The Good Wife: Uses Her Powers for Good – Part 1

This series on “The Good Wife” is a group of writings God is leading me to share with married women who desire to be a blessing to their husband. I started by writing on “The Good Wife Will Reign in Life” and I shared about God’s plan for the woman to walk in His authority. Following that entry, I wrote “Leading in Life Together” and I shared about how the married couple is intended to share their strengths and work as a team, with the husband as the leader and the wife as the assistant leader. In this entry, I want to discuss the choices on how a woman uses her strength. She can use her strength to build her home or to tear it down. She can use her strength to empower her husband or to emasculate him. I will start by looking at the improper use of strength in Part 1 and end with the proper use of strength in Part 2.

Women have tremendous influence, especially in a marriage relationship. That influence can be positive when strength is used to empower the marriage and the leader of the home. That influence can also be misused when it’s used improperly as a tool to find control over a leader. The Good Wife decides to use her powers for good, not for evil.

The improper use of strength can be seen in manipulation. Manipulation is control. Manipulation is what we do to turn a situation in our favor. Wives can manipulate their husband, and husbands can manipulate their wife; however for the focus of this blog, I want to focus on us wives as the subordinate in the marriage relationship.

Manipulation can be straightforward or manipulation can be passively aggressive, but from the position of a subordinate, whether in marriage, in family, in business, in ministry, or any other situation, manipulation is a form of rebellion against authority. There’s a joke about the woman who wants her husband to be the head of their home, as long as she can be the neck – that would describe the manipulative wife.

5 Ways a Wife Could Manipulate her Husband
Manipulation finds out what the person wants, and then takes it away until it has what it wants in return. The following are five behaviors that reveal how a wife could use her influence to manipulate her husband instead of empower his leadership. If you are reading and find some truth uncovered, know God is on your side. He is not here to condemn or tear down; God is here to save and build up!

#1  Manipulation Through Emotions

What does a husband want? Most men want their wives to be happy. Manipulation could use emotions to turn the heart of a man.

Wives who manipulate are women who know how to use their emotions to control the response and actions of their husbands. They know their man will do anything to make them happy, so they demonstrate emotional distress until they get what they want. It’s not a statement I care for, but the saying goes, “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” One emotion used is sadness, expressed through crying or sobbing. Another is anger expressed through shouting or throwing a fit. Whatever the emotional expression, the motive is the same: control.

Other forms of emotional manipulation include the attempts to make their partner pick up emotional baggage – blaming him, shaming him, or intimidating him. She may use accusations of betraying trust, causing him to feel he must continually earn her trust. She often plays the victim. She may often criticize him, keeping him under condemnation, a broken man with little confidence. Some men even go into depression. She wants him weaker so he becomes subservient and she can dominate. She may use humiliation, an uncomfortable place to be, causing him to want to avoid her power to shame him. When she gets want she wants, she will praise him for being a good husband, someone who supports her, but in reality, he just got played.

The woman may be in actual emotional turmoil, or they may be faking it – either way, decisions made on emotion are not good decisions. We are to be led by the Holy Spirit, making decisions based on what we know is right, not our feelings, which often change from day to day. If emotions are the engine instead of the caboose, it will be very difficult to even hear the voice of the Holy Spirit, let alone follow that voice.

The spiritually mature woman, “The Good Wife,” is the wife who refuses to lower herself to the level of emotional manipulation to altar or take away from the leading of her husband. She wants her husband to follow after God. She feels, but her feelings do not lead her and she certainly does not use her emotions to turn the heart of the leader.

#2  Manipulation Through Whining or Nagging

What does he want? He may want peace. Manipulation will take away peace through whining and nagging.

There are several verses in the Bible book of Proverbs about the nagging wife. Make no mistake about it- a nagging wife has one goal – to get her way. She will whine or nag a man until he gives in to her. Whining and nagging are often very effective methods of torture and control. See Proverbs 21:9,19; 27:15; 25:14; 19:13

For some women, they don’t have an inner peace themselves. Even when they know they are living beneath their potential to rise up, the inner strife keeps pulling them down to a low level of manipulation. Peace is only rewarded when demands are met.

#3  Manipulation through Intellect

What does he want? Husbands often want someone on their side. Manipulation will be quarrelsome, where the wife becomes the man’s opponent rather than a team player.

