In the monologue by Katharina from “Taming of the Shrew” she says, in the closing lines:
“And place your hands below your husband’s foot: In token of which duty, if he please, My hand is ready; may it do him ease.”
It may be the most nagging opposition to biblical marriage: the idea that “woman was created to help the man”, (1 Corinthians 11:9, Genesis 2:18) and perhaps the most misunderstood one. But when we do understand it, it radically changes us and brings a powerful transformation to our marriage.
It is a thrill, not an offense, that God delighted to create me for the express purpose of completing my husband. Wives are a powerful instrument in the advancement of God’s Kingdom when they comply!
It bothers us because I think we are not “other-worldly-minded” enough. We should be about seeking first the Kingdom of God, not the kingdom of ME. And if we are about our Father’s business, our only concern is the instruction He has given us best suited to fulfill His plan, not whining about how we think our roles should be redefined to sound more politically correct.
The Bible uses the language of “one flesh and “joined together.” The image is not of a family where two autonomous people live side by side. It’s more intimate than that; it’s one mission, one force, one vision and two people completing each other to accomplish that mission.
“Be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it.” The command to mankind remains. There is so much more there than a population hint! It is man, oriented to the world (garden), and his wife, oriented toward him, helping him “subdue”–cultivate–their part of the earth, pursuing a life of fruitfulness in all areas–literally and figuratively speaking,
“The log is not greater than the fire; the fire burns because the log enables it.”
What does that look like practically? It’s different for each marriage. But wherever God has placed our husbands, he has given him a “subduing command” and that is where we are to assist him with our own unique gifts and abilities.
I am his helper. There are a million ways I can help him, from making sure he has clean underwear, to editing his State of the Union address. We are a team and he needs me. He may need me to make phone calls, handle details of the day to free him up somewhere else, pack his lunch, save his money, call his mom, send a thank-you card, or other details.
Going beyond that, he needs me to run a household, help in training our children, prepare our home for encouraging others through hospitality, extending our family’s purpose day to day, building a godly legacy.
The part of us that balks at “promoting another’s vision” is not properly understanding our role. When we grasp that we are “one flesh”, then promoting my husband is beneficial to me! (Think Christ and His bride.) The log is not greater than the fire; the fire burns because the log enables it. (Sorry, I’m sitting in front of my wood stove as I write this.)
Ask your husband how you can best help him. Just the asking lets him know that you desire to unite with him in a purpose. This may be the first time such a thing has crossed your mind! But once he knows you want to help him by making life easier and assisting him as an heir in the grace of that life, the united front strengthens and you begin to build a more powerful legacy than either of you could ever build alone.