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Archive for August 19th, 2008

A comment on another post got me thinking about what it means to be a helpmeet or helper.  The bible says, “The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” This, to me, would make me think that woman was created to be a companion, so that he would not be alone.  I also found it interesting when I went back and read through those chapters in Genesis, that God gave the commandment not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil to Adam, before Eve’s creation.  It did make me wonder if perhaps that is the reason the first sin is ultimately attributed to Adam over Eve.  But perhaps that’s a post for a different day.

The bible doesn’t say that working the garden was hard and that Adam needed an employee.  It said that it wasn’t good for him to be alone.  So, how exactly am I being a helper to someone else if I am employed by them?

My husband may have a dream or a vision for our family.  And certainly I am helping him to further that dream or vision.  That may even be part of what it means for me to be his helper.  But I hardly think that’s all of it.  If being a helper or helpmeet is all wrapped up in helping someone achieve their goals or vision, than why did the Botkin girls change their stance on that and remove the word from their writings?  I mean, if that’s what it is, then they are in fact, teaching girls to be helpmeet’s for their fathers.

I’ve seen it written many places that one of the reasons that women shouldn’t be working outside the home is because it makes them helpmeets to other men.  I find that really interesting.  If being a helpmeet to your husband can be compared to being an employee, then it would seem that the militant feminists may be right about something.  Some of the more militant feminists argue that marriage is a form of institutionalized prostitution.  I have never agreed with that in the slightest.  But, if being a man’s helpmeet means being his employee, doing his will, and being open for sex in exchange for food, lodging and protection, maybe it is!  What a horrible view of marriage!

Continuing along the path of the relationship between employer and employee, if a woman working outside of the home is becoming a helpmeet to another man, then in a way, it makes it sound as if she is cheating.  And how much worse that is if her husband has asked her to do so.  But then again, perhaps it shouldn’t be so bothersome that her husband is essentially pimping her out if that’s all there is to the marital relationship anyway.

Please don’t get me wrong.  These aren’t my thoughts on marriage or working outside the home.  This is really just to illustrate where these ideas take us.  I know understand why some of these women feel so strongly about not working.  But it also makes me sad that they can’t share the view of marriage I do if they’re little more than glorified servants.

I am a helpmeet to my husband.  I firmly believe that.  I keep him from a life of loneliness, because neither of us would be good alone.  I don’t just help him achieve his goals for our family, but I share his dreams, I know his secrets, and I help him to form them in the first place.

Our marriage is an intimate relationship, and not just physically.  There is a depth to our emotional connection.  We each trust that the other person desires our happiness, and that leaves us free to not worry about ourselves.  Our marriage is a active choice, a gift of love, a shared vision, and so much more that I struggle to put into words.  He would be insulted at the idea that the relationship we share is mirrored in that of an employer and an employee.  As much as I enjoy my job, I go there to serve God’s children and to receive a paycheck that helps my family and my husband.  The term helpmeet in no way applies.

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