Women, like men, have been given intellect. Both can be smart in battles of debate, precise with timing, and comprehensive in strategy. Both can learn their partner well, knowing how to push buttons and pull triggers. The wife makes a formidable opponent.

Some women manipulate by quarreling, with the aim of winning arguments or with the goal of simply bringing the man to mental exhaustion. If what he wants is agreement, perhaps he will give in if he has to do something before the strife of an argument will stop.

“The Good Wife” is not a silent partner. She will bring her smarts to the table, offer her advice, share her experience, and express her perspective. She contributes to the partnership. If and when there are disagreements, in the end, she needs to trust her husband to look to God and get the answer. If the husband is not looking to God, God will still honor the wife for her yielded heart. God is the higher authority, and He is able to turn things around for the good.

#4  Manipulation will withdrawal.

What does he want? Men often want companionship. Manipulation takes away togetherness through withdrawal.

When a man loves his wife and desires her companionship, the cold shoulder is a powerful weapon for a wife to have in her manipulation arsenal. The manipulated may weigh his need of having his wife’s help or her company and compromise what he believes to be right. Some withdrawal to another room and give the coach to the husband. Some will even withdrawal by separating, temporarily staying in a hotel, with a relative, or a friend.

Withdrawal can also be seen in neglect. Instead of the wife being there to help with responsibilities, she neglects them. Whatever help she is in the relationship, she leaves things undone. She wants him to realize he doesn’t enjoy life without her in it, doing her part, so she doesn’t do her part.

Withdrawal can also be felt when she isn’t around. There isn’t anything wrong with a wife having time alone or time with friends. There isn’t anything wrong with a wife having interests or hobbies apart from her husband. However, it is wrong, when she is using distractions to make the husband miss her in order to manipulate him.

“The Good Wife” is the wife who wants the right thing, and will not use the quiet treatment or domestic withdrawal to wrongly influence her husband. Instead, she will trust him and empower him to take the lead.

#5  Manipulation will deny sexual relations.

What does he want? The husband wants physical intimacy. Manipulation takes away opportunity for sexual activity.

Similar to withdrawal of attention, we can’t ignore the obvious manipulation of withholding or giving sexual pleasure. Both men and women have been given a sexual appetite, an appetite meant to draw a husband and wife together, not separate or divide. We know our husbands want our intimacy, but that desire should never be used as a card to play in order to get something in exchange. There could be more than one reason why a spouse would deny the other of sex, but when the reason is to get something from it, it is manipulation.

“The Good Wife” will not deny her husband. When a relationship is healthy, sex is not only satisfying a craving; it is a genuine desire to be together with intimacy out of love.

Manipulation doesn’t just take something away that the other person wants. Manipulation may give something in order to put the husband in a favorable condition to get a desired result. Some self-centered husbands don’t mind compromising when they are on the receiving end of manipulation. They enjoy the manipulation. However, the man who honors the Lord will stand true to his convictions. His love for God and His family will cause Him to do the right thing.

God wants us to enjoy life.

God wants us to accomplish great things in this life.

God wants the world to know Him through our life.

In order to enjoy His blessings and fulfill our potential, married persons are always building and maintaining themselves and their relationship. It’s a wonderful adventure of growth and joy.

I invite you to read Part 2, on how “The Good Wife” uses her powers for good by looking at what Peter has to say in I Peter 3.

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The Good Wife- Leading in Life Together

“The reason I don’t agree with the Christian faith is because of the idea that the wife has to submit to the husband simply based on gender.” Someone made this honest statement to me at a community event, and from this moment forward, I have been aware of a growing rejection of the Gospel by women who feel the Bible discriminates against the female gender.

Today I want to bring some clarity to God’s idea of how He purposes for a husband and wife to function as a married couple. An excellent place to start is by looking in the beginning, when God first revealed His plan for the family.

Genesis 1:26-28 26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all[b] the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

We see from the beginning of the Bible that both men and women are created in God’s image and likeness. We are spirit beings, children of God. This is who we are. We also see both men and women were blessed by God, both were instructed to multiply, both were given a joint commission to take authority in the earth. This is what we are to do… together. Here is another Scripture from the beginning of the Bible:

Genesis 2:18 18 And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” 

This verse was written after God instructed Adam to name the animals, and the animals were male and female. First, the animals were not alone in their species. Second, they were made to reproduce after their kind. God wanted the human race to enjoy life together and He wanted us to have families, so it wasn’t good that Adam, a male, did not have a female counterpart.

