Here is a personal example, although if you have not read the two previous blogs you may want to check them out, Understanding Men means to Understand God’s Heart, and There Can Be Only One.
I prayed a long time ago that God would rip out any root need for control in my life, especially in my marriage. I was doing well trying to recognize it all on my own but looking back to the garden and all that Eve had in her life, I could see how cunning her enemy was. I have to know that my enemy is that cunning. I knew I should not tackle this without God’s sight and perspective on things. We had come so far in our marriage. Things were really good but I was still getting taken out by my husbands struggles. Everytime he would lose a battle or a skirmish my tendancy to either police/mother (smother) him would kick in and of course that is an obvious form of control, or I would begin to retreat/withdraw sometimes to the point of indulging in depression which is still control. If you are ever uncertain whether or not you are having an issue with control you can ask yourself if you are a woman at peace with your God and trusting Him with everything, or are you holding some part of your heart hostage until things look or feel the way you want them to? If your heart is not engaged then it is withdrawn. If I withdraw my heart from God I am choosing to not be one with Him and not truly trust Him, which is sin. If I withdraw my heart from my husband I am choosing not to be one him and not trust him, which is not trusting God, which is sin. But how do I get out of this cycle. He blows it and it affects me. There has to be a door, an out that God is giving me. He said that He would always provide a way out where there is temptation.
1 Corinthians 10:13
New Living Translation (NLT)
13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.
So I began to seek Him (Truth) with my whole heart and I found something precious.
The way my mind works is to break things down to their simplest form. By the time the enemy has twisted something it resembles the truth but isn’t going to be fully true and it will also most likely be so blown out of proportion that you can not possibly deal with it in it’s current state. It will be so big you cannot ever get to the root. Another device used by our cunning enemy. So I kept asking myself,
Do you really believe that you both have the same enemy? Even in this situation where the enemy is attacking your husband and taking him out to get to you?
I was actually at a place where I could say “Yes!” It felt so good. I knew my husband’s heart was for me not against me. I could see that. I could see this struggle was his battle so I began to pray for him as a partner, like someone who has his back, as far as praying against his warfare. Praying directly against his (our) enemy. There that should do it right? Well it did feel better for a while.
My husband travels a lot for work. So I was used to him being gone at times. This time he went on a missions trip. I knew there would be warfare set against this message of God’s heart for men as he traveled overseas. I was doing well and on guard. I was praying and interceding on their behalf. But the warfare that came was set against our marriage. It started out as a whisper, almost like a small voice in the background. It was kind of pesky like a mosquito buzzing in the same room in which you are trying to sleep. I just kept recognizing it as the enemy and really just ignored it. The very last day he was traveling it began to build. I didn’t realize that I was entertaining that voice/feeling. It got louder even as a feeling and my stomach started to churn. It kept leaving the impression that my husband was lying to me again. That nothing had changed and that nothing was going to change. It was leaving me feeling that I was being deceived….by him, my husband and that he was doing what he was doing to directly deceive and betray me. It was the very last impression that revealed a blatant lie. The impression was that my husband was out to destroy our marriage and me. I was sitting in my car in the driveway at the time and I immediately turned to the passenger seat. I stuck my finger in the face of my enemy and said,
That is a lie! My husband’s heart is good and has been made new in Christ. His heart is for me not against me. My God’s heart is good and for me not against me. The only thing that has ever come against me and my marriage is you! Get behind me satan in the name of Jesus Christ!
It was the coolest thing ever! I literally felt like something had been shot out of my car and was gone! I knew in order to keep this real and not invite (at least on my willing part) this to creep back into my marriage then I was going to have to find all the places my enemy was using to sneak in and hang out. I realized it was time to relinquish my rights. It was those little moments of entertaining my rights to be wounded that was the foothold. You can ask anybody and everybody would tell you that I have the right to be angry, pissed off, hurt, not trusting where these struggles have hit our marriage. I laid them all at Jesus’ feet. I said,
I relinquish my rights to be angry, pissed off, hurt and to not trust my husband. I trust you completely God with all of this and I ask Jesus that you crucify it. Thank you for purchasing even the withdrawing of my heart where I have separated from You and my husband. It felt like now it is done…finished….. as Jesus said it.
Recognizing how the enemy had been lurking about using old wounds to magnify current wounds was a huge turning point for me to be able to battle and to be a woman who could be fully engaged with her heart in tact. I believe that is part of what was going on with Eve. She began to turn, or take her heart into her own hands. Her heart which was one with both God and Adam. That speaks I do not trust you with it so I need to take it from you into my own hands. Our marriage….our oneness requires my heart to be involved….engaged…..one with who I am in relationship with. Our marriage needs me to be present not withdrawn, depressed, or on a rampage of policing.
I took it a step further. I ended up calling my husband. I told him how the enemy was trying to take me out. I told him of the lies I had been listening to even the ones that rang with so much truth and at the root of them were true. I told him that I relinquished my rights to God and now I was relinquishing them to him. I told him that I can not withdraw my heart from our marriage or from God. I owned that part of our battle. I told him that I trust him. I told him that I know his heart is good and has been made new in Christ. I told him that I know he is seeking God in it all and will find Him. I gave him the freedom to go to battle with God against his enemy without having to worry about me in it. I could hear the tearful gratitude in his voice. I could feel the prison doors swing wide open and him step out in to the sun. Our marriage is not perfect but it is victorious. We are more ONE now than we have ever had the freedom to be. I love our marriage! If I had waited or required that my husband deal with his struggles before I could trust God, or trust him through God as my husband, we would still be back in that place. My husband struggles are almost non-existant, in that he knows who he is to God and chooses to live from that place. He fought through so much better being freed from my requirements. My husband was not the one who could save or restore our marraige. Our marriage changed drastically, but it wasn’t because my husand decided to pull it together and get it all right. Only Jesus could and it was through me letting Him (Jesus) save/change me and be my one and only Savior that freedom was found.
I thank God that my husband was so willing to trust me again after falling to my control weaknesses too. I hadn’t realized that I was keeping our marriage hostage.