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Tack and Tune

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If I can just stick to tacking and tuning myself, often God brings His peace and harmony, in His time.

Part of my tack and tune kit is to keep a copy of our Marriage Certificate on the bulletin board at my desk.  I also have a copy of the promises I’ve made in my vows to Darrell on my computer.  When we’re in the middle of a heated fight (and in some of our less shining moments, those fights were downright vicious), I know, at some point I’m going to see that Marriage Certificate – I’ve learned to use that document as a reset for my heart and head. Instead of emotionally running away, I tack into those vows.

It’s not natural or easy, but it is simple – a simple choice of spirit instead of flesh.  God will give a simple clear way for you too — just ask Him.

Tacking and Tuning always take me to the next level in my role as a wife.  We can go from bad to good and then from good to great.

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Serving through sex (Part 2 – Serving is not submission)

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First of all, my apologies to those following this series. My delay in posting is because I’m having a difficult time keyboarding. I’ve completely damaged the muscles in my back – the one supporting the shoulders (trapezius) – and as a result am only able to type for about 10 mins at a time before they start to ache and then burn. Not only that, but my kitchen work has been seriously affected as well. I’m one of the those people who finds it very difficult to sit still … day after ….day, in order to recover; because this recovery must be done while I lay on my back (pun intended, sort of 😉 ) Anyway, all I can do at the moment is read. That’s it. No note taking and researching or writing.

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In Part 1 I explored the difference between the attitudes of have to have sex and want to have sex. When our mindset is “I have to have sex” we set ourselves up to serving the rules and the law: Being obligated. But when our mindset is “I want to have sex,” we can experience the same powerful transformation that Jesus demonstrated in the garden of Gethsemane: Our hearts will be changed through adapting to God’s plans.

The reason many of us have of a hard time wrapping our minds around this juxtaposition is because we try to reason in our flesh that we need to understand what God is asking of us before we do it. We wrestle with thoughts like:

  • “If it would just make sense then I could adapt.” Or,
  • “If I just knew how this was going to turn out.” Or,
  • “If I do this, how can I be sure that it will be fair?”

Or at the very least, we want to be assured that our spouse won’t take advantage of us in the slightest. It seems we want some kind of guarantee before stepping out in faith. In more lucid moments that are free of conflict, we know this is an oxymoron.

Yet, that is precisely what happened in the exchange between Jesus and God – from an earthly perspective, Jesus got the unfair shake:

But the fact is, it was our pains he carried – our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us. We thought he brought it on himself, that God was punishing him for his own failures. But it was our sins that did that to him, that ripped and tore and crushed him – our sins! –Isaiah 53

In Luke 22:42a, Jesus clearly expresses that execution is not His preferred course of action: please take this cup of suffering away from me. But then in the second part of the verse His change of heart is evident, Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.

 “YET” is the morph from head to heart!

The question we have to ask is how, how did Jesus make this mental shift? The answer: love. He placed His love for God so far above Himself that He was willing to do anything for Him, even to be executed. He demonstrated that love by trusting God. He didn’t need to understand God’s will to want it, He just knew that God is trustworthy and His ways are always excellent.

Love doesn’t say:

  • I will obey and serve with a grin & bear it type of attitude
  • I will obey and serve because it’s what is required & necessary or what I should do

What love does say is, I want to do whatever Your will is.

Serving is for one another not marriage

Service is what we give to others and it’s a great thing. In fact, we are told to serve our brothers and sisters with agape love. For you, brethren, were [indeed] called to freedom; only [do not let your] freedom be an incentive to your flesh and an opportunity or excuse [for selfishness], but through love you should serve one another.–Galatians 5:13

Even done willingly– it’s still a have to. But, when you’ve adapted your heart, your mind is completely renewed, but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideas and its new attitude], (Romans 12:2).

Substituting the word served sexually in place of submitted sexually is an effort to equalize so that serving looks the same in all relationships. No more or less. All the same. But the truth is, all relationships are not the same, nor are they equal to each other.

Marriage is distinct and completely UNlike any other relationship. No other bond is referred to as a huge mystery, a living and visible demonstration of Christ and His Church. And no other relationship commences by a covenant with God Himself. Therefore, no other relationship carries the weight of glory that marriage does.

As such,

God requires much more from us in marriage

than any other relationship.

Submission is for her OWN

A wife is never told to serve her husband, but to submit to him. Replacing serve for the word submit is a mental twist so the heart doesn’t actually have to fully yield to the complete change at the deepest level of relating: becoming one flesh. The flesh seeks to hold onto even the smallest vestige of itself, while at the same time appearing to be altered.

