I am a control freak; always have been, since the day I was put on this earth, I have liked to be in control. It’s what has made me a good mom (well, I like to think that I am), it has made me a good manager and good at business. But what does control mean? What does it mean to “have control”? Why are most women control freaks? (admit it- if you are a woman, you are most likely a control freak).
Control means to have “the power to influence or direct people’s behavior or the course of events”. (Dictionary.com) It can also mean to supervise, to have the authority to supervise or to determine the behavior of someone or something. If you think about it for a moment, this word control and its definition pretty much sums up God, doesn’t it? As believers, we know that God has ultimate control. He alone has the power to influence us, to direct us, to give instructions in regard to our behaviors, courses of life and the events that take place. God is the only One who is truly in control.
Lately, I have been struggling in my relationship to the most wonderful man on the earth. He loves God and he loves me- it doesn’t get much better than that! But lately, we have had some pretty heated discussions- as an old pastor of mine once put it- we have had “loud fellowship” quite often. Most of these “loud fellowships” have left me in tears, crying myself to sleep and begging God to intervene in our lives. Through these trying times I have learned a few things; some haven’t quite sunk into my pride-filled heart yet (like the word “submit”)- but I am learning and God, by His grace hasn’t given up on me yet. (Praise be to God!)
Last night was another night of heated discussions, and I found myself crying again- asking and pleading with God to help us. As I drifted off to sleep I prayed and asked the Lord to help me; to change what needed to be changed in me. As Christians, we should always be examining ourselves when we are struggling in our relationships because nine times out of ten- we are the problem. Well, needless to say, I got my answer for help this morning and yes, the issues we are having are a result of sin- my sin.
When God reveals our sin to us, we must ask Him to also show us the root. Sin is like a weed that grows in the garden of our hearts. You can pull weeds all day long, but unless you get to the root and dig that root out, that weed grows back again and again. It’s why we as Christians struggle with past sins we have confessed. We haven’t allowed God to get to the root. So, I asked God this morning to show me the root of this sin I have- the sin of control.
“Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, ‘Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden?’ And the woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it lest you die.’ But the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’ So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food and it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make on wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her and he ate.” Genesis 3:1-6 (ESV)
And there it happened, did you catch it? Did you catch the sin, the temptation that overtook Eve? When the serpent said, “you will be like God” the woman ate from the tree. The sin we have within us, which causes us more pain and heartache than we need is the sin to be like God. It is the sin to control and direct our lives, and the lives of others. It is the root of all sin. It is the desire to think we know better than God and that we don’t need His control over our lives. But it all started with Eve, with a woman. It started with me, but praise be to God, it can end with me as well.
God points out to Eve in Genesis 3:16 that her desire shall be for her husband, but he shall rule over her. God shows Eve her sin, that she will desire to lead, direct and control her husband, but God has ordained her husband to be her head. Eve did not only disobey God, she also disobeyed her husband when she ate of the tree. Go back and look through Genesis 2. God tells Adam to not eat of the tree, then God formed Eve- after the command. Adam was the one who was leading Eve. He was the one who told Eve what God had said. Adam was the first to receive God’s command, which he then gave to his wife. Eve disobeyed her husband and God because sin tempted her, and she followed after sin, not her husband.
God has placed man to be the head, to be the one to whom God gives direction and leadership. We, as women are to follow his leading, and his direction, trusting God to be the One in control of our husbands. But like Eve, we see the tempting fruit and seek out that control on our own. We reject God’s ordained order over us and we fall into sin, leading our men to follow after us.
I am not here to debate women’s rights, or to argue about man’s authority over woman. All I am here to do is to explain to you the same way God has explained it to me, hoping that you will see how much pain you are bringing onto yourself.
Stop trying to control and submit. You and I are not the Holy Spirit, and we are not God. The only control God has given us is in the place He has ordained for us to be- under our husband’s leadership, who is under Christ. It is that simple.
The reason why we struggle in our relationships is because we are fighting for control. We are unsure about what we think they are hearing from God, so we try to control the outcome and it ends up in a battle. We are unsure about how close they are to God, so we question their leading- it ends up in a battle. We do not need to be right- only God is right. I once had a pastor friend tell me that we gave up the right to be right when we gave our lives to Jesus Christ. We do not need to defend ourselves- God alone is our defender. (This does not in any way condone abuse of any kind. This is referring to a man who loves God and is following after God- abusers are not Christians! Seek godly counsel if you are being abused- please!) We, as women of God, must adorn ourselves as the holy women of God adorned themselves; trusting God to lead our husbands, no matter what. (1 Peter 3)
The more you fight against God in this matter, the more strife and pain you will put your marriage through. Stop! The sin within us is the sin to be like God and to be the head. We have no place in role that whatsoever. God has ordained Christ to be the head over our husbands, and our husbands to be the head over us. There are no exceptions and no excuses. It is God’s perfect picture and God’s perfect design. You are fighting God and you will not win.
Trust God to be in control. Just as Sarah kept quiet when Abraham told her to lie and save him from possible death, we too need to stay quiet and let God work the work in our husbands that only He can. Any form of control we try to assume goes against God’s sovereign rule, not only over us, but over our husbands as well. If you are struggling to follow your husbands lead and submit, or perhaps your husband is struggling to take the spiritual lead, ask yourself if you are the reason for it? Examine your heart before the Lord. As Him to show you if this root is in you, just as it is in me. The root is there- it is in all of us, and you may be the reason why he isn’t leading, or you may be the reason why you are having loud fellowship more and more.
Get out of God’s way. Trust Him to protect you, just as He protected Sarah and Abigail, and Ruth and all the other holy women we have as examples in His Word. Move out of God’s place and let Him take control. You want peace in your marriage? You want your husband to step up and take the lead? Then look at yourself and ask God to show you if you are the root of the problem. He will show you- He is faithful to all of us who call on His Name. Ladies, please, get out of God’s way! Amen?