When I was younger I thought that meant a woman who had the capability to be thin, look good, have a clean house, read her bible everyday, serve in church, have perfect children and have a man who simply adored her. It is very interesting to be in my early fortys now and offering counsel to some women who fit that very description but are not at peace. They possess my list of criteria. What they really need is to be a woman at peace…..with her God.
As in an earlier blog Just one example….., I was trying to be that list of criteria I thought was the answer. I ended up striving and striving which inevitably led to controlling and micromanaging everyone and everything around me. Control is the biggest life-sucker I know. It sucked the life out of my marriage, my parenting (our family), out of friends around us, the church body, and I could even go to the grocery store and change the whole mood of an entire Safeway just by where I was at in my heart. Unfortunately, all my own strivings ended up to just be control. Control is manipulation. Manipulation is deceitful. If I found out my husband had been deceitful about something with me I would be wounded. No way around it …. control is ugly.
When God created us to reflect His beauty both in physical form and in spirit form He trusted us with a lot of power. We were created for a beautiful relationship. God created us so He could know us and we could know Him. We are meant to be at peace with our God, first, foremost and foundationally as who we are. The world around us is supposed to experience the beauty of our relationship with God. The beauty of being able to completely and fully trust, surrender all and be at peace with our God.
A woman at peace is surrendered. She trusts fully in her God. She doesn’t have all her faith, trust and worth wrapped up in her husband, her house, her kids, her church or how people respond to her. She does “all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens her.” Which can look like, I can trust my husband because God asks me to like in Ephesians 5:21-24 New Living Translation
21 And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
22 For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23 For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church. 24 As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything.
Not only does He say this so clearly but he repeats Himself in verse 33. Ephesians 5:33
33 So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
Good idea to pay extra attention if He is going to repeat Himself.
Now I left the husband part out on purpose. Every woman I have ever quoted this scripture to immediately goes to ….. “the husband is supposed to love his wife like Christ does the church. He is supposed to lay his life down for her like that.”
Back to trusting God. He gives us first that we are submitting to each other out of reverence for Christ. He knows us women. He knows that we will need that in order to hear the next few verses. Then He talks to us about submitting to our husbands like the church does to Christ. Notice it doesn’t say, “If he deserves it, or because he is such a great guy.” Let’s not forget….out of reverence for Christ. It is only because He, God, is faithful. It is God who is trustworthy. It gets kind of weird (supernatural) to trust God fully so you can trust your husband. That is where our trust is. That is where our faith is. It is in God because our husbands have to let us down. God is the only one who wants to be our God, our Savior. In believing that, we can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens us.
There is also an order to that scripture. How can your husband lay His life down for you if are not submitted? If you have to run out ahead and be in control and in charge of it all because of your fear and unrest, how can he be there to take that bullet for you? How is he supposed to jump in front of the bus and get hit first? If we are submitted then he can fulfill those other verses. Because you know that he is the first one you will blame for you getting hit. Some guys actually try to keep up with their women (letting them lead) and they get beat up all the time getting ran over by that bus, or struck by that bullet. What really sucks is they didn’t have to if their wife did not need to run out into the road ahead of them. Which brings us back to verses 22-24
It is exactly like Christ. If we aren’t as a church submitted to Christ then what will happen to our church body? So many times the church runs out ahead of God, even with the best intentions, but it isn’t necessarily what He is calling them to in that moment. They get locked into what they have always done, or what works. Jesus came to bring us life to the full and freedom. I do not know but a handful of churches who actually flow in freedom. Who are actually submitted to Christ, listening to Him and not just a long list of rules and politics that are based out of fear.
For us women, our fear sometimes comes from that fact that we believe somewhere that we only have two choices. We can either be a doormat, or the B word. None of those are true. None of those are God’s intentions for us. Our enemy would love to have us believe that. I believe we are supposed to live somewhere in the middle. A woman at peace will know when it is time to wait and be still trusting others to come through for her, especially God, with a fully engaged heart to not be tempted to withdraw her heart. A woman at peace will know when it is time to be fierce. He gave us a fierceness that is also necessary for this world to experience but it isn’t birthed out of fear, or the need to control/manipulate.
We also have to deal with our fear of being abandoned or left behind. This one is so strong. But again we are talking about trusting God with everything. We can look at Eve and the cost of taking matters into your own hands. Not being submitted to God, or Adam and running out ahead making her own way.
This blog is getting long so I will continue this one at another time. We will have to visit how this all applies to us as mothers, as women at church and as household managers too.
So a woman at peace is a woman who is submitted with a fully engaged heart, not withdrawn, or manipulating her own way through control. A woman at peace is trusting God completely with everything in her life.
If you have not read Captivating by John and Stasi Eldrege it is a great book! If you are a man you will begin to understand the women around you much better. If you are a woman you will experience Godly permission to be a woman and to be feminine. You will also have a better picture of what God intended for you as a woman in His design being created in His image.