For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands.
I heard it said one time, “A woman can make or break a man”. Another axiom among modern feminists is that, “Well-behaved women rarely make history.” Let's look at some of the female heroes that populate the Biblical narrative.
Pharaoh sees the Hebrew population getting too numerous. He enslaves them and decrees, “All male new-born must die.” In spite of all this, the Hebrew population continues growing. The sages tell this legend explaining the conundrum: Each day, as Hebrew wives would bring food and refreshments to their husbands, they would also wash and attire themselves all pretty and ready to have relations with them in the fields. They would go to their men with words of encouragement and comfort. The men despaired under the weight of Pharaoh’s decree, but through their initiative, the Hebrew women nursed a little flame of faith that eventually turned into the fire that destroyed even almighty Egypt (b.Sotah 11b).
Hashem knew His creation when He said, "It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him (Genesis 2:18)”. The Hebrew text literally says, “I will make him a helper fit to be against him.” The idea in the word against is not opposition but of balance. It is another way of saying, “Behind every great man there is a great woman!”
Truly, a woman ‘makes’ a man by balancing him. She gives him wise and fit advice, encourages him when he is down and confused and reminds him of his divine earthly responsibilities. This helps him to properly focus and balance his life between idealism and practicality. On the other hand, she will ‘break’ him is she tries to steal his focus away from his divinely ordained mission and towards herself. A woman will also destroy her man when she either nags him for his weaknesses, or fans his ego so that he gets unduly lifted up in pride and sees himself as the focus of everything.
The afore-mentioned legend should provide today's women with a good role model. At times when men feel crushed under the exilic weight of their responsibilities, they need the intuitive and bracing care of their life-long partner working side-by-side with them to counter-act the effects of 'Pharaoh’s' ungodly edicts. The Exodus narrative also tells us of two brave women who feared God above Pharaoh, and therefore refused to kill the Hebrew baby boys (Exodus 1:17-20).
Even so today, our modern world has created a society where the weight of spiritual confusion crushes and discourages men who eventually get distracted away from their spiritual responsibilities as fathers and husbands. May Hashem give us great women who know how to use their godly lure to bring these discouraged men back into focus, into being the husbands, fathers, and leaders that will bring the next generation to the Promised Land of the World to Come. “The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world!”