This week, I am addressing FAQs that I receive on this blog and on www.peacefulwife.com.
But I’m Right!
Hold on here, ladies! This is going to be a painful one. I am going to show you how God deconstructed my sin for me in EXCRUCIATING detail and clarity so that I was able to see the exact depth of my sin.
This was completely my attitude for those first 14.5 years in our marriage – “I’m right.”
- I truly believed that I was always right and Greg was always wrong. Always.
- I also believed that I understood God’s will and Greg didn’t.
- I believed I was more spiritual and more spiritually mature than Greg.
- I prayed daily and read my Bible daily. Sometimes I prayed for 4 hours/day on my days off. See how spiritual I was?
- I told God what He needed to do. I could just see it all so clearly. So – I was happy to tell Him what He needed to do in each and every situation. Because – I clearly knew best and had incredible wisdom.
- I believed that I was a strong Christian and Greg was not.
- I believed I was “better than” Greg.
- I believed I made better decisions than Greg did.
- I believed I was smarter than Greg. I had the grades and scholarships to prove it. And I could quote so much more of the Bible than he could.
- I believed I “had” to take over leadership in the marriage because Greg “wouldn’t” lead. I mean, I asked him to make decisions. And then I waited all of 5-20 minutes. When he couldn’t come up with an answer after I pressured him that whole time – I clearly had to take over. He should think just like me and make decisions as quickly as I do – or he’s obviously “wrong.”
- I trusted my wisdom much more than I trusted Greg’s wisdom. His ideas didn’t make sense to me.
- I trusted my wisdom more than I trusted God’s wisdom, too. I ignored huge sections of God’s Word and commands to me.
- My perspective was the only one on the planet that I deemed to be “correct” and “valid.” If someone didn’t think just like I did – they were automatically “wrong.”
- I set myself up above God, too. Not consciously – but I believed I was “above” having to forgive people. I deserved to hold on to grudges and resentment because other people were wrong and I was right.
I was blind to my mountain of sin. I didn’t just have a 2X4 in my eye. I had a forest. 🙁
So – I don’t know if you are able to see it or not – it’s just so obscure and difficult to notice, right (ha!)? But – my PRIDE was through the roof. I’m not sure how God measures pride. Mine was off the charts.
Quite honestly, looking at it now – my pride was as big or bigger than Satan’s. He set out to be “equal” to God. I set myself above God in my heart. I worshipped SELF. I trusted ME. I thought I was an awesome Christian. But I didn’t actually trust God. I didn’t understand His sovereignty. I lived as if I was sovereign and everything was completely up to me to make things happen “right.”
If you compare my line of thought with the Pharisees – I think I would have made a pretty “good Pharisee” – if women were allowed to be Pharisees. You know – Jesus had much more harsh words for the Pharisees who were prideful and self-righteous than He did for thieves, murderers, adulterers, tax-collectors and prostitutes.
God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. James 4:6
God didn’t answer my prayers for Him to change Greg all those years. I would get so mad about that, too! I would pray for Greg to pray with me. That was clearly God’s will, right? And by that night at 11:30pm when Greg didn’t pray with me, I was SO ANGRY at God and at Greg. They were NOT doing God’s will! It was exasperating. I tried to drag Greg and God around to do MY will.
Really – although I never consciously saw it this way, what I really expected was for:
- Greg to submit to ME
- God to submit to ME
- other people to do MY will
- other people to obey ME
- people to admit that I was always right, wise and good
- people to see that they needed my help and my wisdom desperately
I expected, basically, to be worshipped – because I worshipped myself.
This is what is usually at the heart of a woman who is disrespectful, controlling and contentious.
- Idolatry of self.
- The belief that I am sovereign, not God.
- The belief that it is my RIGHT and my DUTY to make other people do what I think they should do.
- The belief that it is the responsibility and duty of others to do what I say to do.
This is why I could get so angry if people didn’t do what I wanted them to do. This is why I believed I should and could control others. This is why I had the “right” to be disrespectful – because I had myself in my heart as god. Other people owed me obedience and reverence and respect. They would face my wrath if they wouldn’t cooperate with my leadership and my self-appointed “authority.”
- Is there any sin that is worse than idolatry?
I am truly the chief of sinners.
I committed idolatry every waking moment for probably 30 years. I thought I trusted Jesus. I said I trusted Jesus. But the fruit of my life and reality was that I didn’t trust and obey Jesus. I was not full of His Spirit. My sinful nature was in firm control and I broke the 1st commandment constantly. Thousands and thousands of times. I was an idolator and didn’t even know it.
