Day 3: When He Needs You Most
Missed some posts in this series? You can read them here.
When I was 6 months pregnant with our first child, I returned from a weekend away to find that my husband was convinced our marriage was over. The deterioration of our relationship didn’t happen that quickly, but the realization of where we were after numbing months of grad school, demanding jobs, constant travel, and separate lives, was a sudden shock.
In the weeks and months that followed, the things he said and did were so uncharacteristic of him that I literally thought he’d lost his mind. In his late thirties and on the cusp of being a father, I wondered if this was a mid-life crisis. As evil words and actions poured from him, I thought maybe this was some sort of demonic attachment like straight out of a Frank Peretti novel. Where had the man I had married gone?
What I did know was I was witnessing what can happen to a man who has lost his way; how the enemy can feed the seeds of bitterness in the fertile soil of a distant marriage until we are convinced of his lies.; and what can happen when a wife, consumed with things outside her home and marriage, loses sight of her #1 job, to be her husband’s divine helper.
The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper (ezer) suitable for him.” – Genesis 2:18
“Helper” is such a limited English translation for the Hebrew word ‘ezer’. Helper has an implied inferiority that didn’t exist the original text. Some translations use “companion” which is still lacking.
To really understand it, you need to look at where else it was used. Let me give you a few examples…
“And this he said about Judah: “Hear, O LORD, the cry of Judah; bring him to his people. With his own hands he defends his cause. Oh, be his help against his foes!” – Deuteronomy 33:7
“We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield.” – Psalm 33:20
“Yet I am poor and needy; come quickly to me, O God. You are my help and my deliverer; O LORD, do not delay.” – Psalm 70:5
Do you hear it ladies? Do you see the real call to us that was intended with our Ezer title?
Comrade. Ally. One who fights beside them.
Rescuer. Lifesaver. One who fights for them.
Perfect Compliment. One who they can’t win without.
The word is used to describe our God, our Great Ezer. And us as wives.
There will be a time when he needs us most. When he is undervalued or unfulfilled at a job he knows provides for his family. When he is feeling sorrow and grief that he doesn’t know how to express. When he is struggling in sin. When he is is fighting a battle within his own mind and heart and the odds seem to be against him.
And that is the place when it is so easy to pull away, because the words sting and the sin betrays and the man who stands before you now does not even resemble the one who stood before you as you said those vows.
But it is when he needs you most.
You can’t take responsibility for his actions and you certainly aren’t condoning his behavior, but you can realize that perhaps, like me, you left your post. You dropped your guard. You went AWOL on being his ezer.
On the brink of marital collapse, I realized I couldn’t change my husband or his behavior, but I could accept responsibility for my part and seek my Great Ezer to help me not retaliate and not retreat when my husband needed me to come alongside and fight with him, fight for him.
This was my chance to be Christ-like in my response to my husband and react with love, forgiveness, selflessness and grace. My husband saw my response and it helped him fully grasp the love and grace God had for him. It let him know that I was his wife, his divine ezer perfectly provided by God to walk this earth with and that I would be with him, by his side, helping him win these battles. His fight would be my fight. The victory would be ours together.
The truth is all of our marriages are in a battle. We have an enemy who seeks to steal and destroy. We are under the constant barrage of a culture that gives us an arsenal of justifications for waving the white flag of defeat. We need to stop fighting each other and realize we have a common enemy.
Fight the good fight for your man and your marriage, because this may just be when he needs you most.
This spoke directly to my heart! I am struggling in this situation right now and needed to read this. It can be so discouraging at times but know I am on the right path to restore my marriage. Thank you!
Thank you for your post and for sharing what God is teaching you in your journey. As per His usual, this message is relevant for me as we are 3.5 months in to a separation that stemmed from years of abuse and trauma because of his alcohol addiction..DUI arrests, an affair, guns, police coming to the house, lawyer debt…etc. I have recognized and confessed that through the mid part of our 20 year marriage I pulled away, abdicated my helper role when we were first having problems in our marriage. Through these last 5 years post affair I have, with the help of the Holy Spirit, tried to stand by him, be his champion and helper but this has been when his anxiety, depression and alcohol abuse have been the worst. We have two teenage sons and in June I had to draw a line and establish boundaries. He went to rehab and is attending meetings but he’s not the same guy, needs counselling and I’m feeling that this separation is a way of God protecting me and our two teenage sons who are both saved. My dilemma is that its day by day and I struggle with encouraging/helping vs letting go and letting God.
Great post and a wonderful reminder of who we were created to be.
Danielle- You truly inspire so many by exhibiting His great Love. You are an amazing example of what God’s Divine intervention can do!
This is beautiful and very relevant for me today. I am living this out and am committed to standing firm to fight against the enemy!! Thank you for your words and heart, Danielle.
danielle, a moving testimony that will help women bind themselves to God’s purpose to set the example for their husbands of Christ’s love & grace. your story is one i look to often!
Great post and wise words! When we stand in unity with each other, with God at our center, we can and will defeat our common enemy!
Thanks for sharing this Danielle.
Your story is exactly the same as what happened to me a few months back.
