Woman Beware

As a dad and as a pastor giving guidance to young people I have written very little for young women.  Following the pattern of King Solomon in his instructions to his son, I am starting out with some cautions.  And much of what I share here comes from the wisdom of Solomon.

The Heart of the Matter

For all of us the heart is the “heart of the matter”.  Our actions are less significant in God’s eyes than our motives.  So any guidance to youth is really guidance for their heart.  This is particularly so for young women who can be distracted by externals, such as their own appearance or competing with the beauty of others.

King Solomon instructs us to be very diligent in protecting our heart, because the reactions of our heart become the “issues” we have to live with and deal with in our lives.

“Keep your heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” Proverbs 4:23

“Solomon my son, know the God of your father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searches all hearts, and understands all the imaginations of the thoughts: if you seek him, he will be found of you; but if you forsake him, he will cast you off for ever.”  1Chronicles 28:9

Womanly Issues

From my counselling experience and from my reading of the Bible I am aware of several issues which women are likely to struggle with.  I want to draw them to your attention with the caution that these areas deserve careful consideration to keep the heart free.

I note, for example, that women are more concerned about security and preparation for the future than their husbands often are.  I note, too, that women want to feel “loved” and yet their husbands can often neglect them without realising it.  I also note that women can fall into contention, argument and having the last word, when they are upset with their husbands.

Then there is the reflection about womanhood that I once heard from Iverna Thompkins.  She observed to a large group of women that men tend to have a pigeonhole for everything – from work, to the kids, to the car, wife, dog, etc.  A man can therefore shut off to his unhappy thoughts or feelings about work (or some other issue) when he faces something that is not in that pigeonhole, such as playing with his children.

Iverna observed that women operate differently.  “For us girls,” she observed, “it’s just ONE BIG HOLE!” What she meant is that if a woman is upset about one thing her feelings spill over to everything else as well.

This leads to the observation that women must pay attention to Solomon’s advice to gain “rule over your own spirit”.

“He that has no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.” Proverbs 25:28

Proverbs 31 Woman

It is often observed that the last chapter in the book of Proverbs provides a description of an ideal woman.  Many women, therefore, take note of that description and try to match the various qualities, such as rising early, running a home business, and so on.

Let me remind you that it is not our actions but our heart that is the heart of the matter.  Despite the many activities described there, the key verse for women is not about wool, flax, food, enterprise or rising early.  The key verse is about the heart.

“Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that fears the LORD, she shall be praised.”  Proverbs 31:30

The true “Proverbs 31 Woman” is defined by a heart to fear the Lord.

So let me point out how having such a heart makes you a very rare woman indeed.

Humility and Faith

I believe the two most powerful qualities a young woman can develop, and which will save her from the many traps that womankind falls into, are humility and faith.

Pride is a terrible thing in a woman because it leads her to fight and argue with her husband, which is the very opposite of being submissive and fitting in with his plans.  Let me show you how that works.

A contentious woman is proverbial, both in modern society and in the Bible.  King Solomon made repeated references to how terrible it is to be around a woman who is contentious.

“It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.”  Proverbs 21:19

“… the contentions of a wife are a continual dropping.” Proverbs 19:13b

Putting up with a contentious woman is like Chinese water torture!

So where do contentions come from?  Contention is evidence of Pride!

Only by pride comes contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.”  Proverbs 13:10

And a fruit of pride is that people look down on others, scorning them, and holding them in contempt.  That’s why getting rid of a “scorner” removes contention.  Scorn is an evidence of pride of heart.

Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; yea, strife and reproach shall cease.”  Proverbs 22:10

Scorning the Husband

One of my lovely daughters-in-law related a few years ago how she attended a ladies group in her church and all the women did was complain about their husbands.  These young wives held their husbands in contempt.  They “scorned” them.  This means they had pride in their own heart about how much better they, as women, were, compared with their husbands.

When a wife lectures her husband, scolds him, belittles him, treats him like a naughty schoolboy, takes control over him and the like, she is in pride and is scorning her husband.

Yet it seems very easy for a woman to do that.  So beware of your heart.