I must take a moment here to briefly address single women. If you are single, you are complete in a relationship with God and you are still able to fulfill your purpose, whether or not you have children. Christ is your authority. Your relationship with God is not lacking if there is not a man in it. The same is true for a single man. Male or female, you are valuable just for being you.

The King James version of Genesis 2:18 uses “help meet” in the translation. The Hebrew word translated “help meet” or “helper” is ezer and it is only used in the Old Testament in the context of vitally important and powerful acts of rescue and support. It a person who is capable to come to the aid of another. The word is never used to show status or position as a subordinate. In fact, the word ezer is often used to describe God coming to the aid of His people. In Genesis 2:18 and 20, the word ezer is used with the Hebrew word kenedgo, translated “suitable for him.”

This is good news. The wife is a partner to the husband, someone he can reign in life together with. She is not someone the husband has to feel is a weight to him. She is not his ball and chain. Rather, she is a strong, capable person who is meant to know her God and do exploits. The born again wife is a spirit being, recreated to be like God. The spirit-filled woman is a person who has the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead residing and empowering her in life. She has the name of Jesus, to take authority over anything that is not in alignment with God’s kingdom purpose. She is a vessel of the Lord’s to anoint and flow through in supernatural manifestations to speak and act on God’s behalf. As an eternal child of God, she is not underneath her husband, she is not behind him; she is beside him, seated in heavenly places in Christ. She has been gifted with intellect, perspective, abilities, talents, resources, and strength. She is meant to grow spiritually so her mind, her emotions, and her body are under her authority in purity. This is God’s woman; this is a good wife.

Genesis 3:16 “Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.”

On any team, there has to be one person as the head, otherwise there will be confusion and disorder. Anytime you get two people together, there will be some disagreement. Order in the family is for the purpose of harmony and unity.  The head makes the final decisions and bears the most responsibility. The Bible teaches the husband is the head of the wife, Note the Bible does not say the wife is the tail. The wife walks in authority, authority that is submitted to her husband. The husband is like the president of the home, making the wife the vice president, and the two of them exercise their authority in love and humility, leading in life together. A good husband will recognize and honor the gifts and callings on his good wife. He will value her for who she is, what she does, and what God has given her.

The Good Wife will know her identity in Christ and honor her husband’s role as they lead in life together.

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The Good Wife Will Reign in Life

In the previous blog I introduced the idea for this series on “The Good Wife” as a series that is not about performance, but about God’s purpose. I promised to base the writing on God’s Word and not the world, not culture, and not religious tradition.

If we want to know God’s Word on a subject, we need to consider the whole Word of God. If all I do is a word search on “wife” or “woman” then I’m only going to pull up a certain number of verses. If I base my knowledge only on that selection rather that the other portions of that Word that applies to that topic, then I limit my understanding and cripple my application.

Also, if my approach in studying a topic is only to look at the differences on a subject, I could ignore the overall view. Therefore, when I read the Bible, I see that a woman is first a spirit being, made in the image of God. As a child of God, the reborn, Spirit-filled believer is to rule and reign in life. Therefore, “The Good Wife” as the Bible teaches, is a person who knows her position in Christ, receives revelation on her inheritance in Christ, and is empowered and anointed to take her authority in the earth. “The Good Wife” will reign in life.

Romans 5:17 For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.

When a Christian reigns if life, he or she is overcoming what is beneath God’s glory because of what Jesus Christ accomplished at the cross. Salvation is ours because Jesus paid our ransom and removed the punishment of sin. Sin and its effects no longer have power over the surrendered believer; now the yielded Christian is empowered by the Holy Spirit over sin and the effects of sin.

What are the effects of sin? Sin is anything outside of God and outside of the perimeters of His abundant life. Effects of sin in this world include sickness, poverty, mental distress, emotional unrest, as well as spiritual death and oppression. The effects of sin include guilt, shame, and fear. Before Christ, sin and its effects had dominion over us and Satan was god over the unbeliever. After Christ, the person who is in union with Jesus and subjected to His lordship is given authority and power to act in His name to rule in this life.

