Monday, February 1, 2016

Servitude or Service {Married to a Mean Man} ~ Chapter Twelve

Some women I have mentored are married to mean men. These women are definitely the most difficult to mentor since I feel so sorry that they have to put up with these men. Of course, if they are being physically abused, they need to call the authorities and have them get involved. If not, they must learn how to respond to their husband but still, nothing works better than God's principals in dealing with a difficult husband. Women are called try to win difficult husbands without a word by their godly behavior {1 Peter 3:1}. Does this mean they become a doormat and cower in fear. No! They have the God of the universe living inside of them and greater is He than he who is in the world.

Well then, how should a woman in this difficult situation respond. You will have to endure abusive words without feeling abused. You will have to live in the love of God when you are not getting love from your husband. You will have to gain your self-image from what God thinks of you instead of what your husband says in his selfishness and anger. You will need to put on the whole armor of God to stand against the fiery darts of the wicked one - yes, the devil in your husband. You must wear two hats at one time: the loving, submissive wife who honors her husband, and the prophet who will not cover sin nor call evil good.*

I also encourage women in this situation to find an older, godly woman who will encourage them and walk this journey with them since it is a difficult one and they need as much support as they can get. I asked one of my friends to explain how she handles her difficult husband.

I have found that my husband's moods can be very unpredictable. He has in the past become very angry and even hostile quite quickly. It is a challenge never knowing which man I'm going to get when he comes in the door, or when he returns from a trip. However, there are some strategies that I've learned from the LORD for dealing with my husband.

When he is operating in anger, I remain very calm and peaceful. I pray in the Spirit as he is speaking in anger. If he escalates, I say something like this; "I need to go pray now. I'll be upstairs because I don't have the proper discernment now to answer your questions, or continue having this conversation." Sometimes, he follows me. If he follows me, I remain utterly silent or actually pray in the Spirit as he continues to rage or speak angrily, even if he mocks me. He eventually leaves, because the fire goes out without two people throwing kindle on it. 

If my husband wants to argue, I simply refuse. Sometimes he is overcome by an argumentative spirit, due to wounds of his own, and he reacts out of these wounds instead of out of the Spirit of God. I respond to him, "I will not argue with you" and then I continue doing whatever it is that I was doing before he attempted to begin a debate of some sort.  He may stand next to me and continue to try and pick a fight, but I exercise self-control and remain utterly silent. He will eventually excuse himself. If he needs to be "right" I do not agree with him if I don't agree in my spirit, but I say nothing and allow him to "be right" in his anger. Later, he is either convicted and changes, or I continue to pray for the Holy Ghost to convict him privately. 

Prayer is my biggest strategy and I spend many hours in intercession weekly for our family and others, and God is faithful! I may see small changes, or change and then regression. It doesn't matter what I see with my eyes; God's Word is true and unchangeable. We are one flesh. I continue to war for my husband and trust God with the outcome, as I pour out love upon him at every opportunity, never repaying evil with evil, but overcoming evil with good. I lean into my Bridegroom, Jesus, when I feel I have no earthly husband to lean into.  I am His. He enables me through grace to love my husband.

I can tell you, women, that this woman is amazing and she is amazing because of the power of Christ living within her. She is doing everything she can to win her husband to the Lord because she knows what is at stake, his eternal soul. She puts up with his mean behavior because she trusts the Lord to take care of her while she is allowing Him to use her to win her husband to Him. This is a picture of storing your treasures in heaven, my friends.

Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; 
that, if any obey not the word, they also may without 
the word be won by the conversation of the wives.
1 Peter 3:1

*These are quotes from the newest edition of Created to Be His Help Meet. I wasn't going to teach either of the two new chapters in the new edition but after reading this chapter again, I thought it was important to teach. Next week, we will go back to Chapter Twelve in the older edition.