Beyond Obedience, Revisited

In this presentation, Christine Lamicela addresses “Beyond Obedience, Revisited” by discusses the three keys she has used in her child training, “cheerfully, thoroughly, and immediately.” Bringing this to our adult interpersonal experiences, do we respond in these same ways to the authorities we are responsible to?

Using illustrations from her childhood, schooling, and employment, she offers practical and Biblical instruction to leadership and submission in marriage.

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Transcription:

Welcome sisters. Thank you for coming on time. I have been really looking forward to this. I can’t believe I’m really here- It’s really happening! It’s really nice to have some familiar faces, some new faces. It’s always a nice thing to look out and see some smiling faces that you know. And so we’re going to start with a song. The song is, “He’s Been Faithful” and I picked that because I am sitting here trusting in His faithfulness that He will meet with me and He will meet with you and that this won’t just be another nice sisters meeting, but it will be a sisters meeting that changes me and any of you who might need to be changed.

So we will start- my daughter will lead this song and just one thing while there’s a couple more people coming in. I have physical problems, which you’ll hear about after the break. So if I look tired or weak or not, very excited. I’m really very excited. I’m filled with the love of Jesus. But it doesn’t always come out when I’m feeling like this.

I shouldn’t be here doing this except that I’m probably the most qualified one to do it. 1. I’m one of the older sisters. 2. I have made every mistake in the book when it comes to this topic. So I am very experienced in making mistakes and having God help me to change some of that. So I feel qualified in a negative sense I guess you’d say. I’m not bragging, it’s not pride. So anyway I’m just saying that so that you don’t wonder why I’m saying I’m excited but I sure don’t look it. It’s just the physical condition that I have and we’ll talk about it as the Lord leads after the break. So there will be one break and we’ll be short. It’s just restroom break and then we’ll just continue with most likely that topic of treasures of Darkness.

 Song: He’s been faithful, so faithful to me. Through the past years His goodness I have seen. Through the sunshine of my life, through the darkness and the strife He’s been faithful- so faithful to me.

We can have a whole meeting just on that topic just how faithful the Lord has been to me. And I’m sure you all have the same testimony- God’s faithfulness in your life and the longer you walk with the Lord the more you see His faithfulness in the daily living and then if you’re in a weakened condition, you see it in a different way.

And I know God is going to meet with us and he’s going to help me through this because He is faithful. So that song actually was for me so that I could be reminded that He is faithful and He will be faithful.

So Amy, if you could just commit this time to the Lord.

Father God- we want to thank you for Your faithfulness your character demands that you are faithful. We cannot expect anything less and we look to you as a faithful God we’ve experienced you in our lives and we trust you this afternoon that you will meet with us here through an anointing of Your Spirit upon Christine upon each of our ears that are hearing, upon our lives as we go from here to take your truth and to apply it to our hearts. So we thank you for your faithfulness, and we look to you to speak to each of us. In Jesus name Amen.

When I was asked to share I waited for my husband’s answer to see if he was a hundred percent in favor of my doing this and then I was seeking the Lord. What should I speak about Lord? And it was just very clear that he wanted me to repeat a message that I did 12 years ago. And so I started off doing that and I have to say that I needed this preparation time and this sharing time perhaps more than anyone else here. It had been 12 years and I had made many improvements-  I had come a long way, but I had also fallen back on many things.

And so preparing for this has been a really beautiful thing in my life at this point to just get my heart set right again. And so it’s for me. I sit here not as someone who is an expert. A lot of times you go to a talk and the speaker is the expert and they talk about a topic that maybe you want to learn. In this case I am not the expert. I am a humble learner. I need this and I’m not saying this just because I feel it’s a nice thing to say. I seriously needed this refresher.

Beyond obedience was the message I did 12 years ago, and now I’m calling this one “Beyond Obedience Revisited” because it’s looking at it. I had actually never listened to the tape of the first one. I didn’t want to hear my voice and hear the mistakes and all that, but just a couple of weeks ago I did- I listened to it and I heard a passion and I a heard energy and I thought wow I was really passionate about that and I still am although it doesn’t come across the same way because I don’t have the energy I did then and I don’t have the health I had then. But it is still a desire of my heart to get this right and to help the sisters get this right. So that’s why I feel very qualified to sit here because I have made the mistakes. So I understand mistakes that can be made.

 I also understand that there are sisters here in different states of life. There are some single ones. There are some perhaps courting ones. There are some maybe single moms, may be divorced. I just want you to know the principle of authority is for everyone. So although we will be mainly speaking about being under our husband’s authority; you can apply it to the authority that you are under whether it be your father, whether it be church authority. It is a principle that we all have to be under authority and honoring our authority is a principal from God’s word. So wherever you are I hope that this speaks to you and maybe you’re here because you are not struggling with this. Maybe the Lord has you here because you’re working with someone who’s struggling with this and maybe some of these ideas you can take back to them.

