The other day I sat in my prayer closet and called on God to give me humility as a wife. I always joke with Clay about how “amazing I am” and how “wonderful of a wife and mother I am”, yet somehow my ‘jokes’ had gotten to my head and I recognized the need for a humble posture. Right after I begged God to make me humble I was induced with sudden fear, caught up in thought of HOW God would make me humble. Seek and ye shall find, knock and the door will be opened. Eeks, what door had I just requested to be opened? Well, Thursday night at Bible study the door was flung open so hard it knocked me right on my butt and nearly brought me to tears.
Throughout our nearly 2 years of marriage I prided myself of being my husband’s helper, washing laundry, caring for our son, cleaning the floors, doing dishes, preparing dinners and even massaging his dry feet (sorry Clay). I felt that this was my job, and that’s where the line was drawn. He had his roles and I had mine and never the twain shall meet. I often commended myself for going above and beyond, initiating prayer, quiet time and reading the Bible together while simultaneously feeling discouraged and burdened by what I felt was his slack. If I was doing my job, why did I need to do his too?
The answer to my stinging question came not 2 days after asking to God to give me humility. Thursday night I came to Bible Study and as our leader for the summer series got up to speak she directed the conversation to marriage, though not all the women were married. She spoke honestly about how she struggled with feeling as though she was assuming her husband’s role, fulfilling a job she was never intended to fill. She had her job, he had his. Yes! I said in my mind, I’m clearly NOT the only one. Men. She then continued with telling us through that struggle God revealed to her something beyond her prior understanding. He shared with her that being a helper isn’t just helping with the home and with the family. Being a helper is an all encompassing job, coming to your husband’s side when he is not leading, when is not praying, when he is not seeking. If your husband is not leading, you step at his side and lead. When your husband is not praying, you step at his side and pray. When he is not loving, you love. YOU are called to step into his role when he isn’t.
Ouch, in my condemnation towards Clay for not stepping 100% into his role as leader I had turned a blind eye to myself and neglected him of everything I was SUPPOSED to be doing as his wife. I had then realized that even though Clay may not be doing his job completely, neither had I. Instead of stepping up with a pure heart I had grumbled, complained and even neglected to do what I was called to. My ‘awesomeness’ as a wife was quickly replaced with the humility I had asked for. Instead of pointing the finger at my husband and pointing out his faults I should have been coming to his side to help him, show him and encourage him. Helper was a bigger role than I had realized and more important than I could fathom. The message that night stung like a reprimand from a parent, but I was grateful to understand my fault.
After returning home that night I approached Clay, and through tears of shame I asked for his forgiveness for being the lame wife I was, for not giving him my all and for feeling superior in our marriage. I was overwhelmed with my own brokenness and the inefficiency with which I had been serving my husband and ashamed for giving myself undue credit. He quickly forgave me and that night we prayed together. It was wholesome, it was healing and it was promising. I was no longer delusional with who I thought I was and no longer consumed with making sure we were ‘evenly’ fulfilling our calling. I understood that even when his burden is heavy and he lays it down, I come by his side and carry it with him.