Seven Causes of Marital Conflicts, Part 3
V. SURRENDER OF THE INITIATIVE
A. Now things are starting to get a little more complex. Now we’re dealing here with authority and leadership in the marriage. Now things could become heated very quickly. Divine order is always hotly contested by Satan.
I know of no way to illustrate this better than for you to think of a STEERING WHEEL. The question is:
“WHO’S DOING THE DRIVING?”
The one who’s driving is the one who has the initiative. He can turn right or left. That is either his pleasure or responsibility. But who is driving your marriage or home is critically important.
B. I know for a fact that many men are losers as far as their leadership goes. In fact, I do not believe that the basic problem in MOST marriages is rebellious women, but RENEGADE, IRRESPONSIBLE HUSBANDS. Many men are afraid, and the very thought of taking the initiative turns them into pants-wetters. When it comes to spiritual and moral leadership in the marriage and home, many of them are toddlers driving their plastic tricycles.
God makes it plain who is to do the driving when He says in I Corinthians 11:3,
“But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man,
and the man is thehead of a woman, and God is the
head of Christ.”
A whole lot of headship here! Really HEADY STUFF. Who is the head of whom? God gives us some very heads-up truth. Christ’s Head is His Heavenly Father. Man’s Head is Jesus Christ. Woman’s head is man. The HEADSHIP OF GOD over all flows down through the Divinely ordained anatomy of headship. He is talking more broadly than marriage and family, but about His created order in the Body of Christ – the church. To many women, and even to men in the church today, this verse smells of MALE CHAUVINISM. Too bad, tough, it is DIVINELY ORDAINED ORDER IN THE CHURCH AS WELL AS IN THE HOME.
Man wants to be his own head, that is, the head of himself. Woman will not allow headship over her to belong to man. She wants headship to be on her own neck. For others male headship is fine, just as long as they are the neck that turns the head. All people are very heady by nature, and if you make someone else their head, you are heading in the wrong direction. Heads then will roll.
And Ephesians 5:22-24,
“Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord.”
“For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ is also
the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior
of the body.”
“But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought
to be to their own husbands.”
SUBJECT – SUBJECTION – SUBMISSION! My, my, those are some testy words indeed! Not only testy, but hotly contested! The wife is to be in subjection to her husband as the church is to Christ. Dear Lord, it almost makes the husband sound like a Prince if not a King. It would appear that the wife is to give her husband the reverence and honor due to a royal head. Can you imagine how that sounds to modern societies and marriages in which male headship has either been cut off or is totally missing?
There can only be one driver at the steering wheel of marriage. Two heads on a being is a freak, and two drivers at the wheel is an accident waiting to happen. You see, you can’t have two people PULLING ON THE STEERING WHEEL. Nor may there be any BACK SEAT DRIVERS. The husband is to TAKE THE INITIATIVE AND PROVIDE THE LEADERSHIP FOR HIS WIFE SPIRITUALLY, MORALLY, MARITALLY, FAMILIALLY, and PRACTICALLY.
Frankly, we all needed DRIVING LESSONS. Many of us husbands have had no role model or example as to what REAL LEADERSHIP is in marriage and family. Many come from divorced homes. Remember:
“JUST BECAUSE HUSBANDS AND FATHERS ARE RAISED BY GOD TO THE OFFICE
OF HEAD OF THE MARRIAGE AND HOME, DOES NOT MEAN THAT THEIR
ABILITIES RISE COMMENSURATELY.”
Husbands and fathers need much pastoral help when it comes to being the heads of their wives and children. The title of HEAD does not by itself qualify them as such, any more than hanging out a physician’s shingle makes a man a doctor. History has been filled with fakes and quacks. Much training and learning is mandatory!
Here is a very brief job description of the husband as the HEAD of his wife and family as he represents Christ THE PROPHET – THE PRIEST – THE KING of His bride the church:
-Prophet! He brings the Word of God to apply to himself, his wife, and his children on a regular basis. This is his responsibility first of all, and not the church’s or the youth pastor’s responsibility first of all. Wives in Christ cry out for it, and children are Satan’s easy targets without it.
-Priest! He constantly lays down his life for, provides for, and prays for his wife and family sacrificially. It is often said of this this or that man, “He Is All Heart.” When we see such a man, he will give up his all, his time, his energy, his interests for the sake of his wife. He can’t love her enough and cannot do enough for her. A loving heart without sacrifice is a pretense and worthless. All true husbands are sacrificial servants of their wives and children. The constant prayer covering of the wife and children does not first of all come from the pastor or fellowship group leader. It comes from Priest Husband and Priest Father. In that sense, as he represents Christ, he is the HIGH PRIEST of the home.
