By Khoo Hooi Ling
God designed woman to complement i.e. to complete a man. Gen 2:18-24 “It is not good that man should be alone. I will make him a helper comparable to him.”
She is to be a help, meeting his needs. She is to be his companion so he will not be lonely. She is to put his good as her objective. Proverbs 31:12 “She does him good and not evil all the days of her life.”
She is not to compete with him, but she is to respect him. Eph.5:33 “Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife SEE that she respects her husband.” It is interesting the way this verse is phrased. The word ‘see’ is in there. It’s as if God is saying “Now you look here, respect your husband, ok, even if you think he is not worthy of your respect!” No buts. When we respect and treat him as the head, he can trust us to be the neck that turns the head! If we compete with him, we will have a two headed monster in our home! One head that God has put there and one head that transplanted itself there.
2) Being a wife means you have a husband. Being a wife means at some stage you may be a mother. Being a wife means you are going to acquire in-laws.
In these relationships where we have a choice, choose carefully and wisely and not in haste, ESPECIALLY choosing to be a wife and a mother. Those carry lifelong commitments.
When we choose to be a wife, we are committed to that husband for life, AND we have also acquired because of that choice another family from his side. Our life will become more complex and need more effort on our part to balance all the different roles and responsibilities that we have in our life. This can be very daunting especially when we are young or not so matured. So don’t get married too young. You can barely look after yourself, let alone another family! Self interest cannot work in a family! Proverbs 22:15 “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of correction will drive it (foolishness) far from him.” God says a child is foolish and the only way to help the child to grow up unto maturity is correction and instructions.
3) So if we choose to be a mother, be a mother. Don’t be a friend. Our children have many friends. They have only one mother! It’s strange that we often elevate this relationship of a friend higher than a mother or even of God. We say our mother is a friend or our God is a friend. As if the friend sets the highest standard for a relationship with us!!! No wonder we treat our God like not a permanent fixture in our life. No wonder we don’t fear and honour Him as our maker and sustainer of our life, but with a casualness and ambivalence of a friend!
Proverbs 19:4 “Wealth makes many friends. But the poor is separated from his friends.”
Instead, Proverbs 1:8 “My son, hear the instruction of your father, and do not forsake the law of your mother.”
Deut 5:16 “Honor your father and your mother as the Lord your God has commanded you that your days may be long and that it may be well with you in the land which the Lord your God is giving you.”
4) When a woman gets married, God says man and wife becomes one. So now his mother and father are yours as well to honor and serve. Honor them as we would our own parents and be aware not to cause our spouse to neglect or abandon his care and responsibilities to his own parents. The position of a wife is a very influential one! Look at what Eve got Adam to do in the Garden of Eden! Gen 3:12 and “the woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree and I ate. So I beseech you wives, choose to be good, decide to be wise. Don’t be foolish. Don’t be childish. Don’t be bad. Dire consequences have resulted from the influence of an evil wife. Jezebel in 1 Kings 21:25 “but there was no one like Ahab who sold himself to do wickedness in the sight of the Lord, because Jezebel his wife stirred him up.” AND great blessings have resulted from the influence of a good wife. In Esther 5:6 ff, numerous times the King kept asking his queen Esther what was her petition and it should be granted her. Whatever was her further request, it should be done!
5) When we become a wife, we have added another set of relationships and responsibilities to our life. The key to unlock these complex web of relationships, roles and responsibilities is to learn to prioritise and balance. Not juggle, we cannot afford to have things in the air that may fall flat on the ground when we fail to catch it.
Other than our relationship with God, do we realise who is a wife’s number one priority relationship in this life?
It is that of husband and wife. That is in God’s blueprint from the start. A wife to be companion and helper to the husband. Be very aware that it is a lifelong-until-death-do-we-part relationship. So when a wife becomes a mother also, don’t forget to be a wife! WE cannot leave our husband in the air while we juggle being a mother. Otherwise when the children grow up and leave the nest, we may discover we are now living with a stranger in the house. Hopefully WE have not let him fallen on the floor because we failed in our juggling act and are now trying to pick up the pieces. Nurture that spousal relationship even as we raise our children together.
Our children should not be our number one priority. Don’t let our home be child-centred. It should always be God-centred, with the man as head of the household. AND not the children running the adults around and to the ground. Don’t fuss over the children’s feeding times, sleeping times, tuition times etc etc. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Do we realise those are small stuff in God’s scheme of things. But we make such a big fuss of it. Sometimes it may even take up all our time and energy! Matt 6:25-26 “…do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air … yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”
We think that loving them means doing everything for them and giving them the best of things. We may actually be smothering them and teaching them a materialistic value system. Children must be allowed to build their own age-appropriate capabilities. The only way for a baby bird to learn how to fly is to fly! They cannot take lessons in the safety of the nest and watch mummy bird fly, and be able to fly. Because they need to flex their muscles to build it and strengthen it and that can only be achieved in the actual flight.
6) A baby will talk when a baby can talk. A baby will walk when a baby can walk.
A child will eat when a child is hungry. A child will learn to eat anything if we don’t pick and choose for him. If we fuss about his food, he will become a fussy eater, and then we wonder why. A baby is learning from the moment he is born, not only when he can read. God’s design is so wonderful. A baby can learn with his eyes, his ears, his hands and feet, his heart, his mind, his all. But we teach him to read as early as possible and then we limit his learning to WORDS. God is the one who designed the physical and mental development of human beings. We cannot speed up the process. We will only stress the poor baby. And if we keep stressing the child by pushing him to do things that he is not capable yet to do, the child may develop personality problems and some may even break! I’m serious. Think carefully of what we are doing with the child that God has blessed us with. The tendency is to spend so much time and energy on caring for the physical. God says He will do it. Instead we choose to take over God’s job but neglect our own job. Our part is to bring the child up in the nurture and admonishment of God. God has left that to us. Proverbs.22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.”
7) We need to balance our life. Balancing is difficult. But not impossible if we understand some very basic principles. In physical body balancing, we will not fall over if our center of gravity stays within the base of our body. In life’s balancing, our center of gravity is God. Many in the world don’t believe in God and so obviously they are not going to balance their lifestyle with God at its center. A child does not understand the concept of a center of gravity or even gravity. But does it mean that just because he can’t understand that, it is not there? The child will still fall down if he violate the physical law of gravity whether he understands gravity or not. He will suffer the consequence nonetheless.
The law of God is that which will guide us in this life and judge us for the next life. It will not make a difference to the outcome if we do not know it exists or if we do not understand it. So it behooves us to know, understand and use it in our life so that we can steer our own life. If we do not want to keep falling over in our life especially if we do not want to fall into the pit of eternal fire and torment, open the bible for yourself. Don’t come to bible class and worship because we have to. Come because we want to learn of God, we want to honor Him, we want Him by our side and on our side.
Submit to God’s word, submit to God’s will. If we do not submit to God’s will, God cannot help us overcome any challenges in our life. Not because He has no power. But because we will not change our ways and follow Him. We will not trust Him and we will not obey Him.
8) Finally, have a sober perspective of time and the use of our time. Be very aware of the temporal nature of our lifetime here in this world. Compare this time frame to the endless time that will be when we pass from this world. So don’t spend most of our time here in this world trying to fix this life to our liking. May I encourage you to spend most of your time on fixing yourself to be to God’s liking to spend eternity with Him. Check your activities in this life, lest they be in vain. Look yourself in the mirror and remove the specks in your own eyes, lest God remove you from His Book of Life!