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We Have ALL Been Greatly Affected by Feminism

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It is largely up to us on our own to rediscover God’s design for femininity, masculinity, marriage and family. This may require practically wiping the slate clean and building our definitions from scratch in God’s Word.

For a fairly detailed, historical account of the effect of the 3 first phases of the feminist movement on the Christian church, our culture and our mindset about gender, marriage and family, I would suggest “Radical Womanhood” by Carolyn McCulley – a former radical feminist who became a servant of Christ.

The original leaders of the feminist movement did help to alleviate some egregious abuses against women in past generations.  There were problems – severe ones – that needed to be properly addressed. Women were wrongly being mistreated and abused and oppressed many times. That was not ok. (There are still women in other countries, especially, where that is happening even today en masse – how I pray for those nations to find Christ and to learn to treat people with dignity, honor, love and respect!)

Unfortunately, along with addressing the problems women faced at that time, the feminist movement simultaneously became a platform for some very ungodly and even blasphemous messages.

Why does it matter now?

The goals of feminism in the past have become our mainstream thought today.

Ladies,

Please very carefully compare these ideas to the Bible. I pray that we might compare everything that anyone says to Scripture and “test the spirits” and be careful to only accept things that are of God. Compare them to the 2 Greatest Commandments Christ gave us to love the Lord our God with all our hearts and with all our minds and with all our souls and with all our strength and to love others as we love ourselves. Remember that in John 14:22-24, Jesus said that anyone who loves Him will obey Him and that he who does not love Him will not obey Him.

It’s time for us to identify and strongly reject every ungodly idea that attempts to exalt itself above God, His Word, His commands and His wisdom.

A VERY BRIEF OVERVIEW OF  THE SOCIAL AND SPIRITUAL GOALS OF FEMINISM

Goals of the First Wave of Feminism – the Suffrage Movement

  • Granted married women legal rights over property that they didn’t have before that time.
  • Asked for the church to change and allow women into ministry positions (which were biblically reserved for men).
  • Asked for women to have equal opportunities in the work place and to be paid the same for equal work.
  • Elizabeth Cady Stanton declared that “It is vain to look for the elevation of women, so long as she is degraded in marriage… I feel that this whole question of women’s rights turns on the point of the marriage relation.” (she was married 54 years and the mother of 7 children) She became an atheist and led the feminist movement in that direction.
  • Stanton targeted and undermined the authority of scripture.
  • “The challenge to church that was raised in (The Declaration of Sentiments in 1848) eventually led to the destruction of biblically defined concepts of God, sin, gender differences, marriage, and more.” (“Radical Womanhood”)

Goals and ideas of the Second Wave of Feminism – “The Second Sex” by Beauvoir and “The Feminine Mystique” by Friedan

  • “Women were ‘imprisoned’ by the roles of wife, mother and sweetheart therefore ‘all forms of socialism, wresting woman away from the family, favor her liberation.'” (Beauvoir quoted by McCulley)
  • Endorsed existentialism where “subjectivity, individual freedom, and choice are championed – ‘truth that is true for me'” (McCulley)
  • Freidan “defined the ‘problem that has no name’ as the ‘voice within women that says: I want more than my husband and my children and my home.'” (Freidan quoted by McCulley)
  • Supported a religion of believing in various goddesses, paganism and polytheism (idolatry).
  • National Organization for Women (NOW) founded and NARAL (pro-abortion political action group) and the National Women’s Political Caucus
  • No Fault Divorce (possibly the biggest impact of this wave of the feminist movement on our society)
  • Said that marriage is unnecessary and getting married is not a virtue.
  • Approved sex outside of marriage as a great thing.
  • Opposed pornography as degrading to women.
  • Supported abortion. (There have now been over 50 millions abortions in the US since abortion was legalized in 1973. This is NOT a victimless movement.)
  • Supported the birth control pill as “freedom” for women.
  • Supported and promoted sexual liberation.
  • Encouraged women to ignore the authority and existence of God, the authority of the Bible, and any God-given authorities that weren’t women (like husbands, church leaders, etc…).

Goals of the more loosely defined Third Wave of Feminism – began in 1990s as a rebellion against the 2nd wave (McCulley)

  • “Raunch culture”
  • “Porn-positive” or “sex-positive feminism.” “Being involved in making porn is empowering for women.” 
  • Immodesty and blatant, public sensuality is feminine and powerful
  • “Girls Gone Wild”
  • Remove biology from the definition of family.
  • Remove marriage from the definition of family.
  • Hyperaggressive female sexuality that shocked the 2nd wave feminists. But 3rd wavers rebelled against the “establishment” of the 2nd wave and decided that they wouldn’t let the older women tell them what to do. “Participants in pornography and sex work (prostitution) can be ’empowered.'” (McCulley)
  • “Fluid concept of gender.” 
  • “Reject any universal definition of femininity” (McCulley)
  • Very casual attitude towards sex “hooking up” is fine and “won’t hurt anyone.” (McCulley)
  • Many young teenage girls have NEVER heard of the concept of modesty or of saving oneself sexually for marriage.
  • “‘Embrace the entire range of human sexuality’ including gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered sexuality.’ (McCulley)

