Here's the book I'm talking about:
I know that you're totally thinking "what a horribly old fashioned, out of date, oppressing idea THAT is!". Well, you'd be wrong. The Good Wife's Guide reminds us of our calling to be the help meet to our spouse. But what is a help meet?
Here's what the dictionary says:
[From misunderstanding of the phrase an help meet for him, a helper suitable for him (Adam), in Genesis 2:18, referring to Eve.]
But let's get a little more in depth, a little more to help us understand. Here's what the root words mean from the Hebrew:
Strong's # 5828 (Hebrew = ezer) aid: -- help
Strong's Root = # 5826 (Hebrew = azar) azar = prime root: to surround, ie, protect or aid: help, succour
Gesenius adds that the primary idea lies in girding, surrounding, hence defendingMEET(Hebrew = kenegdo) corresponding to, counterpart to, equal to matchingThe traditional teaching for the woman as help (meet) is that of assistant or helper subservient to the one being helped. This definition would appear to line up with Strong's definition of the word. However, if you look at the context of every other use of the word ezer in the scripture, you will see that ezer refers to either God or military allies. In all other cases the one giving the help is superior to the one receiving the help. Adding kenegdo (meet) modifies the meaning to that of equal rather than superior status. Scripture is so awesome. God says just what He means.
Dr. Susan Hyatt gives the following definition from her book In the Spirit We're Equal "Re: Hebrew ezer kenegdo. In Genesis 2:18, the word "helpmeet" does not occur. The Hebrew expression ezer kenegdo appears, meaning "one who is the same as the other and who surrounds, protects, aids, helps, supports." There is no indication of inferiority or of a secondary position in an hierarchical separation of the male and female "spheres" of responsibility, authority, or social position.
The word ezer is used twice in the Old Testament to refer to the female and 14 times to refer to God. For example, in the Psalms when David says, "The Lord is my Helper," he uses the word ezer."
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That's one big chunk of words, but mostly what it boils down to (as my limited brain understands it) is that a help meet is Adam's equal, his partner.
Back to the book: God has uniquely prepared me to be my husband's partner in life, his HELP MEET. And isn't that what marriage is supposed to be about, anyway?
Darlene has prepared for me a path to use as my guide in being the very best partner I can for my sweet Hubbers. She uses Biblical support to share with me (and YOU) why that particular idea is pertinent. She reminds me why, when I feel downtrodden, un-respected and unappreciated, that it's still okay. The Good Wife's Guide reminds me that my man still needs me to be that woman who worked to be attractive to him and to accept that he is as human as I, not flawless. She reminds me that I am modeling every. single. thing! I do for my children, four of them girls, so it better be worthwhile.
Working in the home (aka: housewife) is a service that we should joyfully take on when we are prepared in God's word. And I don't have to be perfect in my household, just do my best to God's glory.
And that sticky "submission" part of the Bible? Where God tells us:
“Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.” Ephesians 5:22-24
Yep. That's addressed in The Good Wife's Guide, too. A short, favorite quote from this section:
"Scripture isn't a candy bowl by which we pick and choose our favorite words hoping to satiate our palette. It's a well-balanced diet of truth which is difficult to swallow at times, but nevertheless it brings nourishment to our soul."
Stings a little, huh?
My favorite part is the Practical Application section. I crave to know how other women manage their homes when mine looks, at times, like the crap bomb exploded and I didn't care. There are lists!! I love me some awesome lists. Squee!
I'm still churning through this book. I'm sure I will continue to dig deeply in this for a time to come. I want to thank Darlene for writing this book, which seems to have come at the utmost proper time. God surely does grace us with the words we need exactly when we need them.
Be sure to visit The Time-Warp Wife and pick up a copy of The Good Wife's Guide.
I received a copy of The Good Wife's Guide in exchange for my review. Truth be told, I'd have bought and reviewed it on my own!