Witness Him Now
I have just finished the last item God is asking me to put in my book. I trembled as I wrote it. It is not something anyone talks about, and if they do, not many people take this point-of-view. I think what I have written is unadulterated truth, but I don't know how many people will be able to receive this word. My prayer is that you will have eyes to see and ears to hear and a heart to understand what the Spirit is saying. My prayer is that your marriage is healed.
There has been an extreme attack on marriages the last few years. We are being attacked from all sides. The enemy’s strategy has always been the same - divide and conquer, but the attacks have now escalated. We can’t let the enemy win in this area of our life. We are one, and we have to remain one. A house divided cannot stand. But how do we do it? How do we safeguard our marriage?
First, I want to address - where are our eyes? What are we looking at? Our world is spinning so fast. It is out-of-control, and there is so much to do and not enough time to do it. There is not enough of anything, and the demands on our time and energy and money is so much that we start to disengage. Then somewhere along the line we get distracted. We start to look other places, at other people; we focus on the negative; we look at the things left undone; we retreat, and our focus turns inward. We can’t let this happen. For any marriage to really work, we have to do it God’s way. We have to get our eyes off of ourselves and put them on our spouse. Then we each have to play out our role in the marriage.
I am going to address the male role and the female role. We both have to play our part, and when we do, something magical happens. Marriage works.
Women, I want you to know that our role in a marriage is to be our husband’s help-mate. This marriage is not about us and what we get out of it, it is about our husband. We are to do everything in our power to help him be successful. We are one, but he is the head. Our role is to bring honor and glory to the head. “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 Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.” (Ephesians 5:22-24) “Let the wife see that she respects her husband.” (Ephesians 5:33)
Our role in the marriage is to honor and respect our husband and to submit to him and to trust him to make decisions. When we do, we unlock a door in the heavenly realms for God to work in his life. When we stop trying to control and manipulate him, he then has the freedom to be what God created him to be - the head of this family. We are not the head. We are not his Holy Spirit. We do not control his decisions. We do not dictate what he does or does not do. We are his help-mate, and there is much power in this role when we finally get ourselves out of the way. What we do determines whether our man stands or falls. What we do determines whether he is able to lead, guide, and save our family. It is the man who has to do that, we can’t.
NOTE: To those women who do not have a husband. Christ is your husband. Let Him have that role in your life.
There is a scripture in 1 Corinthians 11:7 that has intrigued me for a long time. “For man indeed ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man.” Man is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man. Wow! When we honor and respect our husband, when we give to him and willfully serve him, when we sing his praises to others, we bring him glory. Our actions and our words determine whether our husband stands or falls. When we do our part, then God’s hand is loosed on our husband’s life to use him to bring glory to Himself. We do not understand the power behind every word and every gesture we make toward and about our husband.
It’s even the little things we do, the rolling of the eyes, the snide comments, the belittling that can bring him to his knees. The whole world may think he is amazing, but if we don’t say so, he isn’t. He does not receive the honor he deserves. We didn’t give it to him. On the other hand, the whole world may say this man falls, but if we say he stands, he stands. We have that much power, and it is ours alone to wield.
Now, I have a husband who is easy to honor and easy to respect. He is a man of integrity and virtue; however, you may not be married to a man such as this. What do you do? Fix your eyes on him with your heart-wide-open. What do you see? Is there any strength? Is there any virtue? Does he provide for you? Does he protect you? Does he care for you or your children? Can you see the good? Acknowledge it. Praise it. Set your heart’s affections upon it. Once you begin to see the good and to praise it, more good will come. You will watch it unfold before your very eyes if you can give him the praise and honor he deserves. Don’t look at what he doesn’t do. Acknowledge what he does. Acknowledge who he is. Miracles will happen when you do.
However, sometimes we are married to someone who is not so good. What do we do then? There is a story in 1 Samuel 25 about a man who was a scoundrel, a fool who had no sense. He was married to Abigail, a woman of good understanding and beautiful appearance. What did she do when her husband made foolish choices that put her family in jeopardy? She went to King David to try to make things right. She tried to keep him from committing a grievous sin against her husband and her people. It worked. David relented saying, “Blessed is the LORD God of Israel, who sent you this day to meet me! And blessed is your advice and blessed are you, because you have kept me this day from coming to bloodshed and from avenging myself with my own hand. For indeed, as the LORD God of Israel lives, who has kept me back from hurting you, unless you had hurried and come to meet me, surely by morning light no males would have been left to Nabal!” (1 Samuel 32:32-34) So we have to do what is right, and leave it in God’s hands. When Abigail got back home, her husband died, and David married her. We don’t know God’s plans, but we have to trust Him.
