Just what is the role of a woman as a wife in a Christian marriage? If you search for this answer online, you will get multiple answers. Here is my take, which comes from what I see in Scripture combined with what I see in the counseling room: I think it is really important for both men and women to know that one role is not better or more important than another. The roles that God gives a husband and a wife are like two parts of a symbiotic relationship. Remember that from biology? The definition goes something like this: “It is when two organisms cannot survive without each other.” That’s how our roles are in marriage. If the husband falls down in his role or the wife falls down in her role, the marriage goes down. A healthy marriage is where both are fulfilling their God-given roles.
For a woman, it is to be the helper and the lover or nurturer. What an amazing responsibility. God describes Adam’s need for a “helper” in Genesis 2:18, and then He created Eve. Do you know who else the Bible calls a “helper”? None other than the Creator of the universe—God Himself (Psalm 121). God gave women this amazing ability to love and nurture. Sure, as men we can love and nurture some, but God gave our wives the ability to take it to a whole new level. I cannot imagine what my life would be like without Nancy playing the role God gave her.
On a Tuesday night in 1983, Nancy and I sat across from each other in a booth in a Mexican restaurant having dinner. This was not just any weeknight dinner out. This night would literally define the rest of our lives. I had been running from the calling God had on my life for a long time. I bargained, argued, and tried everything I could think of. It was time for me to give up running and give in to Him. Nancy knew of my struggle. We had talked about it a lot, but that night I poured my heart out to her. I said, “I have to do this, but I can’t do it without you. Our lives will change big-time. I don’t know what the future will hold, but I trust Him more than I ever have.” I needed to know she was all in with me.
A few years before, I asked her an important question. She said, “Yes, I am all in.” That night she looked me in the eyes, took my hand, and once again said, “Yes, I am all in with you.” She loves me and nurtures me, and we stand together, each doing our best to fulfill God’s role for us in our marriage.