Wives are commanded to submit to and honour their husband.  If you do not rule your heart properly you will probably find contentions coming from you because you scorn your husband.

The Place of Faith

I mentioned the need for both humility and faith.  I have shown that humility is important, to neutralise pride that leads to scorning and contention.  So, what about faith?

Wives are instructed to submit to their husband.  Yet many wives struggle with the lack of care, wisdom and planning they see in their husbands.

Because women are geared toward a need for security, the impulsive, undisciplined actions of her husband can make a woman fearful.  From that place of fear, combined with scorn for her husband’s lack of care for her, a woman can take control of the home and family, so she will feel secure.

This is where “faith” comes in.  Since it is God who commands the woman to submit, she must seek to do so with all her heart.  If she is insecure in the abilities and thoughtfulness of her husband, then she must focus her faith on God, not her husband.

A wife may pray something like this: “Lord, I know You want me to submit to my husband.  But he is so irresponsible and I am afraid for myself and our children.  He wastes money and makes decisions on impulse, despite all the times I try to get him to grow up!  But Lord, I want to worship You by obeying Your instructions.  So I choose to submit to my husband and honour him.  I do this as an act of faith in You.  I give You my fears and my needs.  I ask You to protect me from my husband’s foolishness.”

Such a prayer places the woman’s faith where it is supposed to be; on God, not the husband.

Out of Order

The ideal woman is one who fears the Lord (Proverbs 31:30), and rules her own spirit, having both humility and faith.  So what is a woman like if she does not follow this wisdom?

A woman who does not fear God allows her pride and fear control her, so she then seeks to control the man and children in her life.  This is where we get the idea of the matriarch who rules the family, or the woman who makes her husband a “hormone hostage”.

Manipulation and control are a ready pitfall for a woman who is out of order.  King Solomon has a description of such a woman.

“And I find more bitter than death the woman whose heart is snares and nets, and her hands as bands: the one who pleases God will escape from her; but the sinner will be taken by her.”  Ecclesiastes 7:26

Note that a man will feel like it is better to be dead than to live with such a woman.  That has echoes of the comment about living in the desert rather than putting up with a contentious woman.

I have had to counsel both men and women who struggled with the manipulation and control of a mother or wife.  Such control is more than just emotional, it is devilish, because it is rebellion against the will of God.

Witchcraft in the Home

While a godly woman is a most wonderful thing, a rebellious and contentious woman is a bitter thing.  However the deeper danger is the spiritual curse such a woman can bring in a marriage and home.  So let me add this observation to caution your heart.

A woman driven by fear, pride, scorn, self-will and an out of control heart will be in rebellion against God and he husband.  And “rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft”.

“For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.”  1Samuel 15:23a

If a wife was to practice witchcraft in the home then spiritual oppression would come upon her, her husband and the family.  So, when a wife practices rebellion against God’s instruction to submit to her husband, she also brings spiritual oppression upon herself, her husband and the family.

This is part of the “snares and nets” problem a woman can be in a home.

What is Ruling You?

If a wife gives in to her impulses, fears, pride or reactions, she will be out of control.  She will not be under God’s headship, nor will she be under her husband’s headship.  Instead she will be ruled by her fears and other things that are ungodly.

If she then tries to contend, manipulate, control, argue and the like she is exalting that wrong spirit over the home.  Her husband should not give in to her, otherwise he is saying to Jesus, “You can’t be the head of this home right now, because my wife wants that spirit of anger to rule her and me.”

A wise husband will resist his wife’s manipulation and control, tantrums, outbursts, verbal attacks, contentions or the like, because he wants Jesus to remain as the head of the home, not some out of order attitude or spirit that wants to rule through the wife.

A Good Thing

Don’t think that these cautions mean women are terrible or evil.  All men and women have fallen short of God’s glory.  The challenge for each of us is to be holy as our God is holy.  For women that involves some challenges different to men, and vice versa.

It is God’s favour to give you as a godly wife to a man the Lord blesses.

Whoever finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favour of the LORD.”  Proverbs 18:22

Godly women want to be a blessing.  And you are.  You are a gift to your husband.