We’re calling it “Beyond Obedience Revisited” and one of the things about obedience when we were teaching our children about obedience. We taught them that there are three keys to obedience one was cheerfully, thoroughly, and immediately. If one of those was missing it was disobedience. There was no such thing as delayed obedience or grumpy obedience or partial obedience. If it’s not all those three, then it’s disobedience. And so that’s just what we taught our children.

But what about us as sisters are we being cheerful when our authority tells us to do something? Are we doing it instantly? Are we doing it thoroughly? We’re going to talk about going beyond obedient. We’re going to be talking about what it means to go beyond just doing it. It’s doing it with honor and reverence and love in our hearts.

So I’m really happy that some of you are here that I know- it’s really nice having those smiling faces, but some of you know my story some of you don’t. So I feel like I should just give you a little introduction to who I am and why I have this accent that I have. And so I thought I would just tell you a little bit. I was actually born and raised in New York City. In the section called Queens and partially in Brooklyn. I grew up in an Italian American Catholic Family. The family was very close. We were involved in each other’s life all the time and we had a close family and I enjoyed living in New York City and it was a blessing. It was all we knew. But right from the beginning of my life when I was born the doctors told my mom that I wasn’t going to live. I was born three weeks early and I had open sores all over me and they took me from my mom and put me in isolation and they said that I wasn’t going to live. Well, obviously I have and they didn’t know what was happening. They didn’t know what was wrong with me. But that kind of started out my life in a hard way and perhaps that’s why I have some of the struggles I have.

Going to school. We went right down the block to Elementary Catholic school. I went to Catholic High School. I even went to Catholic business school, and in did some Catholic College. I was Catholic! And I had difficulty in school. I have a reading problem and that reading problem was not diagnosed at that time. We had 68 to 72 students in each class with one teacher. We didn’t have discipline problems. You wouldn’t- you’d be too afraid to cross the teacher, but they never noticed I had a problem. So when we were reading they would pass the book or they would say, okay, you read the first paragraph and they go around like that so I would count. Okay, I’m 5th in the row, okay. I got the fifth paragraph. I’d read it so I’d be ready for it. And then the person before me perhaps would say skip the next paragraph. I’d say Oh, no! So it was very stressful.

And it was very difficult and my grades showed that I was good and conduct and effort, but when it came to my academics, it was a struggle. My goal at that point was to work for the airlines. My father was a pilot of a small planes and I used to love going flying with him. And I don’t know. I just got this desire to travel and to work for the airline. So that was a goal I had and eventually I did get an airline job. This is back in the 80s at Kennedy Airport. One of the biggest international airports in the country and I had a very interesting job. I had an unusual job. I used to work right with the aircraft for our particular Airline. Now the planes would come in from England and someone had to be there to meet the plane and to make sure that all the operations that had to be done to this aircraft to get it ready to turn around and go out to bring the people back to England would be done. So my job was to monitor the operations at Kennedy Airport for this particular Airline.

So the plane would come in and the first thing you’d have to make sure somebody was there to clear the paperwork and the paperwork had to be taken into Customs. So if you go on international flight, you never even know this is going on. But from I had to make sure somebody was there and somebody was going to meet them, take the paperwork and then just take it through customs and then bring it back before the people can get off the plane. So that was the first thing I had to make sure that that was going. Then you had to make sure that there was either a jet way or a staircase so that the people could get off the plane. And then when the people got off the plane you had to make sure that the plane was cleaned. And so at the time we had head rests that they would take all the old ones off and put new ones on 345 seats. Make sure that it was nice and clean and I would just be making sure that the cleaners were doing their job. Making sure they were there and making sure they were doing what they were supposed to be doing and not goofing off.

Then you had to make sure that the Lavatories were cleaned and make sure that the truck was there to clean the Lavatories and then you make sure that new water was put in because you can’t go transatlantic without water. So you’d make sure that the water was there. They took all the leftover meals off. They would take them off the plane and then you have to make sure that when it was time to leave that the new meals were put on. You had to look and watch for these things and it’s all happening at the same time and there’s usually pressure because the flight has to leave on time.

Anyway, you might be sitting there and saying why in the world is she telling us all these details about her Airline job. No one here is hoping to get an airline job I’m sure, but there is a reason. I was good at my job. In fact, I was excellent at my job. When there was a tight turnaround time when a flight had to get brought in, all those things had to be done and it had to go out. If I wasn’t assigned to that plane they would assign me to that flight, because they knew if anyone could get it out it was Christine. I was so good at it. Now you have to remember what I told you about high school. I didn’t do well in school. So I always thought of myself as being dumb. All of I sudden started thinking I guess no one told me that I’m stupid because that’s really how I felt. Like why are they giving me promotions when I’m not good at school work? It just didn’t line up. But I was good at my job.

