Every woman wants her home to be a haven, a little heaven on earth.
Exhibit A: Pinterest.
But statistics tell us that more than half of Christian homes end in divorce. How does this happen?
I’m studying Ephesians with our Teen Youth Group and learning about a Spirit filled life. The Christian home should be different than a secular home, because it should be controlled by the Holy Spirit. When one person in the marriage is controlled by something else, the foundations begin to crumble.
The command “be filled with the Holy Spirit” simply means to be controlled by the Holy Spirit. It’s an ongoing allowing of the Holy Spirit to control you.
And as we know all too well, we can be controlled by many things. Here are a few instances in Scripture that we can probably relate to:
- Anger- “”They were filled with wrath” Luke 4:28 means controlled by wrath. They were acting out of their ruling desire which was wrath.
- Envy-”The Jews were filled with envy” Acts 13;45 so their controlling emotion was envy and that made them oppose the ministry of Paul and Barnabus.
- Jealousy- “They were filled with jealousy and talked abusively” against Paul. Acts 13: 45
- Wickedness- “They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice.” Romans 1:29
You get the picture. What fills you controls you.
The Christian couple is to be controlled by the Spirit of God.
I’m going to state the obvious here but owning a Bible does you no good if you don’t read it. And owning a Bible that you read and don’t plan to obey is doing you more harm than good. We read God’s word for direction and for our “marching orders.” We are under the Lordship of Christ and He’s now running our lives since we’ve been redeemed by His Son’s precious blood, right?
I want to give you three simple by-products, traits of a spirit controlled woman. When you see them, you’ll realize how desperately we need to be in the Word of God!
1. A Spirit-Controlled Woman is Joyful. (Eph. 5:19) This kind of joy does not rise and fall with good experiences or bad experiences. It’s not dependent on external circumstances, but stems from a confidence that God is in control and that is enough for her, in good or in bad. It’s a steady, abiding joy.
Some women are like thermometers and others like thermostats.
Thermometer women rise and fall with their circumstances. They’re either really up or really down, really hot or really cold. They react and are “controlled” by environment. They have no stability of their own.
Thermostat women create the spiritual climate around her no matter how cold the temperatures may be. She knows that the temperature is “set” by her Maker, and no matter what way the dial turns, hot or cold, she is confident that He’ll always determine what is best. She changes the climate instead of being controlled by it.
It’s such a horrible testimony to be a grouchy Christian. It just is. Nobody will get close to you if you are a bear one week and on cloud nine the next. Moodiness is a huge hinderance to Christian fellowship and mutual edification. A younger woman came to me for advice once and as I listened I asked her why she did not ask her own pastor’s wife for advice, which seemed to me the natural place to start. She replied, “She’s fighting her own demons right now. I don’t know. She just seems so miserable all the time, I didn’t want to bother her.”
Um, this is not good. And you know that we’ve ALL been this moody, grouchy woman once or twice and it isn’t invisible to others. We want to be windows of help and hope to our younger sisters in Christ, not the person they run away from! May it never be that our sour attitude turns off a younger sister from going to the church for help! Our lives have been changed and we are now constrained by the love of Christ! Remind your heart and face! Smile and be genuinely happy–your name is written in the Book of Life!
Paul tells us how he remains joyful, even in prison: “I have learned that in whatsoever state I am in, therewith to be content.” Phil 4:11. Happy with what God ordains. That about sums it up.
2. A Spirit Controlled Woman is Thankful (Eph. 5:20)
A thankful heart knows that whatever she gets it is a gift from God. It was undeserved. Whatever she has, it is enough and good. She’s content.
Unthankfulness and it’s twin sister discontentment begins when I think that the world owes me something more.
“In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 1 Thes. 5:18
Whatever you are unhappy about right now, confess your sin of ungreatfulness and begin thanking God for it.
- If it’s something unpleasant, then God will use it ultimately for your good.
- If it’s something unplanned, then God had a different course for you today.
- If it’s something unbearable, God’s grace will prove sufficient. The word gratitude comes from the same root word as grace!
- It it’s a trial, it is producing patience and refining you. Be glad.
- If it’s evil against you, God means it for your good.
3. The Spirit Controlled Woman is Submissive. (Eph. 5:21-33)
I know we all hate this word, man and woman alike. But God’s woman is submissive to her own husband and to those in the church. Whether or not your husband is doing his part on the “mutual submission” thing is not your main concern. We need to focus on our responsibility.
Jesus taught his disciples not to throw their weight around and “lord” over other people. He taught them by example that the greatest leader is the one who serves.
The Pharisees had it all backwards of course. They loved to build up their own authority and made sure others were in subjection to them. But God’s woman does things differently.
You are never in worse company than when you refuse to submit to your husband (except in the instance of sin, of course) and others.
Exhibit B: Satan. He was created, but instead of worshipping with thanksgiving, he craved worship and pursued it–it was his reining god.
Diotrophes insisted on being the big boss in the church. He was controlled by pride and loved the “preeminence” which only belongs to Jesus Christ. He loved to call the shots, be seen and heard, and was extremely controlling. He loved to be “in the know”(a.k.a…busybody). He caused division to the point where he rejected any other church member who accepted John! If you’re HIS friend, you won’t be mine! If you talk to him, I won’t talk to you!( 3 John vs 9,10) He had a celebrity mentality instead of a servant’s heart. He used the church and the church people to feed and promote his own selfish cravings.
The list of people who wouldn’t submit to each other is long in the Bible. Miriam and Aaron tried to control Moses. Jacob manipulated Esau, a trait he learned from his manipulating mother, Rachel. The list goes on and on, but you get the idea. Fallen man loves to rule and hates to submit.
Although it’s hard to submit to anyone, it’s completely natural when we are controlled by God’s spirit.
In fact, when you are in the middle of a family battle, or a church battle, it’s usually because one person has an authority problem. They either are wielding their perceived authority or fighting to overtake the God-ordained authority. Submission can be a struggle, especially when it involves someone close to you, but God’s glory is at stake.
Q: What does the state of your joy, your thankfulness and your submission tell the watching world about your great God? Is it speaking well of the gospel or making people want to look elsewhere for answers to life? Will you agree to let the Spirit control you today? Hand over the reins of your life in trust and dependence? It’s hard at first, but the “fruit” or results of a Spirit-ruled life is sweet! Gal. 5: 22,23!
For further study, here’s a great article from GTY.
*I tried to find photo credits for these pics. If you are the image creators, please let me know so I can attribute proper credit and provide a link back.