I was pondering my wifely skills and shortcomings (praying He will “cleanse me from my secret faults”) this morning and asked God the question: What does it mean to “help” my husband. I know this word (Genesis 2:18) comes from the same Hebrew root translated in Psalm 54:4 where is says “God is my helper.” Being like God to my husband? Lord, what does that look like? God loves unconditionally and faithfully. God always forgives, always hears and listens, guides and guards, and looks for ways to bless. He helps.
Helps. The Ministry of Helps, I’ve been learning, is simply that: helping where help is needed. It includes but is not limited to, Holy Spirit-led ministering via a hug, listening ear, kind word, thoughtful deed, card, letter, call, or even an e-mail that says, “You’ve been on my heart and I just want you to know I love you,” etc. And all of that is best served with Word-based, Holy Spirit-led prayer.
Is that something Christians just know how to do? Apparently not or they’d also know the joy of it, and do it more often. And more effectually. Listen: No one needs a “woe are we, such worms who only deserve death” prayer. No one needs our lies added to Satan’s because we’re scriptural illiterates who think God has good days and bad days, and it’s a roll of the dice, and He’s probably not going to help anyway, but it’s worth a shot. We guess. Maybe.
People need prayers of faith based on the truth of God’s Word about His great and never-ending love for us. People need prayers from people who know what Jesus accomplished on the cross. They need prayers from people whose hearts are actually filled with the very Spirit of God because they’ve accepted the gift of Jesus and what He accomplished at Calvary. People need to be ministered to in the power of this Love.
I weep when I begin ministering like this at church. My heart is so grieved as I pray for people and realize their desperate need of prayer and of a caring touch, that sometimes I can hardly speak through the slinging snot. What a picture, right? No one seems to care that I have to blow l my nose throughout the prayer. What they care about is being cared about. I realize as the Holy Spirit reveals hearts to me during prayer, that people are broken-hearted and disconnected. They are weak, weary, and vulnerable to that ever-prevalent lie of the enemy: No one cares a single thing about you.
I have learned that even my adult children, who have been taught from their very beginnings that they are more precious than words can say, are susceptible to this lie. And since this lie comes at them continuously in some form or fashion, I must continuously speak and pray the truth.
The tendency is to see a problem in an adult child’s life and to lament it, pray that situation changed or certain influences removed, and to frown really hard in the meantime. But those children need equipping. “Equipping” sounds like tools and gear and rules and how-to instructions. But those are physical things, and must be preceded by the spiritual.
Let me clarify. I’ve been considering the incredible pressures my children face right now. I’ve been doing a little more worrying than I should (any worrying is more than I should worry) and a little less praying than I should, and a little more speaking the problem than I should (yep, ANY speaking the problem is more than I should speak). My daughter, Hannah, for an example, is fighting numerous hard battles right now. She wants to excel at all things, and let no one down ever (especially God) while in the midst of extreme responsibilities and demanding/needy people, but without extreme support.
Except for her parents. We are extreme support. We are equippers. We don’t say, “Well, Hannah has her act together, Hannah reads the Word and prays more diligently than do her siblings, Hannah will be fine,” as we focus on the others.
No! That should not be the reward for her efforts. The squeaky wheels shouldn’t be the only ones getting the grease. When I sense there is a difficulty, and when I don’t, there is still a difficulty, or very possibly a host of difficulties. It’s time, not only to pray for Hannah as usual, but to pray with her. To let God use me to bless my child.
As He does. It’s such a blessing when I call and say, “I want to pray for you,” and then to be used by God to speak things I had no idea about, but that bless and strengthen and help her. I did this recently only after several days of prayer and consideration, and a two-hour quiet time with Jesus in the Word and in prayer. This meant that through my prayers He was speaking to her heart, blessing her heart, strengthening and helping her, giving her perspective on things that were troubling her. Bringing her peace, power and an undergirding for her day. Equipping her. It’s my job.
The Word talks about equipping the saints, and we’re all too ready to sign on for that: Oh come all ye saints and listen unto me. I shall equip you!!! But we are to start where it all starts. At home. We come before the Throne of Grace for our personal equipping, putting on the full armor of God, hearing His voice, heeding His voice, seeking Him and basking in His goodness and grace. Then, and only then are we equipped to equip.
We moms are also ready to sign on for equipping our kids first, and our husbands next, or last, or never. But that essential time in the Word and prayer will straighten out all the crookedness in our thinking, and we will come to see the truth about “helping” our husbands: We are acting as God’s most essential ambassadors, His equippers.
Just as the Queen of England has no need to drive the car, neither do we have to be front, center, and “in charge” when we know our true worth to God as Homemakers. Let us embrace, accept, and occupy our thrones as He intends.