-King! He represents the ruling and protecting authority of Christ the King over his wife and family.
When there is ignorance or abdication here, nothing so directly strikes at the heart of the marriage, family, and society. Nothing! Huge numbers of homes are prophet-less, priest-less, and king-less, and the results are spiritual and moral chaos and collapse. And husband and father, if you refuse to exercise those offices in your marriage and family, you had no right to get married in the first place. You are then nothing more than a deadhead! You’ve been counseled many times to help you, but you really don’t want help which is why your training wheels are worn down to the metal.
C. Now then, who is the one who is initiating in your home? To many women in this audience, I can say to you without flinching, that it is much easier for you to take the initiative at times. If you’ll take it, there will seem to be a much shorter distance to peace and order in the home, particularly for the woman with a renegade husband who says,
“Whatever you want dear, is OK.”
It will be easier for her to take the initiative, but what a price to pay for that initial peace. When the male has abdicated his role, he says,
“Whatever you want, I don’t care,”
you may be in more trouble than in the marriage in which they are fighting with a passion. Why? Because the marriage and family is out of order, and where God’s order does not prevail, there is always Satan’s disorder and damage taking place every day. It perhaps is not visible at first, but great harm is being done to the family over time, as in the home they lose all sense of the presence of Christ. The Holy Spirit flows through God’s created order! The evil spirits flow through Satan’s disorder.
D. Can the same thing happen in the relationship between parent and children? Can you just begin to give them anything they want and make excuses, and capitulate the initiative to them? Is it possible for children to run the home? How many know it is?
We must hear the Word of God Ephesians 6:1,
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.”
Hillary Clinton, being the socialist and secular humanist that she is, when it comes to raising children, in her book “It Takes A Village,” passes the initiative to the community and takes it away from the exclusivity of the parents. Children, according to the socialists, are not first of all to obey their parents, but rather be taught by and obey the social structure around them and the government over them.
“WHETHER IT IS BARACK OBAMA OR HILLARY CLINTON, SATAN THE MASTER
PHILOSOPHER KNOWS THAT TO CONTROL THE PUBLIC, YOU MUST
FIRST OF ALL DECEIVE AND DELUDE THEM. IT IS
TAKING PLACE EVERY DAY IN THE
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.”
And Colossians 3:20,
“Children, be obedient to your parents in all things, for this is well-pleasing to the Lord.”
Parents are not to obey their children, for this is wrong and well-pleasing to the devil. Parents must command their children by Godly Example and Bible Precept. Listen:
“OTHERWISE, THE UNGODLY FATHER AND MOTHER WILL NOT ONLY
DAMN THEIR OWN SOULS, BUT THE SOULS OF THEIR
“IT IS ONE THING TO BRING OUR CHILDREN INTO THE WORLD, BUT
THEN THE GREAT ISSUE IS, WHAT WORLD WILL YOU BE BRING
THEM TO IN ETERNITY?”
The initiative of training the children in the ways and fear of the Lord falls squarely upon the father, as we read in Ephesians 6:4 KJV,
“And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up
in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”
Never were the Holy Spirit’s words more important than they are today. Fathers, whether we like it or not, we must lead and teach our children in godliness, and walk with them through and protect them from 3 minefields in the modern world and church. They are:
1. Minefields of lawlessness and licentiousness educationally, socially, ecclesiastically, and governmentally. The Laws of God have been torn down and buried deep in American rebellion, and if there ever was a time to write the ten commandments upon the heads and hearts of our children, it is now. There are Antinomian (anti-law) evil spirits running lose in the schools, churches, and courts. Fact:
“TODAY ON A DAILY BASIS, THE PARENTS MUST CONSTANTLY MEND
WHAT THE SCHOOLS AND CHURCHES NOW CONSTANTLY MAR.”
American lawmakers and legislators are controlling the behavior of the citizens, and no longer the Word of God. Everything from fornication to divorce to abortion to homosexuality to same-sex marriage to child sex, etc. are now considered normal and virtuous. God says about his moral laws in Deuteronomy 6:6-7,
“And these words (ten commandments) which I am commanding you
today, shall be on your heart;”
“and you shall teach them diligently unto to your sons, and you shall talk
of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the
way, and when you liedown and when you rise up.”
Come on now, Satan in America has done his evil worst to exempt all Americans from God’s moral laws. Satan knows:
“IF THERE IS NO MORE OBLIGATION UPON MEN TO OBEY GOD’S MORAL
LAWS, THEY WILL NOT FEEL ANY SHAME IN DISOBEYING THEM.”
