On Being the Neck that Turns the Head

neck that turns the headWe’ve heard the saying, “She may not be the head, but she’s the neck that turns the head.”  It’s intended to be a negative comment about a wife; and while many times it is, it doesn’t need to be. You know what I think of that saying? I think it can be a positive statement – if the head gets turned in the right way.

Sadly, the connotation we usually get from that saying is negative – because women too often fail to encourage their husbands to do the right thing. Rather, they commandeer them into doing what they want instead of choosing right over wrong.

When God brought the animals before Adam for him to name, Adam discovered that all the other animals had a female companion. He, a male, had no one. There was not found a helper comparable to him. Adam realized he had no one to be at his side; all the other animals God created had a complimentary mate, but not Adam. So, God created Eve. That’s because Adam needed Eve. Oh yes, he did – for more reasons than one.

We can look around us and chronicle throughout scripture to find many examples of women who did it wrong. They were the neck that turned the  head, all right, but they did it the wrong way.

  • Job’s wife. After losing all their children and watching her husband suffer with boils, she told Job to curse God and die.
  • Abraham’s wife. Sarah told her husband to have an affair with his maid so she would have a child. This was not in God’s plan, but she used her influence to convince Abraham to go ahead anyway. Have you ever wondered what the Middle East would be like now if there had been no Ishmael?
  • Sapphira, wife of Ananias. She encouraged her husband to keep back money from the sale of land and to lie about  it. Had she encouraged him to be truthful and refused to repeat the lie, perhaps they both would have lived longer.
  • Herodias, the wife of Herod. She wanted John the Baptist dead (because she was angry at him for speaking truth). She knew her husband would be afraid to carry this out, so she waited and connived. When her daughter was granted any wish for her birthday, the daughter asked her mother for input. Guess what she told her daughter to ask for? The head of John the Baptist. This woman’s evil scheming put her husband in a quandary – and she didn’t even care.

neck that turns the headIn the annals of scripture, we also have examples of women who did it right, even if their husbands were wrong. They might have been the neck that turned the head, but they helped – or attempted – to turn the head in the right direction.

  • Abigail made peace with David when her drunken, cursing spouse turned him away, thus sparing her life and those of her servants. 
  • Naaman’s wife encouraged her husband to visit Elisha to find a cure for  his leprosy. She listened to her captive maid and passed the information on to her spouse. Do you think, if she scoffed at him for  thinking of going to see a prophet of  Israel,  he would still have visited Elisha?
  • Pilate’s wife told her  husband to not have anything to do with Jesus.  She had dreams about this Man, and didn’t want  her spouse to have anything to do with sentencing Jesus. Had Pilate listened to her, he would have been innocent of Jesus’ blood.
  • Esther, the queen. She knew her husband and knew what what was important to him. She used that knowledge to save her people. She did not trick or connive; she simply recognized the things that mattered to  him and used those to gain his favor. Because she conducted herself in such a way that she gained his favor and respect, his heart was open to her. When she asked for the life of her people, he willingly granted it. Read her story in the book of Esther.

As women, we have power. Oh yes, we do. We know it, too. Trouble in Eden comes when we slither our way into the mind of our spouse and encourage him to do less than what is best. In contrast, consider this thought, which is not original with me: A praying wife who is determined to respond right is a powerful force. 

How about it, ladies? Are you a praying wife? Are you determined to respond right and help your husband respond right? Then go ahead – and become a powerful force in the life of your spouse! Go ahead and be the neck. Turn his head for good.

the neck that turns the head

 

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