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Msindisi Monthly #118

July 1, 2014

SALVADOR & DIANNE’S MSINDISI MONTHLY

Number: 118 Jul 2014

PO BOX 1481

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KWAZULU NATAL

SOUTH AFRICA

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Email: msindisi@gmail.com

salv.di@gmail.com

KwaZulu Mission Website: http://www.kwazulumission.com

KwaZulu Mission Facebook page:https://www.facebook.com/kwazulumission

We write this newsletter from Sydney, Australia before we fly out in 2 days. It’s a beautiful day here and this morning over coffee we looked back over the last 2 months and thought of all the people we got to met and the places we saw and the incredible time we got to share with family and friends. Wow !!!!!!!

We had tried to set the month of June aside mainly for family. This proved to be church family and Di’s family.

A special time was had with Di’s brother Bruce and his wife G and the kids in Masterton. The kids had their cross country races, netball and soccer. Not to mention dad also with his scocer. Every win was accredited to Aunty Di being there.!!!!!!!! Lol

William had been 3 when Di had last seen him so it was wonderful for him to finally meet this Aunty Di and Uncle Sal who lived in SA.

Di's nephews, Will and Ollie win trophies for cross country

Di’s nephews, Will and Ollie win trophies for cross country

Hattie, Di's niece, plays netball

Hattie, Di’s niece, plays netball

A day was set aside to travel to Wiaknae tomeet up with Aunty Stella who was turning 96 on the 19 th June and another Aunty called Verna.

Salvador and Di with Aunty Stella

Salvador and Di with Aunty Stella

Between family time we were asked to speak to the youth at Emmanuel on a sat evening and also Sal got to share morning and evening at Emmanuel on the 8 th and 22 nd. After Sal had shared in Wellington in May, Lester Fensom had arranged another meeting in Bulls with a assembly called ” my fathers house” . This turned out to be twice as he was invited back for the last Wed night before we flew out.

Austin and Grace Teulon from Emmanuel Congregation

Austin and Grace Teulon from Emmanuel Congregation

Of course one of the main reasons for coming to NZ was to celebrate Di’s mum birthday. After booking the tickets it was discovered it was her 79 th not 80 th as was first thought. Of course everyone stayed quiet not wanting the trip postponed for another year.

Di's mum's birthday

Di’s mum’s birthday

The time we all shared together was amazing, family from around NZ and Australia all got together for a lunch on the 15 th. With many laughs, photos and food we reminisced and shared our news. On the 19 th June it was the immediate family. This time was so special for us all. We were all amazed to be together under one roof sharing this occasion with our mum and dad. The last time we believe was over 14 years ago.

Di with her mum, dad and siblings

Di with her mum, dad and siblings

Di's sister and family visit New Zealand

Di’s sister and family visit New Zealand

While in Palmerston North we were grateful for some time to work on our rental property and meet the tenants. The garden was hugely over grown and neighbour’s  at been complaining. So we set to work, pruning, sawing down, dragging trees, water blasting etc. we left happy that the place was acceptable and manageable and having made some new friends with the tenants who helped.

Clearing the back garden

Clearing the back garden

Salvador with the cut trees

Salvador with the cut trees

The Garden almost finished

The Garden almost finished

We recieved some very sad news when we heard that Gogo ( Phumulani mother) had passed away. We lived along side her in the homestead. She had been instrumental in welcoming Di when we had first arrived. She was like Di’s Zulu mum. Many times she would call Di to come sit beside her when there was community meetings. They had a special bond although both were limited in their communication they always managed to understand each other. She will be sadly missed. We are unsure if she gave her life to the Lord but Phumulani did say that she was thanking him for His grace and mercy to her. The funeral was on the 28 th so we both wrote words to be shared at the funeral to express our deep sorrow and love for the family and how she had impacted our lives and many who had visited the homestead.  Gogo had suffered much over the last few months with the shootings, her grandchildren moving away and her cancer.

Gogo with her grandchildren before she passed away.