HOW FEMINISM MAY IMPACT OUR DAILY THOUGHTS AND CORE BELIEFS (some of the items on this list are things that were directly taught by various feminists and some of these are things that I have seen many women subconsciously embrace even in the church today that could be extensions of feminist thoughts):

  • Men are the problem with society and marriage.
  • Men are bad/evil.
  • Women are wiser than and better than men.
  • If only women were in charge, they would fix all the problems in society.
  • Women are good.  Women are not really “wretched sinners” only men are.
  • Women’s sin is “better than” men’s sin in the eyes of God.
  • Men and women are/should be spiritually, emotionally and mentally the same. There should be no spiritual, emotional or biological differences in the way that men and women experience and perceive the world other than the genital tract.
  • Men need the same things and think and feel the same ways as women do – and if they don’t, then they don’t have emotions or they are wrong.
  • A man being masculine in a godly or traditional way is wrong.
  • A woman being feminine in a godly or traditional way is wrong.
  • Women should be aggressive, assertive, domineering, and controlling.
  • Men should always allow women to do what they think is best and they should agree with women because women are inherently always right.
  • Male leadership in marriage, the family and the church (patriarchy) is oppressive to women, even when it is not abusive in any way.
  • If a man ever has a chance to be in charge, he will be abusive 100% of the time. Any male leadership is automatically abuse.
  • Husbands must earn respect and if a wife doesn’t “feel like” her husband has earned her respect, she is totally justified to treat him in any disrespectful way she wants to no matter what God’s Word says. A wife has no obligation to obey God if she doesn’t agree with the Bible in her particular circumstances.  She is lord and master of herself. Christ is not to be her LORD.
  • Be your own goddess. What you want is all that matters. Who cares what your husband wants or what he needs and who cares what is ultimately best for your children?
  • Your own happiness is what is really important. If you are not happy, then you are justified to do anything (including sin) in order to try to be happy. Your personal happiness should be the ultimate goal (idol) in your life.
  • The Bible is not authoritative. It was written by men and men are evil. There is no Holy Spirit.
  • God is not a “He” and the God of the Bible doesn’t exist. Feminism says that God is female, or there are many goddesses, or you can become a goddess.
  • The Bible is not true and is no longer “culturally relevant.”
  • All of God’s commands and instructions specifically for women in the New Testament are oppressive and culturally irrelevant today.
  • Any authority instituted by God is to be undermined and replaced by women and what women think is best because women know better than God, women know better than the Bible, women know better than men, and women should be worshipped, submitted to and served as goddesses.
  • Motherhood and marriage imprison women and keep them from becoming all they are meant to be.
  • Originally, feminism was about women’s suffrage and voting rights. But it didn’t stop with equal rights to vote and equal pay for equal work in the workplace, feminism began to also demand that women and men are essentially the same and that the roles/jobs in marriage should be identical and split 50/50 down the middle. Both men and women should be in charge in marriage – but this ended up meaning that ultimately women should be in charge and control their men if the wives don’t agree with their husbands. Scriptural instructions about marriage roles are evil.
  • Husbands should submit to their wives and do what they say without questioning them.
  • Women should not only compete with men in the work place, but they should compete for power and position in marriage, as well even though God clearly designated the husband as the spiritual head of the marriage and home in I Corinthians 11:3, Ephesians 5:22-33, I Timothy 3:5 and Titus 2:3-5.
  • Women should assume masculine personality traits at work and in the home. They should look, dress, talk and act more like men.
  • Women don’t need a family, husband or children to find fulfillment.
  • Men should become more feminine and more in touch with their feelings and more domesticated.
  • Children don’t need a mother’s influence.
  • Children don’t need a father in the home.
  • Marriage can be whatever we want it to be.
  • Women should find their worth and identity in their careers, not the “prison and drudgery” of home-life.
  • Men should be their wives’ helpmeets. Men exist to give women what they want.
  • Women can “have it all!” – career, marriage, children and she won’t have any issue juggling all of those things at one time.
  • Motherhood and/or being a housewife are worthless, meaningless, valueless positions. Your time and work is only valuable if you are paid money.

Ladies,

It is time for us to evaluate the thoughts we embrace and where they come from and whether they line up with the Bible or not.  May we reject every heresy and all blasphemy. May we reject every lie and ungodly thought. I pray we will only embrace God’s Word as the source of absolute truth and wisdom.

RELATED:

God’s Design for Masculinity and Femininity

Are Women Inferior in God’s Eyes?

What Is Godly Femininity?

Why Are So Many of Us Unprepared to Be Godly Wives?

Is Respect Optional for a Godly Woman?

God’s Design for Spiritual Authority in Marriage

Are Women Spiritually and Morally Superior to Men?

The Biggest Problem in Our Marriages and in Our Spiritual Lives

Ephesians 5:22-33

I Corinthians 11:3

Titus 2:3-5

Are Women Morally and Spiritually Superior to Men?

