I am ALMOST caught up with my email load from last week’s big technological mess. Thanks for your patience!
Today’s post is from my dear friend and sister in Christ, Kayla, at www.lessonsofmercy.wordpress.com. THIS IS A MUST READ, LADIES!
I’ve seen quite a few bloggers take on the call to write a post about “respecting your husband.” And a great number of people are pinning those blogs to Pinterest and sharing them all over Facebook.
That’s a pretty big deal, really. Because most women, yes even Christian women, don’t truly respect their husbands. And they don’t realize that Scripture calls us to unconditional respect. (Ephesians 5:22-33, Titus 2:3-6, I Corinthians 11:3)
Yes, I said “UNCONDITIONAL RESPECT”.
That is not like the world’s idea that respect HAS to be earned and we have authority to withhold it from our husbands until they live up to our standards.
Just imagine if a husband withheld love, until his wife had reached “perfection,” according to HIS standards.
Much as we’d like throw the hammer down on this, we try to live a double standard… and most of us don’t even realize it.
One of the items that almost always make it on a truly good list about how to respect your husband is this:
- You can’t try to be your husband’s Holy Spirit.
A lot of women read that, and either minimize it out of ignorance, or breeze past it all together.
Let’s talk today about how we can recognize if we try to be the Holy Spirit in our husbands’ lives.
I’m positive this list won’t be exhaustive, but it’ll be a good place for us to start.
One last thing before we get going. The Holy Spirit is the third entity of God Almighty. The Holy Spirit is given to believers at conversion for two purposes.
- to convict the believer of sins in his/her life that need repentance so he/she can continue on a path of becoming like Christ.
- to empower the believer to do things they can’t do in their own human strength. This is seen in spiritual gifts, scriptural understanding, fruits of the spirit, and communication with God.
So, how do women try to be the Holy Spirit in a marriage?
Let’s look at the first responsibility of the Holy Spirit first and how we women try to fill this role:
1.) We see our husbands’ sins vividly.
- He’s lazy
- He watches too much television
- He doesn’t play with the kids like he should
- He is selfish
- He doesn’t love others like he should
- He doesn’t read his Bible
- He uses swear words
- He drink too much beer
- He talks out of both sides of his mouth
- He gossips
- He holds grudges
- He doesn’t love me like he’s suppose to
- He doesn’t make godly choices
- He doesn’t pray with me
- He doesn’t do devotions with the family, and on and on and on……
Women who spend a lot of time meditating on these things their husband does wrong, often have a hard time seeing their own sins. And the sins they do see, they usually think aren’t nearly “as bad” as their husband’s sins.
Pride swells and swells until all the sudden, they’ve convinced themselves secretly (although every husband with a wife like this sees it clear as day and knows it is really no secret at all) that they are actually just more spiritual than their husband. Truth be told ladies, when we feel this way, we’re so engulfed in sin that the rift is usually more heavily handed on our end than could ever be on our husband’s end.
2.) We start to point out things “he should be convicted of” in his life.
- This habit often starts with one line phrases. “Maybe you should ….xyz….” While this feels a bit disrespectful to a husband, the habit almost always evolves to something so much worse.
- We women start using a parental “Mama” tone of voice with belittling phrasing.
- We take on the role of disciplining our husbands for their sins by using a scolding tone of voice, nagging remarks, and disapproving facial expressions.
- Loud sighs, rolled eyes, sarcastic digs, and rude speeches are often present when we are trying to be the Holy Spirit.
3.) We turn our husband into a child.
Instead of seeing ourselves as a team with our husbands to work together to grow in Christ, we eventually look down on our husbands long enough for their sins and their “too slow at repentance” behavior and start seeing them as children or chore instead of a best friend and lover.
And worst of all, we have found this so humorous. How many comedians, websites, Facebook statuses, and Pinterest pins are being shared and quoted with remarks like
- “I don’t have three children, I am married to the fourth.”
- “Men are babies who stop having a mom and get a wife instead.”
- “I thought I was done raising children but apparently my husband will never grow up.”