Gogo with her grandchildren before she passed away.

The last few days we were blessed to see Pam Mott and Marg Goodwin again on kiwi soil. Pam shared a night with us and Glenys and was able to attend the meeting in bulls. While Marg, Lester, Lawrie and ourselves talked over a meal before heading to the airport.

Salvador with Pam and Glenys

Salvador with Pam and Glenys

Departing NZ ( the land of the long white cloud ) was very difficult, the time we had shared was so precious that it made pulling away very hard. Many tears, hugs and sadness mixed with much gratitude that it had been possible. We take with us wonderful memories……. and some heavy suitcases.

Di with Glenys and her mum Joan, Di's roomie.

Di with Glenys and her mum Joan, Di’s roomie.

Arriving in Sydney, we have spent our last few days with Lee and Lorraine Wardle and family. Sal shared twice on the Saturday afternoon. Lee had invited friends and neighbors over to have fellowship over a barbeque. On the Sunday, Sal spoke again at Lee’s assembly, Gospel Light Evangelical Church.

It’s been lovely getting to know everyone, Lee and Lorraine thank you for your hospitality.  May the lord bless you.

Bible Study at Lee Wardle's in the Hills district, New South Wales, Australia

Bible Study at Lee Wardle’s in the Hills district, New South Wales, Australia

Gospel Light Evangelical Church, Sunday morning.

Gospel Light Evangelical Church, Sunday morning.

On the 3 rd of July at 5 am we are heading to the airport for our 14 hour flight home. What a time we have had, what amazing people we have meet, we will continue to re- live our time away over and over again when we share our stories that side with family and friends.

Please can you pray:

 

Phumulani and the family after the loss of Gogo.

 

The New Tribe Mission workshop that is happening in July when we return.

 

Visa renewal ……. Coming up in Feb and June next year. We will start the process on our return.

 

Thank the Lord for the many opportunties that were given to share His word and the networking of believers. May the Lord who plants seeds help them to grow and bear fruit.

 

His amazing gift of getting us to NZ to see our loved ones, friends and fellow brothers and sisters in the Lord. We praise and thank you.

 

CHAPTER 9

THE OBLIGATIONS OF THE WIFE

The Reason why Woman was Created.

The wife was given to be a helper, suitable for her husband. In this world where following ones own dreams and aspirations, a world where realising ones own, personal authentic existence is the highest goal defining the role of the wife as a helper is seen as a negative. Especially when the common philosophy is that anything that denies people’s equality is morally wrong.

1 Corinthians 11:9

for indeed man was not created for the woman’s sake, but woman for the man’s sake.

Scripture says that the woman was made for man’s sake and not the other way round. This has much to do with the obligation for the wife to be a helper suitable for her husband. Many people not believe that the Bible is right in this area. Feminists perceive the biblical world-view to be oppressive and abusive of women’s rights. They believe that there should either be complete equality or women should have priority over men. But when we look at the various components of what scripture portrays concerning being a helper it actually cuts against some traditional understandings. One traditional view of a woman being a helper suitable for her husband was that once a woman got married she should be barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen. But that is not the biblical picture.

Genesis 2:18

Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.”

The Hebrew term translated as “a helper suitable” is “ezer k’negdo”. The word “ezer” means help and it is where we get the name Ezra from. And there are three letters in that word. The letters are ayin, zayin and rosh. The first two letters in the word spell the word “Uz” which means strength. Thus in Hebrew, the word for help has the concept of strength in it. The wife is a strength for her husband. She is not merely there to serve her husband but she is a strength to him also. And there are places where being a helper means to contribute a strength that the other person does not have. God is a helper and you cannot imagine God lacking in strength and weaker than us. He does not walk behind us in fear and trembling and He is a helper for us.