Note, as a final word of caution, that you are a blessing when you are a “wife”.  A woman who is married to a man but acts as his superior, boss, mother, manipulator, jailer or the like is not his “wife”.  Being married to a man makes you a wife in human terms, but not according to God’s plan.

I call upon each of you to be a godly wife, by living in humility and faith and the fear of God, ruling your own spirit, so you do not give in to fear, pride, scorn, manipulation, control or any other thing that leads to rebellion against God.

And may the Lord bless you as you do.

Rejection 20 – Rebellion

My focus so far in this series has drawn attention to the impact of rejection and the tendency of rejection to promote such responses as self-pity and extroversion, to buy love.

In contrast to those tendencies is the response of Rebellion. This is the response from those who choose to “go on the offensive”, since, to them, a good offence is the best defence.

Rebel With A Cause

Many people who are rebellious, in personal life or in the broader cultural setting, are carrying inner hurts. People who are offended readily take up an offence against those who hurt them. That offence can stir retaliatory, vengeful and hateful attitudes. And so, a rebel can be born.

Reject 20 Rebellion

While not all rebels are the product of personal hurts there are many families stung by the pain of a rebellious child who feels they are fighting for a “cause”. The cause is their sense of offence. Thus rejection can be the seedbed for rebellion.

Other Rebels

Not all rebels are the product of rejection. We know that the devil rebelled against God when God, who is perfect and holy, gave him no occasion for feeling “rejected”.

Some rebels are inspired by their selfishness. Others are caught in lust and greed for gain. Some have other forms of evil in their heart, such as violence, thirst for power, hatred toward good, and so on.

Yet, while there are various prompts for a person to become rebellious, it is possible that they have been moved in that direction, or pushed along a path they were already inclined to go along, by their feelings of being rejected and hurt.

Equal Reaction

Newton’s third law of motion gave science the maxim that “for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction”. And this reflects what happens with some people who are rejected. They experience the offence of being rejected, falsely accused, neglected or abused by those who should love them, and so they respond by issuing an offence back toward them.

Reject 20a Rebellion

The “equal and opposite reaction” is their rebellion. They respond as if they are saying, “You think you can hurt me, well I can hurt you too!”

Sin is Sin

I need to point out here that “pain does not justify sin”. There is a popular notion promoted in western culture today that people do wrong things because they were virtually forced to do so by the bad treatment they received.

It is as if offenders are not to be seen as “guilty” any more, but as victims of circumstances.

But please be aware that “sin is Sin!” If someone experiences rejection, that is never a justification for sin. Rebellion is “as the sin of witchcraft” to God.

“For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.” 1Samuel 15:23a

No matter what any of us go through we have no alternative but to live in the fear of God and to be holy, as our God is holy. Our experiences are never an excuse for sin.

Rebellion Road

Some rebels develop into that course by first feeling hurt by parents or those who should love them. This breaks their relationship with their parents and promotes their desire to hurt others and to rebel against authority. Their initial rebellion may be passive, simply being tardy in doing what they are told to do. They may sit down on the outside, but be standing up on the inside, so to speak.

This passive rebellion will develop into stubbornness and ultimately into open rebellion. The rebel will also be attracted to others with a similar spirit and they will associate with others who lead them into greater rebellion.

A child rarely becomes a rebel because they fell in with the wrong crowd. It is more likely that the attitudes of their heart predisposed them to associate with “birds of a feather” whch flock together.

When a parent says, “My child fell in with the wrong crowd and they are leading him into rebellion”, it is most likely that the child has been carrying a chip on his shoulder and was attracted to that crowd by his own heart.

Break the Foundation

If a child is rebellious because of their feelings of hurt and rejection, then a powerful strategy can be to neutralise or break the foundation of the child’s attitudes and actions.

Craig Hill tells in his Family Foundations course the account of parents of an openly rebellious teenager who got on their knees before him and begged him to forgive them for their rejection and their failure to be the parents he needed them to be. The boy was wonderfully transformed.

