Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” Genesis 2:18
In many of the marriage books and articles that I have read there has often been an emphasis on the second half of Genesis 2:18. Many Christian wives are familiar with the teaching that they are called to be their husband’s helper. What I haven’t seen much emphasis on is the first part. It is usually passed over very quickly. That may be because it’s obviously true. Being alone would not have been good for Adam. If he had been left alone on planet earth without someone suitable for him, he would have been a very lonely guy who didn’t have the kind of help he needed.
For a long time, this was the extent of the meaning that I saw in the first part of verse 18. That all changed in the past couple of years when I was hearing from more than one wife at the same time that her husband wanted her to spend more time with him. I noticed how this comes up in my marriage too. My husband likes my attention and spending time with me. With these things in mind I began to wonder if this verse had significance beyond Adam’s immediate need. Was it more than the obvious? Is it not good for the man (husbands) to be alone today?
The answer came quickly. No. It isn’t good. There are studies that show that having close relationships benefits us emotionally and physically. After arriving at this answer, I began to delve a little deeper. Do wives cause their husbands to be alone in ways that may not be the best? This time the answer was yes.
Situations to Consider
Life is busy and it is all too easy for our husbands to get what’s left over of us at the end of the day. Sometimes that is very little or nothing. There are a lot of demands and responsibilities that we must respond to including things like work, the house, and the kids. It can be draining. It may not be our heart’s intention, but this can lead to too much emotional and physical space between us and our husbands. I would like to suggest that if your schedule and workload is causing your husband to be “alone” at the end of the day or on the weekends, that you shake things up and make him a priority. I believe your relationship will improve if you make this and other changes if necessary.
Here’s another example of when wives may cause their husbands to be alone. It has to do with giving their attention. When you are together with your husband, does he have your undivided attention? Are you preoccupied with checking messages on your phone or with other things? A while back, after we both noticed that I was occasionally distracted by my laptop, I determined that as soon as my husband came in the room I would put my laptop lid down. I saw it as a matter of respect. He deserves my full attention and shouldn’t have to compete with a screen. When your husband is nearby, try to put the phone or any other distraction down and focus on him. This can be challenging to put into practice, but it does get easier.
Another way that our husbands can be left alone is when we pay little attention to their interests. Does your husband have a hobby or enjoy talking about sports or politics? Do you graciously sit and listen when he is excited and wants to talk? If so, wonderful! I’m sure it’s a real blessing to him. If instead, you’re at the point of being tired of hearing about it, I would encourage you pray that your heart might change about this. Let him share with you. Share every part of his life with him as much as possible. Let him enjoy fully the benefit of being one.
What about issues from his work? Do you make time to listen and encourage him when he comes home or do you cause him to work things out alone? If he wants an ear, lend it. Knowing you are on his team and that he has your support can be a huge encouragement for him. My husband used to quote a line in a song that said, “She will take me from this world, then she’ll gently take the world away from me.” I took those words to heart and worked at doing that for him. Being there for your husband after he’s had a hard day at work can sooth him and make his life better and happier.
Whether it’s work or any other matter, don’t let him be alone when something is troubling his heart. Offer him your time to talk about it. If there are extended family issues or issues with a friend, take a close look at his side of the story and offer him all the support that you can. He will be stronger with you by his side. If you believe that he is wrong, you can respectfully work to help him see a better path while still encouraging him. Of course, he may not be wrong; so it is important to have humility.
Have you ever considered whether or not your husband is alone spiritually? If you both know the Lord , do you live your lives in Christ together or apart? Do you pray together and discuss the word of God together? Do you support each other in struggles against sin? Is the joy of being loved by God shared openly? I understand there could be all sorts of reasons beyond your control that might prohibit these things from happening; but if your husband is alone in these areas and you know he prefers not to be, I encourage you to take any steps you can to rectify the situation. It is good to share in this all important area of his life. One thing you can surely do for him spiritually is pray for him. This is true whether your husband is a Christian or not. Praying for him can join you together in a special way. If your husband does not know the Lord, try not to create negativity between you and him because of it. That negativity forms distance that need not be. Love him, be with him in every way possible, and gently live and share your faith respectfully.
There is one more issue that I will comment on. It’s sex. I am positive that this is an area that we should not cause our husbands to be alone. (1 Corinthians 7:3-5) It is good for your husband to be with you. It is bonding and lets him know you care about him and his needs. Being available to him is loving and respectful. I understand it may take effort and maybe even some planning ahead to be there for him; but hopefully, it is within your power to do so. If you have been causing your husband to be alone in this area, please pray about it. Submitting to his requests will not only help you fulfil your role as a Christian wife, it can bring about some surprising changes in your relationship. Dare you go so far as to confess to him and let him know you will be there for him baring any understandable obstruction? I have seen this have a very positive affect for couples.
There are probably countless other opportunities for you to make sure that your husband is not alone. Keep an eye out for them or find ways to be there for him. When your husband has your time, attention, and support, it will be a real blessing to him; and you will truly be that helper suitable to him.
If your marriage experience is the complete reversal and you feel alone, my heart goes out to you. I would encourage you to pray about it and talk to your husband. If you are not able to talk to him or have tried to no avail, it may be time to get help if possible. If your husband is a Christian, you may wish to consider prayerfully selecting a Christian man that you trust to intercede for you. Hopefully this man could encourage your husband from the Bible that his role as a husband is to love and cherish his wife. That would include making sure she does not feel lonely. If your husband is not a Christian, perhaps you know someone who could talk to your husband for you. If not, remember that our hope is in God. Pray that our Lord may soften your husband’s heart. Please don’t let a lot of time go by before trying to help things move in a better direction.
(Blog post on the same topic: 7 Ways to Prevent Loneliness in Your Husband).
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