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In our culture today – we almost universally accept that the answer to this question is a very obvious “Yes!  Of course women are morally and spiritually superior to men.  That is just plain fact.”

THE EVIDENCE IN FAVOR:

  • boys get in trouble a whole lot more in school than girls do
  • girls have higher grades in school than boys on average
  • there are MANY more men in prison than women
  • men commit the vast majority of violent crimes
  • there are many more women in church than men in many places, and more women are willing to take on leadership/volunteer/teaching roles in church than men today
  • dads are by far, are the ones who are  the “deadbeats” in the court systems
  • the majority of people with porn addictions are men – (although the women are gaining fast on this one)

And, of course, women are portrayed in the media as being much more competent and intelligent than men are today.

FEMINISM

I read the book, Radical Womanhood, by Carolyn McCulley.  She was an adamant feminist who studied women’s studies in college and later came to Christ.  I believe this book is a MUST READ for Christian women today.  She traces the history of the feminist movement from it’s earliest beginnings in the 1700s through the 1st, 2nd and 3rd wave (which is present day).  She also gives some of the biographical information and the personal theology of the leading women of the feminist movement as well as background on their own marriages/relationships.

Feminism looked at the world and saw the atrocities that some men were committing against women and identified that:

Men are the problem.  Men are evil.

Women are good.  Women being in charge is the answer to the world’s problems.

Among other things, the first and second waves of feminism taught that:

  • God is whoever you want “her” to be.
  • The God of the Bible was made up by “evil men”.
  • You are a goddess.
  • The Bible has no authority because it was “written by men” and “men are evil.”
  • The authorities God has established in His Word have no authority.
  • We can decide for ourselves what is right or wrong.  Existentialism – “Truth that is true for me”
  • We can redefine masculinity, femininity, marriage and family however we would like to.
  • Men and women are the same emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
  • Marriage oppresses women.
  • Motherhood oppresses women.  Children are a burden
  • Men oppress women.
  • The Bible oppresses women.
  • Church oppresses women.
  • Women need to have a career to be truly fulfilled as a person.
  • Marriage is “just a piece of paper.”

Feminism – at its core, was born as a heresy of scripture and blasphemy of God.  Feminism has done some things that have benefited the condition and treatment of women, to be sure.  But it is time for us to carefully examine the origins, tenets and goals of this philosophy that we have unquestioningly embraced in the church today.

THE TRUTH OF GOD’S WORD

The Bible is the only source of unchanging truth.  It is time to examine the beliefs of our ungodly, worldly culture against the absolute truth of the Word of God.  It is time to trash any ungodly ideas from our culture and embrace only God’s truth.

Feminism says, “Men are evil.”  We certainly see empirical evidence for that statement.

But is it the whole truth?

God created men and women to be image bearers of God.  We were created in a state of perfection in Genesis 2.  We are of equal value and dignity before God (Galatians 3:28)

But then sin (evil) entered the picture.

According to the One, holy and perfect God of the universe:

There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God.

All have turned away, they have together become worthless;

there is no one who does good. not even one

All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Romans 3: 10-12, 23

We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags.  Isaiah 64:6 (literally, “filthy, bloody menstrual rags”)

According to God, from His righteous and just perspective – ALL people are wretched sinners in desperate need of the blood of Jesus to cover our sin.  I cannot find a verse in scripture that elevates women as spiritually or morally superior to men in God’s eyes.  Jesus repeatedly calls all people “evil” throughout the gospels.  We have a very sinful nature, inherited from Adam and Eve.  We are slaves to sin, according to Romans 6:16.   We are on equally spiritually evil ground as men and women in the sight of God.  We are incapable of doing anything good in God’s sight on our own, because – apart from Christ – we are spiritually dead.

The truth is that there are plenty of negative statistics about women and how we sin and fall short of God’s glory, too – if we are willing to look at ourselves.

Jesus answered. “No one is good–except God alone.Luke 18:19b

Arguing about whether men or women are spiritually/morally superior to each other – is kind of like arguing about which corpse in the funeral home “looks more alive.”  What does it matter??? They are all dead.

FROM CAROLYN MCCULLEY in RADICAL WOMANHOOD:

Women do have a problem. But it’s not men.  It’s sin.  Sin warps everything, including the good that God has designed in being a man or a woman.  Women sin against men and men sin against women, and everyone sins against God and falls short of His standard of holiness and perfection.  Sin is the reason men have oppressed women and women have usurped men.  Sin is the reason for the jealousy, selfish ambition, disorder, and every vile practice that characterizes false wisdom.  Sin is the reason we need a Savior….

The glorious hope we have is that Christ came to rescue us from this spiral of sin and sinful response.  Only the gospel can accurately diagnose the issues on both sides and offer both the good news of forgiveness for our sins and the restoration of our relationship first with God and then with each other.

This is true liberation for women… and men.