“Servants (wives) be submissive to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh. For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully. For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps.” (1 Peter 2:18-21)
Sometimes we are put into positions where we have to just trust God. We cannot see anything good, but know this, God is doing something good. “All things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose, because we are being conformed into His image.” (Romans 8:28) In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (1 Thessalonians 5:18) God knows what He is doing. We just have to do our part so that He can do His. We have to honor, respect, and submit to our husbands.
And then we have to serve him. I cannot write about marriage without touching on the subject of sex. Sex is so important to a man. It is as important as food and water. If we withhold our affections in this area, we are opening the door for the enemy to enter our home and our family.
“It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” (1 Corinthians 7:1-5)
When we withhold our bodies from our husbands, it opens the door for the enemy to come in and kill, steal, and destroy. According to scripture we are the only ones who can serve our husbands in this area. Others can cook for him, and others can clean for him, but we are the only ones who can make love to him. This is our privilege, and it is our duty. We cannot withhold our affections. We cannot continue to use sex as a tool to manipulate and control. If we do, it will destroy us and our family.
I once knew a sweet family. They were beautiful. They went to church every week. From the outside looking in, they had it all, but one day the man decided to leave. I went to him, wanting to bring words of encouragement and wisdom. The man confessed that his beautiful wife would only make love to him once or twice a year. This had been going on for more than a decade. He said, “I feel like I am not a man anymore.” He could no longer do it. He left, and the last I heard he had turned from God, turned from his family, and was on drugs. The woman never knew what she had done. She took a good man down.
My brother was in a similar situation. His wife withheld her affections from him. My brother had to travel on business all the time, and the temptation was there. Finally, he just said, “God, take the desire away from me.” So my brother, who is still a fairly young man, gave this part of his life to God. He had to because his wife wouldn’t. Not every man could or would choose the path my brother did, most go someplace else. We can’t let that happen.
My time with my husband has always been good, but now it is even better. I don’t know when it happened, but somewhere along the way I started to bless him. When it was time for us to make love, I began to pray, “LORD, bless him. Let me bless him. Give him good gifts. Teach me how to love him, and to love him well. I ask this in Jesus’ name. AMEN” God has answered that prayer for me as well as for him. You can do this, too.
But for many women, the hurts of the past get in the way of being able to live in the present. Many women need to be healed in this area of their life. If someone has hurt you, put it under the blood. Forgive. Let go. Then turn your eyes and your heart’s affections toward your husband. Look at him and listen to him. Seek to do good for him. Seek to bless him and please him. Ask yourself, “How can I love this good man?” A good place to start is the bedroom.
You have a much harder job than we do. We just have to honor and respect you, but you have to love us. And I am not talking about the world’s kind of love, I am talking about the 1 Corinthians 13 kind of love. “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”
So you have to take us like we are: an off-the-chain, controlling, demanding, complaining, manipulating, OCD, hormonal ball-of-fluff, and you have to be patient and kind. You can’t give up on us. You have to endure us through every circumstance. That is not easy. I don’t know one woman who is easy, but God did not call you to do what was easy. He called you to love unconditionally. You have to present us to God without spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. You have to love us and cover us and be patient with us until we are there. That is a tall order.
“For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up His life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s Word. He did this to present her to Himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church.” (Ephesians 5:25-29)
“This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” (Ephesians 5:32-33)
Marriage is the picture of the unity or oneness of Christ and His church. The husband (Christ) is patient and kind, not keeping any record of being wronged. He never gives up, and He never loses faith. He loves us as He loves his own body, and He will present us holy and without fault to His Father someday. And the wife (the Church) is trying with all her might to honor and respect her Husband (Christ). She is trying to submit. She is trying to serve, but most of the time, she falls so short of the mark, but her Husband is patient. She throws a fit, but her husband is kind, and He does not hold this against her. She turns her back on Him, but He reaches for her. He protects her. He leads and guides her. He covers her. They are one. The wife does not try to control or manipulate the Husband. She does not try to usurp His authority. It is not her place. Her place is to honor and respect her husband (Christ). Her place is to submit to his leadership, and she is trying with everything in her to do this.