Joshua 1:12-15

12To the Reubenites and to the Gadites and to the half-tribe of Manasseh, Joshua said, 13″Remember the word which Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, saying, ‘The Lord your God gives you rest and will give you this land.’ 14Your wives, your little ones, and your cattle shall remain in the land which Moses gave you beyond the Jordan, but you shall cross before your brothers in battle array, all your valiant warriors, and shall help them, 15until the Lord gives your brothers rest, as He gives you, and they also possess the land which the Lord your God is giving them. Then you shall return to your own land, and possess that which Moses the servant of the Lord gave you beyond the Jordan toward the sunrise.”

The Reubenites, Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh already gained their inheritance but they were to help the other tribes gain theirs. In helping they were to supply more strength because without the extra help, the battles would be harder.

Exodus 18:4

Now when Moses’ father-in-law saw all that he was doing for the people, he said, “What is this thing that you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit as judge and all the people stand about you from morning until evening?”

Moses named his son Eliezer, which means “My God helps”. In this context the idea of help incorporates the concept of deliverance. Therefore God’s help is to do with salvation. And what did Eve help her husband with? She saved her husband from solitude or loneliness. The wonderful thing about overcoming loneliness and having companionship is that companionship is a two way thing. The wife is not only there to overcome his loneliness but because of the nature of companionship the husband is also there to overcome her loneliness too. But the Lord used Eve to save Adam from loneliness and the reason I believe that God brought all the animals to Adam was that he would then truly value his wife. Adam stood in front of the animals and they did not look like him. But when Adam stood in front of Eve, Adam could see that here was a helper suitable for him. The term “K’negdo” means, “as opposite”. The word “Neged” is also found in Ezekiel’s vision of the temple and is used to speak of “opposite the table”, “opposite the wall”. Therefore Eve stands opposite to Adam and she corresponds to him. Adam sees the animals coming to him, four legs, wings, thick skin, etc. and they do not correspond to him. Eve stands in front of him, and though there are obvious differences she is like him. Two arms, two legs, fine skin, the proportion of nose to ears, to eyes, to mouth etc. But this is not simply a physical correspondence. It is also emotional and spiritual. Because Eve was taken from Adam, and because she corresponds to him, therefore she is also made in the image of God. So there is a sense of equal worth and dignity between Adam and Eve. Thus, on the side of being a helper, there is a sense of a woman’s first obligation being to her husband. She is a helper for him. She was made for him, not him for her. But because she is opposite him, because she corresponds to him, they are equal also. And those two words, ‘helper’ and ‘suitable’ need to be held together.

The man has met his match.

The other aspect of the Hebrew word “k’negdo” lies with the Jewish idea of match-making. Eve was a match for Adam. If you have ever seen the film, “Fiddler on the Roof” you will remember that there was a Jewish lady who was a match-maker. She was a Shadkan and the Shadkan was responsible to find a match for someone’s daughter. But in match-making, the Shadkan would look at the education, they would look at the personal moral virtues, at the personality, they would look at the stock of the family (which was very important), and they want to find a match so that the future couple will correspond to each other. That is based on their understand of a helper being suitable for her husband. But the wonderful thing about marriage, is that even if we do not naturally correspond in every way, if we meet the challenges with a godly mindset, then marriage will find a way to cause a couple to come to correspond to each other. All those jagged edges that prohibit a neat fit get filed down, and get knocked off through friction until we correspond. Even if we did not correspond when we got married, God can cause us to correspond. So the woman is a match for her husband, they are in a partnership, they are mutually dependent on each other and she is supplying things that he lacks. In my own marriage, Di supplies a lot of attributes, skills and perspective that I lack.

The Woman is a Home Builder

Genesis 2:22

The Lord God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man.

Even though the English translation states that God made Adam from the rib, literally it means side. This probably means that God took the rib and some of the flesh around the rib because Adam says that “She is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh.” In the English it says that God fashioned, or made, the Rib into a woman. But the literal word for ‘fashioned’ actually means ‘built’. God built Eve from the side of Adam. The reason for this is that the woman is going to build the family. The woman is very important for she is the one who produces the children. The hebrew word for children is ‘Banim’ while the word, ‘to build’ is ‘banah’. There is a similarity between these words. She is primarily building the home through having children. However, when we get into the area of Hebrew word associations, we find some very precious truths. The word ‘binah’ means understanding, intelligence or knowledge. These concepts in the Hebrew scripture really do come together.