That is why I had no peace or joy. I was worried, afraid and very lonely. I was trying to carry the weight of God on my shoulders. That is STRESSFUL! And I was trying to carry the weight of the marriage and family on my shoulders that God designed Greg to carry, not me. That was too much weight for me!
My pride repelled God and repelled other people.
- Is there any sin that is worse than pride?
That was the sin of Satan. It is a root sin for practically every other sin – my thinking that I know best and my wisdom is higher than God’s and I am exempt from having to obey God’s Word because I am above God.
I am SO VERY THANKFUL that God humbled me.
- God is wise. I am not. God’s wisdom is infinitely higher than my own. My wisdom is foolishness in God’s sight.
- God is God. I am a sinful, weak, small human made of dust.
- God is good. I am not. My best attempts at holiness are like “filthy, bloody menstrual rags” in God’s sight. (Isaiah 64)
- I am desperately wretchedly sinful on my own and I NEED the blood, mercy, forgiveness and grace of Christ.
- The wages of sin is death. Romans 3:23 – that is what I earned. I deserve separation from God.
- I didn’t just owe Him $2000 sin dollars or something small. I owe Him BILLIONS.
- I have sinned MUCH. Now I have been forgiven MUCH. Now I can love Jesus MUCH.
- God’s Word has wisdom. I need the wisdom of God and His Word.
- God’s Word says that my husband is to be the head of our marriage and our home. God designated Greg to be in charge, not me. I Corinthians 11:3. That is God’s wisdom for me.
- Greg has wisdom to offer to me that will bless me.
- I do not always know best.
- I am not always right.
- God always knows best. He is always right.
- Greg may know better than I do. He may be right sometimes and I may be wrong.
- Humility is beautiful and is the first step of this journey. I must be “poor in spirit,” able to recognize my utter spiritual poverty before a holy, righteous, just JUDGE and King of the universe.
Submission begins for every disciple of Christ when we submit ourselves totally to Jesus. Then, out of reverence and submission to Him, I then obey His commands to me as a wife to respect my husband and submit to (honor his leadership).
God is God. I submit to Him! Not the other way around!
11. I am the better leader. I have to be in charge.
That picture at the top of this post makes me REALLY sad now. But it accurately portrays my attitude earlier in our marriage. It is not a beautiful picture of marriage! I made a selfish mess out of my marriage.
God does not designate the husbands to be the leaders because they are “more valuable” or “better than” wives. He designed marriage to be this way out of His wisdom and in order to showcase the profound mystery of the relationship between Christ and the church. In Ephesians 5:22-33, God intends the husband in every marriage to represent the selfless, unfailing, scandalous love of Christ for His church. And God intends the wife to represent the reverence, adoration and submission of the church for Christ.
God has assigned us parts in as if we are in a “play” – that our children and the world around us might watch and be in awe of this relationship that points clearly to Christ and His salvation that is available to us all.
This is not about who has a higher IQ or a better college education. It’s not about who makes a better choice about an individual decision.
This is about God’s wisdom that is infinitely higher than my own. It is about His purposes being fulfilled in my marriage. It is about His glory.
It is about HIM – not me.
- If God will be greatly glorified by me following my husband’s leadership – great! I accept His will and His design. I want to be the best follower I can be.
- If God wants to show me that He is able to lead me through this imperfect husband of mine to accomplish His will – who am I to tell God that He is wrong and my way is better? I humble myself before Almighty God and seek to obey Him in all things whether I understand it or not, whether I agree with Him or not, whether it is politically correct or not, whether anyone else is obeying Him or not.
- If God wants to draw people to Christ through this particular design for marriage, and He is my LORD – then I am on board all the way. “Lord, tell me what You want me to do. I’m on it!”
- If God wants to teach my husband to be more like Christ by having him lead in our marriage – I will support all that God wants to do in Greg’s heart and life. I will be a teammate to Greg, cheering him on and blessing him as he seeks to fulfill God’s role for him.
- If God wants me to be a servant to my husband and family and to others – that is what I want to be!
- If God wants to teach my children and model for them how to submit to God-given authorities in their lives – then I want to set the most beautiful and God-empowered example for them ever and leave a godly legacy for them to follow. I want those who come behind me to find me faithful by God’s power working in me.
This marriage thing is not about Greg and April.
It is about God.
It is about His kingdom.
It is about His glory.
What a blessing, honor and privilege to be God’s daughter, to be free from my sin, to have access to the riches of heaven, to be able to play the part God has assigned to me with passion, joy, thanksgiving and honor.
When I do things God’s way – He is glorified and I am blessed.