Lessons on Authority
In recent years, since union to Elijah Meggs in September 2015, I have been insanely loving, completely enjoying, and yet baffled, frustrated and confused by this role of mine, as Wife.
So we've all learned single-hood fairly well, the dos and don'ts, the how to be a daughter that's submissive without being ignored as an individual etc. But womanhood as a wife... What exactly does it entail? And then what is it for me personally with my man's personalities, or for any woman? For all God fearing, Christ-washed women who have yearned for and then finally entered this role, rather clueless we find, as Wife.
First bottom-line I am basing all my findings on the truths of the bible, without the bias of traditional teaching. I want understand Christ's truth from His perspective – the truth that can set me and you free.
I'm a very practical person. I like the what and when, why and how for everything I do. (Math was fun because of that! ) I tend to see everything as black and white and right or wrong. That's why it's very important to me personally to understand the why and how of everything I do. I need to know that there is a good reason what I am doing, rather than just because it's easy or convenient. Most of all I want to please our Savior, and as a practical person I've learned that even in doing dishes there is a right and wrong way (in our hearts) of doing them.
As a daughter I learned I can NEVER change my parents. I learned (like any hard-head) the hard way, I tried and failed. God pruned lots of self righteousness from me (he's still got a long way to go), but I learned that they aren't perfect nor am I and I need Him constantly. That's when I learned doing the dishes with a sour attitude was wrong, not wrong in just a moral way, but wrong as it was sin for me (James 4:17). I was hating (which is equivalent to murder. 1st John 3:15) the authority over me. I was the worst rebel you can imagine. I so wanted to revolt... My mother and I are very alike in many ways. Both of us have strong personalities and she was the 'authority' and it bugged me to no end! Her rules and expectations often seemed unreasonable to me.
Oh Thank God Almighty that heaven didn't rain down fire and brimstone on me!
All this to say my relationship with my parents did not improve until Christ put a mirror in front of me. He was so kind, he is such a gentle teacher, but firm and insistent I learn His lessons! That mirror showed me my ugly rebellion was much worse than my mother's 'unreasonable' demands (they were reasonable- I'm a mom now, I know). My rebel heart was not a thing to admire like the many songs of the cultures around us would have you believe. Satan was the #1 ace at being a rebel. He rebelled against the God of the universe and we all where it led him. But this story is about a rebel teen who was tired of being told to be perfect and tired of being expected to be perfect. Anything I did NEVER lined up, never was enough to satisfy the bar. The bar changed often and I was going mad with rage about it. Wasn't there a law that just was the same forever? That never moved, that never had a new clause or amendment? In my hunt for perfection I ran smack in that mirror God was holding there. It's reflection SCARED me and I got mad! Who had the audacity to show me who I was??? Who thought he was big enough to confront me? I love a challenge and I was determined to vindicate myself. Then Christ's perfect face, being, soul, everything stood in my face and he said, “Now Faith, all you can change is you... aren't you tired of fighting to fix others and then starting back at the beginning of that fight when it's finished? Aren't you tired of having to fix everyone? It's a big job isn't it? It's very emotionally draining and never ending, it's exhausting, it's a full-time job and you are always mistrusted by those you try to help. They can't even understand what you're doing, so they end up hating you! This makes you very ugly and you have your own issues, so let's start focusing on you.” I heard him loud and clear, it hurt very much to see myself in the bright light of God's truth and to hear I needed fixing. And then just like my Daddy had always told me growing up God said, “I'll worry about everyone else, you just worry about you.”
These lessons have prepared me for my role as a wife, but oddly I thought these lessons wouldn't apply in marriage. After I said “I Do” I embraced my man and he asked my opinion on everything and now that I knew him I forgot to pray for him (like I had while still single)! I got carried away in our life together and then he'd work all day and I got super lonely. That first year God taught me, “Though married I'm not your old crush/boyfriend or whatever.” He taught me that he still needs to be a huge part of my day. I found he is jealous. 🙂 Then the next year of marriage I got lost further and began to stress over our finances and housing situation. It was a daily conversation in my head, “you're not doing anything, you're useless and your husband works so hard but y'all aren't moving forward. You're both running in place!” Then I let my mind's guard down and evil thoughts came in my head that my husband was not perfect like he initially seemed - like he 'seemed' in courtship. Those thoughts scared me and I cried out to God “what is my role? Why is marriage so hard? So NOT nice? Why was the bedroom almost a 'chore' to me? When Sarah called it pleasure?” Mine wasn't pleasure... what was wrong? We married under His covenant and I knew I had NOT made a mistake as far as bridegroom, though satan tried to tell me that.
Then I asked my man. He felt our relationship was fine, he hadn't known how I felt... I knew I'd crushed him. God seemed to shake his head and say, “have you asked me?” But I still wandered about blaming myself for unfaithfulness in my mind. I still worried over the finances. Then I found the truth in the word, little by little.
I was reminded that authority is a position not a person.
My practical self still wanted a what to do as a wife, even though now I knew the why.
What was a wife to do? At the most basic level what is a wife's responsibility?
Pray. Reverence our husbands. Love our husbands. Raise our children. And be Keepers at home.
