Well, now that I have your attention, let’s talk about building that house from the ground up, throwing out the garbage, and living like women of integrity.
Since I wrote the first article, Housework: You’re Doing It Wrong, I have been accused of being too harsh. Some have said that I am cold and calculating. Even horribly “unromantic” about the idea of what it means to be a wife.
A few people said I must be “settling for my husband” or just biding my time, making the best of what life has given me because I have seen that the dissolution of our marriage would leave me in a very, very difficult position.
That means we are having the same conversation. And frankly, you’re right. I couldn’t possibly do better than the man who has dedicated himself to loving me for 23 years. There isn’t a man on the planet who could fill his shoes. I will fight every demon of my base nature to honor him and the life we have built together.
I’m tired of having blood on my hands because people I love are falling apart and I’ve been too afraid to speak the truth. Women need to hear there are real-life consequences to blindly following the impulses of an impetuous and emotionally driven nature.
Truth is often harsh. And cold. And calculating.
Unromantic? Let’s be frank. The nuts and bolts of aging men and women trying to pretend they are a 20 something hotness on the market as they frantically scramble for the last vestiges of youth to shore up failing sexual value?
You know what is sweet, and soft, and pretty? All the roses and chocolates and caresses appealing to that flagging ego and a diminished sense of self-worth?
The guy who wants to use you and throw you out because middle-aged women are easy targets for no strings attached sex. He’s really romantic. He whispers all those things in your ear you’ve been desperate to hear. Those sweet nothings that your dogged husband, working 60 hours a week to provide for you and your children, doesn’t have the energy to speak. The woman who gives him all that he wants for those brief stolen moments because she lives without the responsibility and weight of wife and mother? That’s romantic.
Deception. Lies. Pride.
None of those are worth the pixels it takes to make them and they certainly won’t be a good foundation for your marriage.
That is to be rotten to the core.
Nothing strong is built on softness. Nothing sturdy is built on romance.
Castles are made of stone, blood, sweat, and tears. But castles last for centuries.
A good house needs a foundation. We know this. Yet, all too often we underestimate the value of a cornerstone and solid construction. We think shifty ideals are what passes for the importance of a steady and immovable base.
We are wrong. We are all wrong.
Understanding how to build a stable home and family starts with believing it is critical for Christian women to be aligned to the nature and purpose of their foundational destiny. That distinct and separate identity that men and women were constructed to become. Our eternal nature, from the beginning, was woven into our very DNA by the fingertips of God. Who the hell are you to say differently?
Regardless of whatever era we are in, whichever stage of life, the beginning of strength is to accept, respect and diligently live the roles God intended for us.
Do you even know what women were made for or what their purpose is and was and will be?
Modern and conventional wisdom says human beings were created to be autonomous. Most churches preach that we are first to have a relationship with God and then everything else falls into place. Magically.
But that’s actually not accurate. For God, as a response to a very real problem, designed women with a single thought; Man was alone and that was not good.
We were created so men would not be alone. Not to be all the things God forgot to put into the man so we would be superior to him. We were created to be the opposite of man with the mandate to help.
We were created to help. Not just anyone. Not everyone.
She was created to help Him.
That’s it. The big reveal. Case closed.
Whatever life you’ve been given, woman, your design is to help. To support. To build up. Sure we can do all kinds of other things. But nothing speaks to the subatomic level of our nature than when we resolutely respond to the responsibility and privilege of helping the man with whom we have been given the honor of sharing life.
We weren’t created to have dominion over the earth, name animals, or even be the first one to have fellowship with God. We were designed, the woman was created, so the man wouldn’t be alone. (Genesis 2:18)
See, it plays out like this. Adam being alone was Not Good and both of them together was God’s plan. God saw it. Adam knew it. We see it every day.
Anyone who says differently is a liar.
Let us consider the biblical timeline:
God made all the heavens and the earth and all the things in them and then He made Adam and it was fantastic.
He tells Adam, Dirt Man, all about the place and gives him the grand tour. He gives Dirt Man all the parameters for how to live including the expectations for his work and living situation.
So, Adam does all the things. He’s a busy man. But something is missing. Before Adam could even articulate his need, God saw it and made a plan.
GOD observes that Dirt Man shouldn’t be alone. He needed an Ezer, a helper. So GOD chose to do something about it. He made a Helper for him.
While Dirt Man was waiting for something he didn’t know could exist and couldn’t possibly have imagined, he kept doing what he had been created to do. Rule the earth. Care for the creation. Fellowship with God.
Dirt Man wasn’t one to sit around complaining that all the women were gone and there were convoluted conspiracies whose sole purpose was to make his life a living hell. There were no movements and critical harpies set to deprive him of all the beautiful wonderful sex he’d always dreamed of with the perfect woman of his fantasies.
The man got to work and lived fully the life and occupation God had given him.
In fact, he worked so hard and was so good at his job, he fell into a “deep sleep” and that’s when God did all the work and created Ish-hah, or “opposite of man” to be his helper.
Then Dirt Man and Opposite of Man Who Is His Helper stood before God and Dirt Man proclaimed the terms of their relationship.
Before she said a word.
So. What are those parameters that Dirt Man recognized and established?
Oh, side note… God didn’t say this stuff. Dirt Man did. Dirt Man said what marriage should be.
Are you following me?
The man decided what family would look like and the first dictate he says is:
Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. And the man shall loosen himself from his parents and shall pursue, join to, follow closely, catch by pursuit the one who is the opposite of himself and they shall be united in their flesh.
Want to know something weird?
That word, “flesh” is “basar” and it can be a euphemism for “the male organ of generation”.
So, to be clear:
Men leave their families and women, and by joining together, she becomes part of him.
He does not conform to her.
He was created to lead. To provide. To work. To do all the things that she was NOT created to do.
She was created to join him.
How did he know about mothers and fathers and the need for cleaving? The whole one flesh concept? How did he understand that a woman would have the privilege and honor of becoming a literal, personal, and intimate extension of himself? A role that no other created being could ever fulfill. How did he know it would become his weight of responsibility to care for her and provide for her?
How did he know that was how it should be?
Maybe these were the things God talked to him about while he was walking in the cool of the evening. Or maybe, after watching how God had established the order of all of the creation, he simply recognized the nature of the bonded mate relationship and declared what he observed to be true.
Beavers and wolves, swans and baboons, and all the other animals that mate for life are lead by the male.
She was created to follow him, as a reflection of himself, and to help.
That’s about as counter-cultural as it gets.
Not only are we supposed to take on the husband’s parameters for his home, we are to give up our separate identity to become part of a larger identity, his.
That’s where we start.
That’s the first part of the foundation.
Hey, girlfriend? If you can’t agree to that?
Don’t get married. You aren’t willing to comprehend the basics.
Why do you believe for a second that you could be trusted with the heavy lifting?
If you are married and you want to live without dishonor before God?
It’s time to be Ish-hah Ezer.
The Opposite of Man Who is His Helper.