The closeness of the marriage relationship presses in on each spouse in its own way, forcing* us to give way to the spirit over the flesh. The majority of this pressure comes from living in a dual relationship. With both of us being members of Christ’s body, this means that I have a brother in Christ that I am bound to because he is also my husband; I’m Darrell’s sister spiritually and at the same time his wife in the natural. Yes, I serve my brother in Christ, but it is equal to serving any of my brothers (and sisters) in Christ.

However, in marriage I submit to my own husband. In all of the references regarding submission in marriage God added the little word idios meaning own**, signifying that the submission to this particular brother is separate, different and unique to him alone.

Serving is an act – it doesn’t require change between one performance of obligation and the next. When we lump serving in marriage together with all other Christian serving we only blur the uniqueness of the one-flesh purpose between husband and wife and diminish the value of sex. Serving through sex is a method for a wife to compartmentalize the act itself. She will be able to have sex and at the same time not be fully engaged: only as much as she has to be.

God hasn’t defined exemptions for submission that depend on what area of marriage you are talking about. Submission in the bedroom is no different than submission in the kitchen or the living room, or any other area of the home that the marriage lives in.

When I trust that God’s ways are excellent I will adapt to His plan for marriage. The submission of my whole self in marriage will demonstrate to God that I am all in. Nothing will be held back. I won’t be stuck in the mindset of having to serve my brother through sex. Instead, my transformed heart will want to have sex with my husband.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

*Forcing: Job 5:18; Psalm 51:8; Isaiah 60:10; Lamentations 3:32

**OWN: Ephesians 5:22; Colossians 3:18; Titus 2:5; 1 Peter 3:15.

Serving through sex (Part 1 – Adaptability)

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I’ve heard a few times about the idea of ‘serving’ your husband through sex because it’s a need he has. I don’t like that view or the term ‘serving’ as it relates to sex and as the weeks rolled by, I saw it again and again. Every time I saw it, I liked it less and less. This term, serving in the context [of sex] has the slight nuance of obligation (see duty, onus, burden, and liability) to it.

My first feeling is, serving appears to be something you do for the benefit of someone else. In this context, its serve your husband sex for his benefit. And although that might seem right (Proverbs 14:12); somehow it rings false. I think this whole idea of a wife serving her husband sex is an approach that will backfire in the end.

So I want to peel back this idea and see what it exposes.

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When I let the word serving roll around in my mind, the first thing I’m faced with is a choice: have to OR want to; along with a whiff of resistance – it seems like serving could almost, be placating*.

*to appease or pacify, especially by concessions or conciliatory gestures

*soothe, assuage, mollify.

How did Jesus view serving? If God is renewing my mind to be like Christ’s, then I can look to His example. When God requested that Jesus go to the cross:

  • Did Jesus do it to appease or pacify God?
  • Was His agreement to God’s plan a conciliatory gesture?

Jesus wasn’t double minded. He wasn’t thinking, “Omg!! You want me to do what!? Do I have to?” But speaking out, “I want to do this.” I don’t think so. On the contrary, Jesus grabbed a-hold of God’s idea and adapted His own will to God’s plan of the cross.

HAVE TO / WANT TO

When Jesus saw there was no other way, He adapted immediately to God’s plan. This morphed His have to into the want to (Luke 22:42). When Jesus chose to adapt to God’s plan for His life, as hard as it was, His heart was no longer divided between have to / want to, and the human part of His mind was renewed (Romans 12:2) and it showed in His willingness. God’s plan became Jesus’ plan – they were united.

Adapting enables the flesh to grow up*. Adapting is what changes the stoic ‘have to’ in our flesh of obedience into the loving ‘want to’ in our spirit. (Ezekiel 11:19)

SCENARIO 1: What would you think? Someone who’s serving at church in the nursery because it‘s a need, but they have no interest in children. They’ve been watching your kids for about 6 months and then you overhear a conversation they are having outside of the church on their cell phone. They don’t really like kids that much. Sure they are cute and everything, but it’s not really what you’d like to be doing. However, you feel God will bless you because there is such a need for it – and there was no one else to do it. Would you really feel comfortable and happy with your kids there? Or would you feel better with overhearing a conversation of someone who said, that they really loved kids, in fact they just enrolled in a child care course because their heart really is for kids – they want to.  Or, scenario 2.

