When Spouses Hinder and Do Not Help

When God saw the loneliness of the first man, Adam, he created his wife to be “a helper fit for him” (Gen. 2:18 ESV). When a man and woman plan to unite in the holy bonds of matrimony, then it should be for the purpose of recognizing the unique and deliberately-planned purposes for which God created such. In other words, a man chooses a wife (and vice versa) because he believes that she will help him through life—help him bring glory to God, help him live for Christ and help him go to heaven. Nevertheless, such tragically is not always the case. Unfortunately, sometimes spouses hinder and do not help within the marriage.

For example, take the first case of Adam and Eve. While God created her to be a “helper,” she did not help when it came to the account in Genesis 3. After failing to resist the temptation to eat the forbidden fruit by the serpent, the text states that she “…gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat” (Gen. 3:6). Many commentators do not think that he was around with her when she had fallen prey to the deception of the serpent, but when she later confronted him with likely the same temptation tactics that she faced, he followed likewise. Should he have stood firm and resisted her negative influence? Of course, he should. Yet, at that moment in his life, she was not the helper for which God created, and she hindered him in such a way that changed the course of humanity.

Another example is Ananias and Sapphira. Evidently, these two together conspired to “lie to the Holy Ghost” (Acts 5:3) and keep back part of the proceeds that they gave to the apostles. After the apostle Peter confronted Ananias about his action, he “fell down, and gave up the ghost” (Acts 5:5). Three hours later, his wife, Sapphira, arrives, and Peter asks her the same question to test her honesty. After she lies, Peter asks, “How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord?” (Acts 5:9). While Ananias may have led in the decision, he needed a wife to help him by not agreeing to sin together in this manner. Far too many couples scheme together in sin, or it may be the case that one spouse may coerce the other in agreement to do that which is unlawful and unrighteous.

One may glean a final example in the Old Testament in Ahab and Jezebel. Both of these individuals (king and queen) were equally known for their wickedness. On one occasion when Ahab coveted the vineyard that belonged to Naboth and his family, he tried to purchase such to no avail (1 Kings 21). The Old Testament passage indicates that Ahab went into his bedroom and sulked as a child (1 Kings 21:4). When his wife enters and finds out about the situation, instead of helping him by steering him along godly routes, she hinders him by taking matters into her own hands and actually has Naboth put to death by a false accusation of blasphemy—just so her husband can gain the object of his lust.

These examples show that spouses are to help each other and not hinder each other in ways of godliness. Of course, such is not always the case, and we weep when we know and hear of spouses whose mates are not helpful. We are thankful unto God that we actually have an alternative to these examples. In Acts 18:1-3, we have a couple named Aquila and Priscilla. Here is a godly couple who work together with Paul and with each other in teaching and ministering (cf. Acts 18:24-28). What a blessing to have mates who help each other rather than hinder each other! Above all, may we teach our children the importance of choosing carefully their respective spouses–to be sure that they select someone who has the Christian disposition to help them in their spiritual lives rather than hinder them!

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