The Good Wife is the person who has received God’s goodness; she receives the righteousness of God she has been given through Jesus Christ, her Lord and Savior. Her marriage to a man is a temporary covenant in this life, but her covenant with her Redeemer is an eternal covenant in an everlasting life. The Good Wife has received salvation and continues to live in God’s saving power from anything that would try to defeat her and deplete her instead of heal her and complete her. As someone continually surrendered to God’s working, The Good Wife enjoys full and continual restoration and wholeness that causes her to live in a position of His authority and experience a flood of His power.

The Good Wife presses into God’s presence. The Good Wife declares God’s Word out of her mouth over her life, her marriage and her family. The Good Wife makes herself available for prayer. The Good Wife diligently meditates on God’s Word and receives its power to transform her to become more and more like Christ.

If a person isn’t complete in Christ, then that person is lacking in spirit, in soul, and in body. That person will grasp for other people and other things in an attempt to fill what’s missing. A Christian that refuses to pursue the Lord or neglects spiritual refreshing will find himself or herself living far beneath God’s intended purpose. Instead of reigning in life, the carnal Christian will experience a defeated and dysfunctional way of living. A spiritually dysfunctional person will not be able to function as someone who reigns in life.

We are all at different levels in our transformation, in our understanding, and in our anointing. When a person is complete in Christ and mature spiritually, that person stands in the power of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. That person rules over the body and the soul from her spirit. That person brings emotions and thoughts underneath the authority of Christ, dominating her flesh. If you aren’t there yet, then start heading that direction, to be healed, whole, and strong in spirit.

The Good Wife is complete in Christ; therefore, she is not someone’s “other half” and her husband is not her “other half.” Instead of pulling on her husband to fulfill her or bring her the happiness she craves, the Good Wife will look to Jesus for her joy, her peace and her wellbeing. Her husband is not her Jesus; Jesus is her Jesus. When the Good Wife gets in the spirit and draws what she needs from Christ, then she isn’t needy, clingy, or whiney. She is strong and she is satisfied. She is ready to give instead of take, build up instead of tear down.

From the position of being complete, The Good Wife can also better receive. She isn’t in a power-struggle with her man. She can receive her husband’s love and she can honor her husband’s strengths. Because she is complete, she doesn’t have to compete with him; instead they can compliment each other in their gifting, their skills, their intelligence, and their abilities. Not only does The Good Wife reign in life; she is also able to take her husband’s hand and reign in life together, overcoming in a fallen world, pushing back the kingdom of darkness, and living in victory through Jesus Christ. Be a power-couple for Jesus.

What if you aren’t there yet?  What if your emotions or thought life are ruling you? What if you recognize you are being needy instead of finding your needs met in Christ?

  1. Recognize the process. If you are a Christian, then you are positioned in Christ; you just need to look to Christ to begin a journey of transformation.
  2. Get spiritual. You are a spirit in a naturally-minded world. So get into your Bible, get into prayer, get into worship, and get into your church. Naturally-minded people will not be spiritually-minded.
  3. Grow stronger. The Word of God isn’t just a good book, it is life to you. We grow spiritually when we put the Word of God first in our lives and when we do what it says.
  4. Take your authority over emotions, your thoughts, and your body. You are a spirit so you decide what you allow yourself to think on. You decide what you are going to do. You decide to get those emotions in line with God’s Word.
  5. Stay surrendered. We weren’t made to stand on our own two feet. We were made to know the glorious experience of living in dependence on a source of life with a loving Father and Creator. The world tells us to be self-sufficient, but our strength is not found in us; our strength is found in Christ. Learn to live leaning on the Lord.

I Corinthians 15:57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

 

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The Good Wife: What is Good?

There is a television show called “The Good Wife.” I’ve never seen it, but I did google it. It’s about a woman who goes back to work as a litigator for a law firm after her husband, a former state attorney, was publicly humiliated in a sex scandal and thrown behind bars for corruption. I suppose she is considered good because she chooses to step up after her life has been devastated.

Lately, the phrase “The Good Wife” has been rolling around in my spirit. A “good” person is a term that often refers to the person who makes right choices and does the right things. No one is perfect but God alone, but most of us, especially of the household of faith, want to be good and do good. Hopefully we are aware that any goodness comes from being placed in a righteous position with our Good Father through Jesus Christ.