SCENARIO 2: You’ve got this good friend who you‘ve been sharing your life with. You meet every 2 weeks for a coffee and a chat. You’ve become very good friends and feel comfortable in sharing your struggles in marriage with her. You need to drop off something at a different friend’s house and your other friend (the one you’ve been confiding to) is there. They are out on the back deck and don’t know you are there. You decide to surprise/scare them by quietly sneaking up to the gate and barging through with a big smile on your face. NO intentions of eaves dropping – because you completely trust both of these women. But as you approach the gate you hear … not what you expected. Your deeper friend is sharing how she really enjoys your company except when you share about your problems in marriage. She finishes her conversation by saying that, it’s what friends do for each other, they serve each other and this is her Christian duty to serve in their friendship.

See, it doesn’t leave you with a true feeling of warmth and care — it’s not authentic.  It is truth … from the obedience of the mind — but not genuine.

Is it just semantics? I don’t know. Let’s try a different angle and drive it down a little deeper into our own personal experience. Look at the flip-side, from ‘serving’ him sexually (his need) to ‘serving’ her relationally (her need).

SCENARIO 3:  You overhear your husband talking to a friend, “I took her [his wife] out for dinner and a movie last night. I didn’t really feel like it, after the day I had I would rather have unplugged into a book or movie, but God says Christian serving is good, and this kind of serving falls on the husband’s shoulders because God made her with this need, so I ‘loved’ her by SERVING her.”  What a shock to hear; you were thinking that you really had a great time of relational intimacy.

If I over-heard that conversation I wouldn’t be feelin the love. I wouldn’t get a sense of being genuinely engaged in a real relationship of any depth; but more of having been appeased.

He is in the mindset of “I have to” not “I want to.” It feels deceitful and is an affront because when we read, For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church (Ephesians 5:25), we know God didn’t mean for Christ to love the church through conciliatory gestures.  Have to is serving. Want to is loving. I don’t want my husband to have to love me; I want him to want to love me.

So, back to the sex of it … as long as I feel that I am serving my husband through sex, it will always be a conciliatory gesture and never authentic genuine love.

***IT IS ADAPTABILITY THAT CHANGES THE HEART FROM HAVE TO SERVE INTO WANT TO LOVE***

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Part 2 – Submission is not serving. Serving is not submission.

 

 

 

*Did the God part of Jesus need to grow up His flesh? Probably not, as the God part of His nature was completely mature all ready. However, the part that was fully human need the flesh contended with. This is part of the testing and suffering that He had to endure to be the first born among many. Jesus lead the way, in demonstration with His own life, to show us what it really means to obey with the right heart.

Stop Talking (Part 1) Thank you, I don’t need your help

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In like manner, you married women, be submissive to your own husbands [subordinate yourselves as being secondary to and dependent on them, and adapt yourselves to them], so that even if any do not obey the Word [of God], they may be won over not by discussion but by the [godly] lives of their wives, -1 Peter 3:1

Wow, that one packs a wallop, doesn’t it?  What do you do with instructions that challenging?

One of the things I love about God is that His ways are provocative, unapologetic, and radically different than mainstream culture.  The things He says push against my flesh and challenge me to grow up into a fully-developed eternal person (James 1:2-3; 1 Peter 4:12-13) while I still live here in the temporary realm.  This growing up is hard at first, but God always delivers the power for us to complete what He instructs if we follow His way instead of doing it on our own.

1 Peter 3:1 was one of those verses that used to challenge me, and occasionally still does. Sometimes the problem I had was with the first half, and sometimes it was with this little phrase:  they may be won over NOT by discussion.

I used to hate that phrase.  It offended my flesh because it didn’t make sense.  When I thought I had grasped what it meant, I went beyond confusion straight into anger. “God’s telling me to shut up! That’s just not fair!”  My head felt like it was going to explode from shutting up.

If I know anything about God, I know that He is always just.  If something seemed or felt wrong or unfair, the injustice came from my interpretation of His instruction, not from the instruction itself.  He mercifully waited for me to grow up so that He could help me understand this verse in a way that changed how I see it.  It is a relief to not struggle with it so much anymore.  I hope it will bless you too!

1 Peter 3:1 is not about setting the tone for the entire marriage.  Instead, it is a God-style conflict resolution tool that is to be used when the two of you are at odds and the unity of the marriage is threatened.  It’s something to flow in and out of, not where the relationship lives.  The time that wives are to move into this silence is stated in 1 Peter 3:  if any do not obey the Word [of God]. 

