Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Saviour of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. (Eph. 5:22-24)
A few of life’s curve balls delayed my continuation of this series. Apologies to those who were waiting in anticipation for Part 2. The delays may actually be another indication of how important this teaching is to Father God. It has been such a struggle, as one distraction and one challenge has followed the other over the past few weeks. But God is my deliverer and I give Him all the glory!!
My full realization of just how seriously Father God views this matter of wives submitting to their own husbands came on Christmas Day 2018. As a family, we had taken the decision to celebrate this Christmas differently. Rather than giving gifts to each other we used the money we would have spent to instead invest in bringing a gift of a meal and Jesus’ love to those less fortunate. I was the ‘head cook and bottle washer’ in this venture even though the idea had not been mine in the first place. Without doubt, by the afternoon of Christmas Day, I was exhausted but feeling very fulfilled. It had been a productive and fruitful 2 days of sacrifice. As my family gathered together to recount our experience of the whole venture and to spend some quality time together, I felt a not unfamiliar racing of my heart. I had suffered two such episodes in the past and been rushed to Accident and Emergency both times, once in Miami and once here in Jamaica. Not wishing to raise too much alarm, I decided to tell everyone (except my husband) I needed to go home and rest. I whispered and told my husband what was happening but asked him not to tell the others. Upon reaching home, I lay down and the palpitations continued. I became vexed in the spirit and decided that I was not going to allow the enemy to interrupt another holiday celebration with this ‘sickness’. My mind flashed back to two years before. We had decided for a second year in a row to all gather as a family to celebrate Christmas with my eldest son and his family in Miami and it had been a blast…………..until heart palpitations and increasingly intense chest pain, that I could no longer ignore, caused me to raise an alarm and everyone ended up in the A&E at Jackson North Medical Centre. Wonderful way to bring in New Year 2017!! For 2 days, they ran all of the required tests and all came up negative. I was doing a consultancy in the Bahamas at the time but came back to Jamaica in January to do follow up testing with one of our leading cardiologists and again all tests proved negative. In other words, there was no indication of what the underlying cause was. I suffered from no chronic illnesses. The only thing I know I was guilty of was not getting sufficient rest.
After this first episode, I prayed and asked Father God to help me understand what was happening. I knew that as a Christian there is nothing that happens to me by chance and I wanted to know what underlying issue was playing out here. I definitely wanted to know if I had unknowingly opened a door that had given the enemy legal authority to attack my health in this way. I recalled how Father God had used my heart to get my attention in the past. When I first recognized that He had placed a prophetic call on my life but I was not always sure whether I was to speak or remain silent, He would always allow the Holy Spirit to manifest urgency for the Word to go forth my causing my heart to beat so strongly that I could actually look down and see my chest moving up and down. In the early days of my prophetic ministry that was His sign of assurance to me that the Word I had received was in fact from Him. He knew I was not going to open my mouth until I had that full assurance. As I matured, He no longer had to give me this sign. I reflected on this and asked Father God if the abnormal heart rhythm was an indication that the condition of my heart was not pleasing to Him. Was the ‘out of sync’ heart beat His way of sending me the message that I was ‘out of sync’ with His will? The Holy Spirit brought to mind Proverbs 4:23, which tells us to diligently guard our hearts for all of life’s issues flow from it. I won’t go into all the gory details but Father God showed me that I had indeed not acted in accordance with His will. I was guilty of undermining my husband’s authority. I had colluded with my children to avoid having one of those lengthy family meetings their father is renowned to have anytime we are all together in one location. We manoeuvred so much to ensure a short meeting that we unintentionally ended up with no family meeting at all. Truth be told, this was not the first time nor the second that Father God had spoken to me about the need to deal with submission issues. Although I thought I had repented, I really hadn’t or else I wouldn’t have slipped back so easily into repeating the cycle again and again. The scriptures speak about a broken spirit and a broken and contrite heart being the sacrifices that God will not despise (Psa. 51;17). I don’t believe I was ever truly at this point concerning the submission issue in the past and here I was again in 2017. Having come face to face with my own mortality, I hastily admitted and took responsibility for my sin but, in retrospect, even in 2017, I still had not come to that place of godly sorrow that leads to true repentance as outlined by Paul in 2 Corinthians 7:9-11.
Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter.
It was only now, as I lay on the bed on the afternoon of Christmas Day 2018, that I was to really come into a full appreciation of God’s heart concerning this matter of submission. Join me next time as I share how God unfolded His own heart to me and directed me to share all that I experienced with other women.