The help meet formula: 10 tips for wives

If you’re like me, you might have thought a formula exists. Man marries a woman, who is automatically designed to be that perfect little help meet. This concept is found in two verses in the Bible, Genesis 2:18 and 20b: And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.… but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.

We all know what “help” means. The difficulty is with the word “meet.” It has been translated as “suitable” and “compatible.”

So, what was Eve, after all?

She was Adam’s suitable companion, “a helper like himself.”* They were commanded to do the same things together, like tending the garden and taking care of it. But, Adam was the one that God addressed with His rules. Adam was responsible for Eve and the head of the family. (Genesis 3:9 God calls Adam’s name and asks for his explanation of their sin, then He questions Eve, verse 13.) They were in it together. Adam and Eve walked in the Garden together and communed with God. Later, they sinned together, hid together, made excuses together, and were punished together. God made fur clothing for both of them.

What does this teach us today?

How is a wife a help meet?

I am not sure there is a formula at all except for the idea that, in marriage, we’re in it together—and wives are supposed to be helpful.

Isn’t that profound?

Well, maybe it’s not the earthshaking “how to be a great wife” you wanted, but it’s what God tells us we’re created to be: suitable helpers.

Let’s make it practical.

How can I help my husband? I can:

  1. Speak kind words. She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness (Proverbs 31:26).
  2. Keep the home. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness (Proverbs 31:27).
  3. Be industrious. Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates (Proverbs 31:31).
  4. Look nice. She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple (Proverbs 31:22).
  5. Honor and respect my husband. The wife see that she reverence her husband (Ephesians 5:33b). She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life (Proverbs 31:12).
  6. Recognize him as the head of our home. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body (Ephesians 5:23).
  7. Love him. Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife (1 Corinthians 7:3-4).
  8. Understand my role in church services. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence (1 Timothy 2:12).
  9. Love  and respect God. A woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised (Proverbs 31:30b).
  10. Spread joy. And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD: it shall rejoice in his salvation (Psalm 35:9).

Let’s be suitable helpers for our husbands todayheirs together of the grace of life (from 1 Peter 3:7).

*from etymonline.com

Lord, I need help

Step One: admitting you have a need.

Step Two: going to the Lord with it.

Step Three: telling God all about it.

Step Four: giving thanks.

I know you have a need. No, I don’t have mental telepathy, and I might not even know you personally, but I’m sure you are needy. Everyone is.

Going to the Lord with your need is natural when you actually know Him.

There are several kinds of personal necessities, but we’ll put them in two categories:

  1. Knowing the Lord personally—Is Jesus your Savior? Have you been born again? You can’t know God until you have taken this step. Acknowledge your sin, that He is your only hope, and trust His death and resurrection to pay for your sins and give you new life. That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved (Romans 10:9-10, 13).
  2. Going to Him boldly with any concern—Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16).

Philippians 4:6 is an outline of how to go to God with our concerns. Be careful (full of care, anxious) for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication (asking) with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

What’s your personal need today?

The Lord wants to help you. What’s more, He promises to. But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19). God’s resources are limitless. He has no problem supplying your need, whatever it might be.

Pour your heart out to Him. Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah (Psalm 62:8).

Give your burden to the Lord. Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved (Psalm 55:22).

Thank Him for taking care of you. Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving (Colossians 4:2). Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen (from Revelation 7:12).

What’s the result of this kind of praying?

Inexplicable peace.

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7).

Being a perfectionist in the things that count

Are you a detail person?

Do you like everything just so?

Are you a person who tries to look perfect, keep a beautiful house, and be completely organized—perhaps above and beyond?

Do you get frustrated when you don’t hit your personal targets and goals?

You’re not alone!

By the way, who doesn’t like a clean, pretty home, nice hair and make-up, and being organized? Some of us only dream of it, but some—hats off to you—actually live that way.

I truly believe there’s sloppy and neat DNA. Some children are born organizers, and others are . . . “relaxed.” A man once told us about his mother-in-law, who “walked around with a cloth in her hand, wiping surfaces all day long.” He said he was afraid to move in her house. (I know his own mother keeps a spotless home, so you can imagine that this was excessive.) Others are quite comfortable not being able to walk across the floor without doing some kind of obstacle course maneuver. They move a pile of magazines to be able to sit down without batting an eye! Dust? What dust?

