From By His Side. Used by permission from Brownlow Publishing.
A Woman’s Place
Every little girl loves to dream of her wedding day…. The ceremony may differ from girl to girl, but one single desire expresses itself in every girl’s dream: she wants her wedding to be a beautiful one.
And that is as it should be. God intended that every little girl should be able to dream of a beautiful wedding, and a truly beautiful marriage. He placed that dream in orbit on the sixth day of creation, when the world was very new.
“And the LORD God said: It is not good that man should be alone. I will make an help meet for him…. And the rib which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man…. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” (Genesis 2:18,22,24) This is the sacred story of the very first marriage. Jesus quoted God’s law in Matthew 19:5, adding in verse 6, “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” (Matthew 19:6)
Because it was first her Heavenly Father’s dream, every little girl can continue to dream of the husband and home she will have one day. This is not a selfish aspiration; it is a high and holy ambition, if God’s plan is understood and honored.
“It is not good for man to be alone.” When God in His Wisdom made that profound declaration, He was paying every woman the highest compliment she could ever receive. Because man needed her, God made woman. She has been fashioned by the Foremost Designer to be an appropriate helper for her husband. Hers is no minor role. It is permanent, significant, and, yes, glamorous.
“Love is strong as death…. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it.” (Song 8:6-7) Christ said, “Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.” (Matthew 19:9) The marriage vow is for life.
Perhaps the greatest blessing in marriage is that it lasts so long. The years, like the varying interests of each year, combine to buttress and enrich each other. Out of many shared years, one life. In a series of temporary relationships, one misses the ripening, gathering, harvesting joys, the deep hard-won truths of marriage.
—Richard C. Cabot
History teaches us that there is no substitute for righteous wives and mothers if we are to have righteous nations. It is not by accident that Sarah, Jochabed, Hannah, Elizabeth, and Eunice had courageous husbands and faithful sons. They were women of great courage and faith. Might not the record of Ahab, Lot, and Annanias have read differently, but for Jezebel, Lot’s wife and Sapphira?
The ideal which the wife and mother makes for herself, the manner in which she understands duty and life, contain the fate of the community. Her faith becomes the star of the conjugal ship, and her love the animating principle that fashions the future of all belonging to her. Woman is the salvation or destruction of the family. She carries its destinies in the folds of her mantle.
—Henri F. Amiel
Of all human relationships, there are none more enduring than those of family and home. Of all human endeavors, there is none more significant than that of a wife-mother-homemaker.
It is the most love-centered of all professions. Its pre-requisites are only the feminine qualities of warmth, generosity, and understanding. Only the truly lovely can qualify.
An appreciative husband wrote:
purest trust in the universe….
all were for me
In the kiss of one girl.
Another famous poet lyricized the glamour of marriage in these words:
There’s a bliss beyond all that the minstrel has told,
When two, that are link’d in one heavenly tie,
With heart never changing, and brow never cold,
Love on through all ills, and love on till they die.
One hour of a passion so sacred is worth
Whole ages of heartless and wandering bliss;
And oh! if there be an Elysium on earth,
It is this—it is this!
The dictionary defines glamour as “fascination, enchantment, charm.” Of all careers for women, there is none more glamorous than the permanent and significant career of “an help meet” for man.
When both husband and wife recognize the Hand of God in the creation of wife for husband, the marriage relationship becomes beautiful indeed. Neither self-seeking nor self-sufficiency can survive in such a healthy environment. For the wife finds fulfillment in knowing she is needed—who does not need to be needed? The husband gains strength by acknowledging weakness. Because each one without the other is incomplete, both can say with the One who made them so, “It is not good for man to be alone.” And every faithful wife will add her own prayer-size postscript, “Thank you, Dear Father, for placing me right where I want to be—by his side!”
From this day forward. On her wedding day, the bride takes her place beside the man she loves, to be his companion, his complement, his counterpart. The past becomes a shadowy backdrop of figures, facts, and faces—important only because they somehow helped to shape the present exciting moment. The future is all now. And it is for two:
…I feel that I shall stand
Henceforward in thy shadow. Nevermore
Alone upon the threshold of my door
Of individual life, I shall command
The uses of my soul, nor lift my hand
Serenely in the sunshine as before,
Without the sense of that which I forbore—
Thy touch upon the palm. The widest land
Doom takes to part us, leaves thy heart in mine
With pulses that beat double. What I do
And what I dream include thee, as the wine
Must taste of its own grapes. And when I sue
God for myself, He hears that name of thine,
And sees within my eyes the tears of two.
—Elizabeth Barrett Browning