So the people would get off the plane you’d make sure that there was baggage handlers to get the luggage in and then you’d make sure that now we’re getting the plane ready to go out. Make sure that those head rest are on and that they look nice. I was little picky about that. We’d make sure that the head rests were all on very neatly and we make sure that the floor was clean because they’re going to be on the plane for a long time and you want it to start out nice. Make sure the meals were on.

Now the pilot and the co-pilot couldn’t have the same meal because what happens if the meal was spoiled. Then both of them would get sick. Then there was one pilot that would not leave until he saw that his baggage was there. There was a little elevator in the plane he would go down and he would look for himself. So we made sure especially when he was driving make sure the luggage is right there because he would delay a flight if it wasn’t there.

So all these things are going on at the same time. Lots and lots of details and you’re calling for this on the little walkie-talkie type thing we had. There were no cell phones back then and we call you know, I need the cleaner. I need the tow bar to get attached so we can pull out and all these things are going on.

And like I said, I was good. I was excellent at it. But what terrible, terrible preparation for marriage? Now I find myself when I got married, oh, don’t worry, honey. I’ll get us out on time.

So before we got married I’ll back up a little bit. When I was 28 years old, I was invited to a church service that my sister-in-law was going to and she asked me if I’d like to come to the service and I went I was eager to see what it was like and it was the first time I ever heard the gospel presented. I had been Catholic all my life and I had never heard the gospel presented. I didn’t even know that’s what they were doing. I just knew that they were explaining something that I had never heard before and I was feeling like- I don’t know what, I don’t understand it, but I want more. I knew I wanted more so the Pastor said, “Would anyone like to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior?” and I thought well who wouldn’t want that and raised my hand.

And then he said, “ Okay, well anyone that raised a hand, please come forward.” Well, I thought it’s one thing to sit in the back and raise my hand, but I’m not going to go forward unbeknownst to me the pastor knew that I was there. The church had been praying for me. And so he said Christine you had your hand up won’t you come forward? So I went forward and repeated what I know now to be the sinner’s prayer.

Honestly, I did not know what it meant to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior. It meant nothing. I just knew I wanted more and immediately the Lord met me. It was amazing. My life has never been the same. So here I was 28 years old and I got my first Bible. You people that grew up with it don’t know what a treasure it was. My Bible- my first Bible!

So right after that I decided I should really go to a Bible study because I knew I didn’t know the Bible. Honestly, I didn’t know where the Old Testament and the New Testament were in the Bible. I didn’t know which was in the front which was in the back. I just didn’t know anything about a Bible although I had heard Bible stories growing up in the Catholic Church. So I decided to look around for a church, and then I thought well instead of going to the same denomination as where I had been born again. I’ll just see if there’s a Catholic Church that has a Bible study.

And sure enough, this priest named father Ron had a Bible study. So I said well, I’ll go there. I mean why wouldn’t I it’s just right down the block and I’ll go there. So I went there and the first day there were about six couples and a couple of single people and I sat down, I put my Bible down, and sat down. I had no idea who was sitting next to because we were visiting. Everybody’s greeting me as the new person. And next thing I know we’re going to sit down and guess who I was sitting next to- the priest!

I had put my Bible next to the priest’s chair, I didn’t know that so I sat there and they said okay now turn to- and whatever it was I didn’t know where in the Bible it was and I’m sitting next to the priest. So I looked at other peoples Bibles and I said. “That looks about halfway. I think I’ll open to halfway.” and oh, it was very embarrassing. I was humiliated. He did not notice a thing. He still doesn’t notice my mistakes. Anyway, we got to be friends. I was around 30 at the time I guess or late 20s, and I didn’t want to get married. I was so content being single. I just had no desire to get married. I really thought if anybody really knew me they couldn’t love me. That was how I felt. So a Catholic priest was safe because Catholic priests can’t get married. So this is fine. We can be friends. This is fine I thought. Well, obviously any of you that know my husband’s name is Ron. I ended up marrying that Catholic priest. He had been born again a few months before that, and he realized he couldn’t stay in the Catholic church, and he also wanted to get married and he hoped it was me but we hadn’t made any agreement. I was still kind of shocked at the fact that now this could be an option. So he left and two years later we got married.

Okay, so now you know about my past and we’ll bring it up a little bit more. In 2000 about we were living in Ephrata, Pennsylvania. We moved there in 2000. And that year we were invited to a homeschool conference. And so we went to the conference and my husband said, “Christine, you know, if there’s any talk to you like to go to- I’ll take care of the children.” And they were like one, three, five, and nine or so. And I said, “Wow, that would be great.” Okay, so I looked over the schedule and there was this one woman that I really liked- really a good speaker. And I thought doesn’t matter what she speaking on I’m going to go to it because I really like her. So my husband said, “Yeah, okay go.”