Everyone is a pocket perfectionist. There are things every person has to do in a certain way.

  • Think of the scientist who may not match his blazer to his shirt or tie, but this guy will never make a mistake in measurements.
  • How about the chef? The sauce is perfect. He knows just how much salt to sprinkle, how to brown the butter, how to simmer the onions so they caramelize. But, he doesn’t care if the living room has furniture or the fence gets fixed.
  • The author edits, re-edits, and she reads her sentences out loud. She asks friends for input. She wants to produce the next great masterpiece—or at least keep her readers entertained and flipping pages. She might totally overlook piling laundry and forget to iron.
  • A nurse is compassionate and efficient. She conserves movement and liberally expends her emotional energies. She works twelve-hour shifts and honestly doesn’t care if her bed gets made.

But, what about the always perfectionist? She’s the lady who has to have everything perfect all the time.

“Impossible,” you say. And, you’re right.

She’s set herself up for disappointment before she even begins. In seeking perfection, this woman is always looking at herself: her performance, her organization skills, her manicure, her make-up, her housekeeping, her decorating . . . her . . . own . . . life. She does think of others—after all, they’re the ones who see and judge all she accomplishes—but, she’s mostly thinking of her life. She’s selfish.

I used to have a magnet on my refrigerator. It said, “Self-ish or self-less?” Ouch.

Are you a perfectionist?

Do you hold yourself up to an almost impossible ideal?

Do you feel like you’re always lacking?

Moms think they need all kinds of advice, when all they need to do is follow God’s Word, the Bible, and learn from older women (Titus 2:3-5, below).

Women think they need to follow styles and look a certain way, when the Bible says, Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price (1 Peter 3:3-4). The heart matters much more than clothing and accessories.

Some women compare themselves to their impressions of others. Believe me, I’ve found out that some of the women who look very put-together don’t have everything in order. And, some of the scatterbrained and seemingly unorganized ladies do. (There are a few superwomen out there. I have met a few, and I could probably count all these phenomena on one hand.)

What does God want in a woman? What are His standards?

  • She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness (Proverbs 31:26).
  • A meek and quiet spirit (strength, self-control, and trusting God (1 Peter 3:4).
  • She’s gracious. A gracious woman retaineth honour (Proverbs 11:16a).
  • The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life (Proverbs 31:11-12).
  • She takes care of her household. (Proverbs 31:15, 21, 27)
  • She dresses nicely, but her character is the most important thing. She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple. Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come (Proverbs 31:22, 25).
  • She respects the Lord. Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised (Proverbs 31:30).
  • Older women are to be examples and teach younger women. The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed (Titus 2:3-5).

So, what should we strive for? Good character, a sweet attitude, wise and pleasant speech, responsibility, housekeeping, and learning from and teaching others.

A woman’s reward? Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised (Proverbs 31:28, 30).

“Sorry for your loss”

When a loved one has passed away, we hear, “Sorry for your loss.” Of course, we understand the phrase and sentiment behind those words. It’s an appropriate thing to say. The people left behind will grieve their loss—each in his own way.

A friend’s wife passed away, and many people said the same thing to him. He replied, “I didn’t lose my wife; I know where she is.” And, it’s true. This woman is with Jesus in heaven. Her husband knows her whereabouts.

Loss and grief, mourning, anger, and feelings of guilt over “what ifs” and “I wish I had” are part of everyone’s experience.

Death is certain. There’s no getting away from that awful consequence of sin. Everyone, sooner or later, will pass on. The Bible says, And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment (Hebrews 9:27).

And, we who are left behind grieve the loss of the people we love. It’s important to allow ourselves to process grief, recognize its phases, and by God’s grace, move forward—though we will always miss him.

I’d like to address the two kinds of loss:

  1. Loss with hope
  2. Loss forever

I personally have been through both kinds, and I can tell you it is much easier to face the loss of a loved one when I know I’ll see that person again. What I’m talking about is the difference between knowing you’re going to heaven and that your loved one is already there, and not being sure where your loved one is.

