My Spiritual Leader...
Today's lesson is your 3rd Spiritual Milestone.
Like before, what holds us back is FEAR. Often we draw back in fear and stop our Restoration Journey to reason.
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.
Leap over this hurdle that trips up so many who have gone before you.
Proverbs 3:5-6 NASB—
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”
“But prove yourselves doers of the Word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves…not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man shall be blessed in what he does.” James 1:22,25
“Why do you call me Lord and not do what I say?” Luke 6:46.
My Spiritual Leader: Part 1
Though there is an entire Wise Woman chapter that goes into depth regarding spiritual leadership when you begin rebuilding your life again, let me touch on the most crucial point in marriage restoration after letting go and making the LORD your first love.
Most women who come to us with marriages that have ended in unfaithfulness, separation and/or divorce have found many things in common—one, is that their husbands were not (or no longer) interested in the things of God: they either stopped going to church or were never believers.
AND when a relationship is unequally yoked—it is MISERABLE for BOTH parties. That's right. Though you may have been frustrated, have you taken a moment to ever think of how it made your husband or ex-husband feel?
Men were designed and called to be the spiritual LEADERS of their families. But the truth is, MOST women unknowingly ROB men of their God-given position—due primarily because he simply fails to step up and fulfill his wife’s expectations and her insatiable spiritual hunger.
Unfortunately, when we take over and fulfill our needs ourselves, we soon discover that our husbands have been led into sin and we are alone.
The beginning of robbing your husband of his God-given position may begin by:
• Our husbands who were never believers, never wanted to go to church due to us making sure we bombarded him with how he doesn't measure up (as if we DID measure up). By us wrongly thinking that guilt or any other negative force would motivate him to want what we (said we) had.
• For the husbands who did go to church with us, we ended that by us simply elbowing or eying our husband during the sermon. And to finish it off, on the way home when we quizzed him about the sermon—until he stopped going.
• All too soon most husbands begin (or continue) to stay home from church, and choose, instead, to spend time watching sporting events or spend free time with other hobbies. While we are busy going to church Sunday morning and evening, and going to weekly Bible studies, we continue to damage our husbands' leadership. We often are seen carrying and reading OUR Bibles—thus further fulfilling our own spiritual needs and pushing our husbands farther away from God!
*Then we’re surprised or shocked when our husbands find other interests—most often— immoral.
• We love and listen to praise music, while our husbands prefer secular and even the immoral variety. That’s when WE point this fact out to him,maybe in front of his children, and sometimes to both his and our extended family— and if given the chance — our Christian friends (sometimes veiled under asking for "prayer" for our husband). We may even go so far as to have the pastor or men at church go talk to our husbands, driving him even further away from God.
• Finally it’s WE who volunteer and often become one of the church leaders—certainly NOT our husbands. And just to further destroy him as a spiritual leader, we make sure we’ve been on our husbands about where and how he should be serving, which finally drives him out of the church and away from God entirely.
• And for a few of you who actually were/are married to fallen "men of God" who were/are pastors, what about them? What have you done to encourage the destruction of him as your spiritual leader? Truthfully, only God knows, which is why you should ask Him.
When I asked Him this question in order to minister to you effectively, He came back asking, "A leader is only a leader if someone is following him. Ask these women if they were following their husbands' lead? Could your husband count on you for support and encouragement?"
Whether your husband is/was a pastor or an unbeliever, what a "leader" needs is someone to support his role, NOT tear it down and follow his lead.
What’s the Cure?
I speak about it in more depth in my “Be Encouraged” videos, but basically what the Lord led me to do to remedy the problem was to rid myself totally of being “religious” and “self-righteous” because that is exactly what I had become!
God told me to get under the spiritual umbrella of protection He provided by putting away my Bible, STOP going to church, AND whenever my husband was around, turn OFF Christian music! What it did, at first, was to shock him (and everyone else). But even more wonderful was that it forced me to press into HIM more—knowing I now had to feed myself and my children spiritually—the church wasn’t doing it for us any more! And how well they had been feeding us, was reflected in what a mess my life and family's life was!!
Then guess what? That is when I really began to grow spiritually—for the first time in my life—huge growth spurts! My children also began to grow spiritually by leaps and bounds!! Because as I moved under my spiritual umbrella of protection, it automatically moved them under it as well!!
Not knowing how to really teach them, I began sharing what I was learning every day, discreetly of course, NOT speaking of their “sinful daddy,” which would undermine our restoration while destroying my children!
*And, by the way, I want you to know how well this worked when we stopped going to church, allowed my children's father room and time to begin to become the spiritual leader of the family. Every single one of my seven children, five of who are now adults, are all PASSIONATE Christians. And the oldest four are married to incredible Christians and more than half of my children work for churches and/or in missions.
