Were We Meant to Work with our Wives?

This is oftentimes a conversation or a question that most people in our culture have a knee jerk response to. “No, she’s got her thing. I got my thing.” Even if your wife stays at home, there isn’t a natural expectation that, “Hey, maybe the design was for us to work together at some level.” And I was having this conversation recently and somebody pointed out in Genesis 2, something that I had never really thought of before. So in Genesis 2:18, it says, “The Lord God said is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” And so a lot of us know about that verse, but what this friend of mine pointed out was that was in the context of his work. I was like, “What?” It kind of surprised me because, of course, there were no children yet.

No, that’s true.

And if you read the context, what’s going on is that Adam is working. He’s cultivating, he’s naming the animals. He’s given all this responsibility over this garden. And then the Lord looks at it and said, “It’s not good for him to be alone. He needs help. I’m going to make a helper suitable for him.” And so that made me think, wow, there’s this question, or this knee jerk reaction we have to the idea that husbands or wives are really not meant to work together. That may be a bit of sort of a modern reality as opposed to a design.

And if you think about the way that God brings husbands and wives together, how they compliment each other and in a lot of that happens, obviously, in the family, in the home, I don’t think this is a rule. If this is not either work for you logistically or healthy for you. This is not one of the 10 commandments, thou shall work with your wife. I find it really interesting though, that when God looked at Adam and in his work, there was a sense in which I don’t want him to do that alone.

And so, one of the things I know that we’ve tried to figure out as a couple, with April and I, is, is there places where we can overlap? And so, we’ve started five different companies over the last 20 years, and every single one of those have had a very different conversation around, how do we work together in this company? How do we work together in this company? And some of them we’ve been really, really intense, working together. Others have been a lot less. And so, we’ve kind of waded into this and it’s been a really huge blessing for us to figure this out.

But I think that it’s instructive to think about the original design. It appears, if you think about it from Genesis 2, was that God wanted a husband to work with his wife and wanted to find a woman that would, where really where they would compliment one another, not just in sort of a family setting that’s kind of removed from everything else, but really in all of life and much of life is work. And so, again, that’s challenging in this culture, but I think that it’s important to kind of think about the design of going on there in Genesis 2. But yeah, Jeff, what are your thoughts on that?

Yeah, no, I agree. And I think it’s even less too about, I think, it meaning, “Oh, we have to both do the exact same thing together at all times,” like you said, and more about, like what you said, of how you said you and April have founded five companies, but it’s looked different each time. And that’s what I love, is man, we have to work to be as a team going towards whatever we’re going towards.

And another way that I like to think about it that’s kind of helpful for me and Alyssa is we are both… Because I think sometimes, especially talking to guys, I think sometimes what guys can do is think that the wife… Because some wives are way better and way smarter than the men on business and all that type of stuff. But in general, some men can think, oh, I do the business stuff, and my wife has no idea about that, so why would I include her? She’s kind of like a novice, that whole thing.

And I think you’re significantly missing out and probably will lose in the long run if you are not including her in whatever type of business or venture you do because, again, the way I like to think about it is me and Alyssa are both investors at some level in a company. And that company is like our work. Our vocation of just how we’ve been gifted by God to go out into the world.

Now, just like with any company, there’s usually a passive investor and an active investor. There’s maybe an investor who kind of turns CEO and there’s one investor who’s more like a consultant, who just shows up at the board room in board meetings, but in the boardroom they’re very powerful and they give really good advice. And I think, but at the same time, they’re still kind of joined at the hip because they were both investors or founders of that company.

And so I think that’s a really helpful way that we think about it. Me and Alyssa as a team means that we are both on the boardroom. We are both in the board room making those decisions. Now one of us might go functionally do more work in this thing. And I don’t just mean even business. I mean with our kids. I mean with business, I mean with our job, with our community, with our neighbors. One might take a heavier role, but we are both kind of equal seats in the boardroom with vision and with founding and as investors in this. And I think that is really important to really unify yourself as a team with your wife because you’re losing out on just that…

I just feel like, yeah, there’s been so many times, they’re almost intangible moments. There’s been so many times where you just think you might make a decision or it’d be fine. Or you’d be like, “Oh, well, my wife doesn’t really know this or know the business, so it’s okay.” But then you maybe bring it to them and you just kind of off the cuff mention, “I’m struggling through this,” and they just drop golden nuggets. And you’re like, “Man, that is what marriage is for.” There’s this unit there. There is this kind of roundedness, this well-roundedness, when two become one that I think we don’t take advantage of enough. And so that’s what I would say.


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