You see, by outlawing the moral laws of God:
“SO THAT AMERICA MAY SLEEP SOUNDLY IN HER SIN, SATAN HAS SEEN
TO IT THAT HER BED WILL BE AS SOFT AS POSSIBLE.”
And consequently, the commands against worshiping other gods, against dishonoring God’s name, against disobeying parents, against stealing, against adultery and murder have come to be of no concern to our society. THAT IS WHERE WE ARE. To borrow the words of our Lord to His enemies as His death approaches, we read Him saying in Luke 22:53,
“…but this hour and the power of darkness are yours.”
2. Minefields of sects and heresies ecclesiastically. Everything is up for grabs in the modern churches! Everything! We are living in the day that Jesus warned about in terms of many false prophets and false teachers deceiving many. It is amazing how new ring-leading fools pop up every day on the religious scene, and instantly find scores of followers who are looking for the newest and latest and the hottest, and who carry the heretics’ flags for them.
There are multiplying screwball preachers by the scores today that teach their congregations that Peter, James, and John in their writings were erroneous and need correction! In other words, the Bible cannot be trusted. There are goofballs who teach their mesmerized followers that the angels of Heaven do not know God, and that they have to be taught about God by us. We are over the dimwitted angels and surpass them in spiritual knowledge. Stu-pored preachers telling their disciples that what we need is the angels, who are God’s little Friar Tuck Bartenders, to serve us up some of God’s drunken glory. Idiots telling their congregations that the Bible is a very confusing book, that it is only half the truth, and that we must get the other half from the Holy Spirit. And everybody said AMEN!
Fathers must protect their children as never before from charlatan preachers and pastors. Fathers must be like the sons of Issachar of whom it is said in I Chronicles 12:32,
“Understood the times with knowledge of what Israel should do….”
3. Minefields of TOLERATION AND ACCEPTANCE of immorality and perversion. TOLERANCE is the mantra of our godless modern society and church. TOLERANCE! Anything goes! Our children in the midst of this social and ecclesiastical quicksand, must strongly be taught the VIRTUE of the DIVINE INTOLERANCE of wickedness and wicked people and false teachers who are taking over government, schools, and churches with their anti-God doctrines of demons. Such as, that we should never use the word sinners about people, and that the essence of sin is not esteeming ourselves highly enough.
God is a very intolerant God. The Bible is a very intolerant book. We read in Titus 3:10-11 KJV about heretics,
“A man that is a heretic after the first and second admonition reject;”
“Knowing that he that is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned
Listen now to the following Dad headship principles:
“NOTHING AND NO ONE WILL BE LOVED BY THE CHILDREN THAT ARE HATED
BY THE FATHER, AND NOTHING AND NO ONE WILL BE HATED BY THE
CHILDREN THAT ARE LOVED BY THE FATHER.”
“AS GOES THE FATHER , SO GOES THE HOME.”
Dads, quit dancing around the headship bush. Take the shoes off from your feet, for you are standing upon holy ground. You and you alone are the PRIME TEACHING AND RULING PART OF THE HOME. As a matter of fact, so primary and central are you in God’s paradigm for the family:
“WHEN WE SAY FATHER OR DAD, WE ARE IN FACT EXPRESSING
THE WHOLE BY THIS ONE PRINCIPAL PART.”
Hear me, if you are blind to this:
“THEN LIKE SIGHTLESS SAMSON, YOU WILL PULL YOUR HOUSE DOWN
UPON YOURSELF AND YOUR ENTIRE FAMILY.”
Dad, hear me:
“YOU ARE THE CHIEF GATE AND PORTAL THROUGH WHICH YOUR CHILDREN
WILL BE IMPACTED BY LOVING THOUGHTS FOR CHRIST. ONLY
WHEN CHRIST IS ADORED BY YOU WILL HE BE EMBRACED
BY YOUR FAMILY.”
Dads, the world pushes BUNDLE INSURANCE. The Lord promises Christian Dads BUNDLE ASSURANCE, as we read these words of God to a father in Acts 16:31,
“Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved, you and
Now then, I’m going to tell you that passing the initiative to the children is such an aberration of God’s plan and purpose, that there are thousands of children who struggle with latent homosexual problems and all sorts of things, and the roots go right back to this problem. (In fact, this problem will catapult you into the next two that I’m going to talk about in just a moment.)
But we can capitulate the initiative to the children. We can make excuses for them. Like:
“Well, he’s just really tired.” – “Well, he’s just 87 months old.” –
“Well, he hasn’t eaten in 30 minutes.”
But when we surrender that initiative to the children, who is running the home? Many American homes are run by the children, and it happens because we didn’t want confrontation or problems. We wanted the shortest distance to what appeared to be peace. So we surrendered the initiative and the children run the home while the mother and father become captives, P.O.W.s in a spiritual warfare.