Are You Under Spiritual Protection?
When a wife usurps her husband as the spiritual leader (usurp means to take away someone's rightful position of authority), she has destroyed spiritual umbrella of protection God gave to her. Soon her remedy it to begin going to church without her husband, and then soon finds herself alone in her marriage too.
This is a spiritual battle. That means if you are still the spiritual leader of your home, which means you go to church on your own, your husband is not taking you there, then you are destroying him, your children and yourself spiritually.
Without our husbands’ spiritual protection, many falsely believe that by remaining in church, we are at least under our churches’ spiritual protection. But are we?
Two years into my ministry I would have shouted YES! But that was before I met a dear sweet woman who was a Mennonite. The first time she came to our Fellowship meeting she asked to speak to me alone, privately. Once inside my office almost immediately she began to cry, pulling down her black skirt tightly around her ankles as she began to confess to me that she had fallen into adultery! I was shocked because I saw her as the ultimate spiritual woman!
The Lord brought her into my life and ministry to teach me about spiritual protection (and many other things). Prior to this experience, every other woman who came for help was due to her husband who was in adultery. This woman's husband was NOT a believer and never minded her going to church without him (just as so many husbands aren't bothered by it either). Not only did he not mind her going, he actually loved that she went to church because he believed that this was the spiritual covering she needed. And the head covering she wore was a symbol to everyone of how spiritual this woman was.
During our first meeting she cried buckets of tears and I had no idea how to help her because I couldn’t understand how this could have happened! She told me that she was a nurse at a hospital and it was the doctor she worked for whom she had become involved with.
That week I felt led to fast so that I could seek God in earnest for wisdom and hear Him clearly. The first thing He told me was that she would have to confess her sin to her husband. But even more importantly, I was to begin to teach her that her husband was her covering, NOT the church, nor what she wore on her head. And because her husband was not acting as her spiritual covering she had NO spiritual covering or protection—her sin was the proof.
This woman's entire testimony is wonderful and one of my absolute favorites. But let me cut to the end. Her husband forgave her and when she went to meet him (he left her after she confessed), she had removed her head covering and was dressed in pants (the church had thrown her out of the church also after she confessed to them). After her husband got over the shock, he wanted her to put her head covering back on, but she said she couldn’t and told him about him being her spiritual covering.
One day on his way home he spotted a church that said “Bible” in its name and knew “that the Bible was good,” he later told me. He went in to speak to the pastor, telling him everything that had happened. The pastor invited him to come back on Sunday and to bring his wife and children. That morning they sat in the front row (the first time this man was ever in church!) and went forward for the altar call, got saved, joined a men’s group, and became the Spiritual leader of his wife and family!!
Before moving on I need to speak to a few of you. Many, many women confess to us that they have been unfaithful to their husband and go on to say that he doesn't know. If you have been intimate with anyone in your marriage, you must confess it to your husband no matter what: no matter how long ago it was or what you believe will happen if you confess. God says this in Proverbs 28:13 "He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion."
Your Way or God’s Way?
Instead of doing it God’s way, as the Lord led us to do with this sweet Mennonite woman, you may choose to continue to do what NEVER really works. It's what the majority of Christian women do, and WHY so many men are leaving the church or think that church is not for them.
Men need to be given ROOM to return and LEAD his family. But as long as you take this role, as long as you make him feel inferior, there is NO WAY this is going to happen!
How important is your husband’s spiritual condition? Are you willing to LET GO of your church and no longer go to church, in order to make room for your husband to come to or return back to God?
Let's also agree on one thing: As with many Christian women, it is very likely that you have probably revealed your husband’s sin to your pastor when you went to him for help or if your husband stopped going to church. Very often we ask for prayer for our situation so that soon everyone in our church knows about our husbands' sin. So let me ask you, how could your husband go to church again, especially the church you may still be attending?
Once again, how important is your husband’s spiritual state to you? Are you willing to LET GO of your church and church attendance to make room for your husband to come to or back to God?
My motivation was my children—primarily my three sons. I knew that my sons would be influenced by what their father did or did not do and grow up being like him. Once a boy (or girl) is old enough to rebel and not attend church, he or she will—especially when their father doesn’t go!
Even if you don’t (yet) have children, your husband’s spiritual state is what will be the deciding factor in your restoration because without spiritual strength he will NEVER be able break free from his sin.
"His own iniquities will capture the wicked, and he will be held with the cords of his sin"—Proverbs 5:22
"Or how can anyone enter the strong man’s house and carry off his property, unless he first BINDS the strong man? And then he will plunder his house"—Matthew 12:29
In addition to making room for your husband to come back to God, most of us, as I said, used our spiritual arrogance to drive our husbands out of the church and away from God. However, once you make your church and your religious behavior non-existent, your husband may be shocked, and so will others who may even believe and accuse you of being back-slidden!