THE NEXT POST (6-12-13):

I will show you how God blew the lid off of my idea that I was a good person when He opened my eyes to my MOUNTAIN of sin.  I didn’t just have a speck or a 2 by 4 of sin in my eye.  I had a MOUNTAIN with an entire forest.  I am truly – the chief of sinners.  There is no sinner who is farther away from God than I was.  There is no one who needed Christ more desperately than me.

How to Have a Relationship with Christ and find Forgiveness, Healing, Hope and Heaven

SERMONS ON THIS TOPIC AND SALVATION AND MANY MORE:

www.desiringgod.org  John Piper

www.radical.net  David Platt

The Wash Cloth Incident

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An email I received from a wife – thank you to this wife for allowing me to share!
Hello April…
Wanted to share something funny.

Our bathroom has been torn up for over a year now. So, I have bathroom stuff in 3 rooms (the kitchen, my bedroom and the tiny spare bath). I already caught my daughter using my face wash cloth (in the kitchen) to wipe up balsamic vinegar. yuck, it left a huge brown stain on my white wash cloth. Today, I caught my husband using a new wash cloth to wipe up coffee spills.

“AAAAaaahhhh don’t do that!” I squeal!

He momentarily freezes, totally shocked.

“That’s my face rag!” I explain (with boldness)

“Well, you’ve got your stuff all over, how am I supposed to know?” he retorts angrily.

“Well, IF the bathroom would be done, I wouldn’t have to have my stuff ALL OVER THE PLACE!!” proudly defending myself.

(((((Yikes….))))))

Then I hear YOUR voice reminding me that an unsubmissive wife is prideful. That the way we speak to our husbands reveals how much better than them we think we are.

I guess I was thinking ‘I deserve a bathroom. Shame on him for not having a nice bathroom for me. I’ll make him feel stupid for not having the bathroom done BY NOW!!’

I apologized to him (and I praise God that He is faithfully showing me attitudes of pride and entitlement in my heart).

It’s so freeing to let it go…just let God take the junk and replace it with joy and peace.

 

You are right, He died for me, I didn’t deserve that. I deserve hell. I don’t deserve my nice life today and I should stop acting like I do. (I go to a church that teaches this fact, but sometimes we need to see where it really applies: to me, I’ve really got some “I don’t deserve this” issues going on.)

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

I am so excited about what God is doing in this wife’s heart! She caught the pride right after she spoke and apologized. THAT was wise – and it honored Jesus.

She is beginning to realize that intimacy with her husband and with God is more important than being “right” about the bathroom, or her face rags. WHAT AN IMPORTANT THING TO SEE!!!!

You begin to get used to eating humble pie as you learn to do things God’s way. And, you know what? It’s really not that bad. The taste kind of grows on you!

Eventually, God’s Spirit will help her to catch things BEFORE she says them.

Over time, God’s Spirit will transform her mind and replace the negative thoughts and pride with humility, peace, joy and thanksgiving – so one day, she won’t even think the prideful thoughts. There will be some slip ups – but God can give us many victories over sin!

It is ok to say, “I can’t wait to see how beautiful the new bathroom will be! Thank you for working on it. I really appreciate your willingness to make our home beautiful!”

Attracting Your Husband

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Creating attraction in your husband towards you is actually fairly simple once you learn to understand godly masculinity, how men think, how God designed men, godly femininity, how women think and how God designed women.  See… EASY as pie!  🙂

You cannot force your man to be attracted to you.  You can be a godly woman, full of joy and peace and God’s Spirit.  THAT is attractive to men.  Then we will trust God with the results. 🙂

What I am about to list is not a bunch of rules – but rather – it comes from understanding more about God and His design for men and women and marriage and from living in His power.  It is impossible to be a godly wife without His Spirit empowering us!

(If there are SERIOUS problems of abuse, drug/alcohol addiction, infidelity, etc… in your marriage, please seek godly, experienced help ASAP!)