E. Now there are really 2 problems here that are both distortions of God’s principle of male headship in the marriage and home:
#1 is the TYRANT HUSBAND
He rules by his word. But he is INCONSISTENT and a BIG MOUTH BIGOT. He is a verbal goon! He rules by authoritative dictate. But his concept of headship is not high priest and protector, instead it’s:
“Fe Fi Fo Fum, I’m home, where’s the dinner?”
“ALL TYRANTS ARE AGENTS AND LIEUTENANTS OF THE DEVIL.”
“THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A TYRANT SINCE CREATION WHO HAS
NOT BEEN BOTH SELF-ABSORBED AND CRUEL.”
Let me give you the marks of a TYRANNICAL HUSBAND:
1. That he alone is always right.
2. That it is wrong for him to defer to his wife.
3. That his masculinity is weakened if he admits a mistake.
4. If he believes all three of these fallacies, he qualifies as a first-degree tyrant.
“WHEN YOU ARE THE BOSS OF EVERYONE, YOU ARE THE BOSS
OF NO ONE.”
I have dealt with too many degraded and dominated wives who have asked me, “Please help me stand up for myself.” When that happens, the marriage is in a mess. The truly Godly husband will lift his wife higher than himself, and she him.
And Isaiah 13:11b, the 1599 Geneva Bible, reads God saying:
“I will cause the arrogance of the proud to cease, and will
cast down the pride of tyrants.”
#2 is the PASSIVE HUSBAND
Or what we might call “the HEN-PECKED man.” He’s a whimpering, mealy-mouthed, lily-livered, water-spine. Yellow mellow! Gutless and lazy!
One of the biggest problems being faced in marriages today is when a husband stops leading in the marriage. Somewhere along the way he has shut down and stopped communicating. He has decided to stop leading and go along for the ride because in his mind he thinks this might be easier. Maybe he feels like his wife doesn’t respect him. Maybe he feels like he has to work really hard for his opinion to matter. Maybe he feels like a failure, like he has screwed up too much in the past to be able to stand upright and take the responsibility he needs to in the marriage.
But getting right down to it, if we look at the word passive in the dictionary we are told that it means:
“LACKING IN ENERGY AND WILL.”
Another definition listed is:
“NOT ACTIVE OR OPERATING.”
The passive man is like the dog that lies on his back when approached. While courting his now wife, he loved her take-charge attitude, perhaps because that is what Mom did for him, and here is a woman stepping right into that position. He most of the time enjoys his aggressive wife doing the entire dirty job he doesn’t want to do.
Many of the conflicted couples I have dealt with fall in the “aggressive wife and passive husband” category. Aggressive wives, and husbands too, are usually in your face. They follow you around when there are arguments at home. They want issues resolved immediately even when both of them are angry (not a good idea). They might be generous people but are usually self-centered (what they want supersedes everything else). They’ll do anything to get what they want. I know aggressive women who use tears and sulking until the husband says, “Go and get what you want.”
“THE AIM OF THE AGGRESSIVE PERSON IS TO INTIMIDATE THE OTHER
PERSON INTO SUBMISSION AND GET WHAT THEY WANT.”
In 1 Peter 3: 1-6, the Apostle Peter clearly states that women would not change their spouse with words from their mouth, but with gentle spirit and character which is their inner beauty. I am heavy handed on husbands and dads, but I have also met wives, who though they are barely five feet tall and weigh no more than medium bag of dog chow, are little dominators from the word go. Every time he wants to talk, she is still talking. He can’t get a word in edgewise even if he was skinny as a blade.
Now those are the 2 distorted images that are an absolute aberration of the Biblical concept. God didn’t create either of those images. But, you see, God’s plan is that we FIND ourselves in the Scriptural center of things and not at either of these extremes. But that isn’t easy!
“THERE IS A SCRIPTURAL TENSION IN FINDING THE CENTER. BUT OH THE
FRUIT THAT IS PRODUCED FROM IT IS WONDERFUL, COMING FROM
THAT DELICATE BALANCE AT THE CENTER.”
For example, men, there’s a marvelous balance in the principle of mutual submission. You’re not surrendering your leadership, or surrendering initiative, or surrendering the steering wheel to let your wife navigate sometimes. I can tell you stories about times that I suffered for failing to listen to my wife. There’s a very, very delicate balance which demands a sensitivity to the Holy Spirit to know when to listen, receive input, and even yield without giving up the steering wheel.
F. Now let me take that one more step. This becomes far more complex when the husband is a doctor or a fireman or a traveling man or a minister who travels, because he gives up the steering wheel for a while and then he comes back home to drive.
