So You're Married, Now What? Use Your Gifts

No blushing bride goes into marriage thinking that it’s going to be hard, or even that sin will rear its ugly head shortly after she says “I do”. But the unfortunate reality is that it does. Sometimes right away. But sometimes a few moments of bliss is enjoyed before real life sets in. Either way, there will come a point where the “honeymoon phase” is over. Two sinners living under the same roof is a hard adjustment. For many it’s the first time they have ever been hit head on with the sinfulness of their condition. And it’s painful. It’s crucial that the church and godly families help young brides-to-be prepare for what to expect, and how to respond.

The culture unabashedly tells young women to seek a career and climb the professional ladder. There are a host of television shows, message points in the classroom, and mainstream media publications that encourage girls towards this end. Unfortunately, many in the church do too. They might not state it so bluntly, but often the expectation placed on young women from a very early age is find out what you want to be when you grow up and educate yourself accordingly. It’s a subtle encouragement to the impressionable girl that your dreams, goals, and pursuits matter most. And it’s up to you to make them a reality. The message is rarely one of helping young women learn how to serve a family as a wife and mother one day. That, my friends, would be a waste of her intellect and dreams, right?

Don’t get me wrong. Women have incredible talents, gifts, and strengths just as much as men. It’s part of being created equally in the image of God. But God never designed any of us to use our gifts to seek our own glory and gain. And in his good plan, he uniquely created married women to primarily be a help and service to their husbands (Gen. 2:18, Gen. 2:20). But this looks different for every wife.

We would do young brides a great service by helping them fully understand their gifts and talents (and they have them), and how to harness those gifts to support and help their husbands. Sound crazy? Counter-cultural? It is. But it’s exactly what we as women need, and what a watching world needs to see. What can happen when young brides have not grasped this great truth is what would happen to any relationship when both are seeking their own way. Conflict.

I didn’t understand this when I first got married. Sure I believed that I was supposed to be a help to my husband, but I didn’t understand what it meant to be a “suitable helper” to my husband. I thought he was a hindrance to me fully exercising my talents and living my dreams. What I failed to realize was that God had gifted me in the exact ways my husband needed to be helped. He made me perfectly suited for my husband. And not for my own gain and my own glory, but to serve and support my husband in such a way that he is freed and equipped to fulfill his calling in life.

This is how the family is supposed to work. The family is one cohesive unit, with every member having a role to play. Some have more prominent roles, some have more behind the scenes roles, but all matter in the Kingdom.

So next time you talk to a young girl about her aspirations in life, don’t squash her desire to be a wife and a mother. Instead help her learn how to cultivate her gifts, dreams, and abilities in a way that will bring honor and blessing to her future husband and glory to her heavenly Father as well.