  • Understand that his core masculine emotional need as a man is RESPECT – not love.  He does need love – especially, friendly, affectionate love – but if he feels disrespected, he will not “feel loved.”
  • Appreciate that men can and do feel physical attraction based on looks – but the attraction that will keep your man with you is the beauty of your feminine, gentle, peaceful spirit that does what is right and does not give way to hysterical fear.
  • Dress femininely and modestly in public.
  • Do not be modest in private with your husband.  Allow him the chance to admire and enjoy you visually if he would like to.
  • Be genuinely forgiving – full of the grace and mercy of God.
  • Use that beautiful smile and dazzling eyes of yours to make your man feel welcome around you.
  • If he asks you to do something, make it a priority on your to do list
  • Let him know that you are proud of the man that he is.
  • Be a SAFE place for him to share his heart.  DO NOT share with other people the precious pieces of his heart that he shares with you in confidence.
  • Realize that you are in a particularly powerful position as a godly wife to give respect to your husband that can meet his deepest masculine needs.  When a man detects the faith, trust, admiration and respect of his wife – something inside of him comes to life.  He feels more masculine, more powerful (in a good way), more capable, stronger, better able to face the world, ready to conquer dragons.  God is able to use your feminine admiration, respect, encouragement, praise for what is good in him and adoration to help a man soar to greater heights than he ever could before.
  • Study to understand and quickly recognize what disrespect looks like to men in general and to your husband, in particular – and avoid those behaviors and attitudes like the plague!  Especially avoid criticizing, lecturing, scolding, demanding, yelling, complaining, arguing and negativity.  This is actually part of the process of sanctification and becoming more like Christ.
  • Be a PLEASURE to be around.  Be full of the joy of Christ and God’s Spirit.  Have your heart completely set on Him and the things of heaven!
  • Seek Christ and His kingdom first! Watch your motives.  Ask God to help you check your motives often!
  • Do not make your husband into an idol that comes before your devotion to Christ.  That is a recipe for a disaster!
  • Study to understand what respect looks like to men in general, and then to your husband, in particular.
  • Study to understand what godly femininity is all about.  Be willing to trash any worldly wisdom you have absorbed and build on the word of God and Christ alone.
  • Study to understand how to honor God-given authority in your life – whether it is a teacher, a boss, a police officer, a pastor, a Bible teacher, or your husband.
  • Commit yourself to submit your life totally to Christ.  Study about biblical submission  – where it starts – and what it means in a marriage relationship.  Be prepared to be a cheerful follower.
  • Learn to share your heart, your feelings, your desires and your perspective in a non-threatening, respectful, pleasant, calm, BRIEF way.  Be willing to cooperate with God-given authority over you respectfully – even when you disagree unless that authority is asking you to sin or condone sin.  Trust that God, in His great sovereignty, will lead you and speak to you through that God-given authority so that your best interests and God’s greatest glory will be the end result.  This is how you can have peace even when you don’t agree with an authority.  You trust God to use that decision to take you to the place He wants you to go.
  • Embrace humility.   Consider that your husband has great wisdom to offer – particularly if he belongs to Christ, but God can and will use him to lead you many times even if he is not a believer.  Please cooperate with his God-given leadership unless he asks you to sin or condone sin.
  • Seek to build up your man with life-giving, edifying words of sincere praise, admiration, encouragement and respect.
  • Listen to his advice carefully and prayerfully.
  • Speak highly about him in front of him and to others when he is not there.
  • Be willing to do things with him that interest him, even if it doesn’t really interest you.  Realize that men bond in “shoulder-to-shoulder” activity that often does NOT include a lot of talking.  Be willing to sit in the woods with him while he hunts quietly for a few hours.  Be willing to sit in the garage beside him quietly while he works on his car – smile at him whenever he looks your way.  This is bonding for guys!
  • Flirt with him! (If he likes that, of course)
  • Show that you respect and treasure your femininity and your body and that you take good care of yourself in a healthy way.   Put in some effort into staying in shape (ie: 30 minutes of exercise 5 days a week is a healthy amount), eat well, treat your body with respect, get your sleep, wear a bit of makeup (however your husband likes it).  Don’t go overboard into obsession with your appearance or make thinness or beauty into an idol.  Make sure that Christ is your focus – and be a good steward of your body -which is His temple.  
  • Affirm him.  Thank him for his leadership and wisdom.
  • Don’t push, rush, prod, pressure or try to control him.  Let him make his own decisions.
  • Laugh at his jokes and enjoy his sense of humor.
  • LISTEN to him.  Take his thoughts, ideas, emotions, stories and all that he shares with you seriously – appreciate the gift that he is.
  • HAVE FUN with him!
  • Wear things he loves to see you in sometimes.
  • Doll yourself up when you can and wear your hair the way he likes it when you can as a special gift to him.
  • Don’t zoom ahead in your mind.  Stay in today.  Enjoy the moment.  Savor the gift of his presence and the time you share with him without worrying about the future.  Let God lead you in His plan.  He is already in the future.  He knows His best for you.  Rest in His sovereignty and just relax and enjoy the gift of time with this man when you are able to be with him.
  • Catch his eye and then hold his gaze for a second then look down and smile to yourself.
  • Ask him about what God is teaching him and what he is learning in God’s Word – if he is a strong believer.
  • If he is far from God right now, be silent about spiritual things, church, God, the Bible – and live out I Peter 3:1-6 in the power of God’s Spirit.  
  • Be INTERESTED in what he has to say.  Pay rapt attention.  Make lots of eye contact.  Smile a lot.  Be enthusiastic about hearing his thoughts.
  • have a grateful, joyful heart.
  • Avoid complaining and arguing.
  • be cooperative
  • be open to your  husband spiritually, emotionally, mentally and sexually.
  • Support his dreams
  • support his career
  • pray for him humbly as a teammate who has his back
  • believe in him

 

You can’t force attraction or control your husband’s attraction to you.  You can influence it.   You can be the godly woman Jesus desires you to be.  Our greatest goal is to be attractive to Christ and to please Him!

RELATED POSTS:

Respect and Sexual Attraction

Keeping the Marriage Bed Pure

Handling Our Husband’s Visual Temptations

A Husband Answers – “Why Won’t My Husband Lead?”

