Someone reading this of a certain ideology may be immediately triggered (a medium trigger probably). The reason: the idea that “a woman doesn’t need a man” runs like a California wildfire after a newly drafted set of forest regulations.
I can’t apologize for that trigger for two reasons. First, these ideas are God-given. Christians don’t apologize for God. Second, the reality is that everyone is dependent. This self-sufficiency that we promote in American culture is something to be studied, but really does not apply to every aspect of life.
As much as my wife needs me, I need my wife. This is in part why God created women because men are insufficient on our own. This is why God says, “It is not good that the man should be alone,” in Genesis 2:18. We need human fellowship and interaction. But, as much as we need companionship, we need help. That’s why in the same verse God says, “I will make him a helper fit for him.”
If it is insulting that women need a man, the opposite is also true. But no one runs around yelling, “It’s so insulting that people say I need a wife!” It’s simply politics, or better yet, a spiritual battle at play.
Why does my wife need me? Husbands are called several times to love and sacrifice for their wives. We also are called to guard and cultivate them. This goes all the way back to the dominion mandate that God gave Adam in the Garden (Genesis 2:15). While Eve was not created yet, Adam was called to guard and cultivate everything in the Garden. Once Eve was given to him, this included her.
I want to specifically and practically provide ways to cultivate your wife. This in essence is simply the idea of caring for her. You should cultivate her spiritually, physically, mentally, emotionally, relationally, in her giftedness, and career. To cultivate is to prepare for use, to acquire, and to develop.
WHAT MONEY DOES SHE NEED?
Unfortunately, it is human nature to only look out for our own needs and miss the needs of others. We are well aware of our needs, but we need to communicate with our wives about her financial needs . Some wives are so humble (and thrifty) that they won’t spend the family’s money on themselves. Sometimes we need to step up and make sure she has what she needs to be what God created her for. When was the last time you asked your wife, “Do you have all of the money and resources you need to blossom into who God wants you to be?”
WHAT TIME DOES SHE NEED?
For those with a sufficient amount of money, maybe your wife lacks nothing there, but she needs time. How have you structured your family dynamic so that she has the time she needs to accomplish that which God has called her to? Does she need you to help with more of the chores or spend more time with the children so that she can study, exercise, or spend time with other women who she is investing in and/or is investing into her? Again, don’t assume she has that time, ask her.
WHAT GUIDANCE DOES SHE NEED?
None of us are a vacuum unto ourselves. Everyone learns from someone. Husbands, as you love and cultivate your wife, give her guidance. Now, for those who have jumped to conclusions, this does not mean what you think it means: that women are supposed to be brainless drones running for a beer at the sound of a bell.
No, in fact, we are called to listen and understand our wives (I Peter 3:7). There are times that we are very task-driven, and our wives can help us understand a situation from a different point of view. So it is with the husband and wife. A husband doesn’t say, “Well, honey, you make your own decision.” A husband that wants to cultivate and lead his wife helps her and guides her in his understanding of the world through the lens of Scripture.
WHAT OF YOU DOES SHE NEED?
As men, we tend to be a little less relational than our wives by nature. There are times when sitting in the woods in 35 degree weather hoping to harvest a deer seems like bliss. No one talking, bothering us, or asking for us to accomplish anything. But does your wife need you? Does she need you to help her fix a problem? Or better yet, (something I still am working on) does she need you not to “fix” a problem, but just to listen to her? Or does she need more of you so that the two of you can just cultivate your relationship?
How do you cultivate your wife? I’m not saying to look at her like some physical project as if she is a messy garage, or a broken piece of furniture that needs to be fixed. Our wives are amazing glorious human beings with souls that are made in the image of God. Do you cultivate your wife? As she nurtures the children, helps build the home, cares for herself, serves her church and community, and builds her life, do you give her what she needs – time, money, resources, and guidance? Most importantly, do you support her to help her accomplish being what God has called her to be?
Thanks for taking time to read this Maddening Theology post. If you enjoyed this content you can find Pastor Tim’s sermons at www.cornerstoneforestcity.org. You can also join us at 520 Marion St. Browndale, PA 18421 on Sundays at 10 AM. To make following the blog easier you can also register. You can also join us on Facebook at Cornerstone Forest City. Also, don’t forget to download our APP on iTunes or Googleplay.