Trying to keep two fathers happy is impossible. If you’re under the subtle bondage of having to please your earthly father, then you can try as much as you like to impress and please the heavenly Father but it will not work.
Recently I was counselling a young Christian woman who was struggling to develop a healthy relationship with a young Christian man. On further examination it became clear that sub-consciously she was competing against
her mother and siblings for the love of her father. Her father seemed to like her the best and the other members of the family, including her mum, secretly hated her for it. On the outside everyone seemed to get on ok but underneath the surface was a spiritual mine-field that surfaced when an outsider boyfriend showed up and threatened her mum’s control, or when she was seen to get a better deal, or to get dad’s favour.
Leave and Cleave
The relationship with her boy-friend was struggling because she was trying to do everything to please her father. This is why God instructs us to leave and cleave (Genesis 2:24). It’s an instruction to take an axe to the family ties, and anyone who doesn’t will never totally be free to love their spouse; they’ll always be caught in no man’s land between spouse and family, trying to keep both happy.
God says that because this family spirit tie is so strong to the point that it inhibits one’s spirit from fully committing to the will of the heavenly Father, you won’t be able to be a true disciple until you cut it off, Luke 14. That’s how strong it is, and when you look at it properly you will see that it’s all controlled by a spirit of fear … e.g. the fear of what the family thinks, or the fear of losing the inheritance.
The ties of the Family spirit
This doesn’t mean you can’t have a continued relationship with one’s family; it means you can’t be tied to its demands of family first, and if you are and you want to really serve God, then you’ll have to walk away from your family. The reality is that anyone who is called will have to walk away from the ties of the family spirit. This was true for Moses, Abraham, Joseph and even Jesus. You can’t follow Christ and keep the family happy; it doesn’t work, but few there are that want to know this and even fewer that are willing to pay the price.
Who’s going to tell who!!
The family tells you what to do. The family tells you how to behave. The family tells you what’s right and wrong. The family expects you to behave in a way that promotes the family. And, it’s meant to, but if the underlying spirit of the family won’t give you the freedom of your convictions that are set out in the Word of God, then there’s a contradiction somewhere with their instructions and with God’s instructions, and you’ll have to leave the family, if you truly want to be a genuine disciple. This isn’t easy, but that’s the price.
I suggest one key reason Jesus kept His distance from His mother and family as well as not marrying was that a woman and family would try and talk Him out of going to the cross.
Ultimately, all relationships come down to Who’s going to TELL who!!
Self doesn’t like to be told; it likes to ‘tell‘. Being told feels like a put-down, but telling people what to do feels like a put-up. Ever since the Garden of Eden everyone is into ‘up’ not ‘down’. The second Adam came to show us that the pathway to heaven is contrary to man’s heart; ‘down’ not ‘up’.
Which is the pathway to heaven … Pharisee or Publican? See Luke 18:9
Q. What’s a Pharisee?
It’s a religious person who tries to do exactly what’s right by the letter of the law but has no idea about the spirit of the law.
- It’s a religious person who does good and right to TELL you they are not bad
- A person who lives to look good in the eyes of others
- A person who looks down on others and judges their good
- A person who believes they are good and TELLs themselves that they are so
- Uses their goodness, false generosity and obedience to dictate terms over others … “I’ve done this, so now you are obligated to respond to me the way I say”.
- Those who can’t be told they’re in sin, but love to TELL you how to behave
- Those who want the best position; to look good in the eyes of others, Luke 11:43
- Argue why you’re the one that’s wrong, Matthew 9:34
- Tempt you to fall, Matthew 19:3
- Question your authority
- Threatened by your authority and the loss of numbers supporting their cause
- Questions the way you do things
- Envy your position and popularity
- Even try to kill you, Mark 3:6
They’re actually the sinners but their self-manufactured goodness camouflages their sin. Jesus described such a person as a white-washed sepulchre … looks good and righteous and full of religious niceness and may even do what they are told on the outside but is dead to God on the inside. These are the hardest people to save and Jesus didn’t even try.
The ancient Pharisees were the church of the day that believed in the same God as Jesus, but they couldn’t be told that they were looking at things from the wrong perspective. The modern Pharisee is the modern church! The modern church won’t be told; it tells. You’ll know a Pharisee not necessarily by their deeds but by their resistance to being told.
On the other hand …
The publican … is unpopular, knows he is an unworthy sinner, and knows he is not worthy of God’s salvation and forgiveness, and seeks God for His mercy. The prodigal was a publican; his older brother was a Pharisee.
Jesus came to save the unrighteous. The publican has a chance of salvation, the Pharisee hasn’t; he’s already closed his heart to salvation by his own self-righteous goodness.