In the case of such repentance on the part of the parents, the child’s justification for their wrong behaviour is removed. If the child continues to be rebellious then you can be sure that they are simply choosing to do wrong.

The Heart Cry

You will recall from the earliest lessons in this series that God designed each of us to be loved. We are love receptors and our heart cry is to be loved. We want to be loved unconditionally.

This is just as true for the rebel. Each rebel seeks to be loved, just as much as you do. Whatever has prompted them to rebel against authority or to embrace a lifestyle that offends and confronts others they are just as much in need of God’s love as anyone else.

They need the love of God poured into their heart, just as much as anyone else. However, they may have become hardened against it and be very hard to reach.

If you have a loved one who is trapped in rebellion, prayerfully seek to find ways to bring the love of God into their heart.

No Reward for Rebellion

Tragically for the rebel their rebellion brings them no relief from their inner pain. Hurting someone else does not remove our own wound. Retaliation does not pour oil into our wounds or soothe our soul.

And revenge and retaliation are God’s property. When a rebel takes up the cause of repaying or hurting those they believe have wronged them, they steal from God. God says that vengeance belongs to Him. When people take up that right they invoke God’s wrath against themselves.

“Dearly beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, says the Lord.” Romans 12:19

Break the Witchcraft

We saw earlier, from 1Samuel 15:23, that “rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft”. That has several significant applications.

The rebel is unprotected from God’s grace. They have stepped into the devil’s domain and are outside of the grace which God has for their life.

They are also practicing witchcraft against those they are rebelling against. It is as if there is a witch practicing witchcraft in their parents’ home.

So, parents and those confronting the rebellious, take time to break the power of the witchcraft being exercised against you.

Strident Spirit of the Willful

“Strident Spirit” describes a person’s determination to have their way on some issue or other. We are all prone to this level of self-will and determination at times, often over specific areas where we feel the need to take a stand.

If people believe they have been taken advantage of or hurt in some way, either by a person or situation, they can make an inner resolve about the person or process. Their resolve is basically that they will not allow themselves to be vulnerable again.

Rebellion Against God

The problem with our strident spirit is that it is rebellion against God. When we take our lives into our own hands and demand certain realities for ourselves, we take the place of God in our own lives.

A simple example is where a person says to God, “I will serve You where ever You send me, but I will not go to the jungles of Africa!” Or, “I will show hospitality to anyone, except that person who offended me!” Whenever we rule God out of some decision or option we withhold God’s right in our life.

We need to undo this inner resolve which offends God, and thus become free of our Strident Spirit.

If you are given to hard attitudes toward a person or situation, then you very likely have a strident spirit associated driving your will. You need to find God’s grace and humble yourself before Him.

Realise you are in rebellion against God and humble yourself under His authority.

Spiritual Slavery

We are warned that what we give ourselves to will rule us. And so, when a person gives their will to serve their feelings of resentment, independence, self-preservation, or whatever, the will comes under the power of a strident spirit which will frustrate the person’s future attempts to yield their will, even to God.

So this is not just a matter of personal strength of will, but a spiritual battle against an evil force which has claimed victory over your will. You must make it a priority to be free from the Strident Spirit, so you can fully yield your life to God.

The best way to do that is to die to your self-will, allowing God to ask what He will, and being determined to obey Him and trust Him. Once the strident spirit is broken, you will have much greater internal liberty to worship and serve God. You will be free from a terrible slavery.

The Pastor’s Wife

Imagine a pastor’s wife who feels offended by the women in the congregation because of their excessive expectations of her. They want her to take part in programs and activities which she is not interested in.

The pastor’s wife refuses to meet their expectations, so the women complain to the church leaders. Those leaders then speak with the pastor asking him to encourage his wife to fit in with the program.

The pastor decides not to ask his wife to help the ladies, even though he thinks it is the right thing for her to do. He is aware of her strident and self-assertive nature and knows how upset she already is about the women asking for her help. He decides not to make his demand of her, since he does not want to further strain his relationship with his wife.

The Wrong Spirit in Control

Now there is no resolution. The women are unhappy. The pastor is caught in the middle. The wife is determined to hold her ground. The church leaders are embarrassed about the predicament.