There are men who are away 2, 3, 4 weeks at a time. During that time, the wife becomes finance director, husband, and father. Then the husband comes home and takes all that back from her. He carries it for a couple weeks and then gives it back to her.
You see, there’s a delicate authority balance in that situation. Maybe after 10 years of this she says,
“I’ll drive, I’ve been doing it anyway.”
Then we’ve got an exceedingly different problem. Now I’m aware of the fact that a man doesn’t always have a choice in his calling. I think of men who work midnight shifts. It’s very difficult to be as directly involved in running the home as they would like to be. It means they’ve got to work harder in this area.
But for sure, when it comes to marriage and family, there is no such thing as INVISIBLE HEADSHIP OR INITIATIVE. What works in the natural does not work in the spiritual and the moral. Let me explain.
There is nothing more glorious and beautiful than the sun shining in its full might and strength. It is intriguing how many more spectators and wonderers the same sun has under an eclipse. Kings and rulers have for centuries carried out the ploy, that to keep their subjects in constant awe of them, they show themselves and appear publicly only occasionally. You know the old argument, that when something ceases to be new, it ceases to be admired and wondered at. That may work for a while in government, but it does not work in marriage and family. There are some maxims that take over here, such as:
“OUT OF SIGHT – OUT OF MIND.”
And contrary to the old version:
“LONG ABSENCE DOES NOT MAKE THE HEART GROW FONDER.”
“WHILE THE CAT’S AWAY-THE MICE WILL PLAY.”
Invisible headship and initiative of the husband and father is eventually eroded and then ignored. Hear it husbands and fathers:
“HE WHO IS PRESENT TO ONLY ONE SENSE IS IN PARTIAL ECLIPSE,
AND HE WHO PRESENT TO NONE OF THE SENSES IS
IN TOTAL ECLIPSE.”
And hear me, the devil is more than willing to fill in your absence and take the initiative. If you are not there to speak the Word into and pray over your wife and children, then when your children leave home:
“ALL YOU WILL BE DOING IS CASTING YOUR MANTEL OVER DEMONS.”
VI. PSYCHOLOGICAL PROBLEM BEHAVIOR
#6 is what we might call PSYCHOLOGICAL PROBLEM BEHAVIOR. It is more than possible for a husband or a wife to have real emotional or psychological problems that impact the marriage drastically. Now we’re talking about something that is MORE than interpersonal conflicts here. The conflicts are the result of something far deeper:
1. It may be DEMONIC in nature, in which case it must be dealt with, bound, and cast out.
2. It may be something INHERITED (which sometimes still deals in the demonic dimension, but not always). But this is sometimes something carried over from the role models that someone learned from at home. And what is learned is skewed and sometimes just plain deadly. Do you know what I’m talking about? Some of the things your daddy did, you think are normal. Some of the things your mommy did, you think are normal. But by any other standard, it’s really weird! But we just didn’t and still don’t know it.
3. But this can be very complex, and psychological damage can affect the marriage. And an individual with some of these problems can begin to run the home by distorted, control techniques using anger or guilt or manipulation. It could be demonic or inherited, but in whatever case, it needs to be searched out, dealt with, and healed.
What about being brought up in a home where EXCELLENCE IN PERFORMANCE was more important than INTIMACY OF RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD OR WITH EACH OTHER? Mistakes were viewed as catastrophes, and failures were viewed as damnable. In such an environment, even in believing homes:
“YOU GROW UP ALWAYS BEING A RESTLESS ACHIEVER, AND
NEVER A RESTFUL BELIEVER.”
You see, such a performance-driven person will never be at peace:
“FOR EVEN IF HE OR SHE BECOMES A STAR, THEY WILL NEVER
BE CONTENT UNTIL THEY BECOME THE SUN.”
Like Herod in Acts 12:22,
“THOUGH HE SPOKE AS AN ELOQUENT MAN, WHAT HE REALLY LOVED
WAS WHEN HE WAS TOLD THAT HE SPOKE AS A GOD.”
You see, in such a pressure cooker, you never come into the rest that Jesus Christ promises us in Matthew 11:28-30,
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will
give you REST.”
“Take my yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle and
humble, and you shall find REST for your souls.”
