The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” (Genesis 2:18)
There have been several times over the years when I’ve needed to emotionally and spiritually help my husband—not only during our dating phase, but even now, eight years after we first became husband and wife. I’ve noticed that as men grow in the Lord, life phases bring out different weaknesses in their character or doubts about their level of faith. This doesn’t mean they aren’t real Christians; it just means that God is calling them to go deeper, grow in their maturity and keep holding themselves accountable to what the Bible says no matter what comes at them. Even when my relationship with my husband went through seasons of being strained, I understood the importance of supporting him during the times when he struggled because I believed in the value God placed in him.
I’d like to share with you how God crafted my role as a helpmate in my relationship, and four ways I helped my husband when the inevitable trials popped up.
Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. (Psalm 139:23)
1. Be a listening ear. Often times, we may see an issue in our man’s life and immediately begin to problem-solve for them. I’ve learned the hard way that sometimes it requires my husband having his own revelation about a problem as we talk about it in order for changes to actually take effect. We’re not helping them grow if all we do is run around putting out their fires. It’s exhausting to us and doesn’t give God a chance to tug at their hearts and show them challenging areas in life they need to face head-on. Having someone to talk to about it with can mean the world when you feel like you’re up against a giant, and the Lord may prompt you to ask just the right question that helps him to see an issue in a different light. By doing this, you’re showing him that you believe in his ability to tackle difficult problems, and he sees that your relationship is important enough to communicate through heavy topics.
2. Build him up. Women are not the only ones who struggle with insecurities regarding popularity, career, identity, or skills and talents. My husband is an artist and, like most creative types, has heard his fair share of criticisms and sarcastic remarks about how his work isn’t worth all that much. The Lord put it on my heart to be the voice that says “Go for it!” I continued to voice my honest opinion of his amazing skill, and reminded him that his gifts come from God and he doesn’t need to settle or lay down his passion because other people can’t get on board with God’s vision for his life. Maybe your man isn’t dealing with issues at work, but he feels like he can never measure up to his friend’s social status. Keep reminding him who he is as the Lord’s creation and how meaningful he is to you and loved ones around him. By doing this, you help him to see himself as God sees him, and can help him fight against the jealousy and comparison that run rampant in our minds.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
3. Pray with him. One of the most powerful things we can do is keep our men covered in prayer. You can take his burdens to the Lord, whether he’s dealing with letting go of a particular sin, debating if he should leave his job or feeling the weight of society’s pressures. Sometimes we need to be reminded of God’s promises to give us the victory to overcome obstacles and remember that He gives us hope and a future planned out for us. By doing this, you’re keeping God at the center of your relationship and committing to prayerfully submit every area of your life to him.
4. Reinforce the importance of community. Through trial and error, it’s become abundantly clear to me and my husband throughout the years of our marriage that each of us having a community of same-sex believers that we can be accountable to is one of the keys to being victorious and keeping a strong grip on our faith. There were some topics that came up during our newlywed years that pertained to male-centered struggles. As much as I wanted to be there for my husband, it was just impossible to see things from the same perspective as a brother in Christ. We decided then that both of us should have an accountability group that we could go to for things that our partner just wouldn’t understand. If your man is struggling with things that should be talked about with a group of trusted brothers, support him in making the decision to seek out those people for the betterment of his life as well as your relationship. By doing this, you’re having the right people pour into your relationship to make it even stronger.
Let us know in the comments if there are any additional things that have helped your relationship when storms come and you’re called to support your man through them.