The Secret to Being a Warrior Wife

He shuffled into the living room, shoulders slumped, and with a great sigh lowered himself to the couch.  His clothes bore the marks of a man who worked hard for a living.

He could barely meet my gaze, as if he were somehow lacking or not enough.  I knew he needed my compassion and encouragement, but instead of sympathy, I felt only frustration.

After all, I thought, I’m working hard in this season, too. I’m weary, too. What do I have left to offer? It feels like too much, and I have nothing left to give.

Besides, he’s a grown man. I’m busy caring for children and our home all day long, on top of the demands of work and ministry roles that I am responsible for. If I can keep myself going, why can’t he keep himself going?

And just like that I missed the opportunity to be a warrior wife.

Have you ever been so caught up in the busyness and stress of life that you forget who you are or who you were created to be, friend?

Especially as a writer and pastor’s wife, I struggle with balancing my family and home life with the demands of ministry life. Without realizing it, I begin to neglect important relationships because I’m “just so busy.”

I become task-oriented rather than people-oriented, a slave to the to-do list rather than a Spirit-led woman.

And it’s downright frustrating how quickly and easily I slip into this mode of doing rather than being!

We get so caught up in busy schedules and who we think we are supposed to be that we forget our primary purpose. Don't make the mistake of leaving your husband without the helper he really needs. Being a warrior wife is not just a role... The Secret to being a Warrior Wife

At a recent women’s conference, I received a wake-up call from the Lord. One speaker in particular, Dana James, reminded us of who we are created to be as daughters of the one true King in relation to our husbands.

Dana shared with us that God designed us to be “helpers” from the very beginning.

“Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.’ ” Gen. 2:18

Yes, I know we’ve all heard this verse before. Our job is to help, right? That’s our God-given “role,” right?

Wrong!

Dana drew our attention to the original language, which uses the Hebrew word ezer (pronounced ay-zer).  The word ezer is used 21 times in the Old Testament, but the majority of those uses are in reference to God himself, His character.  In such cases, the word ezer is used in connection with words like shield, sword, deliverer, mighty, and hope.

 Thus, ezer refers to the warrior aspect of God’s character – the One who fights on our behalf, our Shield and Defender, our Rescue.

As I looked further into the meanings attached to this word and its definitions, I found connotations of assistance or aid, especially in times of suffering or distress.  It means relief given to someone in need, removing or reducing something that is painful, unpleasant, or even oppressive!

And this very same word ezer is used to describe a helper suitable for Adam.

Do you see what this means for us, my sisters in Christ?

When the Lord God chose to create woman, He instilled in her very character the properties of this ezer. He created us to be warrior women, warrior wives, who will bravely fight spiritual battles on behalf of our husbands, who will provide aid and relief to the men in our lives who are worn down and discouraged by the demands of this earthly life.

Here’s the rub: I think we all know this intuitively and most of us truly desire to live this out.

But sometimes it feels like a whole lot of work that we have no strength to do, doesn’t it?

So when I saw my hard-working husband down and out on a day when I was already in that weighed-down place myself, I chose to look the other way. I chose to put my needs first.

I left him without his ezer, his helper.

It was a selfish choice that I’m ashamed to say I make often when I’m already stressed.  And I wonder, why do I make this choice?  What is it that feels so hard about being a warrior wife? What secret am I missing?

 

The secret to being a warrior wife lies in our perspective.

“It’s who we are, not a role we play!” ~ Dana James

When I see being a warrior wife as a job I need to do, it’s easy for me to let it slide on the days when I’m worn out or discouraged. It’s easy for me to call it “too hard.”  But when I see being a warrior wife as part of my very identity, as a reflection of God’s character that comes not from trying harder, but from yielding to the Spirit, then I’m left with no excuses.

It is who I am called to be in Christ, and it’s who you are called to be in Christ, too, friend. Don’t leave your husband without the helper he really needs.

You were created for this and in Christ, you are equipped for this.

Let’s be warrior wives who fight the right kind of battles, not against our husbands, but for them.

Let’s do battle on our knees and in our war rooms against the real enemy.

Let’s choose to aid rather than to ignore.

Be an ezer. Fight!

Jen :)

*Much of the content for this post came from Dana James’s talk “Being a Very Strong Helper” at Tranfsormed 2016 (Central Conference) and was used with permission from Dana herself.  If you’d like to connect more with Dana, she writes at The Prime Rib, a website for minister’s wives in Tennessee.

For a practical take on how to encourage a discouraged husband (and how NOT to), try this one from Club 31 Women.

Recommended resources for being a warrior wife:

       

Sharing with: Grace and Truth

3 Ways to Calm Your Emotions ~ Before They Ruin Your Marriage

Have you ever looked at your marriage and wondered what has happened? Have you been completely dissatisfied with the state of everything? Have you gone so far as to maybe even ponder divorce?

You’re not alone.

I know that as a culture, we tend to keep doing what we do, so long as it is beneficial to us in some way. But when we turn that corner where we feel it is no longer beneficial, we’re quick to throw it away – whether it’s an old book that our kids have outgrown, a faulty appliance, broken furniture, and even our marriage.

I wrote about the day I took my ring off, and I’ve been open with struggles in my own marriage. It’s hard to want to stay, to want to work things out, when the struggles seem too big.

Fear can play a major role in trying to work through our problems. We fear more pain, rejection, we even fear other people finding out about our troubles. Fear can truly mess us up in our day to day lives.

But there is something that can add fuel to fear’s fire and really make matters seem worse than they need to be.

Our emotions.

I’ve found that when my emotions run wild, the fear flares up. When the fear seems out of control, everything seems impossible. So to quiet the fear, I have to calm the emotions.

Here are 3 ways to calm your emotions.

I've found that when my emotions run wild, the fear flares up. When the fear seems out of control, everything seems impossible. So to quiet the fear, I have to calm the emotions. Here are 3 ways to calm your emotions.

1. REST

I’ve found that my emotions are the most difficult to control when I’m tired. No matter how hard I try to keep things in check, every little issue seems more magnified when I’m tired. I try to deny the tiredness and convince myself that the problem truly is just that big.

Lately I’ve gone back to intentionally lying down on a Sunday afternoon. I don’t always sleep, but I do intentionally give my body a bit of a break. Funny how we have to be so intentional about these things, isn’t it?

One time, early in my marriage, I was having trouble sleeping – or maybe adjusting to another body in the bed. My husband suggested sleeping with a Bible under my pillow, which I did. I was able to fall right to sleep and I slept very well. I’ve gone back to that practice from time to time, as the need presents itself. There’s something special about having God’s Word close to our minds while we sleep.

2. WORSHIP MUSIC

Ready for a bit of honesty here? This one is the hardest for me. Yup. This is where it becomes a battle of the will.

See, once I realize that my emotions are the problem, therefore, that I’m the problem (or at least a part of the problem), I don’t want to have to own up to it. I don’t want to be accountable for what I’ve contributed to the situation. I want to push the blame to anyone else.

It’s become a heart issue by this point – one that I don’t want to deal with.

I have to physically choose to turn on the music, put in the earbuds, and let God’s Word sink into my heart through worship songs.

I don’t have any particular favorites. It seems each time I listen, there are songs with lyrics geared specifically to what I need to hear. I love how God does that!

3. TIME WITH GOD

I often go to a favorite Scripture and just meditate on that. I read the verses around my favorites, to try to understand the context, to try to get a little more out of the passage. But I meditate on verses that have strengthened my heart previously, that have helped me find rest, that have provided the assurance that I need.

Just a few of my favorites:
Psalm 71:14, Jude 24-25, Revelation 12:11, Isaiah 61, Isaiah 43:1.

There are many others – I’d love to hear some of your favorite go-to verses for when you’re needing to refocus.

I have a few books that are easy-reading, that help me to rest and quiet my heart, but also remind me that my time right then is dedicated to focusing on God.

The first is called An Angel, A Miracle, or Simply God at Work? It’s the true stories of a missionary, shared in an easy-to-read manner. He shares the stories, shares God’s work through the stories, and leaves it up to you as to what you would call it – intervention from an angel? a true miracle? or simply God at work in our world today?

The next is called When Words Won’t Come and this one is rather new to me. I’m still reading through it, but I’ve been so blessed by it. The author provides a short Scripture and just a few, small thoughts to meditate on. This book has been a tremendous blessing on the days when I’ve faced difficulty or have struggled to keep going.

These 3 ways to calm your emotions are easy to do, but can provide so much heart-relief. There are plenty of other great ways to regain control of wild emotions – a walk, quiet time by a fire, a favorite hot drink on a cool evening, time talking with a friend.

I’ve found that once I quiet my emotions, then the fear settles and it’s easier to face the realities of the situation for what they are – not for the blown-out-of-proportion image that my emotions have made them to be.

I’d love to hear how you purposefully quiet your emotions to regain control of a seemingly out-of-control situation. I pray these 3 tips are a blessing to you!

Blessings!

-Rebekah
Rebekah M. Hallberg

Rebekah has been completely overwhelmed by the grace and mercy of the Lord in her life. He has proven His faithfulness in every area of her life, especially in her marriage. She has come to understand the power of redemption and God’s work in her own marriage. Her goal is to be Sharing Redemption’s Stories – encouraging wives who are praying for redemption in their marriage.

 

 

Sharing with: Grace and Truth

10 Simple Ways to Maintain a Cheerful Heart

If you haven’t noticed on facebook, all of us folks here in the Midwest have been calling Mr. Groundhog a big, fat liar. I’m not sure if it’s really his fault or if we’ve been the victims of some cosmic April Fool’s prank, but after being teased with Spring, our Winter carried right over into April. April, folks!!

As a mama of four rambunctious children, we are beyond ready for afternoons of outdoor play! In fact, it’s so tempting to use the weather (snow followed by lots and lots of rainy, dreary days) as an excuse for a bad attittude.

But this year I’m learning to be more steadfast.

I don’t want the weather, or my busy schedule, or life’s disappointments, or wild-with-energy disobedient children to dictate my own emotions any longer.  Instead, I want to find my joy and strength in the Lord, maintaining the calm confidence that comes from Him alone.

Do you want that, too, friend?  A steady spirit? A faith that doesn’t waver at every little wave that rocks the boat?

Here are a few simple ways to keep life from stealing the joy that is rightfully ours in the Lord.

10 Simple Ways to Maintain a Cheerful Heart

1. Abide in the Vine.

Nothing brings more joy than being right with our Creator, which makes sense. God Almighty is our very source of life, so avoiding Him literally sucks life from us!

“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5 (NASB)

On the other hand, when we spend time focused on Him, we get an infusion of life, and with it, joy – it just bubbles right over and onto everyone around us!

2. Listen to Music.

For some that might be Christian Radio and for others, classical music, classic rock – whatever it is that gives your soul wings.  For those days when you really need a dose of biblical truth set to song, I highly recommend this album by Casting Crowns or this one by Sidewalk Prophets.

3. Take Care of Your Physical Body. 

I don’t know about you, but nothing makes me more grumpy than skipped meals or a lack of sleep.  In addition, this year I’ve noticed that consistent exercise helps me more than I realized before. I feel less stressed after working out and happier!  And let’s not even talk about how not good I feel when I overeat (0r eat too much junk)…

The science behind taking care of our bodies doesn’t lie, but even more, we have a biblical mandate to care for God’s temple!

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.” 1 Cor. 6:19-20 (NASB)

 

I’m sharing over at my friend’s place – Sharing Redemption’s Stories. Follow me over to read the rest of this article by clicking this link or the image below.  And if you find this helpful, don’t forget to share. :) Thanks, friends!

Proverbs says that a cheerful heart is like good medicine, and research supports that joy aids in healing and in keeping a healthy body!  But in the dark times, joy can feel so very hard to find.  If you're struggling with some blues or enduring a season of grief, consider this advice for keeping your spirits up. 10 Ways to Maintain a Cheerful Heart

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