It is the same in marriage. When we finally understand that our role is to honor and respect and submit to our husband, things will work. We are not to usurp his authority. We are one, but he is the head. It does not work if we take the lead. We were not created for that role, he was. Then he has to step up and be the head. He has to love and protect us. He has to lead our family into righteousness so that we will all be presented blameless and without fault before our Father someday. He can do that, and he will do that, if we will let him.
We are one, just as Christ and His Church are one. We have to make it together. A house divided cannot stand. I have to be to my husband what I was created to be so that he can be for our family what he was created to be. It is a great mystery, two become one flesh. It is beautiful.
BRING ALL THINGS INTO THE LIGHT:
Now, as you were reading this section, I know that one of two things was going on inside of you. Either you were rejecting everything that was said because you felt it did not apply to you or to your family, or you felt conviction.
If your heart was trying to reject this truth, turn your heart toward God, open it wide and pray, “LORD, take out my heart of stone and put in a heart of flesh. Sprinkle me with clean water so that I can be clean. Tear down all my idols and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and pour Your Holy Spirit into me so that I can follow Your decrees and walk in Your judgments. I ask this in Jesus’ name. AMEN” You should be able to receive truth now. If not, continue to face Jesus with your heart-wide-open. Let Him in so He can heal you.
For everyone else, God wants to deal with all those things that are hidden. “This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in Him at all. So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, cleanses us from all sin. If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that His word has no place in our hearts.” (1 John 1:5-10)
I know that many of you have crossed lines. We are living in a time period where it was easy to do. Sometimes it was even expected. But everything you have done, and everything you have considered has to come to the surface so that God can cleanse you and heal you. It has to be done as a couple. Even saying this makes me tremble. I asked my husband, “Do they need a counselor?” He said, “They have a Counselor, they just have to call on His name.” His name is Jesus.
So I am asking you to join hands and open your heart wide to God and to each other. Call on the name of Jesus to come and save, deliver, and heal. Be honest with God, and be honest with each other. Lay all the cards on the table, don’t hold anything back. I know this is scary, but you have to do it. As you do, open your heart wide to forgive. Forgive your spouse. Forgive yourself.
Let everything that is hidden be made known, and the blood of Jesus will cleanse you from all sin. If you claim you have no sin, you are only fooling yourself, but if you confess your sin, He is faithful and just to forgive you your sin and to cleanse you from all unrighteousness.
NOTE: There are some people who are unequally yoked to a spouse who self-destructs. To stay with this person would put you and your family in jeopardy. If this is the case with you, turn your face toward Jesus and open your heart wide. Ask Him what He wants you to do, and then do it. Make sure it is not your own selfish desires that are trying to speak. Make sure it is Jesus.
Then there are people who are enabling their spouses. My brother was one of these. For 32 years he tried to love his wife as Christ loved the church. That was what God was asking him to do. He cared for her and served her. He came in from work, cooked, cleaned, did the laundry, and took care of the yard while she withdrew more and more into her little world.
Then last year the Spirit started saying something different. He said, “Go to her and tell her, ‘I want you to do three things: Get out of bed. Get help. And work on your relationship with your family, friends, and children. If you don’t, I am going to leave.’”
When the LORD started speaking to my brother like this, he wanted to make sure it was God, so he called his children and all the people he trusted. When he asked me what I thought, I said, “Will she change if you stay?” He said, “Absolutely not.” In my mind, he had no choice, he had to leave. She did not have a chance to make it if he didn’t. He was enabling her to self-destruct.
Once he was convinced that it was God speaking, he went to her and delivered the message, but she didn’t believe him. A few weeks later he took the kids with him to deliver the same message, but she still didn’t believe him. A month later, he left. She was so angry with him that she changed the locks on the doors, cleaned out the checking and savings accounts, and filed for divorce. The LORD chose to set my brother free from this marriage, but my brother did it God’s way.
“If any brother has a wife who does not believe, and she is willing to live with him, let him not divorce her. And a woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he is willing to live with her, let her not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy. But if the unbeliever departs, let him apart; a brother or sister is not under bonding in such cases. But God has called us to peace.” (1 Corinthians 7:12-15)
If you are in a situation like this, you are unequally yoked together with a non-believer and they are self-destructing, turn your face toward Jesus with your heart wide-open. Listen to what He says and do it. Trust him. Don’t do anything unless He says do it.
Blessings to you, my friends. May you all know true peace and contentment. May the God of the Universe guide your every move. May we all become one as the Father and the Son are one, and may the same love that is in them be in us.
The scripture says, "May you prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers."