Appreciating the First Lady (4)

Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either one of them falls, one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up. Furthermore, if two lie down together they can keep warm, but how can one be warm alone? And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him (Ecc.4:9-12).

Individual responsibility is a godly thing, and it has to mesh or coordinate with our obligation to work with others. This needs to take place everywhere in the church, the community, at work and it has to begin in marriage.

Within marriage, everyone has to learn to work with their spouse, and there are often challenges with this. Working with your spouse can actually take a long time to work out, which can seem to be depressing. “Why all these problems?”

Well, there are lots of mistakes because some of us are slow to learn, slow to give up old habits of individualism that don’t help.

Eve was his “helpmeet,” to use a common term (Genesis 2:20). Actually, the King James Version never uses “helpmeet.” That is a word which developed from the King James phrase, “an help meet for him.” What the phrase really meant was “a helper fit for him,” or better yet, “designed for him.” Eve was designed to complement Adam and make his work more efficient. Adam was limited from the start, an incomplete creation, just as the earth was an incomplete creation. Adam needed Eve. He needed her to work better, enjoy life better, procreate children, and most important of all, better reflect God’s image.[1]

Men ought to always appreciate their wife. Of course she isn’t perfect. Are you? It’s a foolish thing to take her for granted. Firstly, she’ll notice it, and won’t appreciate it. Secondly, if you had to do without her for a month, how would you go?

In September 2007, Dr Thomas Kossman, a German trauma surgeon working at the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne, Australia since 2001, was told by the hospital’s CEO, that he was under investigation for shoddy surgery, and for rorting the public purse. The allegations nearly destroyed him, and his career. He said,

I was on my knees. I broke down twice, which is something I don’t do. I had depression, sleeping pills, weight loss-you name it, I had it. The stress was so great my wife thought I wouldn’t make it.

Thomas had one great person on his side-his wife, Cristina. He said of her,

I was struggling; my wife kept me alive. She fed me, she loved me, she invited me to lunch with her…and every day she has continued to walk into that place with her head held high.

Cristina said at the time, “I am sure the sun will shine again on our family.”[2]

Not every husband is accused or faces public ignominy like Thomas Kossman. But over the life of a marriage there are generally enough challenges, for a prudent man to realise just how much his wife can be a help to him.

Do you?



[1] Gary North, “Unconditional Surrender,” 2010, p.29-30.

[2] “The Weekend Australian Magazine,” August 16-17, 2008, p.18. Kossman was later exonerated.

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