Signs

Posted on January 10, 2013 by


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SOME WARNING SIGNS THAT A WOMAN MAY TEND TO HAVE TROUBLE WITH RESPECT AND BIBLICAL SUBMISSION IN MARRIAGE:

These are my observations from my own life and from the women and men I have talked with.  This is not necessarily an exhaustive list.  A woman who is likely to want to be in control of things herself and disrespectful  in marriage  may tend to be:

  • perfectionistic
  • a people pleaser
  • a leader and a go-getter, used to being in charge in her family, with her siblings, with her peers
  • firstborn
  • great pride in her intelligence
  • critical/judgmental of God-given authority (pastors, teachers, bosses, parents, etc)
  • “always right” in her own mind
  • unforgiving
  • bitter
  • given to gossip
  • blind to her own pride and sin – thinks VERY highly of herself
  • sees herself as a victim
  • justifies her own sin but blasts the sins of others against her with an all out assault
  • full of very high expectations of herself and others
  • lacking in grace
  • no example of a respectful, submissive wife in her family, especially her mother’s example
  • matriarchy in her family and culture – women are in charge, men are weak
  • a history of abuse at the hands of men (maybe her father or others) – a lack of trust in men
  • a history of being taken advantage of, controlled or deeply hurt in a romantic relationship – fear of being able to trust and be vulnerable
  • unable to really see herself as a wretched sinner – lacking the beattitude of being “poor in spirit” – blind to her own spiritual poverty
  • prideful – thinking she knows best in all situations about all things
  • uncompromising – because her way is clearly “best” or “the only way”
  • anxious and full of fear  -because she is likely putting herself and having control of things herself up as an idol in her heart instead of really trusting God
  • has to have the last word
  • stubborn
  • talks a lot about spiritual things but lacks  the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22)
  • truly believes she loves God with all her heart – but the fruit of her life doesn’t match up with her words
  • may expect her man to be Christ, to be perfect and never fail – has him as an idol, expects him to “make her” be happy.
  • does not grasp the concept of the sovereignty of God, but rather, depends on herself to force things to happen the way she thinks things “should.”
  • great anger and resentment towards the concept of respect and biblical submission in marriage – the greater the anger, the greater the rebellion against God’s Word – the greater the pain in the marriage.
  • does not allow the man in the relationship to lead early on.  If she is the one calling the shots, deciding when to go out, inviting him, calling him, texting him, the first one to kiss him, trying to make him commit to a relationship, demanding that he propose to her, acting like a tyrant when planning the wedding – these are not good signs!
  • divorced  – a woman who is full of bitterness cannot also be full of faith and trust.  It is extremely difficult to come out of a divorce and not hold on to HUGE amounts of resentment and toxic bitterness – this is a massive stronghold of the enemy in a person’s heart.  It will take miracles of God’s grace to create a tender heart in a woman after such a painful experience as divorce.  It’s not impossible with God, of course.
  • frequent unhappiness
  • repays evil with evil, tries to hurt her man when she is hurting so that “he will understand how much he hurt her.”
  • the belief that she can and should try to change and control those around her (not just her husband, but everyone) and that by trying to control them she believes she is actually “helping” and doing them a great service
  • willing to go behind her man’s back in order to give to God’s work or charity
  •  lying, or a lack of truthfulness
  • seeks revenge when she has been wounded
  • yelling/cussing/screaming/violence/rage
  • tends to blame her man for her negative feelings and makes him “the bad guy” making him entirely responsible for her happiness and taking no responsibility for her own joy and happiness (idolatry of her man, not to mention irresponsibility)

SIGNS THAT A WOMAN IS SPIRITUALLY MATURE AND READY FOR MARRIAGE (She will still have much to learn after marriage!  But these qualities bode well in my opinion):

