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Between twitter, facebook, email and wordpress communications looks like we have a good sized group of us taking the challenge.  Yes!  There is tons of prayer covering all of us during this time.

I hate to have to do this but I need to address a couple of things first.  There is a lot that can get lost in this type of communication.  So for all of those who think I am talking about rolling over and being a doormat, that is not what I am saying.  For those of you who think that I have a man who is overbearing or controlling and this is how I deal with that, that is not what I am saying.  For those of you who think I might be asking you to shut down your heart and not feel or desire in order to surrender control, that is not what I am saying.

The invitation in taking this challenge is to arrive in your marriage with a fully engaged heart.  To surrender your “need”, (or reisist the temptation) to know or control the outcome of your life for 7 days while trusting and respecting your husband ~ trusting and respecting your God.  I know….it’s terrifying!  Ack!!!!  But God has something for us in this space.  I believe it is closer to what He had intended for us in the garden way back in the beginning.

Remember control can look like smothering/mothering/micromanaging, or withdrawing/depression/disengaging and even a combination of both at times.  Remember that controlling is manipulation.  Manipulation is deceitful.  We do not even realize what it is that we are doing.  It says to our man, “I don’t trust you” while speaking to his masculine heart “I don’t respect you”.  I am sorry but if there is a woman who is out there who thinks she has never, or doesn’t battle with some form of this, I hate to break it to you.  It just isn’t true.  We can not expect to have the life or the marriage that God has for us without listening to the very first heads-up He gives us in Genesis about how hard it is going to be and why.  He even says it in a way that tells us point blank what it is going to look like.  This is our battle from Eve on through our present day and age.  It is in our fallen nature.  God said it in the garden, Genesis 3

16 To the woman he said,

“I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”

I used to think that this was a curse that God spoke into/over us.  But the more I understand His heart for us the more I realize that He was just stating what we chose when we fell.  Like He was saying,

“Well, now it’s going to be severe pain and painful labor.  Because of what you chose I can not protect you from that anymore.  Now you will have the perception of your husband ruling over you instead of the feeling of being cherished, treasured and adored that I had planned for you.  Because you chose to open your eyes to this other option and way of looking at things, this is what you have placed at the forefront of your sight.  You will now have to fight for what I had in store for you instead of taking it as it was handed freely to you.”

He is going to rule over us and we are going to try to supercede this rule all the time because we now have this view of him ruling over us instead of this meaning that we are treasured, valued and being cared for and protected.  It is even harder because we have the twisted/skewed view through our fear as well of someone not coming through for us so we take matters into our own hands.  Just like Eve.  She did not trust God’s heart for her was good and for her.  There was more or a better way and she was going to see what it was.  I will have to just do it by myself….does that sound familiar?

I know so much of what I just had to say really sucks!  I know this is supposed to be an encouragement posting.  But isn’t encouraging to know what the battle really is and what it can look like for us?  Isn’t is encouraging to see that we are all battling the same thing on some level?  Isn’t it encouraging to know that this is the natural way we will just slip into so now we know what to watch for?  I hope it can be.  I also hope this little exercise will help you to recognize it in your life so you can rise up to be more of who God has called you to be.  It helps when you can start to view controlling and disrespecting as one combined issue.  It also helps to recognize those things as weapons from our enemy set out to kill our hearts and cause us to withdraw ourselves from the man and the God that we are meant to be united as one with.  Ultimately it creates division.

Keep pressing in.  It takes a lot of strength to surrender.  Let’s pray for each other.  Already it has been a challenge for me.  I’ll share more on that tomorrow.