The Life Not My Own

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Helpmeet First

Can I be honest and candid with you?  I’ve been trying to write this blog entry for months and months, but I’ve come to realize that I can’t without truly sharing my heart with you. 

The issue of “family planning” can be very controversial, and that’s why I’ve been so reluctant to be completely open about where Andy and I stand.  As many of you know, we’ve been married over a year now.  So, you must come to the conclusion that either, a) we don’t want children yet and have been purposefully trying not to, or, b) we’ve been trying to have children, but haven’t been able to.  The truth is that we have been trying not to have children yet, in order to better prepare for them.

Now, I’m not against having children right after you’re married.  I myself was born only 11 months after my parents got married.  However, when Andy and I got married, we felt that we really were not ready to have children right off the bat.  For one, I was student teaching in the fall and Andy was taking classes at the community college.  Secondly, while Andy has a good steady job, we didn’t feel quite ready yet to take on the financial stress of a baby.  Only after we’ve been married this long have I come to realize that there’s another very good reason for not rushing into having children. 

Everywhere I look, I see mothers whose lives revolve around their children.  They are their number one priorities.  But you know what I also see?  Husbands who are suffering from neglect and being pushed aside by the children.

Ladies, your number one ministry in life is not your children.  I know that may be a real shock to your system, but it’s true.  When you said “I do”, your number one priority and ministry should have become your husband.  You are his helpmeet, his right-hand woman, his necessary piece.  All to often, however, I see women flipping that priority the wrong way.

When you are seeking what the Lord’s will for your life is, it should center around this idea of being your husband’s helpmeet.  Helpmeets come in all shapes and forms, depending on what the Lord has in store for a wife and her husband.  One woman may be the best helpmeet to her husband by working outside of the home in order to support him through school, or help the family save up enough to buy a house or have a baby.  Another woman may be the best helpmeet to her man by working in his business with him.  Still another may be the best by staying home and taking care of the house, working from home and at home.  The word helpmeet does not necessarily include children.


Now, before you think I’m advocating not having children, then think again.  Andy and I want a gaggle of children running around this house before too long.  And I admit that there are days that I see a baby and just ache to have one of my own.  But still, I wait.  Why?  Because my husband doesn’t feel properly prepared yet.  He wanted to have a home of our own first, and now we do, but now we’ve got to fix up this home.  We really couldn’t be doing the remodeling we are doing with a baby around.  And I’m on board with that.

Furthermore, in our 14 months of marriage, I’ve come to realize how essential a good, healthy marriage is before you have children.  If I had gotten pregnant right away, Andy and I would have missed some of the sweetest times of growth together.  We’d have a 6 month old right now, and even before the baby came would be morning sickness and expensive doctor’s bills among other things.  Babies are a blessing, but they’re hard work!  If you don’t have a solid foundation to your marriage, then having a baby will only make things worse.  I am so thankful for the times that Andy and I have had together, as just the two of us.  We’ve been able to travel and do things that we’d never have been able to do with a baby in a stroller.  And we’ve also been able to save up some money for when a baby does come.  Had we gotten pregnant during the time since we got married, we would have accepted it as the Lord’s will and joyfully welcomed a baby, but we haven’t, and I know that that has been the Lord’s will as well.

So, ladies, kiss that precious little one, but don’t forget to kiss your husband also.  Put him first.  I promise you that if you do, your children will be just fine.  Much more so than they would be with parents who have a strained relationship.  Be a mother, but be a helpmeet first.        

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9 Comments:

  • At August 10, 2011 at 10:32 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Thank you for this! Your thoughts are very similar to Ben's and mine. We, too, are waiting. I also agree that it is at times very difficult to wait. I am glad that you had the guts to post this, as I know many believe that you are of greater spirituality if you have kids right away.

    -Stephanie Gardner

     
  • At August 10, 2011 at 11:25 AM , Blogger Laura said...

    Caitlin, this is excellent.

     
  • At August 10, 2011 at 12:04 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    What a great post!!! Thanks for sharing your heart. I guess it does echo ours as well. We have the same exact thoughts and struggles.....and plenty of friends and family giving their opinions, not always for the best. I so long for children and hope it is not too long off. But I have been preparing for them for years now and we are trusting in God's timing. I think you really hit on something I see as well, and now work with or know a lot of single moms, that did not put being a helpmeet first, or any priority on their husband or marriage. It is so sad. On our 2nd anniversary we are more in love then ever before. I praise God for this time. We will be praying for you guys. We are grateful for your friendship and example and think you are doing a wonderful job.
    ~Alyson Baker

     
  • At August 10, 2011 at 5:13 PM , Blogger haley said...

    I love this post! I totally agree with you!

     
  • At August 11, 2011 at 12:19 PM , Blogger Caitlin said...

    @ Stephanie: Thank you so much for your encouragement! I often feel alone in this area.

    @Laura: Thank you so much! I'm glad to have you reading.

    @Alyson: Thanks for the great insight! I know I can always count on you!

    @Haley: Thanks so much for reading!

     
  • At August 15, 2011 at 4:37 PM , Blogger Emily Joyce said...

    Amen!!! You said this so well, and it's so true! I've definitely felt that ache to have a baby of my own, but we are waiting for the same reasons you are. And I've seen young mom's whose children become their whole world, and it isn't right. Thanks for being daring and posting this :) It's so nice to not feel alone!

     
  • At August 16, 2011 at 8:50 AM , Blogger Caitlin said...

    @ Emily: Thank you again! It's encouraging to know there are others in the same boat!

     
  • At August 22, 2011 at 10:19 PM , Blogger Sophia said...

    Hey there, Caitlin--just found your blog through A Holy Experience and been reading through your posts.

    My hubby and I were married just a few month's after you were married! We too decided to wait a few months, to focus on building our marriage. God's timing wasn't our timing, so that added some wait time. Then I had an early miscarriage. So we're still waiting.

    While some parts of the waiting process have been difficult, it really has been a wonderful time for my husband and I to grow our own relationship. As close as we were when we were married nearly a year ago, we are much closer now. I'm not sure we would be as strong as we are if we'd had a baby right off the bat.

    While I'm eagerly waiting God's "Yes, it's time!" it's also kinda fun to have a prolonged just-the-two-of-us honeymoon. :-)

     
  • At August 23, 2011 at 10:44 AM , Blogger Caitlin said...

    @ Sophia: Thank you so much for checking my blog out! I'm so sorry about your miscarriage...I can't imagine how hard that must be.

    Waiting can indeed be hard but I am learning that God uses it to shape us and refine us. We too are eagerly waiting God's "Yes, it's time"! :)

     

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