“For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Many people, even religious people, never come into CHRIST’S REST, resting in His perfect love and acceptance. A gnat-sized goof-up becomes an elephant, and the elephant always becomes a mountain. Their need to constantly overachieve becomes a wall that they never get over, and never get past. They will not accept the fact that in this world, finite man will never progress into the infinite, and so they kill themselves trying. They can never enjoy the journey of life, for the end goal of perfection eludes them at every step. The elusive goal of absolute excellence eclipses all of the enjoyments of life. Now then, this restless pressure to achieve will result in the following:
1. From a very young age, the boy or girl will begin to try to produce THE SUPER SELF. Then he or she feels that they may be loved and accepted, rather than resting in Christ’s unconditional love. They develop a FALSE IMAGE OF THEMSELVES, which in fact is:
“THE SWEET POISON OF THE SUPER SELF.”
And the awful result of this can last a whole life time, namely:
“THEY EXPEND ALL OF THEIR TIME AND THEIR PHYSICAL, PSYCHOLOGICAL,
AND EMOTIONAL ENERGY ON THE ADVANCEMENT OF THEIR SUPER SELF,
AND NOT ON THOSE WHO ARE THE CLOSEST TO THEM SUCH AS
THEIR WIFE AND CHILDREN. THESE BECOME THE
WIDOWS, WIDOWERS, AND ORPHANS OF THE
2. In such a SUPER-ACHIEVING SUPER SELF, mistakes and failures become hell on earth. What do I mean? Well, when THE SUPER SELF GOOFS, it us unbearable, and then a self-made scheme of atonement takes place, and that means:
“THE NEED OF A SCAPEGOAT – THE BLAME GAME.”
For the perfectionistic SUPER SELF, he or she must BLAME SOMEONE ELSE FOR THE FAILURE, FOR THE SUPER SELF CANNOT ACCEPT FAILURE. So the wife gets blamed, or the husband gets accused. That way, the SUPER-SELF HUSBAND OR WIFE escapes the failure. It is called:
All SUPER SELF personalities are angry and hostile people. They are terribly hard to live with, and really have a tough time enjoying life and those in their lives. Always highly driven!
3. The roots of this thing can grow very deep and show itself in some obsessive and out of balance behavior. It is hard to connect the dots sometimes. It will often show itself in EXCESSIVE AMBITIONS. Not just in his or her job, but in things like KNOWING ALL OF THE SPORTS SCORES. An excessively ambitious and driven wife becomes overly sensitive about her APPEARANCE, and spends hours in front of the mirror. In either case, this will show the world and they will like me and approve of me. In fact, it can be an overall pattern, even in weird things, and it is really:
“THE TYRANNY OF THE OUGHTS.”
By the way, where did we ever get the idea that everybody should like us? Was our Lord liked by everybody? As I seem to recall, He was crucified by those who not only did not like Him, but who hated Him to death. The SUPER-SELF driven person has a hard time living into the totally freeing truth found in Romans 8:31,
“What then shall we say to these things? IF GOD BE FOR US,
WHO IS AGAINST US?”
4. Now listen, be alert for your children who always need to be smarter and better than all the other kids. And when they are not, they become angry and depressed. Not good! Why? Because they will often grow up with self-contempt, self-blame, self-atonement which can even lead to self-abuse and suicide. When this child grows up and gets married, these will be the destructive behavioral patterns that can turn the marriage into agony:
a. Will always try to master his or her spouse. Must always be in control and dominate. He or she not only must master his or her pursuits, but master those closest in life.
b. Will be characterized by a pattern of withdrawal. Will actually move away from spouse, children, and people in general. Develops a leave me alone, over-independent, I-don’t-need-any-help attitude. I will master this by myself.
5. Sadly, these same people will also come into a tortured relationship with God. In fact:
“THEIR PERFORMANCE FOR GOD WILL OFTEN SUPERCEDE THEIR
RELATIONSHIP TO GOD.”
If you will:
“IT WILL ALWAYS BE DEEDS BEFORE TRUST, WORK BEFORE WORSHIP.”
In fact, God can become a PHARAOH GOD, an increasingly demanding TYRANT. God becomes a punitive judge Who has no tolerance for imperfection. He covers us with guilt at the slightest imperfection or failure. If you will:
“THE BASIS OF HIS OR HER RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD BECOMES WORKS
AND NOT GRACE.”
Bible reading, prayer, and worship no longer are means of grace, but work for approval. In fact, an extra chapter in the Bible and a longer time of prayer are needed for approval by God. Ephesians 2:8 will be totally reversed:
“By works we are saved through extra effort, not of grace,
lest any of us not be approved.”
Like the Galatians, they start out in the Spirit, and then end up in works. Hear it:
“THE LAST THING TO DIE IN US IS OFTEN THAT WE ALL MUST HAVE
SOMETHING TO ADD TO OUR SALVATION.”