The Word clearly states that the time to use it is when your husband is being disobedient to God, in whatever form:

  • Not allowing himself to be persuaded; refusing to believe or withhold belief; refusing belief and obedience
  • Will not comply with

The above description is from Blue Letter Bible.  Also, it’s pretty clear from esword too:  Contumacious – Stubbornly or willfully disobedient to authority.

Thanks, But No Thanks

[husbands] may be won over NOT by discussion

The word, ‘not’ is from the Greek word aneu and it literally means:  without one’s will or intervention.  Translation:  God doesn’t want my will for my husband’s life or need my intervention in the scenario we are currently fighting about.

God has asked us as wives to be quiet because He is better qualified to intervene in our husbands’ lives than we are.  Your husband will hear God’s correction, but he won’t hear you harass him about the circumstance.  God needs you to stand down and back off.  The phrase ‘not by discussion’ beautifully and purposely captures God’s intention towards the disobedient husband, as well as His message to a wife: “Thanks, but no thanks.  I’ve got this.”

My Words Were Wrong?

If you find that you have little to no understanding about men, this generally translates into disrespect for them.  My lack of knowledge came through the cultural instillation of feminism.  I did not know how to talk to my husband so he would hear me.  I needed a new understanding, and a new language to express that understanding.

Do you realize what God is actually doing here?  In the vehicle of this current fight, He’s calling shotgun and wants you to voluntarily move to the back seat and keep quiet.  This is more commonly called ‘minding your own business.’

Try looking at it this way:  You are a parent.  Your son is disobeying and your daughter keeps chirping in and trying to get her brother to do right by being the one to tell him he’s wrong.  He just won’t listen, so they always end up fighting over the same thing.  What are you going to say to your daughter?  “Be quiet.  I’ll deal with this.”  You don’t want to hear from her, do you?  As a parent, you know there are times to step in, and times to let them be, and it’s your choice.

This is EXACTLY the way our Spiritual Father works – He’s the Good Parent, we are the siblings.  It’s HIS choice when to step in.  As a wife, your chirping-in is just seen as controlling and bossy, nagging… disrespectful.  The fact that my husband wouldn’t listen to me, didn’t come to me for counsel, or ask my opinion, was the proof that I had not been speaking correctly.  You will never be a beneficial influence in your husband’s life – especially when he’s off track – if you have talked too much and done it wrong.

“You don’t have to be a “person of influence” to be influential.  In fact, the most influential people in my life are probably not even aware of things they’ve taught me.” –Scott Adams

 

 Part 2 to follow next week: 

Stop Talking – OK, I’m quiet, now what do I do?

 

 

Adventures

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In a recent post I said, “At this stage, for us, we are entering a different season – although we call them adventures at our house – more on that in another post.”

So, here’s that post about our latest adventure.

My husband is a man of high ideals, he has a heck of a lot of confidence in his abilities, and he loves people.  However, the latter wasn’t always the case.  When he became a believer in Christ, God changed this part of his heart in particular.

This is where the high ideals and the loving people intersect:  He won’t stay at a company that doesn’t value people’s individual skills and talents.  Companies that expect him to diminish employees through micro management, instead of encouragement and team building.  He knows that at the end of the day, the numbers are important; he just happens to believe that there is a way to achieve them that has a benefit of longevity and less burn-out for managers.

As I revealed in another post, Darrell’s skill set is sought after — finding a company is not the issue.  Finding a company that is honest about their management practices is the difficult part.

So, for the last couple of years since migrating west, we’ve been bouncing around a lot.  But finally, UREKA, we’ve found the groove for all of us.

The only problem is that the groove for my husband is a job near Edmonton, Alberta – a great position with a company that’s in the midst of major change, growth and implementation of new systems.  It’s the job he’s been seeking since we left Ontario almost 4 years ago.  The groove for me and our girls is our house in lovely rural Saskatchewan.

We decided that we’re going to give it a go for a year and see how we all feel at the end of it.  I do the mom thing with the kids and dogs for 3 weeks in Saskatchewan.  Then Darrell comes home for a visit and when he goes back to Alberta, I exchange my mom hat for a wife’s camisole and go back with him for a two week stay.

We’ve been cycling through for about 4 months now and it seems to be working well.  It’s actually working fantastic!  Those of you who homeschool know it can be difficult to hand over the reins of responsibility for adulthood to your kids.  Well, this is true for all parents, I think.  But after having them at home so much, I find it difficult to drop the ing of mothering — let go and just be a mom.  Our current living arrangement forces me to do this.

