I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!” – Galatians 2:20-21
So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. – Galatians 5:16-24
This process of learning to respect our husbands and honor their leadership is a VERY painful process – especially at first. It is the process of dying to self and and being made more holy by God’s power.
There are no short cuts!!
It is actually not about our husbands at all – but rather, it is all about our relationship with Christ. It is about our willingness to reverence and submit to Jesus. That is the entire crux of the matter!
This is not just some self-help “10 steps to controlling your husband and getting everything you want in your marriage by changing your words and tone of voice.” My motives MATTER here! If I am trying to obey God just to get the feelings I want or the response from my husband I want, I have missed the entire point!
I have to have pure motives – desiring to obey God’s Word out of reverence for and love for Christ alone.
What I am advocating is to completely expose your deepest soul to God and allow Him to search the darkest recesses with the blazing light of His Word. And then to allow God’s Spirit TOTAL access and grant Him complete Lordship and the ability to decide what stays and what goes. And anything He finds offensive – well, it simply has to go. No question. God is Lord now, NOT ME! This means facing your deepest fears, challenging your definition of God, your understanding of His sovereignty, your true beliefs that govern your decisions and priorities, seeing the mountains of sin that you may not have even known were there, and being willing to part with all of that humbly before our mighty God. It means wrestling with God over those most painful issues and deciding whether you actually can trust Him or not.
Is He REALLY BIG enough?
This is DEEP, LIFE-CHANGING, PARADIGM SHIFTING stuff.
- This is where you tear out everything from your heart but Christ and are willing to give up all that is dear to you – laying it on the altar to God. You die to your dreams, your desires, your wants, your goals and your plans. You embrace His will, His desires, His dreams, His goals, His plans and His life for you – even if that means not getting what you really wanted, and even if that means going through the “worst case scenario” in your mind.
You will have to personally wrestle with these questions and decide – can you really trust God? Is He who He says He is? Is His Word true or not? Will you build your life on the Rock of Christ, His Word and His promises, or on the sinking sand of trusting SELF?
Let us be willing to die to ourselves! Let us joyfully give up our rights, our goals of happy feelings, and all that we hold dear and cling only to Christ, out of thankfulness and profound gratitude for ALL He has done for us (paying our “billions of dollars worth of sin debt to God”), holding everything else very loosely in our hands!
The thing is, you can’t respect your husband and empower his leadership on your own. You can’t just be quiet and smile and hold the raging ocean of sinful thoughts, emotions and negativity inside while you pretend to be “nice” on the outside.
This journey requires a total heart change – regeneration that is only possible through God’s Spirit. Eventually, we don’t even THINK the sinful thoughts. It is a total heart change. We nail the old sinful self to the cross and it is crucified and buried with Christ. Then we put on the new man in Christ. He gives us a new heart and transforms our thinking.
Lord, help us to lay down our desires and let us desire only what YOU desire in our lives and in this world. Let us desire NOTHING in heaven or earth besides You!
If we do NOT have His Spirit – it is IMPOSSIBLE to be the godly wives Jesus calls us to be. God’s Spirit alone is our power source!
Some wives think that I am saying THEY alone are fully responsible for all the problems in the marriage and that I am expecting them to take 100% of the blame. This is NOT at all what I am saying. Husbands are all sinners, and so are wives. Husbands have their own accountability and responsibility before God and will stand before Him one day – just as we will. I am asking women to focus on their own responsibilities, their own sins and their side of the relationship. We can’t control our husbands. We have to trust God to deal with them. And really, we can’t even change ourselves – but we can allow God the freedom and permission to change us and we can respond as He opens our spiritual eyes. So that is where we have to put our focus. That is where our power is!
When we are cherishing sin in our hearts – we grieve and alienate the Spirit of God. We cannot have God’s power flowing full strength in us when we are embracing sin and getting cozy with it. We have to choose between having sin or having Jesus. We cannot have both!
QUOTES FROM E.M. Bounds – “The Necessity of Prayer”
- If you desire to pray to God, you must first have a consuming desire to obey Him.
- If you want free access to God in prayer, then every obstacle of sin or disobedience must be removed.
- Those who have never wept concerning their sins, have never really prayed over their sins.
- Until (the step of unquestioning obedience) is taken, prayer for blessing and continued sustenance will be of no use.
- Nowhere does God approve sin or excuse disobedience.
- The absence of an obedient life makes prayer an empty performance – something wrongly named.
- A repentance that does not produce a change in character and conduct, is a mere sham that should deceive no one. Old things must pass away, all things must become new!
- Praying that does not result in right thinking and right living, is a farce.
- The change from badness to goodness is not brought about “by works of righteousness that we have done.” It is brought about according to God’s mercy, which saves us “by the washing of regeneration.” This marvelous change is brought to pass through earnest, persistent, faithful prayer. Any alleged form of Christianity that does not create this change in the hearts of people is a delusion and a snare.