Genevieve Smith, our beloved friend and co-laborer, and one of the most visionary and devoted daughters we know, was given in marriage to Pete de Deugd of Ballarat, Australia, earlier this year.
As an unmarried girl, Genevieve was a sterling example of a joyful, creative, gung-ho girl who threw her whole heart into serving her family in their mission. Now that she’s married, she is an example of an intrepid, stalwart, and resourceful pioneer bride.
At age 20 Genevieve left her family, but after a change of heart returned home to help her family in pioneering the homeschool movement in New Zealand. (You can read her testimony here.) She is now tremendously grateful for the ways she prepared for marriage during those years at home — preparing her heart, improving her mind, and strengthening her arms for the adventure of wifehood and motherhood.
Here is a report from Genevieve on these first few months of marriage.
Learning how to use the metal lathe.
Putting away Pete’s tools
Assisting Pete with his welding.
My first stove: two gas rings. We were almost sad to say goodbye
to them when we bought a stove
Pete bought me some Plymouth Rock chickens for my birthday. They represent pioneering and coming to a new land. They are part of his vision for fruitfulness in the savings they will
We build a chicken house together.
Pete has been a marvel in building our home. We only have weatherboards to put on two more walls now and then we’ll begin working on the interior: lining, decorating, electricity and plumbing.
Pete introduced me to a machinery junk yard. Not only did it have the fans, engines and hydraulic pumps Pete was looking for, for his business, but it also had this laundry tub in
Work. Good, honest work.
When Pete and I finished our honeymoon we were both looking forward to getting back to Australia and working together. We knew that working together on projects and in Pete’s sawmilling/woodworking business would add another dimension to our relationship, strengthen our marriage, grow our friendship and be a whole lot of fun!
The first couple of months were full from morning to night. We were settling into married life, Pete was teaching me about his machinery and I was learning how to be a helpmeet to my new husband.
Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply…” Genesis 1v28
We thanked the Lord often for the work that He had given us to do. It was a desire we discussed during our courtship that we could be fruitful for the Lord in business, in our personal lives, in every way we could (for example by running a successful and growing business, by assisting other believers and by seeking to grow in character and faith). Pete would set the vision; he would follow the calling God had for him and seek to be fruitful in the areas God wanted him to take dominion. And I would help him to be successful in being fruitful. I would help him to see his vision to completion.
In the Issacharian Daughters newsletter 076 dated 4 February 2008 I said that Pete and I thought it would be prudent for me to take a break from sending out the newsletter for a period while Pete and I got married and established ourselves as a family and while I learned how to help Pete in his work. We hoped Lord willing that I could resume the newsletters four months later.
This break was a wonderful thing and has allowed me to concentrate fully on my wifely role. And it has been a necessity and a delight to be able to dedicate all my time and energy to this—my priority. Being a daughter in my father’s home and helping him was predominantly an intellectual and sedentary lifestyle. Being a wife in my husband’s home and helping him involves a lot of manual work and is a very active lifestyle. I’ve had a lot to learn. And on top of this, have gone through a very interesting process: the process of leaving behind my father’s vision and taking onboard my husband’s vision.
Before I was married, much of who I was, what I believed and understood was wrapped up in my father’s vision. Since marrying I’ve undergone a surgery of sorts to replace Dad’s vision with Pete’s.
My loyalties had to undergo a change. I was used to thinking that Dad knew best. Now I needed to learn to think that Pete knows best. I used to do things and invest my time in projects according to what I knew Dad would want me to do. Now I needed to be guided by what Pete wanted me to do. When faced with a problem or an option I couldn’t think, “What would Dad have done in this situation?” Now I had to think, “What would Pete do in this situation?” These were exciting times and difficult as during this state of flux—learning to replace one man’s vision with another—the devil would come around and say, “But what about what you want? What about what you think?”
Ephesians 6v14 talks about girding oneself with truth as a spiritual weapon which will help one stand fast against the temptations and lies of the devil. Once again on this journey from Maidenhood to Mrshood I find myself ever so grateful to the Lord for how He brought me home and prodded me to prepare for marriage. The Lord was girding me with truth through the things He was teaching me and the books I was reading so that I could easily bring the truth to mind when presented with the devil’s lies. God is good!
Taking on Pete’s vision is a very exciting thing. Studying him, learning more and more about his vision, his convictions, his desires for our family, our time, our money, our spiritual walk has been, well, romantic! Like RC Sproul Jr says, “the most romantic thing in the world is when a man shares his vision with his wife.”
And this process of becoming more and more one with Pete will continue (!!!) every day I’m sure and as a result our love for one another will grow and our ability to be fruitful for the Lord will increase.
This break from the ID newsletter has not only been wonderful, but more recently proved to be rather necessary too—and this is a big reason why four months came and went and still no newsletters were sent out.
The Lord decided to open up a new area of fruitfulness to us—through multiplying us. He has blessed my womb and is knitting together within a precious child. He is giving Pete an arrow for his quiver, an olive plant for around his table, a blessing to bring up in the fear and nurture of the Lord. This little one is due on 28 December 2008.
When that four month mark drew up and passed I was taking a lesson on morning sickness and nausea! Pete was being my knight in shining armour. Like the thorough gentleman he is, he was changing my sick bowl, putting me to bed with hot water bottles at night, checking on me and leaving me with a walkie talkie so that I could call him if I needed him. One day Pete saw me struggling to do the dishes. My energy was evaporating. He told me to go and lie down and said that he would finish them up after work. Work that day finished at 2am for him. He was overhauling a boiler to heat his kiln to dry out his wood using equipment which needed to be returned the next day so he had to keep working on it until the job was done. When he came in, he saw the dishes and remembering that he said to me that he would do them after work he finished them off before coming to bed close to 3am. That is my husband—my hero—a man described by Psalm 15, “He who swears to his own hurt and does not change…shall never be moved.”
As I am learning about how to help my husband to be fruitful, may I encourage you as you do this too. Perhaps you too are married and learning the best ways you can be a help to your husband. Or perhaps you are learning how you can bless and support your father. Or perhaps you are preparing for marriage and God’s calling to be fruitful within this state by learning new skills now which may be of use to a husband in the future such as accounting, stewardship of money, home maintenance (painting, wallpapering, etc) and decorating, child raising, cooking and more. May God be with us all as we seek to be obedient to Him in this area. May He give us abundant joy in real, God-glorifying fruitfulness.
For the Greater Glory of God through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,
Genevieve de Deugd