original photo by Lighter Focus Photography
It may look different in your house than it does in mine, being an ezer wife. We’ll get to what being an “ezer” actually means in a bit, but just know that this is an opinion piece and what works for me and my husband may not work for you. May this be a guide for you, a conversation starter. May this be something you put on your heart and pray about, and then decide what being an ezer in your home looks like specifically.
As this is my fourth wedding anniversary I need to take a moment and brag on my man. He’s totally awesome, guys. Why God blessed me with this man, I still haven’t figured out. Get this, he loves to cook. Loves it, and I don’t mean sitting by the grill (which he also loves), I mean slicing and dicing cooking. He’s a great communicator, he kisses me tenderly. He kills all the scary bugs. He hangs the pictures straight, tells me I’m beautiful and cuddles every night. My wife job is pretty easy.
I still have those days though, or moments, when being a wife isn’t so easy. Being a good wife isn’t so easy. Maybe you feel like most of your days are that way. You’ve lost sight of what you need to do to keep your marriage flourishing, or maybe just to keep in afloat. Life has taken over and your husband feels more like a roommate and less like a lover, a friend, a companion. You’re worried that the kids have seen or heard you fighting too often. Communication has gotten off track and you feel more like his mom than his beautiful bride.
I think we need to stop right where we’re at in marriage and rewind. Going back to our wedding day may be where you think we are stopping, bringing back those memories and those feelings may work. For a short time. But I’m not talking about wedding days here. You see, those feelings you felt on that very special day were feelings. And feelings change. Am I right? For a brief moment, recall those feelings from your wedding day. Tremendous joy. Overwhelming excitement. A bit of nervousness. Overflowing love.
Do you still feel that way today, yesterday, tomorrow? Maybe not. You see love is not a feeling, it’s a choice. Some days we don’t have to choose to love our husbands, we just do. It comes so easily we don’t even think about it. But there are days, there will be days in which we will have to choose to love him. Because facing the alternative could be far worse than choosing love. Are you with me?
Ladies, I’m taking us way back, past the wedding day, past the dating years. Way before our time, the creation story.
Don’t leave me now, dearest. Despite what you might think these words may be for you today. Even though my marriage is in a pretty sweet spot right now, these words are for me today. These words were for yesterday and they’re definitely for tomorrow.
Even if you don’t believe the Bible as Truth, stick around won’t you? You may be able to learn something to help your marriage today.
In the beginning….
You may be familiar with the creation story, it was one of the first stories I read as a new Believer, everyone wants to know where they came from. But have you ever sat on those words? Really read them, felt them? Have you asked why this or why that? God, the Creator of all things wants us to. You see, the more we know his word, really know it, the more we’ll come to understand him. Knowing and understanding him, while not completely possible is the key to knowing and understanding our existence and our purpose.
Why am I here? Why am I his wife? What am I called to do?
God marveled at his creation, with adoring eyes seeing that the new life he’d created was good. The seed-bearing plants and fruit-bearing trees. They were good. The stars in the sky, that beautiful midnight show, they were good. The fish in the sea, the birds in the sky. Every animal, it was good.
Then, God made man.
original photo by Lighter Focus Photography
Our Beginning, the Original Ezer
Man, in this case Adam, was created in the image of God. Like God. Eve too, the Bible says was created in the image, or like, God. (Genesis 1:27)
For those who are well-versed in Bible-speak you know that God doesn’t have a physical form, he’s a supreme being. So if our bodies aren’t what is made “in the image of God”, then what is?
Perhaps our reason. Our creativity. Our speech. Our ability to love, to be patient. Forgiveness, kindness, faithfulness.
We were also created with free will. So we must choose love. Choose patience, forgiveness, kindness, and faithfulness. Choosing each of these means not choosing the opposite.
In your marriage are you choosing each of these regularly?
Eve was the original wife, God’s first created woman. She is the only woman who lived before the fall, before sin entered the world. God’s original purpose for her is what we should strive for, he wants us to live in Eden with our husband.
