She could make a mean Roast Venison. It was juicy, tender and perfectly flavored with just the right herbs added. When Rebekah added a side of crispy potatoes and warm bread dipped in olive oil, her husband Isaac was no doubt a happy man! What a wonderful cook he had been blessed with!
Rebekah had been brought from her homeland to be Isaac’s wife and he couldn’t have been more pleased with God’s choice. Not only was she beautiful, she was also a wonderful homemaker.
Her presence comforted. Isaac who had been grieving his mother’s death. She eased his sorrow as he turned his love and devotion to her, his precious wife.
And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her: and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death. Gensis 24:67
It is so touching that Rebekah was a blessing to her new husband, but as you continue to read their story in Genesis Chapter 27, things change. I see in Rebekah a warning about how wives can turn their homemaking skills into a curse in their husband’s life, rather than the blessing it should be. Here’s how:
- When we love others more than our husband.
It happens. It could happen when children come along, and the husband is pushed to the background. Our love for them exceeds the love for the man we married. We show it in our preference of their needs over his, just as we see Rebekah arranging for Jacob to get the blessing Isaac had promised to Esau. Words like, “Don’t tell your father…” are a sure warning that the child is in a place of prominence over the husband.
If it’s not a child, it could be our parents, siblings or friends. We might not say we love them more, but our actions prove it, just as we see in Rebekah’s life. When we spend greater time with everyone else, and leave our husband out of our plans, another flag should go up.
- When we put people or things first – Rebekah is clearly putting her son before her husband. She’s thinking about how she can help him succeed, rather than putting herself under the loving authority of Isaac. You and I can do that by making a schedule for our week without consulting our husband. We can make time to use our homemaking skills for grandchildren or friends and never consider what his needs might be. Our job or a ministry could get our best and be allowed to smother the marriage relationship. We should regularly be asking, “How can I serve and help my husband succeed today?”
- When we don’t stop to pray and consider our husband’s needs. Rebekah didn’t stop and ask the Lord how she could best be Isaac’s helper here in this chapter. She obviously doubted that his desire to bless Esau was best. Rather than acting on it with her own scheme, she should have first prayed about it and then spoken to Isaac. Isn’t it easy to rush on and do what we feel is best without considering why our mate is responding the way he is? We could instead inquire about what he’s doing and ask how we can help.
- When we are insensitive. Poor Isaac was nearly blind to the point that he couldn’t distinguish faces! Rebekah used that weakness against him instead of having compassion towards him. It’s easy to let a weakness be a frustration.
Hearing loss is one I’m adjusting to in my marriage. Repeating something over (and then maybe over again) can be frustrating, but if I’m sensitive to Dale, I’ll answer in a sweet tone, because I have compassion towards his weakness. We need to get under our husband’s skin to try to empathize with his difficulties. We will then be more inclined to have compassion on him.
- When we serve with selfish motives. Rebekah made the venison she knew Isaac loved, but purely out of selfish ambition. She only cared that the meal brought a desired result. If we cook, bake or serve in our home in any way so that we will get what we want, it’s not done as a blessing, but a curse.
If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. I Corinthians 7:3
Rebekah’s homemaking skills started out as a huge blessing to Isaac, but in the end, they turned into a curse. Her home was never the same after that meal of venison was prepared. Jacob (her favorite person) was gone, Esau rebelled after seeing his mother’s preference and no doubt, she created a distance between herself and Isaac.
No matter how limited your homemaking skills may be, use them to bless the husband that God gave you.
Love him most.
Put him first.
See his needs.
Be compassionate towards him.