“It’s a bird! It’s a plane!” No, it’s. . .my husband?!
As long as we’re thinking about supporting one another, we might as well take a moment to reflect on supporting the most important person in our lives – our husbands.
Superman has always been one of my favorite super heroes. By day, he’s handsome but nerdy Clark Kent (fumbling reporter), but he turns into Superman at the first sign of trouble! I have always felt like Jamie is sort of like that. He can seem so nerdy to me at times; but boy, when there’s trouble, he really swoops in to save the day! Just like Superman!
But have you ever noticed that every good super hero has a sidekick? Batman has Robin. Spiderman has Mary Jane. Green Arrow has Speedy. And Superman has Lois Lane. Now you can argue with me about whether the women who stand behind their men are actual sidekicks, but the saying goes, “Behind every great man stands a great woman.” In my world, I am Lois Lane, reporter extraordinaire (okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but I am a reporter!) and willing to support the man I love.
The truth is that there are not that many super heroes to be found anymore. Strong, spiritually-grounded men have fallen to the wayside, becoming complacent in their roles as husband and father. They work long, hard hours and just want to come home to relax. They don’t want to jump on the roller coaster ride of parenting the kids! In fact, many men think their wives are such great caregivers that they don’t have to pitch in at all!
But the Bible says differently. In fact, it commands action from fathers! Ephesians 6:4 says, “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” And Colossians 3:21 says, “Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.” And again in Hebrews 12:7, it says, “Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as His children. For what children are not disciplined by their father?”
Now look at the responsibilities he is given as your husband. Starting in Genesis 3:16b, the Bible says, “Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” And I Peter 3:7 says, “Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.” And of course, Ephesians 5:25 says, “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her.”
So let’s take a look at the typical husband’s day. He gets up, gets dressed, and heads off to work. At work, he is under pressure to constantly be on his best game, answer to a boss who may or may not like him, and make small talk with people he may or may not like. He may not even like his job; he may be underpaid; or he may work way too many hours for the amount he makes! His brain is busy all day with struggling to do his best in order to keep his job in an economy where any number of people would willingly and quickly replace him.
And then he comes home, where he is supposed to love, honor, and encourage his wife and train and discipline his children! Most days, he probably comes home to a wife who has had enough of the children for the day, who wants a little adult conversation, who really needs a bathroom break, and who is ready to clock herself out and let her husband take over parenting for the evening. Once the children are in bed, he is expected to do any number of chores that his wife has assigned to him or to spend “quality time” with her. Before he knows it, bedtime has arrived, and he is so exhausted, he lays his head on the pillow without even a second thought for himself. And then he wakes up the next morning to do it all over again!
When does he get some time to think? When does he get time to dive into the Word of God and be enriched by the Spirit? When does he get time off? My husband never complains about his role. In fact, he insists that I take time off by myself to regain my sanity after a frustrating day with the kids. But I started to notice that he was depriving himself of some much-needed spiritual refreshment in the process, and I also noticed that he was often getting overlooked.
I have talked with other moms and have found that the majority of moms put their children first, God second, and their husbands dead last. In fact, I have found that there are a number of women who think that their husbands should just accept the fact that they will be in sweat pants every day with no make-up on and their hair pulled back into a pony tail. Their husbands shouldn’t complain if the house is a mess or if the wives themselves are a mess because the children are healthy, fed, and clean.
WARNING! WARNING! WARNING!
Those husbands are going to get tired of not being appreciated, and they are going to start looking elsewhere for a sidekick. The truth is that Superman wants Lois Lane by his side – a woman who is put-together, who takes challenges with grace, and who can be called upon when he gets stuck with kryptonite! He doesn’t need a nagging, complaining, unhappy wife to stir up trouble! He needs your support!
So I started giving Jamie some time by himself. When I go to Bible study on Thursdays (which is usually his day off), I take the kids with me in order to let him have some alone time. I ask him about what he’s studying in the Bible. I get up earlier in order to make sure I am ready for the day before the kids get up, so he doesn’t have to deal with them on his own. We have devotions together in the morning to start our day off in prayer. I make sure the house is at least picked up by the end of the day, and I run a brush through my hair before he comes home. Of course, these things do not happen every day, and I can tell a big difference in our home when I don’t make the effort!
The truth is that Satan is after our husbands! He is their worst enemy, and he is using us wives to get a stronghold on his heart. Our husbands need our words of praise; they need our encouragement to seek after the things of God; they need time by themselves to study God; they need to be given the opportunity to be fathers; and they need to see us making an effort to please them!
In today’s feminist world, it’s so easy for us women to want to be the superhero. We want to be the one who swoops in to save the day. But God has not created us that way. He wants us to be the sidekick! If you think about the sidekicks of the most famous superheroes, they are not weaklings themselves. In fact, it’s their strengths that make them such great sidekicks in the first place because they are strong where the superheroes are weak! They are often the only ones who know the hero’s secret because they are trustworthy, loyal, and strong. Every good superhero needs a sidekick!
When you said, “I do,” you agreed to be your husband’s sidekick. That doesn’t mean that you are less important than he is. It just means that you do your best work behind the scenes, allowing the hero to be the one placed in the limelight. At the end of the day, when peace has been restored once again, the superhero always, always returns to his sidekick!
Are you trying to be the superhero in your family, or are you enjoying your role as his sidekick? Are you supporting your husband, or are you that nagging, complaining wife? What do you do to support your husband?
“He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord” – Prov. 18:22