Proverbs 14:1

The wise woman builds her house, But the foolish tears it down with her own hands.

If you want to build a house you must employ wisdom. Some Rabbis, understanding these things, claimed concerning Genesis 2:22 that because God built (Banah) Eve, God has endowed her with more ‘Binah’ (understanding) than the man.

The Virtuous Woman

Proverbs 31:10-31

10An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels. 11The heart of her husband trusts in her, And he will have no lack of gain. 12She does him good and not evil All the days of her life.13She looks for wool and flax And works with her hands in delight.

14She is like merchant ships; She brings her food from afar. 15She rises also while it is still night

And gives food to her household And portions to her maidens. 16She considers a field and buys it;

From her earnings she plants a vineyard. 17She girds herself with strength And makes her arms strong. 18She senses that her gain is good; Her lamp does not go out at night. 19She stretches out her hands to the distaff, And her hands grasp the spindle. 20She extends her hand to the poor, And she stretches out her hands to the needy. 21She is not afraid of the snow for her household,

For all her household are clothed with scarlet. 22She makes coverings for herself; Her clothing is fine linen and purple. 23Her husband is known in the gates, When he sits among the elders of the land. 24She makes linen garments and sells them, And supplies belts to the tradesmen. 25Strength and dignity are her clothing, And she smiles at the future. 26She opens her mouth in wisdom, And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. 27She looks well to the ways of her household, And does not eat the bread of idleness. 28Her children rise up and bless her; Her husband also, and he praises her, saying: 29″Many daughters have done nobly, But you excel them all.” 30Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. 31Give her the product of her hands, And let her works praise her in the gates.

This woman is one such woman who is building up her house. A lot of people call her the virtuous woman. Some people say that such a woman does not exist and would only read this allegorically. But this woman teaches us that a woman’s place is not just behind a sink. She is not barefoot. She is a dignified, respectful and very capable woman. The virtuous woman’s value and what she has to contribute is exceedingly great. In this passage Solomon’s mother is speaking to him. She warns her son to walk carefully, not in drunkenness and spending his strength on lewd women. Rather, she calls Solomon to attach himself to a godly wife. And this is why I believe that this passage is not primarily allegorical or symbolic though it may have that level of meaning. Solomon’s mother is telling him what kind of woman he should be looking for. The worth of such a woman is rare and therefore she is precious. She is trustworthy and leaves her husband entertaining no suspicion. Her husband trusts in her and his trust is not disappointed in her. She lives up to his trust. He does not have to worry about what she is doing. He knows within his heart that she is not up to anything that would harm him. There is complete security in their relationship. One of the callings of the wife is to do her husband good as long as they both shall live. As she does her husband good, the trust of her husband can only grow.

In verses 13-14 we can she that this woman has the ability of outsourcing materials and food. She does not make beans on toast (and there is nothing wrong with beans on toast), but rather she puts her heart and soul into the food she prepares and clothes that she provides for her family. This is no mere cooking but rather culinary science. I once visited a family who were having a shabbat meal. They did not judge me for working on Saturday but they chose to do a Shabbat. The husband was preparing spiritual food upstairs and the wife and the daughters were preparing the physical food downstairs with special ‘challah’ bread in the oven with all kinds of pastries. The virtuous woman is no simpleton. She is skilled, she outsources her materials and ingredients, she knows what to look for, she travels far to get the things that she wants and needs because she puts her heart and soul into what she does. This is very important because by getting the materials and ingredients in order to make the virtuous woman is mirroring God to some extent. In creation God made the universe in a state of chaos. The earth at that stage was filled with water. The bible states that the earth was formless and void. In the first three days of creation God produces form. Day and night, Sky and ocean, land and sea. God produces the spaces first and then in days 4-6 God fills those spaces. Sun and moon and stars, sky creatures and ocean creatures, land creatures. God overcomes the void. God does not create by merely clicking his fingers and everything spontaneously appearing in a twinkling of an eye. God firstly prepares His work and then brings things forth by means of a process and plan. A lot of wisdom and thought went into God’s work. God does not merely speak things into existence, though He does that. God is also preparing His work. God did not merely call Adam into being but formed his body from the dust of the ground. It almost feels like God’s hands were there moulding and shaping Adam. The same thing can be said of the virtuous woman. She prepares her work and much thought and wisdom goes into her work.

