“I compare you, my love, to a mare among Pharaoh’s chariots.” Song of Solomon 1:9
Few of us would swoon if our husbands compared us to a horse. In fact, using today’s connotations and implications that might get your man slapped!
Today, however, I heard an interpretation of this little verse that changed my perspective not only on being horse-like, but on the biblical concept of being a helpmate to the leadership role of my husband.
Gary Thomas, in his book Sacred Marriage offered an explanation that I’d never heard before. Apparently, mares were rarely harnessed to a Pharaohs’ chariot. Generally, because speed and power were desirable, Pharaohs used the brawniest stallions to do this work. But they found that when they harnessed a mare among the stallions, she produced in them such a frenzy that they drove harder than ever.
What do you bring out in your husband? When you spend time with him, work beside him raising your family, speak to him–what character qualities and attitudes do you cultivate? Does he leave your presence more determined than ever to be a servant leader or a committed father?
Does he feel stronger, more confident, more capable than he did before?
Women, we have a lot of power. To listen to the culture, you wouldn’t think so. Collectively, we clamor for more power and equality. But I think this tactic is evidence of the way we often wield our power–manipulatively, subversively.
This calls for extra care–prayer–in our words and deeds.
Next time you are tempted to blame your husband for something or harass him for failing to live up to your expectation in some way, consider first what attitudes, qualities and actions you have cultivated in him.
You are his helpmate, harnessed alongside him for a good purpose. Your mere presence can multiply his power and productivity in life. Don’t take this lightly.