As a young wife, I remember being at a barbecue with some of Ken’s friends from work and their wives. Whenever the men would start to ‘talk shop’, the women would roll their eyes and turn to begin their own conversation. They wanted to talk about where they got their hair cut or what novel they were reading or the new aerobics instructor at the YMCA.
And while these things all interested me, what I really wanted to hear was the men’s conversation. I couldn’t figure out why these other wives weren’t interested. Didn’t they want to hear about the project’s status? Didn’t they want to get the other opinions in the room on the leadership? And didn’t they want to know what was so funny over there?
Apparently not, because they just kept talking about the new mall going in.
Now, you have to know… I’m no tomboy. And I have absolutely no business acumen. Even with a gun pointed at me, I couldn’t enter a computer program, let alone find my way around. I know nothing about what my husband actually does at work.
But that doesn’t keep me from talking to him about it. From the time we began dating, I’ve always wanted to know about what’s happening at his job. It’s what occupies his mind most of the day! It’s what he enjoys! So I ask him questions, and I try to understand.
I especially focus on the people. Sometimes I’ll have him look them up in the directory so I can put a face with a name. I try to learn about their character and their agendas. And eventually, I can even give my husband input on decisions or conflict resolution. He says it helps to talk things through. He knows I’m completely loyal to him, and I want to help him succeed–not just on his work evaluations; I want him to succeed according to God’s evaluation.
The Bible says that God made for Adam a ‘helper fit for him‘. That’s what I am for Ken. I fit his needs. I’m good at helping him with his work–not technically of course (!), but I help with the relational aspects of what he does, and I help him get perspective. I remind him of what his core values and goals are. I help him get back to God’s perspective on whatever he’s trying to sort through.
How have you helped your husband succeed at his work? I’ll bet you’ve contributed more than you realize. Why not ask him what he thinks tonight? And then follow up with some good questions or conversation starters. You’re the helper that God designed to fit him! He might be good on his own, but you make him better!