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As wives, we each are called to be our husband’s helpmate. I regularly live this out in my home by managing the day-to-day tasks of running a household and caring for our children.
But being a helpmate is about much more than making sure the kids are alive, the house isn’t a disaster area, and there’s food in the fridge. It’s about lightening my husband’s load so he’s free to carry the burden of leading and providing for our family. It often involves being a listening ear, a wise voice, and an encouraging cheerleader.
Sometimes, I may be a buffer in a difficult relationship, a sounding board for work-related ideas, or an advisor when a situation seems unclear. At other times, a seemingly impossible situation will be placed in my husband’s life, and I’ll feel like a very helpless helpmate.
Even though I may be my husband’s trusted friend and advisor, there are some burdens I simply cannot carry. Whether the situation is personal, relational, professional, or spiritual, some things must be struggled through.
I still can be a listening ear, but my words seem to lack the necessary wisdom. The easy answer to the problem at hand doesn’t come so easily, and I may begin to feel a bit hopeless.
Neither Helpless Nor Hopeless
It is important for me (and you, too!) to remember that we are not helpless or hopeless. How can I be sure of this when everything around me is so uncertain? Because the God who called me to be a helpmate is neither helpless nor hopeless.
Although in my own strength I really am pretty helpless, the cross is a source of grace and hope. Every situation in my husband’s life has been placed there by the loving hand of a sovereign God, and I have been placed at his side by that same loving and sovereign hand. No mistakes. No accidents.
When Feeling Inadequate for the Task. . .
Pray about the difficulty. Pray for your husband’s wisdom. Pray before you speak. Pray before you act.Pray without ceasing.
2. Carry any burdens you can.
You might not be able to fix the particular problem your husband is facing, but you can look for other ways to serve him. Instead of expecting him to remember to take out the trash, pick up the dry cleaning, and call the cable company, take the jobs upon yourself when possible. Give him a few less things to worry about.
3. Let your love overlook your husband’s faults.
Be understanding if the stressful situation is occupying his mind, requiring his time, or causing him to be easily irritated. Remember that we are all sinners. Shower him with grace and forgiveness.
4. Don’t expect your him to be just like you.
I like to talk (and talk, and talk, and talk….) about the problems on my mind. My husband, on the other hand, prefers less talking and more thinking. I often have to consciously zip my lips and let him work things out in his own way (no matter how frustrating that might be!).
5. Do not be the voice of negativity.
Seek to promote healing, not stir the pot. It is so very easy to point out the other person’s faults, bring up how unfairly your husband was treated, or look for the dark cloud behind the silver lining. Don’t feed bitterness. Instead, look for the positives and point your husband’s heart to the cross.
6. Love and encourage.
Tell your husband that you love and appreciate him. Physically show him that you love and appreciate him. Thank him for all he does to care for your family. Let him know that you are behind him, that you trust him, that you care about him. Avoid criticism and seek to build him up.