As wives and mothers, our time is most often not our own. We all have unique family situations that require our attention. My husband and I have discussed more than once how women so easily get out of step with God because they feel called to some form of ministry but fail to keep their callings in line with the plans and purposes of God.
As women we're called first to God, second to our husbands, third to our family, and fourth to the church. Too many of us get that out of line and want to be called to the church (or ministry) first, and then everything else just kind of fit in wherever there is time. However, when we have our priorities out of line and resist Godís divine order for our lives, weíre in rebellion. It doesn't change the calling of God and He will even use us to a degree, but our rebellion creates conflict in the home, the marriage, and the family that could easily be avoided if we would follow Him and do according to His ways!
God created the family unit in such a way that it was a priority to Him! He called the marriage to fulfill His purposes on the earth Ė to parallel the mysterious relationship between Christ and His church, to produce Godly offspring, and to provide companionship thus fulfilling our lives here on earth. But it was AFTER the family was established, the husband first and then the wife, that God established the church.
As hard as it is, when hubby says, "Sit here and be with me for a while" we need to do exactly that even if there are a million other things to be done. He desires relationship Ė part of Godís purpose in marriage! It's no different if the Father beckons us into an intimate time of prayer and fellowship and we say, "Sorry, God, I have to do the dishes!" Godís timing always has a purpose! The time we lay aside that which we feel is so important in order to spend time with him, is time our husbands are growing in the assurance that they are honored, respected, and loved, not threatened by our commitment to our role as a wife, mother, and even as a minister! The time on the couch sitting next to him watching a football game can be preparation for ministry . . . itís called sacrifice, dying to self, and most importantly its called submission!
I have often been asked by women who feel a strong call to some form of ministry, "If God has called me and my husband is against it, don't I have the obligation to obey God first and then my husband?" My answer, much to their dismay, is "No!" Just because God calls you to ministry of some sort, that doesn't mean you are to ignore your Godly priorities as a Christian. Very often God calls us long before we're released to fulfill that calling.
For example, look at David . . . he was anointed and appointed as a young lad but it was several years before he actually took his place on the throne as king of Israel. That didn't change his calling, but many things delayed it ~ things that were not only difficult but things which were part of God sovereign plan. Saul's pursuit of David was part of God's plan to teach David what he needed to know to be successful as a king, to equip him for the task ahead, and to build in him character necessary to reign as king over Godís chosen people Israel Ė the calling He purposed for him! When our husbands are resistant to our accepting a call of God, we can determine and rest assured that it is for purposes beyond that which we are able to see.
While submitting to our husbands and allowing God to lead us through them, God will always protect our calling and He will bless us through our obedience to our husbands while He uses that time to build in us that which is necessary to fulfill our calling! But if we are in rebellion toward our husbands, then we hinder God's work in us and limit His ability to use us! Ultimately, we will never fully satisfy the purpose to which we have been called if we have hindered Godís plan for us by going ahead of Him in our own strength.
I personally had a problem with waiting for my husband to come around to "allowing" me to accept what I knew God was calling me to do. It was hard -- I felt like a tire burning rubber! Yet, I waited and waited. God was teaching me something through that time. But when my husband finally agreed that it was good and it was time, a wave of inadequacy and unreadiness swept over me like a raging sea! God showed me what happened during that time of waiting . . . I was raring to go in my own strength but I hadn't gotten to the point of needing God! Now after waiting on Godís timing, I needed Him! It was only at the time that I realized my desperate need for Him that He could use me and He would be glorified, not me!
As Christian women, we MUST keep our spiritual priorities and as we do, God will lead us to freedom and allow us to fulfill His ultimate purpose for our lives! Demanding to do it our way only stops the flow of blessing and brings confusion, frustration, and possible failure into our lives that would have been avoided had we only done it God's way.
Our job? Learn what God's way is and be obedient to it! Unfortunately, when contending with our flesh, that's a lot easier said than done! But we have a promise . . . "I can do EVERYTHING through Him who gives me strength" (Philippians 4:13 NIV) and that includes waiting on Godís timing as He uses our husbands to further refine us and prepare us for all that He has purposed for us!
God will never fail us if we will but wait on Him! Amen!
(c) Jan Ross
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Your experience is one that should be taken to heart. Keeping our lives in balance, and going forth according to His timing requires patience, but comes with great rewards. Thank you for sharing this message.
Your humble transparency, solid teaching, and a wonderfully clear writing style make this piece a standout!
And wow, have you been soundwired to my living room recently? All the points you make here are exactly what God is teaching me in my recent second marriage.
At first I had a struggle when the Holy Spirit would prompt me to go downstairs and watch war movies with him. Shouldn't I be praying, praising, writing, encouraging others? But He said, "I'm building the foundation of a great team ministry." Your article is tremendous confirmation and encouragement from the Most High!