Let me insert a parenthesis. Only God can judge a heart. If your loved one has heard the gospel, you probably don’t know for sure whether or not he always rejected God’s mercy. Only God knows the heart. We may suppose that someone rejected salvation until the very end, but we probably can’t know for sure if that person cried out to the Lord for salvation in his last moments of consciousness or not. Only God knows.

Someone who’s gone ahead to heaven doesn’t have pain anymore. He’s also sinless, thanks to Jesus. He is joyful, praising, and has no need of anything. Though we grieve the loss down here on earth, we have the wonderful promise that we will see him again. We have the assurance that they’re in a better place and can even rejoice through our tears. But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13).

I’ve attended the funerals of several people who seemed not to have any interest whatsoever in the Lord, who lived their lives in the pursuit of pleasure and chained to addictions, and who—from what we could tell—rejected God until the end of their lives. (One probably never heard the gospel; the others had.) These are the saddest occasions. (Again, we’re not God, and only He knows if those who had heard the gospel responded at the very end of their lives.) As a born again person, I don’t know that I will ever see them again. I grieved profoundly.

The most important thing you can do for your family is make sure you know you’re going to heaven when you die and to help your family know, as well. You can know. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God (1 John 5:13).

Do you have eternal life? Have you believed on Jesus? Have you accepted His payment for your sins?

Before your passing, make sure your family knows where to find you. Make sure your new home will be heaven.

Listening to little girls

Are young people being exploited in order to change public opinion?

I think so.

Greta Thunberg is a just-turned seventeen-year-old climate activist. How did this happen? She began by sailing across the Atlantic Ocean twice in order to attend climate change summits. She has addressed the U. N. and other important international bodies. She’s smart and passionate and obviously believes the earth is in dire trouble.

I’m reminded of Malala, the Afghan girl who also addressed the United Nations at sixteen years of age—after having being shot by the Taliban and mostly recovering from her wounds. She rose to prominence as an advocate for girls’ education at a very young age. (See The Malala Effect, written by yours truly. You can access it, here.)

They’ve been hailed as heroes—which I would agree they are. Not many young girls have crossed the Atlantic solo or promoted the cause of female education while in an Afghani grade school.

But, I’m wondering if adults aren’t setting these young women up as experts and exploiting their innocence in order to accomplish their own goals. Who is speaking through these mini-activists? I’m not sure.

There are quite a few more. In fact, in the court case Juliana versus the United States, a group of 21 children, some as young as eleven, has won the right to go to trial, suing the U. S. government over climate change.

Think about it: what kind of maturity and discernment did you have at sixteen? (I shudder to think about my own “incredible wisdom.”) Even brilliant people have very little maturity at that age.

Yet, these young ladies and children are the spokespersons of the world. For climate issues, why not consult a scientist with a PhD? Do we not want to listen to those who seriously know what they’re talking about?

Or do we prefer the fresh innocence and passion of youth?

Granted, young, smart women offer the wow factor—especially accomplished young ladies like Malala and Greta.

But, maybe we should be getting advice from older, wiser sources. Maybe the U.N. chould give the platform to scholars and scientists, people who have proved themselves over many years.

I don’t know.

It just seems a little strange to put teenagers on the world stage.

I’m not surprised someone helped Malala withdraw from the spotlight and concentrate on her university studies.

I sincerely hope someone helps Greta do the same.

The Bible speaks of young people being wise and their parents therefore being happy. It also tells us the source of wisdom: The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding (Proverbs 9:10). I pray for both Malala and Greta to find that holy wisdom in their hearts. I would love for them to know the Lord. I believe, as a result, Greta would become less strident and angry. A godly woman’s speech is filled with kindness.

It’s interesting that when God gives the qualifications for pastors and deacons—the leaders in the church—He wants them to be mature. I don’t think this necessarily applies to children speaking out about a cause, but it’s interesting that leadership comes from mature, practiced-and-proved men. One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil (1 Timothy 3:4-7).

To whom do you listen: a seasoned veteran or a young teen?

Do you believe these children and teens have been exploited? If so, does this bother you?

Your thoughts? Please feel free to share.