Every Tuesday we engage in one big question, topic or idea. You are invited to write in with a suggestion you want to share. I surely do not have all the answers but know that together we can generate some great conversation and have fun in the process. (Feel free to post your topics, questions, and your great thoughts in the comments below!) Together, we will stay informed and equipped about topics that matter!

Today’s Blog Contributor: 

Joddi-Jay Babcock

Joddi-Jay BabcockJoddi-Jay Babcock is an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God with over 25 years of church and non-profit organizational experience. She and her husband, Jonathan, reside in Grandview, Washington, where they have pastored Family Life Church for the past 16 years. They raised five children, and are the proud grandparents of twin girls. Joddi-Jay earned her Masters in Organizational Leadership, and is the Executive Director of Life Choices Yakima. In her free time, Joddi-Jay likes to write. Her blog is found at ThriveLeadershipResources.com

 

A Suitable Helper

This fall, my husband and I will celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. It doesn’t seem possible we have been married that long (time flies when you’re having fun), but the age of our children and now grandchildren testify to the fact.

Our relationship points to the miracle working power of our God. Jonathan and I love each other very much, but we are polar opposites in almost every way. And we both come from extremely dysfunctional families. The merging of our lives has often been messy business.

Many years ago when I was neck-deep in raising kids, I found myself in a place of frustration and dissatisfaction. As a ministry wife to a bi-vocational husband and a homeschool mom of five kids, including a daughter with special needs, life felt overwhelming. It was difficult balancing tasks and expectations. In fact, things didn’t seem balanced at all. I felt like a manager and maid instead of a wife, and extremely unappreciated. In hindsight, I acted like a mother to my husband, and a nagging one at that. Being the mother in your marriage does not lead to intimacy. Just saying.

One day, on a rare occasion of peace and quiet, I lamented to the Lord. I told Him how unhappy I was with my marriage and that I desperately needed Him to intervene. As I continued to complain, I sensed that He wanted to speak to me through His Word.
Suitable Helper
I turned to Genesis 2:18:

The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him” (NIV).

I was aware of the Holy Spirit gently correcting me, and yet I felt defensive.

“But God,” I protested. “I am trying my hardest to be a suitable helper, but it’s not working.”

“That’s because you’re being a helper suitable to yourself.”

His words stunned me. After a few minutes I asked, “What do you mean?”

“You’re being the kind of helper that you would like, not the kind your husband would like.”

More stunned silence. The Lord’s words sank into my heart and I realized they were true. I had spent years trying to be the best wife I could possibly be. But it had been according to my own standard. How could I have missed this? Despair washed over me, and I dared to ask, not really expecting an answer, “What am I suppose to do?”

But the answer came. “Just ask him.”

So I did. Through a series of painful and enlightening conversations, I learned what meaningful support looked like to my husband. Over time with the grace of God, I made adjustments. The shift in my approach renewed our marriage. As I sought to bless my husband in ways meaningful to him, I in turn became blessed.

This isn’t the end of the story. I’m a slow learner, and sometimes I regress. However, being a suitable helper for my husband has added rich meaning to our marriage. I encourage you to discover ways to be a suitable helper, and pray that you experience renewed joy in your marriage as well.

 


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