“Help, I need somebody. Help not just anybody. Help, I need somebody now…ow.”
This was a favourite song of mine in my younger days. The days of boys, boys, boys and Disney fantasy. The era of dreams of John Lennon, Bobby Darin, Gino Vanelli, etc. The endless string of unhealthy relationships, seeking “somebody”, needing “somebody” to be loved by. But as another song goes, I was looking for love in all the wrong places!
The irony of it, or perhaps beauty is a better word, is that the One who has always loved me better than anyone, already had the perfect mate picked out for me. I had met him when I was 7. It turned out he could even sing and play guitar!
Looking back, I am grateful God didn’t answer many of my foolish prayers. Grateful He protected me from the multitude of bad decisions I made in my pursuits for love and instead blessed me with a different sort of man.
Is that man perfect? Nope! But he is the best man for this mess of a woman!
There have been many things through the years that annoyed me; frustrated me; drove me crazy, but usually it was those very things that made him the best candidate. When seen through the eyes of Christ everything looks different:
- Boring – steadfast
- Nerdy – logical
- Unemotional – clearheaded
- Stubborn- protective
- Not talkative – thoughtful
This man reflected through the years the unconditional love of Christ. When many would have abandoned ship, he tied himself to the mast and through prayer, faith and commitment, weathered the storms.
I always longed to find my “soulmate”, but my idea of a ‘soulmate’ was someone who would fill my every need , one who would worship me and place me on the throne of his heart.
At the same time, I wanted a man who would be strong and lead. What I didn’t know at the time was that to be lead meant releasing control. There can only be one C.E.O..
The Lord showed me over many years of marriage, complete with power struggles, icy silences, tears, anger, hopelessness, as well as much prayer and study of His Word, that I had been called to be a helpmate to this man.
What is a helpmate? This is what I needed to learn. It doesn’t mean underling or servant. It doesn’t mean less than.
helpmate n. Helpful companion or partner, usually husband or wife. The Oxford Illustrated Dictionary
“And the Lord God said, ‘It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.'” Genesis 2:18 NKJV
In Elyse Fitzpatrick’s book Helper By Design, she says, “…a wife who is reflecting God’s helping character desires to sustain or uphold her husband; she strengthens, comforst, and seeks to protect him.”
And then again, “Being your husband’s companion-helper is much more than making his breakfast and sitting with him as he cheers on his favourite football team. It’s a holy calling and one that you’ve been designed to fill, all for your joy and God’s glory.”
A husband and wife are partners brought together to strengthen each other, to support each other and to learn how to love like Christ. The ultimate goal being to glorify our Creator.
Is it easy? No. It’s not meant to be. Marriage isn’t a Disney movie where happily ever after just magically happens. It is a covenant between a man and a woman and God. There will be struggle, frustration, sorrow, anger but also laughter, joy and deep companionship, if we allow God to be at the center. We grow in ways like no other relationship can grow us.
“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17
So if you are young and single and looking for your “soulmate”, instead pray and ask God to bring you the person you need to make you more like Christ.
If you are married and wish you had met your “soulmate” instead of the one you are with, ask God to show you how you can be a better helpmate. Pray that the Holy Spirit will guide you to love your covenant partner with the love of Christ. Ask for wisdom to be the helpmate they need to do God’s will.
It is hard work and a choice but Christ is worth it and in the end so will your marriage be.