Right and Wrong
A genuine Christian isn’t into right and wrong; they’re not trying to do right, they’re into faith in God’s will. Right and wrong becomes an issue when evil judges the righteous as wrong and they then have to stand up for God’s right.
The Garden of Eden was the start of TELLing
Hidden in the justification for women’s rights is the satanic plot of the feminist movement. Feminism is simply the murmuring of a woman that it’s unfair that she’s no.2, and TELLing the man how he’s supposed to behave towards her. It’s directly disrespecting the order of authority that God has set down and ultimately blaming God that He hasn’t been fair. It sounds right to fight for your rights but in this case it’s anti-Christ behaviour to fight on the basis of envy of the male’s no.1 position.
The love of God desires being second to the man and help-mate to the man. The love of self, loathes it. On talking with women about this issue, they all agree that if they let envy into their hearts they start attacking the man for not treating them right. They confirm that their coffee-chats are generally always about their husband not treating them the way they expect. There’s often a degree of truth to their argument, but the spirit behind the discussion is derogatory and complaining, not respectful; confirming it is not Holy Spirit.
What women don’t understand is that if you defame your husband you defy the Spirit of God (Titus 2:5), support the spirit of Satan and inadvertently cause the spirit of your husband to drift away and distance himself from you. This causes him to inadvertently react against you thus confirming your hurts. In other words, when someone defies or contradicts the principle of God, they reap the side-effects and blame the other person for not doing it right by them, and end up with an issue of unfair complaint which they personally generated from their own covetousness.
Women are inherently given to envy against other women and use their husbands or children or educational status to put other women in their place. Envy of a better deal is exactly what happened in the first relationship in the Garden of Eden and continues its perpetual flow today.
An envy spirit won’t admit it is wrong without proportioning some of the blame to the other person. Pride goes, “I’m wrong but they’re wrong too.” Pride has a mood. Pride can’t see that it’s wrong; it wallows in the unfairness.
Love goes, “I’m wrong, full-stop.”
How do you stop this flow?
My observation is, that it’s the man that has to stop the flow. Sadly, Adam didn’t address Eve’s envy of getting a better deal, but rather got caught up in it and the blame game.
Rarely is there a woman like Abigail who strengthened herself in the Lord in the face of her obnoxious husband, Nabal. Most women strengthen themselves in themselves and stand up for their rights against their husband. Consequently, if a man wants to save his family and walk in the ways of God, he will have to righteously, lovingly and boldly stand in God’s strength against the generational spirit that flows through his wife when she submits to covetousness; she won’t be able to do it by herself. The family generational spirit is stronger than you give it credit. In this feministic age, it’s a fight for a man to hold his God-given position of authority.
When FEAR dictates, LOVE is artificial
Most men are afraid to stand; afraid of the consequences if the wife retaliates. Thus fears dictate in most Christian households, and not love. Most men have been conned into believing that it’s their role to keep the woman happy. But this is just really their own selfishness of not wanting a hassle. Everything looks alright on the outside because we’re concerned about what other’s think, but internally it’s a lie. Consequently, like Adam, the man submits to the voice of his wife, and deduces that it’s not worth the hassle, and convinces himself that peace is the best pathway. One philosopher once stated the obvious, that “evil will rise up and take hold when good men simply sit back and do nothing.” God said the same in Proverbs 28:4.
The problem with holding middle ground is that by ignoring envy the man is inadvertently supporting his wife’s bitterness especially when he foolishly defends her point of view against another woman. Love doesn’t allow yourself, nor your wife, nor your children to hold bitterness in their hearts because someone hasn’t been nice to them. The other party may be wrong but self-defensive bitterness is a demonic spider’s-web trap.
Opposing bitterness and refusing to allow it into your house is Godly; seeking peace with it, is self.
If a man doesn’t do this then the man is putting himself and his wife before God even if he lies to himself that peace is Godly. Plus, he’s inadvertently supporting his own selfishness together with the woman’s selfishness, and he’ll come under the power and authority of the family generational spirit. His confused actions will then end up confirming to his wife that she was right and he’s an idiot.
When your wife or child tells you that someone has hurt their feelings and you support them against that person, you are allowing them to hold a grievance and you’re supporting their evil. Rather you should support them by refusing to allow them to retain bitterness in their heart even if they are badly done by ( = God). You should take the issue to the Lord and wait on His justice. If you don’t, you’ll fall to the evil trap by elevating yourself in your own justice.
The Life of Christ
Life is not telling people what to do, nor controlling your circumstances so you have no hassles.
Life is only achieved through death.
May God change the heart of the modern man to see his own selfishness and thus to drive bitter envy out of his house for the kingdom of God’s sake, and save his family for heaven.
Pastor William Stynhedge