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Today’s post is a guest post by a Christian husband – answering a wife’s question.  This wife has been working on respect and biblical submission for about 6 months, and doesn’t understand why sometimes her husband tells her that he doesn’t want to lead in their marriage.
(PS – just so everyone is aware – if I ever receive any email messages from men, my husband reads them and I copy my husband on all emails to any men every single time without exception.  That is my personal conviction – to keep from even the appearance of evil.  I don’t always mention it in every post, but that is my strict policy, for those who are interested or concerned.)
If the relationship has been going on for awhile where the wife is controlling men tend to learn early on that there are only a few ways to do things. The right way (as defined by the person in control) or the wrong way. So yes, the wife may want to stop being controlling but the husband already has learned that if he steps up to do something and it’s not done her way he will hear about it in arguements, hear about it when it fails, hear about it if it’s not perfect in the eyes of his wife (and no one wants to let his wife down). Even if the issue is resolved if it’s not done her way – it’s not correct.
As an example paying the bills. People can argue one way or another on who should be responsible for the bills and who is better with math, etc. All that aside men and women prioritize different things more and it shows when they pay bills. For a period of time when I was paying bills I always made sure that food was paid first and then bills and cars and house and then all the extra things like gas card, or jcpenny’s card for clothes, etc. When times are tight many of those cards would call because they didn’t get a payment. This got on my wife’s nerves so much that she would yell at me constantly that I was bad at paying bills or tell me that if I couldn’t get this resolved she would just take it over and make sure it was done right.
Once she took over paying the bills, because her priorities were a bit different, things go paid in a different order. She wanted security and debtors to quit calling so paid house and cars and misc bills first. So the phone calls stopped to a point but we still were behind so they didn’t completely vanish. However the thing that was last on her list was food and gas. I stopped eating breakfast because that’s another bowl of cereal the kids could have, and there were weeks were I only ate lunch 1 or 2 days out of 5 because there wasn’t enough bread to make a sandwich for myself and still have food for the kids the rest of the week until I got paid on Friday. My wife also told me recently that during that time there were times she would be at the grocery store and just cry because she knew we didn’t have bread at home she only had $45 for the grocery store so if she bought bread then something would bounce and we would get a fee charged on something else.
Neither way is right or wrong they both accomplish the same end goal but it’s hard to be the leader when your told your way is wrong and you can’t argue based on an opinion for a topic that can have many correct and valid answers.
Over time as husbands learn this some will just give up and go with the flow so they stop leading because it leads to less arguements, and less of being told how they are wrong or why they failed, etc. The trust that your wife will be okay with your solution is hard to regain. So when a wife decides to submit and let the husband lead it’s still very much a learning process. The husband may take some time (days, weeks, months, years) to start trusting again that his wife is on his side and if he steps up to lead something and fails that she will be there to support and encourage him and not give him the I Told You So look.
The best way to get it started is by supporting and encouraging in anything small that he does. I’ve not met many men in this world that don’t lead at anything. Even if they lead nothing at home they might be a leader at church or at work or something. Men are born to lead and when they find the environment that supports that they will step up to it. So as a wife find where your husband is leading and encourange and support him in that. When he see’s and feels that happening over time he will realize that leading in other areas might be worth a try.
It’s going to be small things though. Maybe he goes out and mows the lawn without it being mentioned, or goes and hangs up christmas lights, or stops on the way home from work and buys some pencils and paper because the kids are all out and need some for school. The wife that wants her husband to lead after she’s working on being less in control needs to find all the little things and encourage and support him in doing those. And some of that means not pointing out all the little things that need to be done. So don’t say,  “Wow, the lawn really needs to be mowed” as that’s just another way of saying he hasn’t lived up to your expectactions yet. You as the wife have to be okay with the lawn not getting mowed and maybe your house won’t look perfect but just let it go until he does it and then praise him and thank him for stepping up and getting it done.

For many men taking responsibility for something and being the leader after hearing for a period of time how they were bad at it or not doing it right is a very hard idea to swallow.

Most men will turn down the chance to lead because they know that it will just be another instance to point out where they failed so they need to feel secure in the fact that it won’t be used against them before they try something.

I imagine it’s the same for women, if you are told over and over that you are doing something wrong and have failed at it over time you just give up any desire to do that activity and let someone else do it. If you put on makeup every day and every day the most popular girl in school says “Ugh what’s with your makeup you can’t do anything right here wipe that all off …” pretty soon you feel that you can’t do it right, so why bother. Maybe you have your mom do it or an older sister or maybe you just give up because “what’s the point?”   It’s not until many years later that you realize it’s not about trying to impress other people it’s about making you feel special about yourself or maybe you put that touch of red on your lips to make that special guy you like know that you think he’s special to.
The thing is 99% of this world fail at something the first time they try it. There is also the person that just naturally find what they are great at and do awesome the first time, but for all the rest of us in this world we have to try something sometimes many times to get it right and feel like we are successful at it. We need someone in our court that says, “Yeah, you didn’t succeed this time but let’s get ourselves up and do it again and again until we can get there and get it done.” When you know someone is there for you over and over – you have no issues stepping up to lead. When you get knocked down everytime you fail, there is no reason to get up and lead. When that dynamic changes and there used to be no reason to lead and you are being asked to lead it sometimes feels like they are just trying to set you up to fail. That’s something the guy has to deal with and overcome, but if the woman is pushing you to lead that only makes it worse.  She has to let it happen and try to support everything he does.

