Wives, be subject to your husbands [out of respect for their position as protector, and their accountability to God], as is proper and fitting in the Lord. (Col. 3:18, AMP)
The aim of this series is to reveal the heart of God regarding the governance structure He has put in place in the family. The world has sought to undermine this structure through the women’s liberation movement and by drilling into the minds of women that to be submissive means to be under somebody’s thumb and have no say in decisions that are made, many of which have a direct impact on us. Part of the problem is that husbands have not understood their roles towards their wives either, which has resulted in an environment where wives find it challenging to submit as required by the Lord. I, however, have no such excuse to fall back on. My husband has always been very supportive of my own need to self-actualize and has given me the room to grow without trying to smother and control me in anyway. My failure to submit to him has been all my own doing and I have had to take responsibility for this in my confession to Father God.
I told you in parts 1 – 4 how Father God brought my attention to this very critical aspect of my spiritual walk. He had allowed me to get away with my insubordination for a season but was ready to move me into a higher spiritual realm in Him and made it quite clear to me this was an area for which He had zero tolerance. He was not going to allow promotion until this matter was addressed to His satisfaction.
I was to become fully convinced on the evening of Christmas Day 2018 that lack of submission to my husband’s authority was at the root of the episodes of heart palpitations I had been having. Over a period of two years, this was the third such episode I was having. As I determined not to go to any A&E Department but to wage spiritual warfare to appropriate my healing, the Lord told me to be quiet and listen. He took me back to the two previous episodes, reminding me of what He had revealed on those two occasions (see Parts 1 – 4). While this was happening, the palpitations were continuing unabated. It was now time for me to reflect on what had happened earlier this unusual Christmas Day.
As a family, we had decided that our focus this Christmas was not going to be on ourselves. We were going to share the love of Jesus Christ and carry a meal and God’s word of hope to those in need in two inner city communities. God opened the door for us to do this outreach in Trench Town and Rose Town. By this time, I had come to realize (although to be honest I still wondered if it was my own imagination) that there was some link between the heart palpitations and the Lord needing me to deal with submission issues. What had I done to reopen that door or any other to once again allow the enemy the legal right to attack me in this way? Puzzled, I asked the Lord in what way had I been lacking in submission during this time of outreach or even leading up to it. After all, hadn’t I been doing His bidding by going out in this way to minister to those in need? Almost immediately, Father God revealed to me His anger with how I had dishonoured my husband during the time of ministry we had in Trench Town. I hadn’t said anything explicitly but my body language and facial expressions I am sure had revealed the impatience I was feeling. I felt that some of the things he was choosing to share with the persons, mainly young women, were irrelevant and he needed to pray so we could move on to the other community. In addition, my attitude had spilled over to my children, as they openly shared my impatience by rolling their eyes to the heavens when he started his time of sharing, a matter that was particularly displeasing to God. The Lord rebuked me properly, telling me that my husband is the apple of His eye and how dare I feel that I knew better than my husband in whom He had placed His Spirit. Who was I to question God’s approach through His chosen?
He also brought to my attention something I had said the night before. We had spent our Christmas Eve together as a family doing food preparation for the outreach that was to take place the next day. My granddaughter was with us and needed to change but all of us, except my husband, were tied up with the food preparation and I when someone asked if her grandfather could help her I made the comment that he had never changed diapers for any of his children and was not about to start doing so at this late stage. But I didn’t stop there! Later on, my granddaughter was eating something and refused to share it with her grandfather and I stated that she had every right not to share since he hadn’t been there when she needed him earlier. The Lord chastised me and told me I was out of order. He said that all the diaper changing in the world could not compare with the effective fervent prayers made by my husband on behalf of his family. This had eternal significance and not the physical acts of service. He said my husband is to be given the honour that is due to a patriarch in Zion. He is His own dear son and one in whom He is well pleased.
At that moment, I repented and asked God’s forgiveness, acknowledging that I was indeed a slow learner who required the same thing to be taught over and over again. It caused me to recognize that the root of pride goes very deep (see my series “The Many Faces of Pride”) and that I may actually be suffering from a stronghold of matriarchal dominance and control as I had seen evidence of this in my own parents’ relationship.
Any doubt that this matter of submission is of critical importance to God and was in fact at the root of the heart palpitations was removed that night. As soon as I confessed my sin and received forgiveness, the palpitations that had been going on for close to 4 hours immediately stopped! Now I knew for sure, I had not just been imagining or conjuring up all of this myself. I received the message loud and clear – I MUST RESPECT AND HONOUR MY HUSBAND!! This was going to require me to be acutely aware of my attitude and actions going forward. Yes, I am still going to trip up because Rome wasn’t built in a day. But I now repent immediately and I do not take for granted that I can just act any way towards my husband and expect that my ministry and walk is going to be pleasing to God.
Writing this series has been very humbling to say the least. If it were up to me, it would never have been written. But I gave my promise to the Lord that I will be His obedient servant. I know that He wants this message to be shared with women in the Body of Christ because many of us have bought into the lie of the enemy on this matter of submission. Not only to our own husbands but to our church leaders and other males in authority. We are even indoctrinating our daughters and younger female relatives to act in opposition to the divinely ordained authority God has placed in their lives. God views it very seriously when I overstep my position and try to control and manipulate the men in my life. This is something that runs deep within us women. It is akin to the Jezebel spirit. Wanting to wrest control from the husband, and men in general, and not allowing them to exercise their God-given authority. This has caused our families to be dysfunctional. We have partnered unwittingly with the enemy in one of the many devices and strategies he is using to destroy the family. If he can destroy families, he can destroy nations and he can destroy that which Father God is trying to achieve on the earth. His Kingdom to be established here on earth even as it is in heaven. We have been told in Romans 12:2 not to be conformed to this world but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds so that we can prove what is that good, acceptable and perfect will of God. Conformance to the world takes place very subtly and we must be vigilant and sober (1 Peter 5:8). God’s culture is contrary to that of the world!! This is why in order to not be conformed to the world we are told that we literally have to present our bodies (or carnal nature) as a living sacrifice. We have to put to death those things within us that would cause us to act contrary to God’s plan for our lives and the health of the family unit He has ordained so that we can be a healthy nation. Let us have a heart of humility and complete surrender to the Lord in every aspect of our lives.
Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead in the way everlasting. (Psa. 139:23-24, NKJV)