I was devastated but one thing for sure, I am standing firm for my marriage, the bible told me to and so I would do anything to restore it. Then God reminds me, His glory should be my goal, not the restoration of my marriage. I should be a wife, a mother, a daughter, a friend who is glorifying God, and only then … will my marriage be restored as a ‘by-product’ of my changed self. Thank you for reminding me of one important thing I should do as a Godly wife, that is to stand by him, especially when he needed me the most.
Our marriage has not yet restored, but God has changed me and is continuously changing me. Hopefully he will soon realize it, like your husband did. But right now, I need to be patiently waiting for God’s timing and just focus on building an intimate relationship with God and obeying Him in my daily life.
My husband and I both believe we have a wonderful marriage. Sometimes, that makes it easy to take each other and our great marriage for granted. Thank you so much for this message. It is a reminder to me to keep standing up with him, fighting with and for him, and to keep letting him know I am on his side. My man is a bi-vocational pastor. We are currently in the midst of a possible layoff from his secular job, car trouble (after we sold the expensive car to get rid of the debt), a very “comfortable” church congregation and another church expressing interest in having him as their new pastor. Not to mention our two children who are entering their difficult “tween” years. Yesterday was Jonathan’s birthday, so I tried to make it as special as possible, even though it was a day at work and an evening at church, followed by working on a couple of vehicles for a church member going through a divorce. But that is the kind of man and pastor he is. I am thankful for him every day.
LOVE this! “Fight the good fight for your man and your marriage, because this may just be when he needs you most.”
Danielle, thank you for this great testimony of standing firm and faithful beside your man and in your marriage, even through the rocky times. I learned something new today as I read this. I loved the perspective of our Ezer title as wives, and had never even heard of that word, so it’s very new to me. Thanks for that! I love to learn a new way of embracing God’s word.
Thank you for sharing the strength of ‘ezer’ and what the Bible really says about it. People often use the Genesis verse as a way to minimize and limit women, but that is a false interpretation that causes a lot of pain and diffuses a lot of power for marriages. Thanks so much for sharing this from your heart. As Natalie pointed out, even if our marriages are going well, we still need to be intentional bout being a source of strong help in our husbands’ lives.
This article spoke right to my heart. I feel like I was reading the story of my life this past year. Thank you for the encouragement! God is so faithful to give us what we need when we need it.
My husband and I haven’t struggled to that extent, but I definitely haven’t been the “ezer” I could be. That’s a powerful description of (one aspect of) our role as wives–the kind of helper for them that God is for us. Thank God it’s only with His help that we can be that kind of partner and fellow soldier with our husbands!
Thank you SO much for this beautiful reminder.
whoops, put the wrong website in the first comment! The link is correct in this one. 🙂
This post was just for me. Over 2 years ago me & my husband went through the exact same thing, and it lead to some terrible things. And our marriage was nearly on the edge of divorce but I love him unconditionally and I gave our marriage another chance. But now i realize that because I gave up my part as a wife, is the reason his mind went other places. I’m so glad God brought us back , because my husband about a year and half later accepted Jesus Christ as his Saviour and if I hadn’t of gave it another chance, he probably would not be saved today. But thank you for this post, I always had a question of why our marriage went South and now I understand. Thank You
Danielle, thank you for sharing your beautiful testimony. Wise and practical suggestions to all wives..I loved it !!
For 39 years, I have been by my man’s side, unconditionally supporting him, encouraging him, raising his 3 children (triplets, no less!), taking anything out of his path that could cause worry or anxiety, offering love, selflessness, forgiveness and grace. I was rewarded with his repeated infidelity and his addiction to Internet pornography. He moved out of our home 1 year ago is now in the process of filing for divorce. My 12 months of fervently praying for God to reconcile us and restore our marriage has yielded nothing except more and more distance between us. Although I believe God put us together all those years ago for a specific reason, that has now been completely lost. I do not want a divorce, but I am willing to accept it so I can get on with my life and regain my self-respect.
I should add that since my husband left 1 year ago to pursue yet another extramarital affair, I have drawn much closer to the Lord and He is transforming me inside and out. All the praise and glory for this goes to Him. I know if this separation with my husband had not taken place, I probably would not have experienced the personal growth that I have seen in myself. Thank you Jesus! Still, the fact that my marriage is probably weeks away from its unwanted conclusion has left me heartbroken and so disillusioned.
Saying a prayer for you Deborah. May you continue to hold tightly to His hand and seek His face. I too found that through the betrayal and abuse in my marriage, my relationship with Jesus became so much more real. There’s such a peace in establishing safe, godly boundary lines and surrendering the days ahead to God. You’re His princess!! I don’t know the journey ahead for me nor do I know what the Lord wants to do in my husband’s life so it’s much easier to trust Him, especially when things are dark and scary. God calls us to peace.
This is such a beautiful testimony to God’s faithfulness and your perseverance to fight for your marriage instead of fighting about your marriage.
I love what you said here: “His fight would be my fight. The victory would be ours together.” Amen!
But… what if one DID abandon post… literally? I left to my mom’s out of town and now… he doesn’t want me to go home… i have our 5 yr old daughter andbam 3 months pregnant… been with each other 8byears in November… how can i fix this?
Recently I had listened to a CD that my mother had loaned me in which the speaker was talking about gaurding our posts so this is confirmation! Thanks for sharing your experiences and encouraging us to do what God has planned for us to do!
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