VII. THE JEZEBEL SPIRIT
A. Now this last one is more complex and much more difficult than I’m able to deal with in this teaching. In fact, to be honest with you, I would just as soon not deal with it at all. But deal with it we must, for it is probably the ULTIMATE PROBLEM that ANY marriage faces. It is what we might call (coining a phrase from Biblical terminology) a JEZEBEL SPIRIT. Now the word “Jezebel” comes from the Hebrew word, “EE-ZEH’-BEL” which means literally, “WHICH OR WHOSE HABITATION?” If you will, “WHOSE HOUSE IS THIS?” Or as they say in the vernacular today, “WHO IS RUNNING THIS SHOW?“
Jezebel can also mean “UNHUSBANDED.” In a very real sense, it means an UNMARRIED SPIRIT. Now let me ask you a question, “Can you be married and still be UNMARRIED in spirit?” Do you see what I’m getting at? It is possible to be a married single, isn’t it?
Of course, we immediately think of the Old Testament Jezebel, who became the ‘wife’ of Ahab, King of Israel. She was a woman of masculine temperament who swayed and manipulated her husband at will. She was a devoted worshiper of Baal, and totally intolerant of other faiths. To please her, Ahab built a temple and an altar to Baal in Samaria, and set up an Asherah. (I Kings 16:32-33) Though only the king’s consort, and not the ruler of the country, she totally ignored her husband’s authority, and slew all of the prophets of Jehovah that she could get her hands on. (I Kings 18:4-13)
This is the Jezebel Spirit that possessed King Ahab’s sort-of-wife, and the spirit that has been at work in people and in marriages down through the centuries. It has been and is making a mighty surge in the 21st century as never before seen in my lifetime. It is an evil spirit that is now totally out of control.
B. Now, at this point, I think I need to make it clear because of the feminine gender associated with the name, that this can be male or female.
Now draw yourself a diagram, specifically a triangle with God at the top and male and female at the bottom corners. Now I think you can see that a man and a woman in relationship to each other:
“THE CLOSER THEY GET TO GOD, THE CLOSER THEY GET TO
Now, we’ve all probably seen that illustration. But I want you to see it from a broader perspective than simply just a marriage. Down through history, and hear it good:
“THE FURTHER A SOCIETY OR CIVILIZATION MOVES AWAY FROM GOD, THE
MORE THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN MALE AND FEMALE IS OBLITERATED.”
“THE CLOSER WE MOVE TO GOD, WE MOVE CLOSER AND CLOSER TO
WHAT GOD’S ORIGINAL PURPOSE IS FOR MAN AND FOR WOMAN.”
We read in Genesis 1:27,
“Male and female created He them.”
The more we let God be God, and the creation be His creation, our identity becomes more clearly male and female. So we see that down through history the further civilization moves from God, the greater the distortion of male and female distinctiveness. It becomes a scary and sordid mess. As you study the fall of civilizations, very often it is apparent that there is a common denominator that before that society is destroyed, it promotes a UNISEX behavior and nebulous, confused role models. In other words, it’s just the opposite, the absolute distortion of God’s creation. And very often you will see that society become a homosexual, lesbian, gay society, and that is this reversal of God’s created order being lived out overtly. It is happening in America on such a large scale, and being promoted on every level, signaling the end of America as we have historically known her.
Now then this is an ultimate ATTACK on the MARRIAGE. And it is far more difficult and far more complex than the other six problems that we have studied. But as society moves away from God, it DISTORTS, REVERSES or CONFUSES the role of man and woman, husband and wife. You’ll find this in history, you’ll find it Biblically, and you will find it meriting God’s ultimate curse upon that society.
But CONVERSELY, the closer a society moves toward God, the clearer the male/female distinctions become and their Biblical roles are adhered to. It is very true, I’ve observed it – in a good, strong, Christian church where the Bible is being preached, males are more clearly male, and females are more clearly female. I am talking about this:
“THE TRUE IMAGE AND ROLE OF THE GOD CREATED MAN.”
And I am not talking about:
“THE TRUE IMAGE AND ROLE OF THE GOD CREATED WOMAN.”
C. Now one of the hardest things to deal with is this:
“A MALE WITH FEMININE RESPONSES.”
There are many men who respond like a woman. And what’s’ the counterpart to that?
“A FEMALE WITH MASCULINE RESPONSES.”
Now listen to what I’m saying tonight. If you’re reacting right now instead of responding, you may have a problem in this area. This is not an attack, but it is the fact of modern society in America. And we’re going to hold it up very clearly to the light of God’s word. But if you are a person who has confused these roles, please hear me tonight, it can be healed! You don’t have to be in despair or think there’s no hope.
