of agony on his part, he doesn't really care too much how shiny it is.

Husbands appreciate their wives looking nice.  But, have you ever seen a man praise his wife for how she helps him?  He beams!  "She's a great mom!"  "She makes the best meals!"  "I'm so glad she takes care of house so I don't have to worry about it when I get home!"  "She's my best friend - I can talk to her about anything!"  I've seen husbands with gorgeous wives go around looking miserable, while husbands whose wives are homely, but cheerful and industrious look happy & content.

No one views the combine as an inferior part of farming.  It is essential.  Without it, the farmer would not be able to grow as many crops nor make as much profit.  However, when the harvest is done, it is not the combine that gets the credit, it's the farmer.  The only one who may appreciate the combine is, indeed, the farmer that owns it - the farmer who knows how much it helped him.  Again, so it is with a godly marriage.  It is not demeaning to us to help our husbands; we are essential to his life's work.  No, they aren't so incompetent as to say they couldn't ever live without us, but he wouldn't be able to do as much.  If we do our job well, we make their job easier, more profitable, and more pleasant.  The more we serve him, the more we fulfill his requests for our home, our children, our relationship with him...the more willing he'll be to treat us as we wish to be treated.   Men care for their prized gifts...the ones that prove themselves useful.

That may sound harsh.  It may be a over-simplified view of marriage, but, why do we make it so complicated?

To be fair, we'll flip the coin a bit.  There are men are irresponsible and don't care for the things given to them.  They get a new tool or piece of machinery, ooh & ahh over it, show it off to their friends, use it once or twice and then leave it on the ground to be rained & snowed on only to get upset & angry when it won't work for them the next season.  That man is a fool.  If he wants the tool to work for him, he must care for it.

The godly man will protect his wife from the cruel elements of this world.  He will see when he's putting too much of a work load on her and not strain her.  He will be sure to praise her and take care of her after she's put in a good day's work or has finished a project he needed done.  He will give her some rest and shelter via a date-night or a couple of hours of quiet.  A bit of care will go a long ways in keeping her going.

And, as a sweet, helpful, submissive wife ages, her husband may see the dents & the fading paint...but he'll appreciate her and care even more tenderly for her...just to keep her going with him.

Am I a gift that pleases or disappoints?  Knowing, now, that I am, indeed, a gift for my husband, I will put in even more effort to be one that pleases and meets all his expectations and desires.  God chose me above all others to give to this man.  I am not insulted; I am honored.

What about you?


LisaAnne1976 said...

Thank you Vicki for this beautiful reminder that I am a gift! Also that I need to be useful and helpful...You are a blessing and it was a beautiful example!! God bless you!

Kate said...

I love the idea that we are God's gifts to one another!! So often we don't view our spouses (or ourselves) in that light, but it changes our whole perspective when we do.

Great post!

Erin said...

Wow, Vicki. Thank you. So much wisdom, so well put. It should be our joyful honor to be his prized "possession". I am always blessed by reminders like this. Truly, I am privileged to be wife to my husband.