So, who is ruling this situation? The most powerful spirit operating in this mess is a strident spirit, not the Spirit of God. The wife’s determination is being exalted over the whole situation.

Imagine, then, the Lord speaking to the pastor’s wife in a dream. He reminds her that He called her to serve Him and that she agreed to do so as a little child. He reminds her that her entire ministry is a gift from Him. He then points out to her that her heart is now not controlled by His love and grace, but by her own determination. He asks her if she would yield her will and do whatever HE asked her to do.

The wife agrees that she wants to give glory to God and honour Him. She agrees that she will obey Him. God gives her only one instruction, “Submit to your husband”.

The Challenge of Submission

When the wife wakes she struggles with the challenge to submit to her husband, because she does not trust him to always be sensitive to her needs and wishes. However, she realises that submission to her husband comes at a cost. It is a penalty to her own will, and requires her to yield her heart to God and to trust Him to protect her from the husband’s thoughtlessness and failings, and his own weakness of will.

When the wife tells the husband that she wants to submit to him and will do whatever he asks, she is aware of many areas where she has been a difficult wife and is not sure what he will ask her to do.

The husband asks her to fit in with the request of the women in the church, as an act of devotion to him. The wife is shocked. She has clearly refused to do what the women ask. She would refuse her husband under normal circumstances, just as she has refused the women. But this is now different. She is now being asked to submit her will to God.

Bow to God

The wife’s submission to her husband is not a losing of her will to the man, but losing her will to God, since God asked her to submit to the husband. And now, when she submits to the request of the women, as an act of submission to her husband’s request, that too is an act of submission to God.

The wife’s strident spirit is broken when she yields her will to God. Whatever pain, shame, or personal struggle she has to work through to fit in with the women’s program is the pain of submission to God. She does it all as an act of worship to Him.

For all of us who struggle to yield our will at times, this example points to an important principle. When we take charge of our will to stand against people or situations which we object to we must be careful to still be yielding our will to God. If God has directed us to take a stand, like Elijah against the prophets of Baal, then we are in the will of God. If it is our own spirit that has risen on our own behalf, then we must put that aside and bow the knee to God.

Biblical Examples

Jesus Christ gave us the example of His own life. When people mocked Him, He did not reply. The Apostle Peter described this example from Jesus.

“Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judges righteously” 1Peter 2:23

Jesus did not access His own wilful reactions, demands or determined actions, but yielded His life to do the will of God.

We also know of Moses as the meekest man that ever lived (Numbers 12:3), having yielded his life to God. And wives are instructed to adorn themselves in a meek and gentle spirit.

“Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands” 1Peter 3:3-5

If you have given place to self-will or a Strident Spirit, you are in rebellion against God. It is time to humble yourself and give in to God.

God Can Be Trusted

Now, you may be afraid that if you give in to God He will ask you to do things which you think are bad for you. I know of people who were sure that God would send them to the mission-field if ever they yielded their lives to Him.

Let me reassure you with the words of Jeremiah. God’s plans for you are much better than yours.

“For I know the thoughts I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Jeremiah 29:11

If God has to do surgery on your heart and attitudes it is only to remove a deadly disease. If you jump off the operating table and run away, you take all of your toxic problems with you.

Referring back to the resistant pastor’s wife, it may be that God wanted to soften her hard heart so she would be a blessing to others. It may be that she has not learned to be a team player, and needed to learn to work with others. It may be that her pride would destroy her in the future if God did not deal with it now.

Because we trust God to be who He is, a loving and gracious Heavenly Father, we can give in to Him. If we are desperate to “save” our life, we will lose it. But if we give up our claim on our own will, we will find the life for which we were created.

“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.” Mark 8:35

Rejection 1 and Inner Healing

About forty years ago God began a work of healing my heart. That work completely revolutionised my life and became the platform for so much of who I am and how I bless others.

So it is my delight to share something of what the Lord taught me through that process. I have already explained the Steps to Release which outline the journey which God led me through. Those steps became the template for my personal and ministry capacity to gain freedom. What I present in this Rejection series is the more personal journey of my own deliverance from rejection.