In verse 15 we can she that she is providing the needs of the whole household. She has a big household to look after. She has maidens and therefore she has personnel management skills. She can delegate tasks. But in verses 16-19 we see that she is also industrious. She is also into real estate for she considers a field and buys it. To consider a field means that she has to weigh up the options. She is not an impulsive buyer but an intelligent student. To consider property she would have to have some knowledge of the weather in that area, of the kind of soil she is dealing with, a knowledge of what she can plant there, a knowledge of the value of that land etc. She is not stuck in the kitchen but she is earning wages and investing her earnings into this vineyard. The overriding idea is that everything she touches is fruitful. Everything she does is a stepping stone within a process of continual increase. She is also a fashion designer. She can design and create clothes that make her family look good. She is a farmer, for she plants that vineyard. She has many different skills and abilities.

In verse 20 we she that she is a woman of compassion and charity. Her first focus is on her own family. She does not neglect her family for the sake of helping others. But as she meets the needs of her own household, this overflows into meeting the needs of the poor around her. Therefore the virtuous woman is also engaged in ministry. She is not only called to be a wife and mother, though those are her primary callings, but she is also called to serve the Lord. But everything she does, whether is is culinary science, buying a field, planting a vineyard, making clothes, whatever she does is always geared towards her family and afterwards that overflowing to others. You do not meet such people often, but sometimes there are families where the daughters might be raised with the expectation that she will be a stay home mother. She may feel that there is no point in going to university because she is just going to be a wife. She does not want a career. There are lots of reasons why it is good to get an education and/or training and skills. It will in some way benefit the future family especially if the parents choose to home school. The virtuous woman does not merely provide for her family but provides nice things. In verses 21-22 we see that she clothes her household with scarlet. Yet she does not neglect herself in the process. She puts her family first but she also looks to herself also.

Through her hard work and skill, the virtuous woman has made herself the influence behind her husband’s fame and success. Her husband is known in the gates. The gates were the place where the elders, judges and people of importance sat. In gates decisions were rendered by judges, taxes were paid and leaders ruled in the gates. The husband is well known and respected in the gates. There is no reason given in the text of why he would be so respected except for the influence of his wife. She seems to be the reason that he is in that position. Everything so does, not only carries value but increases the value of her whole family. As some people say, “Behind every great man is an even greater woman.” But not only does she make enough to feed her family and the poor, but out of her abundance of her production she also makes linen garments and sells them and also supplies belts to the tradesmen. Therefore she is also involved in sales. She is continually fruitful and nothing goes to waste. She finds a use for everything. Primarily she finds a use for her family, then for the poor and finally she sells the remainder.

If you stopped there, your focus would then be on nice clothes and good food. But that is not the focus of this passage. If you look at verse 25ff you will see that the most important thing, which transcends all of these qualities, is her inward, personal attributes; the kind of woman that she is. She is adorned with strength and dignity. Her mouth is full of wisdom and speaks the teaching of kindness. What makes her a virtuous woman is not all her skills, her industry, her clothing or her food. What makes her a woman of excellence is her heart. If you compare this passage to the rest of scripture you will see that financial wealth is no indicator of spiritual standing. James says that God has chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith. We are not to judge anyone by the clothes that they wear, nor treat one person better than another simply because he wears better clothes and has gold jewellery. We are to treat people the same, no matter what station of life they come from. We are not to look at the face but to discern the heart. According to 1 Timothy 6:3-11 we should not set our hearts on getting rich. The true riches of the virtuous woman lies in the virtues of her character. All the rest is surface and superficial in comparison.

