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God established the home even before the church. God intended the home to be heaven on earth. It is an example of the relationship He desires for His church.

We are living in days when homes have been torn asunder. There is divorce on every hand. We are living in days when Satan is especially attacking the homes of ministers and those who hold places of authority in the church. Satan is trying to drive his wedge of discord into every family, especially those who desire to do anything for God.

There is an onslaught, a united attack, by Satan on the homes of America. He would like to wreck, ruin, divide and destroy every home. Through the teaching of the Word of God, you can learn how to live a godly life. You can learn how God desires your marriage relationship to be.

I want to share some truths that I believe will help you in these areas. Genesis 2:7 in The Amplified Bible tells us, "The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath, or spirit of life; and man become a living being."

After man was placed in the Garden of Eden, Gen. 2:18 says, "Now the Lord God said, It is not good (sufficient, satisfactory) that the man should be alone" (AMP). It is not good that man should be alone! Because God could see that it was not sufficient or satisfactory that man be alone, He said, "I will make him a helper meet for him." Now, this helper that God made was "meet" for man. The word "meet" in the Hebrew means that she was adapted especially to suit man. She was suitable. She was that which would make man complete. No man or woman is complete alone!

Let us read again the story of the creation of woman:

And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and while he slept He took one of his ribs - a part of his side - and closed up the [place with] flesh instead of it. And the rib or part of his side which the Lord God had taken from the man, He built up and made into a woman and brought her to man. Then Adam said, This [creature] is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. She shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of a man. Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall become united and cleave to his wife, and they shall become one flesh (Gen. 2:21-24, AMP).

God says that His Word is to be our instruction concerning every area of our lives. Second Timothy 3:16 says, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." As we study the Word, let it speak to your heart. Conform your life to it and you will discover unspeakable joy in your family!

Let us look at some scriptures that relate to the role of the wife in the marriage relationship. Eph. 5:21-22 (AMP) says, "Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ, the Messiah, the Anointed One. Wives, be subject - be submissive and adapt yourselves - to your own husbands as [a service] to the Lord." This scripture says, "Wives,...adapt your own husbands." The Bible says, "Wives, be subject...."

Now that does not mean to be slaves or for a man to be dictatorial over a woman. The Word of God says, "Adapt yourselves...." Fit yourselves into your husband's life and what he wants to do as a service unto the Lord.

You cannot take a team of mules and one go one way and one go the other! One has to be the leader to guide the direction of your household. A woman wants a man with the ability to protect and take care of her and to be the spiritual head. She can then delight in all that God intended her to be. She can be confident in the knowledge that God has placed her husband as the leader of her household.

Some people say, "Well, bless God, nobody is going to rule me!" Nobody wants to rule you. They just want to do you a service. God said that in the home, the wife should be submissive to her husband. That means that she should adapt herself to her husband.
Let's suppose that when God spoke to me to become the Pastor of our church that Dodie had said, "I am not going to do it." Actually, when God did tell me to pastor again, neither one of us was real thrilled. In her own self, Dodie drew back a bit. She had been sick and could not imagine assuming such a great responsibility. But as she adapted herself to my calling, she discovered that God knows best. As she obeyed God, her health sprang forth!

Kenneth Hagin writes an interesting account of submission in his book entitled The Woman Question. In Chapter 3, he said, "It is not a sane argument to say that every wife must always obey her husband in everything." He is referring to Eph. 4:24 that says, "As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands" (AMP).

The Word of God plainly tells us that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established (Deut. 17:6; 19:15; 2 Cor. 13:1). You must consider the teachings of the entire Bible. We are not to take an isolated text and build some doctrine on it.

I want to repeat - it is not a sane argument to say every wife must always obey her husband in everything. Some men are such brutes they would require things of their wives that should not be granted.

If an enraged husband commanded his wife to kill their children, no sane person would say she should obey. Well, if she should not obey that, there are a lot of other things she should not obey - because they are wrong! A husband should not countermand any of the Lord's commandments.

Smith Wigglesworth, a man mightily used of God said, "Under God, all I am in my entire ministry I owe to my dear wife." He went on to tell that when he was a successful plumber in England growing prosperous from plumbing the old mansions and houses there, he was working sometimes seven days a week. He said he grew cold in spirit, and really just backslid.

Now when you backslide and get out of fellowship with God, you're not so interested in the things of God. And when someone else is, it brings conviction on you. "You go to church too much," he old his wife. "You're not to go any more. I know enough about the Bible to know the man is the head of the wife. You're to obey me. And I said, 'Don't go to church,' so you're not going."

