One Wife’s New Perspective

Posted on August 14, 2012 by


This is a testimonial from a wife who has been emailing with me the past few weeks.  She was extremely discouraged because her husband wanted to attend one denomination and she wanted to go to another church denomination with a more grace-centered focus.  And one thing that disturbs me the most about this precious wife’s situation is that her Christian friends were telling her that her husband was keeping her from “serving God” properly.  And they felt she should go against his wishes so she could teach Sunday School at her church and be in choir.

I want women to understand – we are in a COVENANT relationship with Jesus and we are in a COVENANT relationship with our husbands once we are married.  We are not in a covenant relationship with friends or with one particular church denomination.  Jesus sees ONE church.  He has ONE bride.  Divisions are made by sinful people, unity comes from Christ!  God doesn’t NEED our service.  He doesn’t NEED us to be in choir or teach children’s Sunday School.  He doesn’t need our money and tithes.  Our priorities must be our relationship and fellowship with Christ and our obedience to Him and our relationship and fellowship with our husbands.  If we are defying our husbands in order to serve Christ – we are dragging the name of Christ through the mud – and we have NOTHING of eternal value to offer to a lost and dying world!!!  We cannot rebel against God’s commands to us as wives to respect our husbands and submit to their leadership (unless they ask us to sin) AND have any witness or power for Christ.  Now, if our husband wants us to attend a church that is a cult – that doesn’t teach Scripture – I believe that is an entirely different situation and we must respectfully but firmly resist in that case. Our husbands DO have God-given authority over us – but God’s authority and the authority of scripture trump our husband’s authority.  We cannot follow our husbands into sin or idolatry.

If we are living in disobedience to God’s Word – we are not Spirit-filled.   If we are claiming to have Christ but we are living in disobedience, and in particular, disrespecting or controlling our husbands – the gospel is maligned according to Titus 2:5.  We are not showing the proper relationship between Christ and His church in our marriage.

We need to be VERY careful that we are not dispensing unbiblical advice to our friends to rebel against the God-given authority of our husbands.  If we have friends who encourage us to resist our husband’s leadership and to disrespect our husbands, we need to release them as friends and pray for godly friends and mentors to help us learn to be more godly wives.

This wife’s calling, in my view, is to minister to her husband and children, to follow I Peter 3:1-6 and to show him by her respect, reverence, cooperation and pure living the love and Spirit of Christ.  That is her only hope of him coming to know Christ himself – it is God’s prescription for wives whose husbands are living in disobedience to God.  And she really doesn’t know her husband’s heart.  But her obedience to God’s Word will make it so much easier for her husband to hear God’s voice.  Please pray and seek God’s face about your own relationship and future marriage as  you read.  PLEASE only marry a man who is committed to Christ and who submits his own will to Jesus.   Please be willing to respect his leadership and cooperate with him!  Even if he never changes!   And pray for this wife to be empowered by God’s Spirit to do His will and to bring hope, healing, strength, salvation (through the Holy Spirit-  not through her talking or preaching) and the power of God to this family!

THE WIFE’S COMMENTS ON MY POST ABOUT “ROADBLOCKS TO BIBLICAL SUBMISSION.”http://peacefulwife.com/2012/08/11/roadblocks-to-biblical-submission-in-marriage-from-the-archives/

How I can clearly relate to this list. My mother was a single mother. She was a respected business woman and can more than stand her own in a sea of business men. Her and her female friends used to joke a lot about how stupid men are. My biological father was at the bottom of the father of the year list- he was a gambler, cheated on my mother (she caught him numerous times), never held a stable job- so my mother left him and took my siblings and I to live here in the U.S. I can understand the bitterness my mother had towards men because even though my father didn’t physically beat her, he emotionally and mentally abused her. When she did remarry she was still the breadwinner. She used to talk about how she would manipulate my step father into thinking certain ideas were his- and I have witnessed it first hand. I have witnessed the yelling and fighting so that my mother got her way.Granted- he had no children in the marriage and she had children so maybe her case is a little different in that marriage. But the point is growing up with a very very strong woman like that- my sisters and I grew up with an “I am woman hear me roar” attitude.

Early in our marriage, I let my husband take the reigns on our finances and trusted him. But I got a lot of slack from my mother and my sisters for not “taking control” of our finances. My husband made some bad financial decisions during the early years and every time he did- their words echoed in my head.  But in the beginning, I kept quiet and continued to trust him. We established early on that he would be the breadwinner and I would work to supplement the household income, but the kids were my responsibility. I, too, read the parenting books so I felt I knew the best way to raise our kids.

I also saw myself as being a respectful wife. I didn’t think I was as bad as a lot of other wives and women I know. In fact, others have commented at how great I was and patient I was towards my husband.

