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Friday, April 22, 2011

Hand over the pants...

 I confess.....I'm a long time pants stealer.  I was raised in a pants stealing family.   I was such a pants stealer that I didn't know it was stealing.   It was normal and I had no clue it was wrong or there was a better way to live.  
But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God.  1 Cor. 10:22

uh oh....{seriously God? isn't that just a little sexist? I mean really? I can do anything he can and probably better....wait that sounds like a song...
....hmmmm...okay so my argument about girls being more mature is out....}

To the woman He said,"I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you."  
Genesis 3:16

Part of the consequence of that very first sin was that the beautifully ordained pairing of man and woman would now be tainted by a power struggle for leadership.  We are still struggling for power....it's no wonder that men are always saying that they don't understand us.   We simultaneously desire them and fight them for leadership....if those aren't conflicting messages I don't know what is.   
Submit.   Respect.  Head of the house.   Who wears the pants in your family?   Typically the fruits of these words are conflict and discomfort.  But why?   The fruit of the Lord's Words and commands are sweet.  They multiply into goodness and righteousness and all things profitable.   So where does it all go terribly wrong?  Us.   We keep shoveling our sinful pride into the roots of those words, fertilizing it and covering up the Truth of His desires with our modern day denials that those statements are no longer culturally relevant.   Except they weren't cultural statements......it was prophecy.  He was sharing with us why He didn't want us eating of the tree in the first place.

Submit.......we use this word to turn over papers and then wait to see if they will be accepted; it feels like the precursor to a fight but when Paul tells us in Ephesians 5:22 "Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord."  It doesn't tell us "all men" or "you have no say" but that this submission is a yielding to the man's leadership in the marriage relationship.  I think too often we get uncomfortable with this and stop looking....and miss what he tells the husbands next.  Verse 25-27 "Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her, that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that He might present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish."   I won't dive into that too much because I have already addressed that beautiful command of love here.  But later, Peter urges the same sentiment.  In 1 Peter 3, we are again told to (v1) "...be subject to your own husband..." but after we are given instruction, he then addresses our husbands again.  Verse 7: "Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayer may not be hindered."  

Hindered.  A husbands prayers can be hindered by the way he cares....or does not care for his wife.  I think that we forget this....as wives we are all too eager to point out our husbands flaws for our own prideful dance of "I can do anything better".   Yet, it is not yielding, it is not loving, it is not encouraging, it is not helping.   
"However, let each of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband."
Eph. 5:33

It is a battle waged since the beginning of time.  Society tells us what to think and say and do but it is always filled with such venom.   Commercials market products to women by demeaning men and making men look like ignorant fools.   TV shows depict the men to be bumblers and that the women are who really know what is going on and are the wise figures who are really in charge......but condescend to allow the men to believe they are still "wearing the pants".   

We joke easily. Men rib each other about how they know it's the women who are really in charge.  But under that I sometimes sense a primal wound.  They were created to lead and we have stolen their pants.....leaving them to stand out in public, exposed and often humiliated. 

It is a continuous battle but one I will continue to fight within myself......I will hand over the pants as often as I realize I've stolen them.  They weren't made for me, they don't fit well and the Lord did say "You shall not steal."

An excellent wife, who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
The heart of her husband trust in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.
Prov. 31:10-12
Blessings to you on the journey and may the depth of His love for you be revealed more fully during this Easter season.


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