Love your wife as Christ loves the church Ephesians 5:25, and be not bitter against her Colossians 3:19, that your prayers be not hindered 1 Peter 3:7.
There are a number of ways you can measure where you’re at with God ….
1. Happy when someone’s blessed vs. sad for yourself for you not getting the blessing
2. Envy of someone else’s position and favour with others
Another key measurement of where you are with God is your relationship with your wife. Your wife is the measurement of your salvation. She is you, & can see you better than yourself. She can tell you if you’re saved.
The second greatest commandment is to “love your neighbour as yourself”; and your closest neighbour is your wife. If you can’t treat your wife & children with the love of God then your relationship with God is out of sync. How can you devalue your wife and say you love God; it’s a contradiction. Love respects the wife and addresses any moodiness she may exhibit, with tolerance. If you’re not doing this, it should send signals to your self. A good wife will take your correction if you love her; and the correction will restore and increase the love between you. But if you devalue your wife; any correction will build her resistance against you.
If you see yourself better than someone else then you’re playing positions; and this is just plain arrogance and self-deception. Once you enter the game of positioning you prove that envy is the current ruler of your spirit (James 4:5), and is thus a threat to your salvation. It’s a contradiction to say you love God and then position yourself above others. Headship is not positioning yourself above your wife; it’s taking responsibility for your wife; it’s using God’s wisdom for the benefit of those you’re responsible for. The head should not be separate from the body; it should guide the body, which is an extension and expression of the head.
Everything in life comes down to position. Satan had everything except God’s higher position. Once you’re into position you can’t see what God has already given you. Inferiority drives people to strive for feelings of value through higher position; but this is the one thing that must be sacrificed for salvation. No one likes being put down, but if you react to it, then you must be ‘up’. Pride says ‘I’m doing my best; you won’t tell me I’m no good; you won’t put me down.’ Pride says ‘you should appreciate what I’ve done.’ If you’ve set your course to love God FIRST, then you won’t be into position; it won’t matter whether you’re up or down Philippians 4:11 &12. Position saw the downfall of Satan, and the downfall of Adam and Eve; the downfall of King Saul; and the downfall of the Pharisees.
The point is, that as the husband, you will never have a love relationship with your wife based on position; she will not respect your contradiction. It all comes down to heart; you can’t choose to love your wife correctly; what you have to choose is to give up your position. From that position, God elevates you spiritually, rarely physically. The irony is, if you want to love God you’ll have to hold your position against the intimidation of opposing spirits trying to manipulate you to change you position to be in agreement with the majority. Putting Him FIRST will elevate you to a position that your wife and children will respect but it will be at the price of fellow human disrespect; that’s why few aspire to true headship; the price is too high; instead most just boss and impose their right of authority.
Headship isn’t letting the wife have her way; it’s standing for God’s way; but you won’t know God’s way from the height of position.
But what if the wife is a Jezebel? The answer is still the same; you won’t win by resisting the spirit of your wife from a higher physical position; you win by resisting from a higher spiritual position, and this position is only gained by sacrificing your physical position; the position that makes you look good in the eyes of other humans. Abigail won over Nabal by respecting her husband’s position, not defying him, and not putting herself above his position.
When the husband’s heart is out of sync, instead of guiding his wife he tries to make his wife come into line, and the wife resists this correction because it stirs up in her, the pain of feeling put down. The wife usually goes into emotional numbness and blocks the pain of the put-down. If you ask her how’s she feeling she’ll say everything’s fine. What’s really happening is the husband is saying to the wife ‘you will not put me down’, and the wife is opposing him with the resistance of ‘you will not put me down’. It’s position against position.
My wife and I were walking along the beach in the rain. A dog persistently yapped at our heels whilst the owner walked by laughing. We felt annoyance at the owner’s lack of responsibility. I then asked my wife to hold the umbrella. She looked at me, and with her eyes said “don’t speak to me like that”. My first thought was a feeling of guilt that I must have spoken sharply, but I quickly re-evaluated the situation and made a choice to address a demonic spirit operating through my wife. [Demonic spirits are out to create disunity between a husband and wife at every opportunity, and they take position over you via your pride]. Fortunately my wife could see that she was out of character and took responsibility, admitted she was wrong and repented, and got free.
In her heart, without being fully conscious of her thoughts, she was fighting with the wrongness of the man (which was true), but what she missed was the trap of falling into her own pride of annoyance based on not being treated with proper respect. She saw it when I addressed the spirit, and our unity was restored. The sign of a submitted wife is when she respects her husband’s opinion even though it conflicts with her feelings on the issue. Submission doesn’t mean being walked over; it’s not thinking yourself more highly than you ought to Roman 12:3 , but in lowliness of mind esteeming others better than yourself Philippians 2:3. You can’t have unity if the wife refuses to be submissive as God has decreed. The righteous husband must already be in this attitude of position.
I know I’m talking about husbands and wives, but this exercise of addressing your pride happens many times a day to everyone on the planet. Pride is simply the temptation to get your own way. A mature Christian recognises his pride is being tempted and consistently gives over to God’s will. The job of a righteous husband is to stop his own pride, by giving no licence to himself to have a mood, so that he can be ready always to protect and defend his family against false spiritual forces. Sadly, there are few fathers with this heart.
Everyone, including fathers, is into doing it right so they look good to others. Consequently, no one sees themselves, they only see the perpetrator. Everyone concentrates on the other person’s wrong and fails to see their own pride reaction, and pride is the food of demonic spirits. They’ve fallen for the bait.
In every negative interaction, there are two issues when someone treats you inappropriately …
1. their rudeness, and
2. your reaction
For you, the real issue isn’t their ‘wrong’, the real issue is your reaction. Before you can go any further you must repent if you’ve reacted arrogantly, or you will be susceptible to demonic influence. Matthew 18:34,35 spells this out loud and clear. A mature Christian reacts, not from his own heart, but with Godly wisdom. An immature Christian will defend himself with ‘he did wrong so he should say sorry’. A mature Christian will know when he has reacted from his own heart of pride and will repent. A mature Christian focuses on their own selfishness, not others’ wrongness.
If you’re into right vs. wrong, then you open yourself to a lying spirit as soon as someone does you wrong. That is, you set yourself as the judge of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’. When you judge you position yourself. Once you hold the judges position you inadvertently judge yourself with your own judgement Matthew 7:1,2. What you don’t realise is that when you unrighteously judge others, the same issue you are judging them for will beset you. If you’re going to be the judge then there’s no way you can be under the influence of the Holy Spirit. A mature Christian is not into ‘right’ vs. ‘wrong’; they’re into ‘no self’. Therefore, it doesn’t matter if someone does you ‘wrong’. All that matters to a mature Christian is ‘God’.
If you focus on judging right vs. wrong, your focus is judgement. This is pride. You should be focussed on your selfishness; always ready to kill your pride. Repentance for your judging is the key, not judging and reacting against someone for doing wrong. Repentance doesn’t mean confessing “I’m a bad person”; rather, it’s surrender to “ok, God, your way not mine.”
May God re-direct your heart from the self-defence of judging ‘right vs. wrong’ to the awareness and acknowledgement of your own pride, and thus free you to be an instrument of His righteousness in a decaying world.
Pastor Phil Freeman