Good is also an adjective of someone who is qualified for a position. When someone dates a person, there is an attraction; but when someone marries a person, it is because they think that person is a good choice for the role of a spouse. We believe that person has qualities to be a good wife or husband, a good companion, a good co-parent, a good financial contributor, a good home manager, and a good person. That person is approved for our standards as a partner in life, someone that will make life pleasant and beneficial. That person is someone we desire to do life with, a good choice.

For the next several weeks, I believe the Lord will have me share about His idea of what a “good” wife is. These entries will not be about being the perfect wife, because that does not exist – neither does the perfect husband. Personally, I’ve had my good moments and my not-so-good moments; I’ve even had some bad moments. Maybe you feel like you could improve as a wife, or maybe you feel like you’ve failed as a wife.  I have good news – “The Good Wife” is the woman who wants to learn what God defines as “good” and allows God to equip and empower her to be and do and have His best for her life.

My perspective of “The Good Wife” will come from scripture, not from culture. Number one, the world’s standard of good and God’s standard of good are two different things. The Bible and the world will always be different. If we compare our generation to the Bible, thinking the Bible is outdated, we have negated the power of the Gospel. Number two, the idea that society is evolving from generation to generation is not necessarily true in every aspect of development. Sure, we’ve built on the knowledge, experience, and hard work of a previous generation to where our technology has gone farther than ever before, our medical treatments are more advanced, and some political liberties have been won. However, goodness is dependent on the condition of the heart, and morally, goodness comes from God, not evolution. Number three, scripture and religion are not the same thing. Religion is a term I use to describe the human being’s attempt to dominate someone else using guilt, shame, and fear. The enemy has used religion to try to squash, hold back, and hold down half of God’s kingdom through manipulative, controlling, religious teaching and rules for God’s women. Some religious leaders have even gone to an extreme of misusing and abusing God’s daughters in God’s house. So to the Bible we go, not to the world, not to our society or generation, and not to religion. Please join me on this journey and let’s grow together!

 

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20 Ways to Overcome Holiday Stress

 

Holidays can be stressful. We weren’t made for stress. Stress is harmful to us. It negatively affects us physically, mentally, emotionally, and behaviorally. It can overwhelm our personal wellbeing and strain our relationships. Christmas is meant to be a time for joy, peace on earth, goodwill to men, but because of stress, Christmas can be a time for fretting, fighting, and fatigue. To get the most out of Christmas, we need to avoid stress.

Here are 20 tips for avoiding holiday stress:

  1. It’s okay to say “no.” Don’t pressure yourself or others to do EVERYTHING.
  2. Start your day looking to God. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you for what to do and how to do it.
  3. Grieving a loss can sneak up on us without us knowing it. Take time to feel. Let God go there are comfort you.
  4. Live within your means. If you can’t afford gifts, limit spending.
  5. Respect traditions – don’t be bound by them. Enjoying Jesus is more important than the pressure of performing.
  6. Communicate stress with loved ones. If there are any cracks, you don’t want the pressure to break you to pieces.
  7. Initially plan alone time and guard it.
  8. If you eat some sugar, choose wisely. Sugar is poison to our body and mind and will wear us out.
  9. Physical activity is a great way to release pressure.
  10. There is nothing better than soaking your spirit with God’s presence.
  11. Are you laughing? Laughing relieves tension. Get around a funny friend. Get around kids. Watch a comedy.
  12. Too much work and no play builds up tension. Get around people and have some fun.
  13. If crowds stress you, shop online or go to stores during slow hours.
  14. Too much Christmas? It’s okay. Take a day and do something not Christmasy.
  15. If you are married, make sure you are getting under the mistletoe. Enough said.
  16. Make Christmas your own. Don’t set unrealistic expectations. Don’t compare yourself to others.
  17. Bump projects. If a task doesn’t have to be done this year, can you bump it to after the holidays?
  18. Inward focus is like an emotional log jam. Giving has joy; it’s good for the giver.
  19. Stress turns emotions up, so get your heart in control of your soul. Keep any drama under.
  20. Get your full sleep. If the body doesn’t rejuvenate, stress is inevitable. A good Christmas means rest!

I hope these are helpful tips for you to overcome holiday stress and enjoy the Christmas season!

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