  • humility
  • a broken spirit before God – a proper understanding of her sinfulness and God’s holiness and the great chasm between herself and God for which the only remedy is the blood of Christ
  • a profound understanding of God’s sovereignty
  • a peaceful and gentle spirit that does not give way to fear
  • the general absence of worry
  • takes responsibility for her own sins and happiness
  • appreciation for the beautiful and God-designed differences in femininity and masculinity
  • cherishes and embraces her femininity, vulnerability, and appreciates the way God made her
  • accepts criticism and appreciates constructive criticism
  • cherishes and admires masculinity
  • guards her heart carefully, knowing that she must protect her treasure
  • guards her chastity
  • more interested in supporting her man’s career and ministry than in advancing her own
  • a willingness to change, learn and grow
  • she knows herself well – her strengths and weaknesses.  She sees herself accurately and does not think of herself more highly than she ought.
  • has no walls up to protect herself in a committed relationship (other than to guard her chastity, or to heed her father’s warnings or wisdom), is willing to take the risk of being hurt so that she can fully love
  • has a heart for God, a real relationship with him, hungers for His Word
  • no legalistic list of rules that HAVE to be followed to be “a good Christian”
  • has modesty as a priority – that is “humility in clothing” – she desires her clothing to point others to God and her love for Him and her face, spirit and character, not her sexuality
  • deeply cherishes and guards her sexuality and understands God’s beautiful design for sex in marriage – and once married, gives of herself openly, freely, joyfully and with total abandon to her husband sexually
  • a deep desire to obey God even if she is ridiculed, outcast or persecuted
  • has her goal to please God, not people
  • a spirit of gratitude and thanksgiving
  • sings music and praises in her heart constantly to the Lord
  • lives Philippians 4:8 and looks for the good in every person and situation
  • bubbling over with faith and trust in Christ
  • no addictions to any drug, alcohol, food, body image issues, pornography – her only addiction is Jesus and being filled with His Spirit, and she would do anything to keep that intimacy with Him.
  • puts her intimacy and relationship with Christ WAY, WAY above her man and anything else
  • is not afraid to suffer, embraces the learning in the trials
  • peace and ease when allowing her man to lead, even if she disagrees with his decisions
  • respect for the authority of her parents, her pastor, her boss, her teachers, the government, police, etc.
  • the ability to see her own sin and to see herself as a wretched sinner apart from Christ
  • a spirit of being able to cooperate with others and appreciate the wisdom and different perspectives of others
  • a softness about her spirit, that she can roll with the flow and doesn’t have to have things her way
  • flexibility with schedules, plans, relationships
  • a strong relationship of trust with her father
  • a family where the mother demonstrated biblical submission and respect for her father
  • a willingness to study respect and biblical submission before marriage
  • plenty of grace and mercy to extend to others
  • the fruit of the Spirit manifested in her life on a daily basis (Galatians 5:22)
  • a desire to grow and know God more deeply
  • a constant willingness to check her heart for sin, pride, ungodly motives
  • an easy ability to repent and admit wrongdoing and sin
  • the ability to learn in silence and not have to comment constantly in church group settings
  • meekness
  • shares her desires and perspective peacefully, respectfully and with a pleasant tone of voice/facial expression
  • the light and joy of Christ in her countenance
  • acceptance and genuine heart-felt love for everyone
  • the ability to embrace waiting and have peace and joy in the waiting, not impatient
  • experience with NOT getting her way and handling it gracefully because she truly trusts Christ to work for her good in all things
  •  a spirit of contentment
  • quiet confidence that comes from within, but not arrogance – her confidence is fully in Christ
  •  she takes responsibility for her actions and behavior but sees where her responsibility ends and God’s sovereignty begins and doesn’t get confused about trying to be responsible for things that only God can be responsible for
  • knows how to give sincere praise and admiration and does so freely, she builds up her man and others
  • gives encouragement
  • has compassion and tenderness towards those in pain
  •  wants to be generous with those in need – BUT – she respects her man’s decisions about how, when, how much and where to give to those in need (especially the closer they get to being married
  • a clear conviction to always speak the truth
  • transparency
  • the ability to share her feelings WITHOUT blaming her man for them
  • the ability to know her heart and politely, respectfully and calmly share all of the range of her emotions and to tell her man when she is happy, thankful, joyful, content, excited, afraid, lonely, sad, upset, angry, hormonal, hurting, etc. She reveals her heart kindly and is true to her feelings but does not share her feelings in a way that crush her man or make things his fault.
  • is willing and careful to guard her heart from other men
  • can take direction easily from her man and from authority figures
  • understands that the closer she is to being married, she will side with her husband, not her parents or his parents or her girlfriends
  • a solid understanding of covenant.
  • is able to respectfully appeal decisions she doesn’t agree with
  • responds gently to a harsh word
  • when she is sinned against, she does not sin, but respectfully, calmly confronts the sin with the goal of reconciliation
  • does not seek revenge, but leaves room for God’s justice and vengeance
  • Repays evil with good

Again, this list is not remotely exhaustive – but I hope it might prove helpful.

Many of these things are things that marriage teaches us when we are abiding in Christ.  Some will probably be learned “on the job.”  But the more of these qualities a woman has before marriage – the better for herself, her man and Christ!

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