Really? I knew that! Is that all? It's easier said than done. Yes I kept the house, loved and reverenced my husband, and raised our daughter, oh yes and prayed (checked all those off)! No. I thought I had 'done' each of these everyday. The truth is very hard. It was difficult to reverence a man who was earning a little less than minimum wage, to keep a house that wasn't finished. Raising a child was more difficult than I anticipated. And prayer who had time for that? All I had 'time' for was a quick half to 2 minute ordeal each morning or meal or bedtime. Then our home burnt down the end of December. My reaction as it burnt??? (I shocked myself) I was hurting for my husband. Hurting that after all the providing he had done for a year there was my home engulfed in flames and smoke, I didn't care about my stuff at all, I was just hurting that the fire was destroying all his efforts to provide for us.
I realized after our house fire that prayer isn't a quick half to 2 minute ordeal. The words to “What a friend we Have in Jesus” hit me, “oh what peace we often forfeit oh what needless pain we bear all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.” Everything includes your house, your husband, your child's soul, your grocery money or lack thereof, your husband's lack of perfection, your bedroom life, your quiet time, your anxieties, everything.
I learned right before the house burnt how sweet obeying my husband and resting in him can be! It's actually NO anxiety at all. You don't worry about the finances because, he's a grown man and will take care of us! He doesn't intend to let us live on the streets! 🙂 He's has only the BEST in mind for us! The way the church is to Christ, helps me view my role so well. The church prays to Christ how often? Well we wives need to pray to Christ that often about our men! Pray that our men listen to God's leading - not us!! We have tons of ideas and wishes but our guidance isn't God's and I don't want my man to lead my family guided by me! I want him to be like Pilgrim in Pilgrim's Progress - only set on the kingdom of heaven and NOTHING (including me) should get in the way. I don't want to influence his decision when our next home is at stake. Yes discuss it as a couple then leave the final say to him, as on judgment day he'll have to answer to God about where he lead us. And if like Adam he says 'well my wife told me to'... What will I have to say to God then? I don't want to be answering that question.
We've all heard it all our lives:
There's God, then husband, then wife, then kids.
If that is so than why do I hear from Christians that marriage is an equal relationship? That husband and wife have both get share the decision making equally in everything? Is that scripture or culture that we've believed? Doesn't scripture say “Wives submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as UNTO THE LORD???” (Eph. 5:22-24) “And the wife reverence her husband.” (Eph. 5:33) and doesn't it warn us that a woman who shames her husband is as rottenness in her husband's bones??? (Prov. 12:4) Oh women! Listen to Christ, he says how a virtuous woman is far above rubies. Why? The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her! (Prov. 31:11) Does your husband REALLY trust you in ebverything? Does he know that even if he's not there you'll make a decision that he would make? The virtuous woman won't manipulate his words to fit into her plan, she forsakes her plan and does his! Because of this he's a respected man in town, he's not a lazy bum while she's working. No! He's one of the elders, because the house he keeps is run well. (Prov. 31:23)
We need to simply but ACTUALLY do these things: Pray. Reverence our husbands. Love our husbands. Raise our children. And be Keepers at home.
We do know that if we don't honor our men in turn our children will not honor him. Then once adults in life they won't honor any authority- including God. If we don't reverence him, they'll never reverence God. I have found that due to this I have this attitude of 'equality' with God. That is totally wrong! So first we need to fear God. Because He is the one and only true God, he holds gravity, the stars, the tide and everything in perfect order and we forget He is the one who also has pardoned us from what we deserve, an eternal life sentence to hell! If a judge in court pardoned our crime we still respect and fear him because of his position this is the same reason why God (and our husband) is to be feared; because of position. Secondly we need to reverence and fear (yes fear) our husband because he is owed it by position, according to God’s word no matter his salvation or moral status (1st Peter 3:1-2, Ephesians 5:22).
God and Israel is another example I equate my marriage to. Am I 'dumbly' blind of my sin like Israel? Just frolicking around with other friends instead of being home with my husband? Am I spending too much time on FB or reading my favorite books instead of attending my husband's needs?
Being a wife is a VERY important role in this unseen spiritual world. Satan would have you believe its tiny. But its not. You need to realize your role is not second best, nor insignificant or less honored but there are 2 different necessary roles. Husbands and Wives. My husband has his role and I have mine. My job is to be his wife, and I need to fill it or else it's left vacant while I try to fill my man's role. As a wife ask your husband, what he wants you to do. Every man is different. Just figure out your special role as your man's wife, by asking him. And if on the list he didn't mention something you always thought wives did, forget that, just do what he said! He's your authority, in your father's and mother's home it was different. Do only what he asks of you and yes, go a little farther but don't go ahead and do things that he considers to be his responsibility.
It's very easy once you REST in the place you were made for. I have realized I don't like and can't handle certain things and in reading scripture I don't have to worry about them but the feminist culture that has even permeated our home has taught me I SHOULD care or else if I don't care I'll feel insecure or I'll be taken advantage of!
If we relax in our role, and rest in the provision of our husband's and God, we've got nothing to worry about! And in my role of being a praying wife I can rest totally on God having everything, including husband -whether unsaved or imperfect as a Christian- in control. God is who I'm ultimately resting in when I actually live my biblical role of wife.
“Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you."
1st Peter 3:1 and 2 (To better understand this first read 1st Peter 2:18-25)
“Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;