Wife, wifey, helper, helpmeet … let’s face it, there are many more names assigned to women in the marriage relationship. I suggest we get around the jargon and those emotionally charged words by assigning a new term to this role: Number Two (no surprise, my favorite Star Trek series is the one with Captain Picard and William Riker aka Number Two).
The traditional feminist, liberal would space the captain and take control of the ship, in effect staging a mutiny. The traditional, fundamental Christian would sit as far away as possible from the bridge, disguised as a passenger. It seems that neither of these approaches really fulfill the people who practice them (and I’ve been on both sides). We don’t need to swing back-and-forth on the pendulum but strive to find true balance and peace.
Wives do have a strong role to play, even if it’s not the starring one.
For now, I want to call on the men. It’s the men who have been called to mirror Christ in the marriage. Who are first called to turn the world upside down, to lead by serving. Husbands, are you living out your first call by only enjoying the pleasures of the privilege? Or are you setting aside your privileged position to act in love towards those serving you?
Do you want your wife to be more spiritually mature? Show her that maturity. First plan intentional time together for your wife with/out the children. Then, your wife probably will suggest you go take some time out with your friends.
Are you fed up with how there are always a few dishes in the sink or the children are acting up? Do you bring attention to the problems as you walk through on your way to something more exciting? Try being present to turn on the faucet or take an hour to take those hyper kids to run out in the backyard or neighborhood playground and laugh with them. You’ll breathe life into your wife (especially if she is the primary caregiver) so she can have a moment to recollect her thoughts without interruption. She most likely be more mentally and emotionally available for you after that. She may even be more open to the idea of you going to focus on something else if you have first shown her where your heart and priorities truly lie.
Don’t wait until she’s at her wit’s end, ready to blow down the house with her hot and angry words. I’ve heard that a woman is like a garden or a flower and her husband is the gardener. Have you left her to wither?
Cultivate her care by showing her that you care.
It may be impossible to win your wife’s respect and admiration, if you treat your home more like a hotel (and your wife as the entire staff) than a haven (and her as that one person you’d want to relax with you). So what does a Captain look like? Well, Captain Picard, of course!
- Is informed about crew members interrelationships (Riker and Deanna)
- Seeks to be informed of the potential influences on his crew (frequently joins the away team)
- Takes an interest in the education and upbringing of the children so that they can be entrust to positions of responsibility (Wesley, Data)
- Personally becomes involved (and battles) if anyone seeking to harm or negatively impact his crew (the powerful Q)
- Develops a working knowledge of all aspects of his ship (galley with Guinan, security with Worf, engineering with Geordi, medical bay with Dr. Crusher)
- And maybe most importantly, intentionally empowers and releases his first office for leadership (he provides a listening ear, recreational companionship, and is present to model how to lead to Riker).
[don’t worry guys, a post directed to the women will follow soon]