Why was Eve, the original wife, created? God gave Adam everything, the land to work, the seas to admire, the animals to name and find companionship in. Life was good in Eden, except that Adam was alone. God wanted him to have a “helper just right for him”. (Gen. 2:20)
We were created, us wives, to be helpers to our men. Still in the image of God, but to help.
Now, let us not get too emotional over being helpers, okay? The term “ezer”, often translated as “help meet” has a deeper meaning that just “to help”. You see, the term is used throughout the Bible not only in description of Eve but also to describe God himself. The Hebrew root of ezer means “to rescue”, “to save”, “to be strong”. Now, we may be able to see why God is described as an ezer, right? He’s the Ultimate Rescuer, Savior, and Strength.
But we too were called to rescue, to save, to be strong for our husbands. Yes, being an ezer is more than being a helper. God created you to walk alongside your husband (hence why woman was taken from man’s rib) to help guide him, to be strong for him. We too were created “like God” and thus should be seen as his equal, his partner.
Practically speaking, I see this interpretation when he and I are walking along a quiet path. Arm in arm, side by side we walk together down a path that’s been laid before us (life). The path widens, or maybe splits, and I feel a slight resistance on my arm, he’s heading a different direction than I. Without saying anything (so as to not hurt his pride) and gently enough so he doesn’t even notice I resist back, allowing him to see the other path. Once he realizes that this path is the better way, he steers us that direction.
We are guides, meant to rescue when things are about to go wrong or have already gone wrong. Meant to save from mistakes that will be costly, that will hurt. Mistakes that will separate him (and us) from God. Mistakes that erect barriers between husband and wife. These kinds of mistakes or decisions are discussed in our house, I don’t gently tug his arm when things are about to go south, there’s an actual conversation. But that conversation happens with grace.
The Original Marriage
Marriage, designed by God, is a beautiful union of two people, two imperfect people living together. It’s so easy to get it wrong, but with effort it can be so good when it’s right.
We would have oneness. (Gen. 2:24) There would be no one better than the other business. We would both realize that without the other we are worse off. We would realize that the other brings something to the marriage that they cannot. We would recognize our need for each other. We would separate from our father and mother and be one. Two individual people would instantly, eternally become one, man and wife. They would put the other above all else, and make their welfare a priority. United. One.
We would feel no shame. (Gen. 2:25) Adam and Eve were naked with each other and didn’t even realize it. Can you imagine? Kind of scary, huh? And yet how freeing, knowing that your spouse can see every part of you. Longs to know all of your thoughts. Admires you from top to bottom, inside and out. Don’t you want that, to know him so incredibly intimately? You can bet he feels that way about you!
We would honor God. Created for different purposes. Man giving life to and sustaining woman. Woman giving life to the rest of the world. And keeping things afloat, helping, guiding, saving. How beautiful it is that we are created to do certain things that he is not, and he for things that we are not. Accepting those differences and allowing each to flourish in those differences honors God and his creation. What are you great at doing that he may be incapable of or would struggle with? And he, what’s he great at that you’re just not? Tell him how great he is. Today and tomorrow and every day for a week. See what that will do for your marriage.
We would have open, honest communication. (Gen. 3:1-7) When we don’t tell the other what we know, we create an opportunity for them to fail or misunderstand us. Share knowledge with another, talk about your abilities and his. Share your passions and dreams. More importantly, share your struggles, your temptations. And listen. Ask him what his passions are, what his struggles are. Hearts soften with knowing. Mistakes are easily swept aside. Forgiveness comes quicker when we understand.
We invite God into our hearts and home. (Gen. 3:8-11) Hiding from God isn’t actually possible. He’s all-knowing, ever-present. He knows your heart. He knows your very thoughts. God can be a stranger though, like that old homeless man downtown that you’re afraid to even lay eyes upon. Just because you don’t look at him doesn’t mean he’s not there. God’s there. He’s not going to burst through your front door and demand you love him or beg for you to honor him. No, God doesn’t work that way. Remember, he’s patient. But he’s also faithful, and it does not matter what you’ve done or not done. What you said yesterday or what happened to you in years past, God is faithful and he’s waiting on you to invite him in.
Genesis 2:18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.”