Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, judged Israel at that time. She sat under the Palm Tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites came up forjudgment(Judges 4:4,5) (AMPC).
Deborah fulfilled all the five purposes of a woman. I intend to focus on the part of a wife.
The Definition of a Wife
…Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone, I will make a helper who is just right for him…’(Genesis 2: 18) (NLT).
A wife is a helper. After God created the animals, He needed to find a suitable companion for Adam, and there came Eve. Finally, Adam had someone who could assist him in completing the assignment God gave to him; someone to laugh with, someone he could be himself with.
As a young girl, I couldn’t wait to marry and become a mother. I found my Prince Charming, tall (only to me), dark and handsome. From Nigeria, we relocated to the United Kingdom where we got married on my 23rd birthday. What a wonderful day it was for me! A year after we got married, I had my firstborn child – a daughter (I was living my dream).
The honeymoon period soon passed, and things became rather tough, due to complications with my husband’s career. My close friends were in Nigeria and most of them were unmarried during this lonely time of mine. I was young and immature, trying to navigate a totally new culture. I remember thinking to myself, “Is this all there is to marriage? Why is this man different from the men in my romantic books when I was growing up?” My marital experience did not correspond with the image I’d held on to for so many years. I had nobody to talk to; and with no mentors around me, the only option I had was God (thankfully so!).
I gave my life to the Lord Jesus Christ a few months later and, shortly after that, my husband did too. I remember talking to God about my husband, how I wanted him to change, doing things my way and looking at things from my own perspective. I expected sympathy from God; I wanted Him to tell me that He understood my plight and would change my husband for me. Instead, God told me that I wasn’t perfect either, and that He wanted to work on me. God showed me the plans He had for my husband, but the change had to start with me!
Initially I thought God was taking sides; didn’t He see what I was going through? I was deeply disappointed in God. However, after some introspection, I came back to God and asked for His help. Praise the Lord, He has since changed my story!
Twenty-nine years later, to the glory of God, my husband and I now pastor an amazing church; we are also blessed with two children aged 28 and 22. God has indeed been faithful to us.
I would love to share two of the key lessons that I learnt on this journey of life; I pray you get blessed.
1. Intimacy with God
To be a successful wife, it is important to have a daily quiet time in God’s presence. Time alone with God is truly a privilege; God looks forward to this time with us. The psalmist describes it as, He who dwells in the secret place of the most High shall remain stable and fixed underthe shadow of the Almighty whose powerno foe canwithstand(Psalm91:1)(AMPC). As l made my quiet time priority over every other thing in my life, I noticed that God had started changing me from the inside. I became more joyful, more confident and more secure in who God had made me to be. The scripture, Seek Him first and His right way of doing things and all other things shall be added…, came to pass inmy life.
Deborah was God’s daughter first, before becoming a wife. So, if you are single, focus on becoming intimate with God, and then He will bring the right person to you.
2. Power of Our Words
Do you know how powerful your words are? Words are like seeds. God taught me to change my words if I really wanted my situation to change. So I started speaking faith- filled words over myself, my husband and my marriage on a daily basis. I started the habit of blessing my husband every morning before he left home. For example, I would make declarations like, “As you go out today, the Lord will surround you with favour”; “The gift of God in you will make room for you and bring you before great men”; “With God, you shall advanceagainst every troop and scale every wall, in the name of Jesus”.
I also learnt to affirm him on a regular basis. Nobody should be able to affirm our husbands more than us. You could send your spouse affirming and uplifting messages. Words have the power to uplift and lower one’s confidence. In the beginning, when God made the heavens and the earth, creation actually started with His words; His words brought order out of chaos. We should be using our words to call those things that are not as though they were (see Romans 4:17).
The scripture says, Thewisest of women builds up her home, but a stupid one tears it down with her own hands(Proverbs 14:1). Are your words building up or pulling down your husband? If you are not happy with where you are, right now, in your marriage, you might need to check what kinds of words you have been speaking over your marriage. It is certainly not too late to change, with the help of the Holy Spirit.
Deborah not only went to war to fight for the destiny of her nation, she also spoke into the destiny of Barak. Her powerful and timely words gave Barak the confidence and motivation to fight the battle for their nation. She spoke victory into him even before they won the battle. Deborah said to Barak, ‘Arise, for this is the day in which the LORD has delivered Sisera into your hand. Hasn’t the LORD gone out before you?’ After this word, Barak and ten thousandmen went down from Mount Taborto fight(Judges 4:14)(New Heart English Bible). Wow, what a woman!
My experience has shown me that, to fulfill your God-given purpose of being a wife, it is important to speak faith-filled words over yourself, your husband and your entire household.