My Journey

I discovered that I was a victim of feelings of inferiority and rejection which devastated my personal, social and spiritual life. God graciously opened my eyes to His Word and to the work He wanted to do in me.

Once I had experienced personal freedom I was keen to help others find freedom too. Many of those that came to me for help were also victims of rejection, inferiority, insecurity and related issues. Helping them come to freedom expanded my understanding and enabled me to see the more complete picture of what could be called a ‘rejection syndrome‘.

As I escorted people through the journey to their freedom I began drawing stick figures to illustrate what I suspected they might have been encountering. Those simple drawings were scrawled out over and over again and people would often point at the page and say, “That’s Me!”

When I met cartoonist Rig Bell, in the early 1980′s, he offered to create images that were better than my clumsy stick figures. He took my sketches and came back with the pictures which you will see in this series.

Setting Things in Order

Obviously there is a great deal I could teach about Rejection, Inner Healing, Deliverance and the like. Years of experience and so many different testimonies have given me a broad concept of some of these issues. However, my concern is to simplify things and set them in order, so that anyone could grasp them and apply the truth to their life.

The simple presentation which I will break open to you in this series is not the final word, nor all that could be elaborated on. It is simply my attempt to make the subject clear and practical.

My Inferiority

I have vivid memories of my desperate feelings of embarrassment, insecurity, blushing, self-consciousness and inferiority. I could tell you stories about how I lived with the intense sense that people were watching me and that I must be self-aware at all times. I was afraid to look people in the eye. I would blush and go red like a beetroot, blinking at 90 miles per hour, with tears streaming down my face.

I could not tell my teacher I needed to go to the bathroom (toilet), so I invented belly-aches so she would suggest I go to the toilet. I developed the habit of checking my watch as I walked, to create an air of having something important to do. Yet I would look at my watch about every four paces, out of sheer torment at the thought of people watching me.

It was pretty weird, but it was ‘normal’ to me. I didn’t know any different. I just had to live with that and I also had to develop my compensating strategies.

An Extrovert

Despite my intense inner feelings of inferiority I had a strong desire to be up front and in the limelight. That created great tension, which I dealt with by sheer bluff and determination.

I created several coping strategies, such as out-staring people, forcing myself into the limelight and throwing myself into things, and making more of my strengths than was reasonable, to compensate for my limitations.

My compensation strategies worked very well. I became a class-room hero. I championed the debating team. I excelled in lead roles in the school musicals. I represented my school and district in national public speaking competitions. I was the best joke teller in the school.

Still Broken

But for all my extrovert performance I was still broken on the inside. I needed God’s love and His grace to deliver me from things too powerful for me. I needed His wisdom and the truth of His Word to break the chains of my slavery.

And all my efforts to set myself free only became another layer of problem which I had to undo in the process of walking into freedom. I later discovered that the defeatist, extrovert and rebel can all be variations of hurting people. Despite the life pattern which is chosen as the survival or coping mechanism, these people are still hurting on the inside, because they are still broken on the inside.

Rejection Series

So, welcome to this Rejection Series. There will be more than two dozen articles and as many pictures, which will unfold the drama of my own journey and the truth of God’s gracious deliverance available to all.

If you suffer from rejection, inferiority, self-pity, extroversion or rebellion, or if you have a heart to help others, you will find this series an effective tutorial on how to lead people into self-awareness, truth that sets them free, and ultimately, to God’s deliverance. If you are searching chrisfieldblog.com for these posts you will find them labelled first as ‘Rejection’, then numbered in order. Enjoy.

Rebel Queen

While weak husbands can become Dungeon Lord of their home, wives damage their marriage by becoming the Rebel Queen. Some women seek to subvert their husband’s home from day one.
They run an ongoing insurgency in the home, either to resist the husband’s leadership or subvert his world under her own control.

Queen

Pride in Heart

Some wives live in the delusion that they are morally superior to their husbands. Their sensibilities to domestic order, cleanliness, social propriety and the like testify to them that they are the morally superior being and the husband in the oaf or ogre who must be tamed.