Worry – Part 2

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For Part 1 of this series, please click here.

If you have not asked Jesus to be your Savior and Lord, please click here.

If you have already accepted that you are a wretched sinner, as we all are, and have turned to Jesus as both Savior and Lord of everything in your life-
There are several steps to having the Spirit full blast in your life:

1. Ask God to show you every sin so that you can thoroughly and genuinely see your sin and hate it and see how ugly it is in God’s holy sight. This includes sins that we sometimes think are “little” but they are extremely offensive to God. For me it was things like
PRIDE – actually living as if I knew better than God and believing I was always right and my husband was always wrong. I had been 100% blind to my pride. God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. James 4:6
self-righteousness – Jesus condemned this sin in the Pharisees. I looked down on my husband and others thinking I was spiritually superior to them instead of seeing that I am an equally wretched sinner as any murderer or criminal. To God, my level of sin was just as heinous as any other person’s on the planet.
idolatry – trying to find my identity in my husband, or expecting my husband to be God to me, or thinking I was actually in control of way more in my life and in others’ lives than I truly was, or seeking to have sovereignty over my own life instead of God, or seeking my way more than God’s way. (I had never seen or known that I had idols – that was a pretty shocking discovery) I had been breaking the first commandment in the 10 commandments every waking moment for decades. There is no worse sin in God’s eyes than idolatry.
disrespect – I had been treating my husband and many other people disrespectfully for years and didn’t even realize it. My tone of voice was sometimes just awful. I tried to control other people and thought I was justified to do so and would attack others verbally when they didn’t do things my way.

disobedience to God’s Word for me as a wife and in many areas, such as trusting God and living by faith…

gossip
unforgiveness – I held on to bitterness and resentment and grudges. I wanted to forgive, but I couldn’t. I didn’t know how to. Jesus says if we don’t forgive others their sins, God won’t forgive us. Matthew 5:14
worry/anxiety/fear – this is the opposite of faith. I didn’t think I had a choice about worrying. I thought I had to worry. But I actually can choose faith in Christ over worry. I must choose one or the other, I can’t have both. When I can’t set worry down at Jesus’ feet and truly leave it there, worry means I don’t trust God.
2. Turn from the sin and to God. (repent) This is a daily thing – or an hourly thing. Sometimes a minute by minute thing.
3. Set my faith totally on Christ alone. To do this, I had to study His sovereignty. I had to come down in my own mind “thousands of notches” and I had to exalt Christ to His rightful place. The more I understood His great love and His sovereignty, the more I realized that I was so foolish to worry. Trying to be in charge myself was actually the most dangerous place on earth. Trusting fully in Christ is the safest place – because then I am in the center of God’s will and have His Spirit. As long as I am in God’s will and have His Spirit filling me – I know that I am going to be more than just fine – I know I will have access to all the spiritual treasures of heaven and the fruit of God’s Spirit – even if I should suffer, even if trials come, even during storms and grief and loss.

I had to write down all of my fears and the things I worried about and then decide whether God was big enough to handle that thing if it were to happen.

Worry is when I am trying to figure out how to handle trials and bad things all on my own. I don’t see God’s power being with me in the future, because I don’t have His power right now.  Worry is all about me – what will I do, how will I respond, how will I make things work out right.  I leave God totally out of the picture when I worry.  He can and will show up in ways I can’t begin to expect when I trust Him.

So I take every thought captive for Christ – and compare it to His Word.

And I focus on replacing fearful thoughts with Scripture. God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and sound mind. I Tim 1:7

4. I also focused on being THANKFUL and looking at the blessings and good things and focused on Philippians 4:8 about my husband and marriage and wrote down everything I could think of that I respected/admired about my husband and I focused on that list and meditated on it.

God also taught me to live in His peace during uncertainty by sending me the same trial over and over every month for 6 months when I was learning this stuff. Eventually, I learned to rest and trust in God’s love and sovereignty and learned to live in His peace even when everything was up in the air and in limbo and nothing was certain.

5. God instructed me to do everything without complaining or arguing so that I can shine like the stars in the universe as I hold forth the Word of Life.  Philippians 2:14

6. I seek to obey God’s Word in everything. If I am living in faith and obedience and not cherishing sin, God’s Spirit will fill me up. I can stay in constant communion with Him and He can and will and does empower me to obey Him and be the godly wife he wants me to be. I can’t be that wife in my own power.

7. I feast on God’s Word OFTEN – daily or more.

8. I totally submit myself 100% to Christ and hold back nothing. I give him all that I am and all that I have and I say, “Not my will, but Yours be done.” I hold everything in life loosely except for Christ and His Word. I set Him clearly as LORD of everything in my life.