Then I came to Christ and I was consumed with the very same self righteous behavior that Christ came to save us from. Since I was in Christ, I knew what was best for our family and our children. I prayed and prayed for God to soften his heart to see things MY way since I felt MY way was Christ’s way. I felt empowered by my new found faith and felt that I was fighting a spiritual battle at home and I should fight it with the spirit of power, love and self discipline that I have through Christ. (I demonstrated love by what I thought was speaking the truth in love to my husband aka preaching- how dumb of me). I ran into the 1 Peter verse about submission. I ran to my pastor and to my Bible study group about it. Some women at my Bible study would confirm that although I can’t really leave my husband, I must stand my ground quoting Luke 14:26. Some made me feel like I was idolizing my husband. My pastor meant well, but didn’t really help much. He referred me to some women who have been where I was. A couple of them did say that I must let my husband lead- even if it means to go to his church and just to find a way to go to Bible study without interfering with my family schedule. Problem was I had to go back to work full time. My best friend said that those women’s situation didn’t apply to me because on the most part they (the women) still led in their family decisions. She and others said for me to just keep doing what I felt led to do and although I shouldn’t get a divorce I shouldn’t stop him if HE decides to leave because he couldn’t accept what I was doing. He was a hindrance in my growth in Christ. So I was completely confused and torn. I knew in my heart that God didn’t want divorce and didn’t want my family torn. But I also felt that yes- he was what stood in the way of my spiritual growth. To top it off, I felt like an outcast in church because everyone was there with their happy families. And my children and I were there without my husband. Sundays and other days where we participated in fellowship events were always bittersweet. We would be so happy and I would be so filled only to come home to a cloud because it was eating my husband up to have us go to this “cult” as he called it. Looking back, I can only image how our children must have felt!!!!!!!

There were many times when we would end our argument about faith looking at each other sadly because we didn’t want to split up- we loved each other- but neither wanted to back away from our spiritual beliefs. I tried to tell him that we both believe in the same thing- one God, Jesus, His Son- so what’s the big deal??? I just can’t believe in certain doctrines my ex church- his church believed and I didn’t want our children believing that either- I just wanted Christ in our family- no religious label.

I read the “Love and Respect” book (by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs) a year ago and it did help a little. I cut back on church participation but kept on going every Sunday. I felt I was doing the submissive thing by going to his church on special holidays (Christmas, Easter, his birthday). All the while we still had fights because I still felt resentful. I felt I was being submissive enough so why didn’t he let me go to Bible study in peace? I also would hold back my 10% of my pay so I can tithe. (Yeah I was lying to him about how much I was making). I continued to pray for God to soften his heart and to let him wake up and be the spiritual leader in our home.

What I failed to see was God was working in his heart- here was a man who hardly went to church. But now he was going to church on his own very early on Sunday mornings. He even began offering more than the $5 he used to put in (still not 10% but it was more). He listened to Christian music on his own. He watched Christian movies (in Lent he was watching all these movies- the 10 Commandments, Jeremiah, the Passion of the Christ, and another movie about Jesus). My friend said he was probably watching it as someone would watch a regular movie for entertainment- hinting I was getting my hopes up for nothing.

I also wasn’t seeing what God wanted ME to do- submit to my husband. As in DO NOT LIE about my pay. As in TRUSTING THE LORD ENOUGH TO FOLLOW HIS WORD AND LETTING MY HUSBAND LEAD. I was NOT letting him lead at all because I wanted him to lead in the way I THOUGHT HE SHOULD LEAD.

I wasn’t seeing that I was being two different people- this “godly upright Christian woman” outside my home but I have turned into a venomous, contemptuous woman in my own home- thanks to my self righteousness. My disrespect to my husband is possibly what’s keeping him from coming to Christ.

I really did try all resources I could to find out what I should do but I always got mixed messages- yes- submit but I had to serve the Lord, too- so I shouldn’t let him (my husband) stop me from serving the Lord.

But praise God, I ran into your blog! And I want to share what you told me which made perfect sense- God wants me to serve Him by ministering to my family. This does not mean PREACH to them but to minister to them by my behavior. I am slowly seeing the error of my ways with the Holy Spirit’s leading.

I am leaving this LONG comment because I want to reach out to any woman who might be in my position.
Another roadblock is friends. Right now, as I am working on submitting to my husband, I feel alone in a sense that my friends wouldn’t understand. I am tired of apologizing for missing get-togethers with them. And I think they are tired of my apologies. I don’t even want to let them know about my struggles and victories about this journey I am on because I don’t want their input for now. I don’t want to be tempted to vent. I wish they can be understanding and just check to see how I’m doing instead of assuming I have withdrawn from them- especially my best friend. I think she thinks I have abandoned her…To Christian women who may have friends in my situation- the best thing you can do for them is just check on them once in awhile even if they can’t be involved in all the fellowship and church activities. One on one time is great for friends but if someone is trying to put their family back together- like I am- just check on your friend via text, phone, email. Since we work long hours during the week, my husband feels that the weekend should be spent together. Unfortunately, as much as my church has these cool family events we can do together, he doesn’t want to be a part of that church at this time or be involved with anyone in that church. Some may think that he is isolating us from the world- but it is only from that church. Our weekends are spent with family and other friends. And yes, I wish we can be with other godly families so our children can be around other godly people. (This is another one of my issues- that I am praying for God to help me and to put a hedge of protection around them because we are living among non Christian folk). Right now, I am praying fervently and trusting the Lord.

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

I am SO thrilled about all that God is doing in this precious wife’s heart and soul!  I am amazed at the changes taking place and the improvements that are already happening.  This is a tough situation.  And it is impossible to handle this well without God’s Spirit begin in control of her.  I can see Him developing that gentle and peaceful spirit that does not give way to fear in her – and it is the most beautiful thing in the world to me!  I am SO excited to get to witness the changes that are happening in the wife, in her marriage, in her husband and what God has in store for the whole family.  Thank you for praying for them with me!

If you would like to leave comments about what God is doing in your relationship, or the struggles you are facing so others can pray for you – you are always welcome to do so!    Much love to all my precious sisters in Christ!

 

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