Sunday, January 13, 2013

Restoration: Our Covering Part 1

 We have discussed the foundation of our hearts  and what we need to do to keep our foundation solid and in tact.  We have looked at who the Foundation is.  We have looked at who we are.  Now, we will look at the roof of our dwelling place. Ephesians 2:21 says we are being fitted together as a dwelling place for the Most High God.  1 Corinthians tells us we are the temple of God.

1Co 3:16 Do you not know that you are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?

1Co 3:17 If anyone defiles the temple of God, God shall destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which you are.

Every house, or dwelling, has a roof.  The roof protects the inside of the house. It must be examined for leaks and debris that could break through and cause damage.  Every roof must be leak proof and water tight.  What is the “roof” or the cover in our spiritual lives?  I may ruffle some feathers here, but I won't apologize if I do.  It is important, particularly as women, to understand what our covering is and what our roles are under that covering.  If we can learn to live by the scriptures below, our marriages will be happier and will have less strife. goes...
1 Corinthians 11:3 – But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.
For men, Christ is the head or the covering to protect and to guide. For women, man is the covering to protect and to guide. 

Ephesians 5:23 – For the husband is the head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 – Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.
The roof of the house does not get to decide on its own which parts of the house it is going to cover.  It covers all parts and every room without questioning or complaining.  With proper maintenance, the roof does its job while staying strong.

What is “everything”?
Titus 2:5 – to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.

So my big question when I began studying this subject:  Why would the Word of God single out “own husbands?” Ladies, men: Pastors, deacons, elders, are not decision makers in the home or the marriage. A wife is obligated by marriage vows, the covenant she makes with her husband, the covenant she made with the Lord when she accepted Christ as her savior, and her obedience to the Word of God to be submitted and obedient to her husband.  He is the one she should seek advice and spiritual leadership from.  I know I am going to rock a few boats when I say this, but I am going there anyway.  Women, wives: Your covering is NOT the pastor of your church.
What are the husband’s responsibilities in keeping the covering of his wife strong?

Ephesians 5:25 – Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her.  28 – So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself.  29 – For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does love the church.
A husband keeps his covering strong by loving as Christ loved. 

As leaders, 1 Timothy 2:8 – I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting;
Why would the Word of God single out “own wives”?  I believe it is the same reason He singled out “own husbands.” As married couples, our focus should be each other and a Christ centered marriage. We should not be seeking advice, understanding, compassion, sympathy, etc. outside the sanctity of our union. Seeking those things outside the marriage with another person violates not only the sanctity, but also our covenant vows.  That is not to say we should never seek Godly counsel.  Of course we should. There are those of the faith with much more experience and Holy Spirit revelation than we have.  But the person to provide the Godly counsel is important and should never be a person of the opposite sex.   

As women, it can be difficult for us to submit to our husbands.  Our society has made certain we want our own lives and jobs to make us independent.  There is nothing about the feminist movement that is in line with the Word of God and His directives to wives.  In fact, Paul told the church at Corinth in 1 Corinthians 11:8-12:
For man is not from woman, but woman from man. Nor was man created for the woman, but woman for the man. For this reason the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. Nevertheless, neither is man independent of woman, nor woman independent of man, in the Lord. For as woman came from man; even so man also comes through woman, but all things are from God.

The Word of God says we are not independent of each other.  So, how then, can we expect God’s blessings on our marriage and in our lives if we insist on being independent women?  Independence pulls us out from under the covering God has provided.  What does the covering we have through our husbands provide for us? 

1.     Protection from the enemy.

2.     A guide on the path we walk.

3.     A leader when the path doesn’t seem clear.

4.     Strength when we are weak.

The Lord chose a very unique method of revealing the four items above to me.  I am a woman that likes to be in control of everything around me.  If it is not in my control, then chances are I am a basket case.  My husband and I enjoy camping.  While we are camping, we like to canoe down the river and we like to hike. On one trip in particular we left the children at home and went camping just the two of us. We decided to walk a trail that was a little above our difficulty level.  On the way up the mountain, I was leading the way with my husband behind me. 

On trails like we were on, the trees on either side of the trail are marked.  The purpose of the markers is to let hikers know when they are leaving the marked trail and going into dangerous terrain.  The walk up was not easy.  It was much steeper than either of us had anticipated and we finally came to a fallen tree on ground that was flat enough for us to stop and rest for a few minutes.  We each decided it was time to head back down.  We just were not experienced enough hikers for the trail we had chosen.  We rested for a few minutes, enjoyed the scenery around us and then decided to head back down the trail. I took the lead and after just a few steps, I slipped and nearly slid right down the trail.  I could have been hurt badly.

My husband was of course concerned about my safety and decided he was going to go ahead and lead us back down the trail.  I was a little miffed at first because, after all, I wanted to be in control. Very quietly in my spirit I heard the Lord tell me that my husband couldn’t protect me if I was walking ahead of him.  He couldn’t catch me if I fell.  He couldn’t warn me of upcoming traps, fallen logs, prickly vines, or other dangers if he was behind me.  I was instantly convicted of my feelings of control.  I knew I had to learn to trust my husband. 
While we were walking down the trail I kept asking him if he could see the trail markers because I couldn’t see them.  My husband kept telling me yes, he could see them.  I once again heard the Lord say to me that the markers were for my husband to lead me.  He could see them because he was walking ahead of me down the trail.  My husband would let me know which direction I needed to go to stay on the trail and out of harm’s way.  

Here I am a woman that so desires to be in control of every aspect of her life.  Striving to be in control of everything brings so much stress and does not build peace in our lives.  Before anyone panics, I will say that I will further discuss submission in another post.  Submission does not mean we lose our identities and give up who we are.  Our Covering Part 2 will post tomorrow morning.

The Lord very quietly let me know if I can be submissive to my husband, a physical person that I can see that I will disagree with from time to time, then I can certainly give the Lord control over my life as well.  He can show you, too, how peaceful and full your marriage can be if you choose to be obedient to the Word of God. 



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