Such thoughts spring from pride and self exaltation. From that position the wife can justify her efforts to enslave the husband and make him serve her leadership. She can equally justify her resistance and insurrection.

If the wife cannot win the husband she may at least enlist the children to her cause, values and domestic wisdom. The “don’t be like your father” message may be played repeatedly by the wife to push her rebel cause.

Enslaving the Husband

Because most men want their wife to be happy it is possible for women to enslave the husband, making him servant to her standards and ideals. The wife may restrict the man in his own home (“Don’t sit in THAT chair!”), dictate what he eats and drinks (“Don’t eat before dinner!”), control his money (“Don’t come to me for more!”), set the family goals and plans (“These kids are going to go to Uni!”), and so on.
Some men happily comply with this rebel cause, to keep the peace and in gratitude for having a woman in their life.

Other men are more stubborn and set on their own will. The wife may then end up in a long-term cold war of passive resistance, contention, manipulation and the like. While she may not enslave her husband, she can be a constant resistance against all the things he wants to do that don’t fit her will.

Abducting His Life

I have seen wives who simply abduct their husband’s life. Instead of being his helper, as per God’s design for the woman in Genesis 2, she sees the husband as the means to fulfilment of her dreams.
Her aspirations of wealth, home, lifestyle, etc, are forced on the husband. She sees it as her role in life to tame his wishes, and make them subservient to her own.

Many men happily comply with this abduction, not seeing how completely the family values, direction, achievements and aspirations are being set by the wife. The wife’s values and goals may be fine. But when she asserts them, in place of submission to the husband as head, she abducts the home. She is acting in rebellion against God.

A True Wife

God created the role of ‘wife’, and He made the woman to be the man’s helper. The man who finds a ‘wife’ finds a good thing (Proverbs 18:22). The man with a rebel queen has not found a good thing. A woman doesn’t become a godly wife, as a gift to her husband, just by saying “I do”. She must fulfil her unique part as ‘wife’ in her husband’s life.

The true wife is instructed to submit to her husband. He is her head and she is his helper, assisting him to fulfil God’s call on his life. She is not lord of her husband. She is not queen of the home. She is not the focus on the husband’s life. She is not there to be served.

A true wife does not manipulate, undermine, compete, resist or frustrate her husband. She empowers him by being wind in his sails, as he seeks to be the man God calls him to be.

The Rebel

When a woman rules her own home she is in rebellion against God. As a rebel queen she not only stands against her husband’s authority, but against God’s authority too.

The reason many woman engage in subversion of the home is insecurity. She fears that the husband’s ego-driven decisions will be unwise, self-serving and damaging to future security. In her insecurity she rises up and take control.

She needs to put her trust in the Lord and find security in Him. She needs to worship God, by being what He made her to be, not what her self-interest prompts her to be.

Another reason women rebel is their pride. Many have a deluded sense of moral superiority as if that gives them a different place to the one God gave them. Pride exalts, and when women exalt themselves over the husband, pride is at play. But pride leads to destruction, so it must never be pandered to.

True Beauty

The Bible teaches that a woman’s true, inner beauty comes from a submissive spirit. When a woman submits to her husband, not because she fully trusts his wisdom, but because she is determined to glorify God, a new radiance glows from within her (see 1Peter 3:3-6).

The rebel queen will never fulfil her natural beauty. She will become hardened and her efforts will be unfruitful. Her pride will lead to destruction. Going her own way will lead to death and failure. Her fears will enslave her. She will pluck down her home with her own hands (Proverbs 14:1).

A Life of Trust

Women were designed to help their husband. They are designed to be under instruction, not taking lordship. This requires trust. Her trust is not in her husband and his wisdom. Her trust is to be securely placed in the Lord, as her source of supply and defence from harm.

A life of trust in God is the highest life a wife can live. Becoming a rebel queen is the total opposite to that high calling.

Life will not be without challenges. No husband will always delight his wife. We may all have to miss out on some things we desire. But when a wife can lay down her own life, to take on the calling of ‘wife’, she will find a life far richer and more fulfilling than the one she would demand her husband to build for her.