Yet, to me, the spiritual future of my sons, combined with my own restoration, was far more important than what anyone thought! They all believed I was crazy anyway!!
But the most amazing thing that happened—what I did NOT expect is that once I no longer relied on my pastor or going to church or going to Bible study classes for my spiritual nourishment—I found myself (and YOU will too) clinging more and more to the Lord!!! You and everyone will begin to see changes in you… not of the "religious" nature, but much more Christ-like.
It was during my no church attendance that I devoured the Bible and began to know the Bible for the first time ever! Within such a short time, women were saying that I was a Bible scholar, LOL, ME! And I was also able to hold my own with pastors when I continued looking for a church who believed as I did about restoration! Imagine that!
This is one thing I knew right away—I could NOT stay in a church that didn’t believe that divorce was wrong and were eager to help me seek restoration for my marriage, giving me the Bible (and not psychology) to help me! I never found a church who was carefully teaching the truth on marriage, divorce, separation and what God says clearly in His Word. Now I know why He would not allow me to find a church, it was for many reasons.
FIRST, I needed to focus on restoration, not just studying the Bible or good sermons. My marriage and family was dying! I needed large doses of the truth to heal me, more than a few services a week that didn't focus on what I desperately needed.
Second, when I was restored it gave my husband the opportunity to find a church for us. And he did!!
But even more important than that, I know it was because God wanted me to experience what it was like to be His church—the One Jesus comes back for—His bride!!
• He’s not coming for a building is He?
• He’s not coming back for everyone sitting in the church pews either.
• He is coming back for His bride! And that’s who I am now—and who I hope you will become as you discover that YOU can be His bride while making room for your husband to become the spiritual leader of your family!!
"For nothing [NOT one thing] will be impossible with God"—Luke 1:37
"And looking at them Jesus said to them, 'With people this is impossible, but WITH GOD all things are possible”—Matthew 19:26
"Looking at them, Jesus said, 'With people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible WITH GOD'”—Mark 10:27
"But He said, 'The things that are impossible with people are possible WITH GOD'"—Luke 18:27
If you are working WITH God and trusting Him and His principles—nothing [not one thing] is impossible!!
Read the following Praise Report submitted by ~ Cierra in Kentucky who is also our Branch Director over our MET "Marriage Evaluation Team"
“Oh Daddy, Can I Pray First!!”
It just brings a smile to my face when I reflect on how amazingly awesome our Beloved is. During the course of my Restoration Journey, I came to learn the importance of ensuring our EH was our spiritual leader. I left my church and put away all of the “holy” things that could be perceived. I didn’t read my Bible or sing praise and worship music in front of him. I waited to do all of these things when he was gone, and PTL my Beloved allowed him to be gone from our home for long periods of time, which allowed me ample opportunity to be alone with my Love. It was during these quiet moments alone with my HH that I prayed that if it be His will that when He restored my marriage that He also prepare my EH to become our spiritual leader. Well, ladies today I am giving thanks to my Heavenly Love because this is just another prayer answered.
Earlier this week my EH announced that we would begin every single morning with family prayer. He said that before we did anything, including brushing our teeth, that we would start our day with prayer. WOW!!! This is coming from a man that stopped going to church when he moved out of his parents home and his mother could no longer force him to go! Now, he is earnestly seeking the will that our HH has for his life. This is just truly amazing and a wonderful miracle to witness. His earnest desire to seek our HH has led to an amazing peace throughout our home, and my two oldest children too are genuinely interested in establishing an intimate relationship with our Heavenly Love!!! When we gather to pray my oldest son eagerly shouts “Oh Daddy, can I pray first!!” It brings tears to my eyes and I am just so filled with praise!
I am in awe at how incredible my Journey has been with Him! I am so thankful for the moments of peace and prosperity that He provides, but I am most thankful for the darkness, sorrow, and affliction experienced. It was through the latter that I pressed into Him more, and really came to know who He was. It was during these times that I was more in tune with Him and very aware of how He was blessing me. While these times were not fun and often filled with tearful sowing, I am thankful that He also promises joyful reaping and shouting!!! Those who sow with tears, will reap with songs of joy. (Psalms 126:5 NIV)
I want to encourage you today to continue to hold His hand and stay the course that He has ordained for you! He is with you, planning, directing, and orchestrating the outcome so that you can find the abundant life here on earth until we transition to the everlasting eternal with Him! I pray your strength and endurance!!
If you are still struggling with letting go of your church CLICK HERE to read more testimonies.