Where the rubber meets the road … home. It’s one thing to declare “I’m a man of God” at church or at work but it is what you do in your home that truly is the mark of the Kingdom Man. It starts at home and your wife is the ultimate evidence of your walk.
If you have a crack in your wall, it might be that you have a problem in the foundation of your home, not the wall itself and until you fix the foundation, the cracks will keep showing up. In the same way, the issues you are having at home – the tension, the fighting, the distance – could well be just symptoms of a much deeper, foundational problem.
It starts with Eve.
Adam lost a rib but gained back other things that he didn’t possess. He gained a helper and like it or not, if Eve is left out of the kingdom equation in your home, you can limit God’s involvement with you. Your wife is meant to be your collaborator, not your cook. Your partner, not your sexual outlet. She is a helper in the expansion of God’s kingdom. You are a tool, a fighter, an ally in the expansion of God’s Kingdom and your wife is there to help you in this quest. And this is why Satan went after Eve – to create chaos and put her in charge. When she was in charge, things quickly got out of alignment and you know what transpired.
I am to create an environment where Shannon can flourish. She is likened to a vine in Psalm 128:3 “Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house…” A grape vine in a vineyard is first secured to a post. This makes it stable. From that stability, the vine is free to climb. Once it can climb, it can cluster and flourish and as you know the grapes are then harvested and turned into wine.
What a great analogy this is to our wives. If she is secure and stable, she can begin to climb. If she can climb, she can flourish. If there is a lack of leadership, my wife will not feel secure and stable. If I am reckless financially or morally, she will not feel secure. A woman’s greatest need inside marriage is security. She needs to feel safe. When I am out alignment with God, my wife will not feel stable, she won’t climb and flourish. In many cases, in the void of leadership, she will take over. The more I resign back from her taking over, the more I “give up”, the more territory she’ll need to take to make sure things are getting done. Chaos will reign. The whole order will be out of alignment and there will be many cracks in your walls because your foundation is failing.
And here’s the thing, as much as it might appear your wife wants all this authority and thrives on taking charge, she really doesn’t. That isn’t her design. She is a helpmate to you. She has gifts you don’t possess and they are there for a reason – you need them. And while you have the final say, you need her input, you need her intuition (and men, there is such a thing as a woman’s intuition) and you need her contribution. But … you … have to act. You … have to lead. You … have to initiate. You … have to set direction as the spiritual leader of your home. She will respond to this because it is how God designed her. She will be secure and she will flourish under your leadership.
This comes at a real cost. This isn’t a little brother/little sister “It isn’t fair” thing. This is marriage. This is a covenant. Ephesians 5:26 lays it out pretty clearly – We are to love our wives as Christ loved the church. How did Christ love the church? He died for it. We are to “die” for our wives. Christ gave himself up for “her” the church. In the same way, I am to give myself up for Shannon. And I am to sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the Word. Sanctification is the process of taking someone from where they are and turning them into what they should be.
It’s on me. Again, this isn’t an “its not fair” thing. I am here to serve her. To serve her, sanctify her and satisfy her. Thus the reason the preacher says, “It isn’t to be entered into lightly or unadvisedly”. And so…when the problems arise…Richard…when your home is in chaos, when she is making all the decisions, when I have checked out and quit because “I can’t do it right anyway” … that just won’t do. It’s on me. All these things are happening because I am out of alignment with God. My test of being a Kingdom Man lies at the feet of my marriage. The proof is in the pudding.
Men, it is time to rise UP by serving down. This is true servant leadership. It is leading her by serving her and getting her to where she is capable of going in her walk with the LORD and as my helpmate in the expansion of His Kingdom. It isn’t about turf or territory or that’s not fair. It is my job. I have been entrusted with my helpmate and she is incredibly valuable to me and where I fall down, LORD come and help RESTORE me. May my wife be a GODLY woman who submits to God’s alignment and Trusts His mighty hands. As Billy Gross said many years ago, “We LiveUP by first bowing down”.
For those of you who are divorced – this may be hard to read. But take this as a roadmap to the future, not a condemnation of your past. God isn’t shaming you with these words rather they are picture of what the future could hold for you and these are also great lessons to be teaching your sons and daughters.
This is rich material. Please comment below if you have something to share and stepUP and lead in your home but don’t dare do it until you are under God’s authority in alignment with Him.