She smiled sweetly and said, "Now, Smith, you're the head of this house, and you're my husband. Whatever you say in the house goes, and you know as well as I do that I do not neglect you, or the children, or the house in any way. But you are not my Lord. Jesus is my Lord. And the Bible tells us not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together. The Bible tells me to go to church, and I'm going."

"Well," he related, "I'd fume and fuss and practically cuss. And finally one day I told her, 'If you go tonight - I'll lock you out.' But she went right along - and I locked her out. She didn't have a key and couldn't get in. The next morning I came downstairs, opened the back door, and there she was, all bundled up in her coat, leaning back up against the door. She'd been there all night.

"When I opened the door, she almost fell into the kitchen. But she bounded up, smiled, and said, 'Well, dear, how are you this morning?'

"She was so kind and sweet, but I'd have felt better if she'd chewed on me a little. She didn't though. She just asked, 'What would you like for breakfast?' And she fixed my favorite breakfast.

"'All right, all right,' I said, 'I'm wrong. I missed it.' She had just loved me back to God. But at the same time, she stood her ground. If she had quit church and followed me, we'd have both been in trouble."

I've seen that happen. In my years as a Pastor I've heard women say, "My husband doesn't want me to come to church. He wants me to go here and do such-and-such. I thought maybe I might win him." And I saw those women backslide right with their husbands. Some did get back into fellowship with God eventually, but I don't remember a one whose husband got saved.

But on the other hand, I remember many faithful women in those churches who had bullies for husbands that had forbidden them to come to church. One woman in particular had quite a time. But if you needed inspiration, if you were trying to preach and the service seemed dead - all you had to do was look at her, and she'd inspire you to preach. Her face was always lit up like a neon sign.

One night my wife said to me, "Honey, did you notice Sister Mary's feet?" "

No, I didn't. Was something wrong with them?"

"Well," she said. "She just had on galoshes."

"Galoshes! It hasn't rained in a month. Why did she wear her galoshes?"

"Joe didn't want her to come to church. He was angry and he hid her shoes."

He thought that if he hid her shoes, she wouldn't go. But she put on her galoshes and came ahead. I'm certain that if he'd thrown away her galoshes, she'd have come barefoot.

She was a meek little woman, but I remember her saying to me, "I don't want to dominate him in any way. He's my husband and I respect him. He's the father of my children and I teach them to respect him. But he's not taking the place he should take. He isn't interested in the things of God and won't come to church. It looks like I'm going to have to lead in these things. Am I wrong?"

"No," I said, "you're not wrong. You're right."

She stood her ground. Afterwards, she told me how she'd said, "Joe, I'm not trying to take any authority away from you. But I'm going to keep these children in Sunday School and church. If they followed you, they'd be gambling and drinking. And another thing, we ought to pray at the table. We just sit down and start eating like a bunch of hogs. Before we eat, I'm going to pray." She didn't ask him if she could - she said, "I'm going to do it."

And the next meal, she did just that. One of the children peeped and told her, "Mama, Daddy just sat there and stared straight ahead like he was mad." But, after a few times, he started bowing his head and closing his eyes along with them.

Then she told me later on, she said to him, "Joe, we ought to read the Bible in this home, and it should be your place. But you're not doing it, so before we retire every night, I'm going to read a chapter and pray with the children. If you're here, you should have enough respect for me and the children to sit down and listen."

She said that sometimes he would listen. But at first, when she and the children got on their knees to pray, he'd just sit there. After a while, though, he would get off his chair and kneel too. Thank God she made her stand! As far as I know, every one of her children was a Christian. And someone told me later that old Joe got saved when he was nearly 60-years-old.

You will never make it compromising with the devil in any way! We need some balance in these areas. A husband should not countermand any of the Lord's commandments. He is not the lord over his wife's conscience - the Lord Jesus Christ is. "A wife must be true to her convictions - even, if necessary, at the cost of losing her husband if he will not endure her true devotion to Christ."*

*The Woman Question, Hagin, Kenneth E., 1975.

Source: Love and Marriage by John Osteen
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishers

Author Biography

John Osteen
Web site: Lakewood Church
The late John Osteen served the Lord Jesus Christ as pastor, evangelist, author, and teacher for sixty years. Ordained as a Southern Baptist, he received the baptism in the Holy Ghost in 1958, an experience which revolutionized his ministry into a worldwide outreach for Jesus Christ.

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