I’m not suggesting that their isn’t humor in marriage. There definitely is stuff worth laughing over!!!! But, remember, things are only funny to us when there is a little truth behind them. And it’s really not that funny if we’ve become so judgmental of our husbands that we see them as a child instead of as the leader, provider, protector, and lover that they really are to us.
Now let’s look at the second responsibility of the Holy Spirit’s role and how we women try to take that on:
1.) We encourage our husband to worship like we think he should (usually how we do ourselves or how we see another “godly man” do it.)
- We get vocal about how he should read his Bible, at what time of the day, that he should journal about what he reads, that he should discuss it with us and/or the kids.
- We demand that he pray and do devotions in our site so we can prove he’s doing it, and often times that means it has to be WITH us.
- We judge that he does or doesn’t raise his hands during worship.
- We judge if he does or doesn’t go to the altar.
- We judge if he isn’t moved to tears by spiritually emotional situation.
2.) We question EVERY decision, especially if he makes a decision that isn’t a decision we would make.
This continues on that path of belief that we are more spiritual than he is and we think we’re closer to God. Somehow we feel like we are on a more inside track and we make wiser choices than he does.
We find ways to have conversations that revolve around these types of questions:
- Why did you do that?
- What were you thinking?
- How come you didn’t do it like this?
- Don’t you think that if you’d have done it like this (or would do it like this) that it’d be a better choice?
- Do you see why I wouldn’t have done it like that?
All five of these descriptions for how women try to play the Holy Spirit in our husbands’ lives is received as nothing more than TOTAL disrespect to them. When we talk to our husbands in disrespectful ways -it reveals sins in our own lives as well as actually hinders the Holy Spirit from truly working.
When we think that our husband is farther from God than we are, sins worse than we do, isn’t wise enough to make decisions, is a child that needs our supervision and correction ….we are a beaming example of PRIDE and we’re in direct disobedience of Scriptures command to us as wives to show unconditional respect.
I believe there are a mountain of other ways we show disrespect to our husbands beyond just playing Holy Spirit, but this should be enough food for thought for one post.
And before all the hateful comments come — I’m not talking to men today and what they should do to be godly husbands. Yes, they have responsibilities and commands in Scripture too. I’m focusing on women. And helping us uncover our own sinful hearts so we can work on being the wives God calls us to be, instead of just worrying about what our husband is or isn’t doing.
Sometimes that plank in our eye is just so much bigger than the speck in his.
Recognize, confess and repent of any areas where we play the Holy Spirit in our husbands’ lives.
Break these habits. I wish this came easy. It doesn’t. It takes work. Hard work. However, the more you focus on ridding your life of your sins, and INTENTIONALLY focus on all the WONDERFUL things about your husband…. the less the temptation exists to be a statistic in the above five scenarios.
God created an amazing design for marriage and if our marriage is falling apart, it’s because we’re too far from God’s plan. Lets have marriages that make the world take notice. THAT is how we share Christ effectively.
I committed this sin against God – attempting to be the Holy Spirit to my husband. 🙁 This is SERIOUS, SERIOUS sin. It is the sin of Satan – imagining that I am equal to God – or, that I am above God, even. It is immeasurable pride and arrogance. It is idolatry of self for me to equate myself with a member of the Trinity as if I can and should have the power to do His job.
How I pray we will take this very seriously and repent and understand who God is and who we are in a proper and correct way. He is HIGH, MIGHTY and lifted up. He is powerful. He is God. We are small, tiny, impotent, weak and made of dust. I pray we will fall on our faces before Him in reverence, awe and trembling and have a healthy fear for God in our hearts.
I put a post from www.bible.org in the comments about The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit.
When our husbands are far from God – or we believe they are far from God – God’s commands to us are found in I Peter 3:1-6. We are to witness by our respectful attitude WITHOUT WORDS about spiritual things, the Bible, God, church, etc. Why? Because the more we talk about these things, the less our husbands hear God. Our husbands will respond to God’s voice, not to ours, about spiritual things if they are far from Him.
DAVID PLATT – has a 4 part series on the Holy Spirit on Youtube as part of his Secret Church sessions. Please check it out! http://youtu.be/w7RhaKn1LP4
John Piper – www.desiringgod.org – search “Holy Spirit”