1 Timothy 2:15

But women will be preserved through the bearing of children if they continue in faith and love and sanctity with self-restraint.

When a woman is preserved through childbearing, she is preserved from the same danger Eve fell into which is leading her family astray. The woman must teach her children and has great influence over them. Thus they are preserved from leading their families astray “if they continue in faith and love and sanctity with self-restraint.” These are the attributes that scripture emphasises. These are the very things that make the virtuous woman truly rich. In verse 27 we see that she examines her own household. “How is this child behaving?” “Why does that person look downcast?” She looks to bear a godly influence in her household. And as a result her children and her husband commend her in verses 28-29. Her whole family blesses her and esteems her highly. It is so important that we who are husbands, with genuine sincerity, affirm our wives and not take them for granted. It is important to affirm the children, not to boost their sense of ego and self importance, but genuine praise for genuine virtues and endeavours. Behind verse 29 lies verses 10-28. The husband is not saying these words because it is his duty to affirm his wife as a good husband. Neither is he saying this for psychological reasons, merely to make his wife feel good about herself. His claim is substantial because of what she has done. He is acknowledging her. When we esteem our wives and we give genuine reasons our compliments mean something. Husbands need to take note of the work and sacrifice of their wives. When Paul affirms the Corinthians or any of the other churches, he does not do so in order to make them feel good about themselves but he has sincere and genuine reasons as to why he thanks God for them. It is not about having a positive state of mind and fostering that in others. It is no psychological management of people’s emotional well being in order to get the best response from them to do what you want them to do. It is not a manipulation technique. It is from a genuine heart based on Paul’s observation of those people. The virtuous woman’s husband really believes that he has married the cream of the crop and that is highly possible as she lived millennia before my wife was born.

Yes she wears scarlet, yes she wears jewellery, yes she has fine clothes but that does not make her beautiful. Those outward things by themselves are deceitful. The whole advertisement and entertainment business is built upon this deceit. They draw people’s eyes to the beautiful people, and it is superficial. Keith Green once gave a message where he warned the men against merely praying for a gorgeous, beautiful and good looking wife. He said that God may well give them the gorgeous, beautiful and good looking witch on the face of the earth. Outward beauty fades and clothes fray and lose their colour. But the fear of the Lord grow more beautiful every day that it is nurtured and fostered. Paul said that, even though the outer man was decaying, the inward man was being strengthened day by day. Therefore, we should get more beautiful as we get older.

The Woman is called to be a helper.

When I speak of the word ‘helper’ the main person that comes to my mind is not my wife but the Holy Spirit. He is the model helper and, therefore, if we want to know what it is to be one we would do well to study the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is a helper in several different ways and the woman is to emulate the Holy Spirit without trying to be the Holy Spirit to her husband. And as a helper the woman is to allow her husband to be the head of her home. The husband is the head and she is under him but being under him is an active and not a passive thing. That is similar to the Holy Spirit role in comparison to Messiah. The Holy Spirit is subordinate to the Father and the Son. There is no precedent, in the whole of scripture, for direct prayer and worship to the Holy Spirit. We can pray to God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, in His “three-in-oneness” but not to the Holy Spirit in reference to Himself. We do not see this practised in scripture. There is only one place where you may get the impression that it is possible and that is with Ezekiel and he is told to prophesy to the wind. But that is in a vision, which is a prophecy about what was going to happen to the nation. He is prophesying to the wind, not the Holy Spirit, even though the wind in the vision is a picture of the Holy Spirit. So the Holy Spirit is subordinate to the Father and the Son even though He is equally God and equally important. We need to give the Holy Spirit equal attention in our understanding of scripture and our lives. We need to yield to Him. The Holy Spirit is so vitally important and yet He seems to take a back-seat role. He directs our attention to Yeshua and not to Himself.

John 14:16-17

I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; 17that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.

