I recently was driving to work and praying for my spouse. I do this regularly, but this particular morning I was especially seeking the Lord to cover my husband with His Spirit. When you live with someone long enough you notice subtle cues that the world might miss, and the night before I had felt my husband was weary. His joy remained, his warm smile, twinkling eyes, and tender, bedtime kiss, but somewhere in his countenance I had sensed a fatigue. Do you know the one I mean? It’s that feeling we all get now and again. Call it a Case on the Monday’s or perhaps the Blahs. It’s that mediocre melancholy, a hint of unrest, maybe even unbalance. You feel sideways inside like an old V8 commercial, or perhaps just certain it’s a bad day.
He hadn’t said so, but I felt it. Call it wifey intuition. Never wanting to burden me with his frustration over a tough day with the kids or homeschooling challenges, he wouldn’t say even if it had been a bad day. But rather than pressing him to talk about his feelings, because hello, he’s a guy, I hugged him a little longer before bed. And I drifted off to sleep with prayers for him on my lips.
As I prayed for him the next morning to have a great day, I was reminded of a Biblical account in Exodus. It actually hit me. I was struck by how this particular, Old Testament battle mirrored my own calling as a wife.
I was called to hold up arms.
See, back in the day, Moses was leading the Israelites when they came upon a fight. Another group tried to attack them. Moses was led by God to raise his staff and arms high in the air as he stood on a mountain looking over the battle. Whenever he had his arms raised they were victorious, but when his arms grew tired and dropped, they started losing. Immediately Aaron and Hur pulled him up a seat and held his arms up for him. They were victorious in their battle! A large part of their victory was not only the faith of Moses in God to deliver them, and Moses walking out that faith, but also the support of his companions as he led.
That morning God reminded me that this was my calling as a wife. I was called to hold up arms.
We all face battles, and if your family is seeking to wholeheartedly serve the Lord, then you will be attacked. It’s inevitable. The enemy seeks to destroy our families, and when he comes against us we must be ready for war. As the head of the family unit, husbands come under attack hard, and they understandably get tired. A wife’s job is to support her husband when he is weary from constant battle. Sometimes these battles are in the unseen, so wives must commit to always be prepared to hold up arms.
I hold up my husband’s arms by praying for him faithfully, but also selflessly. I don’t pray my will over my husband, but God’s will for him. That is my calling.
I hold up my husband’s arms by loving him unconditionally. None of us are perfect. If we only loved when everything was perfectly in line with our tastes, we would never love at all. We all have faults, but to love like Jesus is to love despite idiosyncrasies or downfalls. To hold up arms is to love your spouse even on the early, rushed mornings when they’re not being particularly lovable. Holding up arms is loving in grace.
I hold up my husband’s arms by respecting him as the leader of our family. I value his opinions, I seek his advice, and I listen to his concerns. I support his dreams, I listen to his heart. I respect my husband in the presence of others, and I only seek Godly counsel regarding our marriage. I don’t gripe about my spouse to my girlfriends; I lift him up. I speak life over my spouse, cultivating the very best characteristics of Christ in him.
I hold up my husband’s arms by loving him in action. I tell him I love him, but I also show him. Whether with a physical embrace, a love note, a good meal, or an apology when necessary, my husband never doubts the support of his wife.
He knows that I am here to hold his arms, but I hold them even if he doesn’t notice at the time. I don’t hold his arms hoping for some type of reciprocation, but I do receive just that. I hold him up, and for me, he does the same. He serves me in love, and I am never lacking. He carries so much of the load, and he’s always eager to give me time to rest. He holds my arms up too.
As a wife, I am God is calling me to hold up arms, and when the battles of this life come against us, it’s our arms that open the floodgates of Heaven for God’s blessings to flow.
After the Israelites won this particular battle Moses decided to build an altar (a place of remembrance) and he named it The Lord is My Banner. By Biblical definition, a banner imports the presence and protection of God. When I hold up arms I am doing my part to usher in the presence and protection of God for our family. By holding up arms I am helping my husband to win the battle for our family, and I can think of no higher calling for myself than this.