D. And I also want to make it clear that I am not talking primarily about either necessarily overt or even latent homosexual desires. I’m not necessarily talking about a person’s personality, or a man that likes lace shirts or has limp wrists and wears lots of cologne. I’m talking about an ATTITUDE that is CONTRARY to the creation distinction. I’m telling you this:
“THAT EFFEMINATE MEN AND MASCULINE WOMEN ARE AN INJURY TO GOD’S
CREATION AND DEVASTATING TO THE MARRIAGE RELATIONSHIP.”
And because it is so devastating, that is precisely why the enemy wants to pervert our society with this thing. So we are being bombarded with this imagery on television and other places where the wife does the plumbing, and the husband has a powder puff, a poodle, and wears a hair net to bed. It is more and more a society of HE-SHES and SHE-HES. Can you see how complex and difficult that is in a marriage where those reversals have taken place, to bring that marriage back under God? But we’re going to need the power of a great God.
The pressure is on in our society right now for men to abdicate their responsibility to be provider and protector for the women, and for the men instead to be keepers at home. Now, I’m not suggesting that men can’t help with housework or something like that. I’m talking about a distorted spirit that is gripping our society, where our children are being pressured to move away from boys’ toys/girls’ toys to just TOYS. There is a DISDAINING of male and female roles where we don’t want him or her to know they are boy or girl. Where we have a society in which there is neither male nor female. Where there is a society in which if boys feel like they are girls, they can use the girls’ bathroom at school , and vice versa. This is the attack of Satan, where God’s creation of male and female is being blurred, and where we have a marriage where there is neither male nor female. Barack Obama and his Demoncrats are doing more to blur God’s created male-and-female distinctiveness than any president and party in the history of the United States. The Republican party isn’t much better.
When you do that, you INJURE CREATION and bring ultimate confusion to relationships, and ultimate destruction of headship in the most basic element of society, the home. Destruction of the chain of command, destruction of the priesthood of the home, and ultimately it is destruction of the Fatherhood of God.
E. But I want you to understand that there are principalities, high ruling demonic forces who do not want ministers or anyone to touch that spirit. It is a Jezebel spirit. And it is a destructive, malicious, murdering spirit. In fact, from what I can see, the greatest persecution in the days ahead, which are indeed the last days:
“ONE OF THE GREATEST PERSECUTIONS IN THE 21ST CENTURY WILL COME
OUT OF THE ISSUE OF MALE AND FEMALE DISTINCTIVENESS.”
F. I want you to hear me. If you’re here reading or hearing this, and you’ve got a problem in this area, or your marriage has a problem in this area, it needs to be diagnosed, it needs to be confessed, and it needs to be healed. Hear me:
“AN EFFEMINATE MAN CAN BECOME MANLY IN GOD, NOT MACHO, BUT MANLY
AS CREATED IN THE IMAGE OF GOD IF HE DESIRES TO BE SO.”
“A MASCULINE WOMAN CAN BECOME FEMININE IN THE IMAGE OF GOD
IF SHE DESIRES TO BE SO.”
No, I am not saying she’ll become some silly, innocuous passive entity. The Proverbs 31 woman is a strong woman, she’s a motivated woman, an extremely disciplined woman. And she makes a powerful impact. What I am talking about is being what God intended for us to be. Folks, I’m sick of the devil’s perversion and how he has weakened our homes and our nation. Oh how this spirit has weakened and destroyed the marriage relationship.
No husband wants to make love to his “BUDDY.” When a woman takes the place of her man, when he capitulates, backs off, and says,
“Yes, dear, no dear,”
you may think you have won, but you have really lost. Men, when you avoid conflict by capitulating, your leadership is becoming an irresponsible little boy who dumps the responsibility for initiative on his wife. You may think it’s easier that way, but the price that will be paid not only in your marriage, but in the 2nd, 3rd, & 4th generation, should the Lord tarry. But I’ve got good news! It can be healed. Hear it in I John 4:4,
“You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because
greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.”
Now these are 7 PROGRESSIVELY COMPLICATED problems, and Jesus can be Lord over every one of them:
-Let us just let Him break us tonight.
-Let Him identify these things.
-The same light that exposes it is a holy fire that purges it.
Lord, we’ve tried to diagnose problems which lead to continuing problems in marriage relationships. You can reveal them and convict us by the Holy Spirit. And by that same power of the Holy Spirit You have the solution, the answer, and the power to change us. You can humble us to see ourselves and then to seek counsel through responsible channels and those whom you’ve placed over us in the Lord. Lord, it’s our desire that You make us all we were created to be, that You make our homes and our marriages a little bit of heaven on earth, that You bring us back to the Garden of Eden and let us walk with You in the cool of the evening in a world where everyone is walking away from You. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!