The word ‘Helper’ in this passage is the Greek word, ‘Parakletos’, and this word means, someone who comes alongside someone else. It is used to speak of encouragement. Many times, encouragement means to take a metaphorical stick and to prod someone into action. But this ‘Helper’ is also called, ‘The Spirit of truth’. The Holy Spirit encourages and comes alongside us, prods us into action but He also speaks the truth to us.

Proverbs 8:7-8

7″For my mouth will utter truth; And wickedness is an abomination to my lips. 8″All the utterances of my mouth are in righteousness; There is nothing crooked or perverted in them.

Just as wisdom is, and just as the Holy Spirit is, so should we all be but in this context, especially the wife. Our wives’ lips should preserve truth as a helper for her husband.

John 14:26

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.

What does the Holy Spirit do in this situation? He helps us to remember what Yeshua has already told us because we forget the words of the Lord. Yeshua has already told us but the Holy Spirit reminds us of those words. I do not know about other men but in my case one of my deficiencies is that I can forget a lot of things but my wife will remember much of what I forget. I am better than I used to be. One of my wife’s strengths is that she can remember things that I forget. My wife gladly and willingly reminds me of the things that I forget. It also works the other way around but in reminding me of the important things that the Lord has spoken at those times that I forget, my wife is being my helper. I should not be offended by that because Di is fulfilling the Lord’s call on her life. I have seen numerous cases where wives will advance spiritually way ahead of their husbands and the wives end up reminding their husbands of important things concerning the Lord. The idea is not that the wife should drag her husband along but that she should remind and provoke her husband.

John 15:26-27

26″When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me, 27and you will testify also, because you have been with Me from the beginning.

The Holy Spirit bears witness and bears testimony about Yeshua. The Holy Spirit directs our eyes and attention upwards and not to Himself. The Holy Spirit honours the Head. The women should also honour her head. She is the glory of the man.

Proverbs 12:4

4An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, But she who shames him is like rottenness in his bones.

When the woman is performing her role as God desires her husband is honoured by her. She is the crown of her husband. Without her he would not be the man that he is. But the flip side is that when she shames her husband she is like rottenness to his bones. The word for ‘bone’ in Hebrew is ‘Etsem’. It has to do with something strong. Rottenness in the bones is like having brittle bones. When someone has brittle bones, the bones cannot take impact for they have lost their strength. They will break easily. When a woman shames her husband he loses his strength and dignity and he will become the very thing that she will hate him for. She needs to affirm her husband and honour him. If you need have a grievance do not contradict and ridicule him before others. He is just a human being. He is not as strong as others think him to be or how he appears before men. But with your help he will be as strong as you need him to be. Just as the Holy Spirit affirms our groom, you affirm and honour your husband. A wife is selfless. When I was born, my parents had nothing. The first Christmas after I was born, they only had one piece of Christmas cake for food and my mother went without so that I could have some food. She was naturally selfless for her baby boy.

John 16:7-8

7But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. 8And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment;

As the ‘Helper’ the Holy Spirit convicts of sin, righteousness and judgement. There is a function of the wife’s role as helper, that helps her husband to address certain things in his life. Being a helper does not mean that you do not carefully confront blind spots in your husband’s life. The question that lies before the wife in this aspect of being a helper is ‘How?’ The attitude that needs to be avoided and that is sinful is “Well, as a helper, I am going to get in my husband’s face and tell him exactly what he needs to look at and if he does not respond to it I will get in his face even more until he sorts himself out!” The wife needs to be like the Holy Spirit. She must be holy, humble and His whole purpose centres on glorifying the Father and the Son. Thus, as a helper, the woman needs to first look at her own life. She needs to have the right attitude. What happens in the case where the husband is completely ungodly and does not want to heed sound counsel? How does the woman convict her husband then?

1 Peter 3:1-4

1In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, 2as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior. 3Your adornment must not be merely external-braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; 4but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.