9.  I die to self,  nailing the sinful nature to the cross. Laying down my will, my dreams, my goals, my plans, my desires, my wisdom, and all that is me – and picking up God’s will, His dreams, His goals, His priorities, His wisdom, His desires and loving what He loves and hating what He hates.

Yes, it seems like a huge sacrifice at first to die to self. I no longer seek my way and my will. I give up myself as a sacrifice daily to CHrist. But when I do that, then He replaces my will and my way with His own and then I have His abundant life and His spiritual riches flooding through my soul. It turns out, the things I thought were such a huge sacrifice were trash compared with the life God gave me when I was willing to empty my hands of self and seek Him alone.

10. God renews my mind and heart and changes it so that He forms the mind of Christ in me.

11. I find my contentment only in Christ. Once I have His Spirit, I know that as long as I have Him – I can be full of joy and purpose. And I know that if I had everything in the world, but didn’t have His Spirit, I would have NOTHING.

God’s Spirit is SO good. It’s the greatest “high” there is. Once you taste it, nothing else can satisfy.

12. I embrace suffering from the hand of God – God uses suffering to make me more mature and complete and more like Christ.

It is a process – and something each believer must hash through with God. It takes time to get to that place of trust. It feels scary at first, kind of like flinging myself off of a cliff – but then there was solid ground under my feet once I did take that leap of faith. And I could just kick myself for not trusting Him completely before!

RELATED POSTS:

Things that Fuel a Spirit of Discontentment in Me

Contentment Comes from Having Christ as Lord

A Huge Key to Contentment by StillJennifer

Worry – Part 1

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Hang on, ladies!  This is a painful one – but necessary.  It’s going to step on all our toes.  But we have to deal with some unpleasant and critical issues to get to the intimacy we long for with Christ and our husbands!  Please approach this post with a prayerful attitude of yieldedness and openness to God’s voice – asking God to expose any ungodly attitudes in our souls and uprooting them – making room for His Spirit to have full reign in our hearts!

WORRY IS DESTRUCTIVE TO ME

MANY of us are consumed by worry on a daily basis – maybe even every waking moment.  I used to be.  I would just bounce from one issue to another – worrying all the time.  It was AWFUL.  I hated it.  But I didn’t know how to stop.  It’s pretty awesome to be able to say that is how I WAS.  I praise God for changing me!  I sure couldn’t change myself.  Worry is a temptation at times for me now, but I don’t live with that worry channel on in my brain all the time anymore.  I know how to quickly flip the channel.  I didn’t realize  before how much choice I had about worrying and what message my worry sends to my husband and to God.  It actually is possible by the power of God’s Spirit for us to live without worry!!  What incredibly GOOD NEWS!

WORRY IS DESTRUCTIVE TO MY RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD AND MY HUSBAND

The bottom line is – when I worry, I am telling my husband and God that I don’t trust either of them and I need to take over myself.  I am living as if I think they are incompetent, irresponsible, weak, impotent, incapable and unable to handle things without my help.

The problem is –  a lot of things I would worry about were things that were actually out of my control.  Trying to control the uncontrollable is EXHAUSTING and extremely stressful!  I was overwhelmed and overburdened.  That made me irritable and grumpy on top of being worried.

A GENTLE, PEACEFUL SPIRIT THAT DOES NOT GIVE WAY TO HYSTERICAL FEAR

Now, God has developed in me a spirit of godly femininity that communicates to my husband and to God the messages:

  • I trust you
  • I have faith in you
  • I am confident in you.
  • I am not worried.
  • I am at peace because I know you have things under control.
  • I feel safe with you.
  • I know you have wisdom that I don’t understand and that’s ok.
  • I don’t have all the answers.
  • I’m going to lean on your wisdom and not depend on my feelings.
  • I’m going to run to the shelter of your protection and wait patiently to see what you decide to do.
  • I am willing to cooperate with your leadership.
  • I respect your decisions.
  • I will confidently tell you my feelings and desires and I trust you to make the best decision for me and our family based on your understanding of my needs, wants and what is best for all of us in the longrun.

WHAT DOES JESUS SAY ABOUT WORRY?

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear…  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?  … O you of little faith?  So do not worry, saying, “What shall we eat?”  or “What shall we wear?”  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own.  Matthew 6:25-34
According to your faith will it be done to you.  Matthew 9:29
And (Jesus) did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.  Matthew 13:58
So worry is completely useless as far as doing anything positive or beneficial.  And it is destructive to our health and our relationship with God.
What Jesus wants us to do instead of worry?  SEEK HIM FIRST!!!!  That is where our effort, time, energy, strength, thoughts, words, minds and hearts need to be all the time!  He PROMISES to take care of the rest of our needs when we keep Him first in our hearts and minds.
PEACE
When we truly repent of all of our sins, even the ones we think are “small” like worry, unforgiveness, bitterness, resentment, pride, gossip, divisions, etc… then we open up the channel for the Spirit of God to fill us and His supernatural love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control begin to flood our lives on a daily basis.
Once you taste His Spirit – you know nothing else can satisfy! 🙂
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