Dr. Fleming’s Blog
Helpmeet – A Modern Observation
by Helen Fleming
Some might call me old fashioned, after researching and teaching God’s principles for a relationship between man and woman. I was raised to believe that I am a helpmeet to man; to support him, love him, respect him, and submit to him as we submit to one another (Eph 5:21). However we both are to submit to God, because He is the head of man as man is the head of woman.
The story of creation tells us that woman was made from the rib of man, named by man and they had dominion over everything on the earth. I believe that being a helpmeet is applicable to marriage and also the foundation for relationships.
Considering the history of women, and the struggle for women to receive equal treatment and equal pay, and equal recognition of their contributions to societal advancements, the concept of a woman being submissive can sound both offensive and insulting to some. However, as we grow in Christ and recognize who you are, we learn that submission is not a sign of weakness when our trust is in God. In fact, we can become powerful and less threatened by others. To be quite honest, women have suffered much abuse over the centuries, and even today woman face unfair treatment in so many different scenarios. I know the history of women, and all that we have endured, and yet, in marriage, we are still held accountable to be a helpmeet and in that capacity is where we find our identity and peace.
The family unit concept, as the Bible declares it to be, has been challenged, because 29% of marriages results in divorces across the nation, 20% are living together, 35% are the head of single households and 16% have never experience marriage in a tradition manner. In some cases, divorce has pulled the family apart, and in other cases marriages appear to be dysfunctional or ineffective as purposed by God. Depending upon our own family upbringing, some of us did not have in-home examples of marriage, and did not see husbands and wives interact with love and affection, or agape love displayed, which means a selfless love in submission to one another.
Today, I live the life of a single woman, and work as the Apostle Paul has taught us, dedicating my life to service. I have had the privilege to be married before, and if ever I were again called to the ministry of marriage, my role would be to support to my husband, to love him, to respect him, and to submit to him as he submits himself unto God.
One of my favorite sets of scriptures on this topic is Proverbs 31, which describes the virtuous woman. It says that she is multi-talented, and uses her skills to care for her family. She makes her husband proud at the city gate and the family speaks well of her. I strive to be that virtuous woman daily, whether I am married or single.
The question is how do we fully apply the scriptures to a post-modern society? How do we walk the Word of God rather than talk it? How do we bring glory to God through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who died on the cross so that we might be redeemed from sin? That’s the God we serve, He sacrificed all for us. Can we as man and woman do these things in married life or in single life as well? I believe that we can. I have witnessed those who want to follow God, even in the post-modern era, have the most remarkable relationship that only God could sanctify.
We are to be that beacon of light; the Christ light that shines through on the job, the streets, on public transportation and wherever else we are, but most importantly, in our homes. When we are wives and husbands, mothers and fathers, and even daughters and sons, we are born with a task and we need to get back on track by seeking to be obedient to God’s Word.
There is a song called “God’s Woman”, and it exemplifies the epitome of seeking God’s will as a woman. The songwriter says, “God’s woman, that’s what I want to be, His woman for all the world to see, His living inside of me, joyfully and it goes on further to say, “Wherever He leads me, I will follow and whatever task He gives me, I’ll will do as I support Him.” These words inspired me to be that woman.
However, the most important issue in our process of transformation to rebuild the kingdom of God, is to be obedient to His Word.
As Adam, the first man who had the assignment to watch over and lead Eve, failed. This same assignment exists today. God’s man has to desire to step up to the plate and protect his woman, praying with his family, and sharing the love of God in order to bring the best out of his home. Not following the crowd, but goes wherever He sends them is key. In today’s setting, that translates into being a Godly woman, and a Godly man who is set aside from the world to be used by God in His kingdom building to bring honor and glory unto Him.
Are you a Godly woman? Are you a Godly man? Have you lost your place? Have you become controlling, overbearing, selfish and so independent that others find it hard to get along with you? Women, do you allow yourself to be adored, covered and protected by a man? Do you know how to accept Godly love from a man? Men, do you allow yourself to adore, cover, and protect your woman, or do you see that as unnecessary and unwanted because women have too independent-a-mindset?
Let’s go a little deeper. Women, how do you feel about the term helpmeet itself? Does the term embarrass or belittle you? Men, does it make you uncomfortable to use this term when referring to your wife, or possible mate? Think of it as a badge of honor to be chosen by God to join together to lead a family. He has given us all authority, man and woman. However, He also provides us with a set of guidelines on how to exercise that authority to bring glory unto Him.
Men are you in a relationship with a dominating woman, who is controlling, disrespectful, and selfish? You are the man. Stand and hold your position with love. Ask God for the gift of discernment to be watchful in your selection of relationship.
It takes a team, husbands and wives, who compliment each other, to work together to support one another, neither seeking to out-do the other, but carrying their collective load of responsibilities together. Whenever either operates out of order, confusion sets in, and brings dishonor to the Kingdom of God. Men, either God has given you a helpmeet or God is standing in the gap to lead you to one. There is power when two stand together as one, and it will shut the entrance to the enemy intruding on God’s plan for your life.
President Barack Obama, and his wife the First Lady of the United States, Michelle are a great couple of reference regarding this topic. President Obama is the head of the Nation, and he’s also the head of their family. Mrs. Obama is a brilliant woman, studied, experienced, and established. They’ve both earned substantial successes. With all that, President Obama respects and always references his wife wherever he goes. And Mrs. Obama walks in her position of support to the President with grace. The Nation has not seen her over-step her boundaries, neither have we seen him belittle her because of his authority as leader of the “free world”. Over the past seven years since the President took oath, we have seen Mrs. Obama serve as his helpmeet, we have seen him honor her, and she has made him look good at the government gate. What a great example of a couple following the principles of God knowingly or unknowingly.
Where are you in your walk, either as a single or married woman or man? Follow my blog and let’s share God’s Word together to build our strength, confidence and maturity for our daily walk in Christ.
Here are five questions to reflect on regarding your walk as a married or single woman or man:
1. Are you in daily prayer with God concerning your relationships with others and how are you preparing to offer support in that relationship?
2.Do people see your light and reach out to you for prayer support, guidance and direction in the areas of Godly single or married living?
3.Do you make yourself available and regularly communicate with other Godly single or married people? If not, why?
4. When was the last time you had fellowship in person with other single or married groups in Christ?
5.Have you searched your heart concerning submission in order to commit to God’s calling on your life so that you can be set free of competitiveness, jealousy or insecurity?
Do you need prayer in this or other areas of your life? Or have a topic you’d like for me to cover in my blog? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rev. Dr. Helen Stafford Fleming
Lead Pastor Douglas Memorial United Methodist Church