The woman is to use her behaviour to convict her husband. When we speak of a behaviour that convicts, we mean a genuine behaviour and not a vindictive and demonstrative act to be flaunted in front of him behaviour to show him a thing or two. God is not calling us to play self-righteous games of one-upmanship. But when there is genuine submission and gentleness, chaste and respectful behaviour it may perhaps be used by the Lord to bring the husband under the conviction of the Holy Spirit. The focus is not on the outward appearance of things but on the inward beauty of the heart. The role of bringing conviction is not one of giving another person a good telling off but it is one of submitting oneself to the Lord with all self-control and restraint. If the husband is so heart-hearted the work of conviction must be without a word which should stress the importance of a wife praying for her husband. God must do the work in him because if the wife tries to manipulate him to do the right thing it will be ugly and superficial. If God does the work in your husband’s life you will become more attracted to him if the Lord is at the centre of your life. When I act more godly my wife finds me more attractive.

The conviction of the Holy Spirit often comes through His still small voice. When Elijah took on the prophets of Ba’al, God’s fire came down from heaven and the people saw that YHWH was the true God. Elijah expected the whole nation to repent but instead Jezebel repays him with death threats. Elijah is despondent and asks God to take his life because he is no better than his fathers. Elijah felt like a failure. God shows Elijah a violent wind, earthquake and fire and God is not in any of them. But God was in the still small voice. God is telling Elijah that He is not going to win the nation through the wind, earthquake and fire but through the Holy Spirit convicting their hearts with a still small voice. Thus, how should a wife attempt to win her husband? With a still small voice and not by railing at him.

A wise woman builds her house but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands. It takes wisdom and when we do not have wisdom we are to ask God for it who gives it liberally. In1 Samuel 25:13-35 David approaches Abigail’s husband as requests hospitality which was an expected courtesy in the society of that time, especially when respect and courtesy has been shown to him. It was an honour to show hospitality and a shame to refuse it. Nabal dismisses David’s request. David wants to take an army and deal out justice to Nabal but Abigail attempts to save her godless husband by taking food and begging David from following his proposed course of action. Abigail does this in such a respectful and tactful manner that David praises the Lord on her account and refrains from seeking his own vindication. But through the tact and the wisdom of this lady David was spared from bringing guilt upon himself. This is the kind of wisdom every woman should seek in being a helper for her husband. Women need to be very careful to refrain from trying to nag their husbands into submission.

Proverbs 27:15

15A constant dripping on a day of steady rain And a contentious woman are alike;

Proverbs 19:13

13A foolish son is destruction to his father, And the contentions of a wife are a constant dripping.

Drip, drip, drip, drip! When you have said what needed to be said, you have said it. You do not need to keep going on about it. You must say it and you must make suggestions and highlight things because you are a helper. You cannot let your husband continue in folly without alerting him to certain things but at some point you are going to have to leave it and let it go because you cannot change your husband and the more you try to change him the more he is going to resist. He probably will not like being manipulated or controlled. Rather than trying to nag and control him, use wisdom and sometimes you will have to do so without words. A woman must be clever in building her house.

Proverbs 24:3-4

3By wisdom a house is built, And by understanding it is established; 4And by knowledge the rooms are filled With all precious and pleasant riches.

If you want to build your house you cannot do it without wisdom and understanding. This is very interesting because it is the husband’s role to understand his wife but without understanding a wife cannot perform her role either. It is better for a man to live in the corner of a roof than to live in a house with a contentious wife. By God’s grace make the home a lovely environment to be in and that not merely in an external sense but by the atmosphere that you are modelling, promoting and encouraging in the lives of the people you live with. The atmosphere is not created by slavishly following a recipe book. Such an atmosphere needs to be nurtured and cultivated. When you cultivate your garden it does not all go according to plan. Sometimes there are pests and sometimes the weather is not conducive for growth. Unpredictable issues affect the way you will work in that garden. Therefore one must pay attention and take note. You must have wisdom and understanding for problem solving. It is no less necessary for the helper to foster a godly and lovely environment within the home.

 

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