We’ve been very blessed with the maturity level of both our girls.  They are both terrific!  It’s also given them each an opportunity to grow in themselves as well as with each other.  Great neighbours, phones, and mobiles add to the mix.  OK, I’ll be honest – the first few times, I was a little wracked with worry — way too many texts and phone calls.  But over time, I’m pleased to say that I’m totally at ease now.  This isn’t a testament to my super spiritual growth, but rather to just seeing my daughters for who they really are and allowing them to be themselves.

Also, if you’ve read my timeline and you do the math (we’ve been married 26 years and our oldest is … 26) you can see that we didn’t have much of a courting period, or a honeymoon season.

In His usual style, God comes through with flying colours!  I’m learning to let go and enjoy semi-retirement and be happy in the freedom for my kids.  Plus, we are getting a 2 week honeymoon every 3 weeks, and let me tell you, it rocks!

We would never have planned this for our family, but now we can see that it was sort of a divine accident!

 

 

Moisture or drought?

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Moist or dry?

Moisture is like love: it gives life.  Love frees and encourages others to develop.  Does my husband’s soul feel watered when he’s around me?  After he’s been with me, does he feel strengthened to grow and safe to develop?  Does God’s love flow freely through me doing the work He meant it to, like the water cycle does?

And the best of the three is love.1 Cor 13:13

But if we love one another, God abides (lives and remains) in us and His love(that love which is essentially His) is brought to completion (to its full maturity, runs its full course, is perfected) in us! -1 John 4:12

God extravagantly pours His love down on me in all of His grace and mercy so that I can extravagantly pass it on to water others for growth.  Am I doing the work of watering my husband? Is he free to be himself as he grows up in the Lord, errors and omissions included?  Or is his soul parched, stunted and thirsty for freedom?

Lack of moisture means drought

Am I drying up his soul, slowly killing it by withholding the moisture through my words and actions?

In the earlier part of our marriage I was a wife that caused a drought.  It was an awful place to live. Measuring my sin against Darrell’s caused me to blind myself to my own, therefore believing he was undeserving of my moisture.  The love that would have freed him to grow was the very thing I held back, causing hurt in the marriage, him, and me.

Drought = dysfunction & disunity

I challenge you to ask yourself:  If your husband was asked to describe you, would he say you are moisture or drought to his soul?

 

“By judging others we blind ourselves to our own evil and to the grace which others are just as entitled to as we are.”  — Dietrich Bonhoeffer

 

 

Me? … envious? … nah

envy2Recently Lori at Encourage Your Spouse  wrote about being envious of your spouse, or rather how not to be.  This is a difficult subject to talk about in any relationship; but when you say that it’s how you feel about your spouse, well, nobody really wants to be caught with their hand in that cookie jar.

But there I was, it was about twelve years ago, I had never heard anyone talk about being envious of your spouse, and the envy that I experienced was a little different than what Lori explained; but I guess it comes in a variety of sizes and shapes.  Whenever I read 1 Corinthians 13, I always seemed to gloss over the “love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy” part.  Really, I didn‘t think I had a problem with envy, and I didn‘t, not for the most part.  But there was this one little area (which turned out to be not so little).

One of the examples that Lori used was envy of a spouse’s employment.  For me, it wasn’t really about his job, per se.  Darrell has always benefited from the perks wherever he worked:  Lots of networking and meals out; expense accounts; travel, courses, cars etc.  (you get the pic I’m sure)  He‘s a natural leader.  Filled with great management and people skills, as well as over-the-top mechanical and technical abilities.  Businesses tend to latch onto that skill set pretty quick.  I’ve always been the one to keep the house and family safe and guarded while he‘s at work, and I’m happy doing it.

Sounds great right? It was … until he arrived home.

Blinded By Envy

Here’s how it played out.  As long as we were in agreement, he could have the authority – I believed this WAS his authority.  But as soon as our opinions differed, this was when the struggles ensued.  I thought it was him just not understanding, well … that he was wrong.  If he would just understand – just be … reasonable, he would see that my way is better.  Then we wouldn’t be mucking around in the same puddle ß (clue right there) all the time.

Envy created a double mindedness in me – an inability to see.  Although I was elated about his successes at work – which came directly as a result of his skills and ability to lead – his authority, I didn’t want ANY of it at home.  Here it comes, I was envious of my husband’s God given authority.

Interesting choice of words:  God given authority.  Not wanting to submit to an authority is pride – any authority.  Pride is what changed Lucifer into Satan.  He wanted to be like the most high.  I wanted to be the most high – over and above my husband … I would tell him how to lead me.

And here’s the thing, at home he wasn’t a good leader.  Not because he didn’t want to or because he lacked the ability; but because he couldn’t.  I always tied up his mind (and heart) with conflict … he was too busy deflecting all of my challenges to lead.  It wasn’t that I picked fights – I just, didn’t follow.

After years and years of fighting, challenging and conflict – you develop little cracks and breaks inside your heart.  You get tired of always fighting.  Conflict is emotionally and physically draining, and sometimes you don’t even give yourself a chance to recover before you are onto the next fight.  These cracks inside my heart were very important.  They were all threading and joining into one another to cause a shattering.  This shattering is when I was finally weak enough to hear what God had been saying all along, “Why are you fighting your husband?  He didn‘t tell you to submit – I did.”

And you know what?  God was right.  It’s God who says to submit, yet I was taking it out on my husband because I wanted the authority to run my own life. ß (another clue right there)  The problem was, God hadn’t given me the authority in our marriage, He had given it to my husband and I was green with envy over that.  I didn’t like my God given right to surrender – I wanted what God gave my husband.

~ James 4:1-3 ~

What leads to strife (discord and feuds) and how do conflicts (quarrels and fightings) originate among you?  Do they not arise from your sensual desires that are warring in your bodily members?  You are jealous and covet [what others have] and your desires go unfulfilled; [so] you become murderers. [To hate is to murder as far as your hearts are concerned.]  You burn with envy and anger and are not able to obtain [the gratification, the contentment, and the happiness that you seek], so you fight and war.  You do not have, because you do not ask. [Or] you do ask [God for them] and yet fail to receive, because you ask with wrong purposes and evil, selfish motives. Your intention is [when you get what you desire] to spend it in sensual pleasures.

  • Our marriage was steadily increasing in strife, discord, feuds, conflicts, quarrels, fightings.
  • Wanting to be in authority did not come from God, but myself.
  • Envious of Darrell’s authority, I coveted what he had.  Not able to get it, I started to hate him because I was unable to attain the gratification and happiness in life and marriage that I wanted.
  • I prayed – A LOT, but not for a surrendered heart.
  • What I did pray, was for HIM to change; I failed to receive this.
  • My purpose was wrong.  It was against the order God set out, that made it evil.  It was selfish because wanting to be in authority was simply because I didn’t want anyone telling me what to do – it would be for my own pleasure – I believed I knew better.

I had unconsciously set my sights on Darrell for taking the authority away from me; but the truth is, I never really had it.  Believing that I did is what was feeding the flesh of my selfish inner person and changing me, for the negative – just like it did with Lucifer.

First, as a believer my life is not my own.  I was supposed to have given up that claim when I surrendered it to Christ.

Don’t’ you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God?  You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price.  So you must Honour God with your body. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20, emphasis added)

Second, the problem was that I didn’t like God’s agenda and it showed in my lack of submission to my husband – I had kept back part for myself.  I would surrender to God as a believer in Jesus – but not to my husband.

For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord.  For a husband is head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church.  He is the Saviour of his body, the church.  As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything. (Ephesians 5:22-24, emphasis added)

Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting for those who belong to the Lord. (Colossians 3:18, emphasis added)

God allowed my own envy to bind and crush me so that I could see that my surrender to Him was not complete – He used Darrell to do it.  Until I was ready to see it and admit – God couldn’t heal this part of my heart and renew my mind.

But consider the joy of those corrected by God!  Do not despise the discipline of the Almighty when you sin.  For though he wounds, he also bandages.  He strikes, but his hands also heal. (Job 5:17, emphasis added)

Remember how the Lord your God led you through the wilderness for these forty years, humbling you and testing you to prove your character, and to find out whether or not you would obey his commands.  Yes, he humbled you by letting you go hungry and then feeding you with manna, a food previously unknown to you and your ancestors.  He did it to teach you that people do not live by bread alone; rather, we live by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. (Deuteronomy 8:2-3, emphasis added)

When you think you’re the authority, but you aren’t – you’ll rub up against the one who really does have the authority, you are going to take some bumps and lumps as you strive against God trying to take what He has never given you.  It was this bumping and banging into each other that God used to wear me down so that I could really take a good look inside my heart and see what was there.  If it wasn’t for Darrell’s strong A-type personality to withstand, or if I would have left our marriage – I never would have made this step in growth and would still be living out of an unrepentant heart.

Satan tried to use my envious heart to destroy our marriage.  But God meant it for good.