So I went to this meeting and she started talking about a book that had helped her to see that she wasn’t really submitting to her husband. So I thought well that’s interesting. And so she went on to explain that she wasn’t out-and-out rebellious. She wasn’t the type that if her husband said don’t do this. Well, she wouldn’t do it, but it was those daily contrary suggestions that were causing problems.

And I was listening. Okay, maybe I should look at that book after the meeting because it sounded a little familiar. So as she went on talking about these things. I realized that more and more I didn’t understand what true submission was. I didn’t even hear growing up-I grew up in New York City. They don’t talk about submission. They talk about women and Liberation and you know, “I Am Woman Watch Me Roar.” I mean, this was how I grew up. I was taught it’s a 50/50 proposition. You give 50, your husband gives 50 and it works out fine. And if you don’t like what he does, if you think his shirt is old and he shouldn’t be wearing it anymore. Throw it away. He will never know! He won’t miss it! These are the kind of things I grew up with. So submission was something I hadn’t heard of and now this woman was talking about it in a way I could relate to it.

So we’re going to read a little bit from here. My daughter Beth is going to read it because my reading problem that I mentioned that I had as a school-age child, with my sickness has gotten a lot worse. So one of the hardest things for me over these years has been that I can’t read if I focus on paper even for a minute or so I get more nauseated than I am normally and so it’s a trial but it’s okay. And now we live in a time when we can get the Bible on an iPad now and it’s wonderful. I can listen to it and listen to messages and God meets me. But so I have my assistant here. She’s going to do the reading and then we’ll talk a little bit more about it.

“The Jezebel Spirit”

“A wife who wants to be in control is a wife who is in rebellion towards God. God does not look with favor on those who are rebellious towards Him. Webster’s 1828 dictionary defines Rebellion as open resistance to lawful Authority. The Bible says that Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. The controlling wife is receiving her guidance from the wrong source, and this deception will cost her dearly somewhere along the way.

Control takes many forms. We’ve all seen the women who treat their husbands like little boys who can’t speak for themselves. You spend just a few minutes with this type of woman and you’ll hear a long list of complaints against her husband. These husband’s usually mince behind and say very little the wife will explain he doesn’t talk much. He wants me to be in charge. I don’t agree. I think he gave up years ago. Jezebel was a wife who insisted on being in control. You’ll find her story in First Kings chapter 21. Whren her husband Ahab couldn’t purchase the vineyard he wanted from a man named Naboth. He came home went to bed turned his face to the wall and refused to eat. His wife Jezebel then took over. She said, “Arise, eat food, and let your heart be happy. I will give you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.” And so she set in motion a wicked plot and had Naboth stoned to death and her husband Ahab took possession of the vineyard.

Ahab and Jezebel died terrible deaths foretold by the prophets Elijah and verse 25 makes the point quite well. “For there is no one who sold himself to do evil in the sight of the Lord as did Ahab incited by his wife Jezebel.” This is an extreme example to be sure but if we honestly look at ourselves, I think we would see that we have the desire to control. I often wonder what would have happened had Jezebel just left Ahab with his face to the wall if she had left him to work out his own problems by himself. My God has spoken to him about coveting another man’s land. The desire to control is the basis of rebellion again, it is a deceitful spirit because we feel justified in our actions. Our aim is most often to improve on a situation for ourselves or others, but we rarely succeed. But I was only trying to help! Is the favorite excuse or, I had to because he wouldn’t. That seems to be the kind of reasoning Jezebel used. Rebellion or spirits of control are strongholds that Satan has in our life.

Francis Frangipane in his book The Three Battleground states, “The strongholds that affect us most are those which are so hidden in our thinking patterns that we do not recognize them nor identify them as evil. Any area of our heart or mind that is not surrendered to Jesus Christ is an area of vulnerable to satanic attack and it is here uniquely in the on crucified thought life of the Believers mind that the pulling down of strongholds is of vital importance. When we discover rebellion towards God within us we must not defend or excuse ourselves. Rather we must humble our hearts and repent exercising our faith in God to change us. Rebellion or a spirit of control manifests itself in different ways in frowns, snares, size, body language, pretense, silent treatment, a disrespectful attitude, or deliberate disobedience.”

Can anyone relate? Am I the only one? It says the desire to control is the basis of rebellion. It is a deceitful spirit because we feel justified in our actions. The strongholds that affect us most are those which are so hidden in our thinking patterns that we do not recognize them nor identify them as evil- I was just trying to help.

So it’s those counter suggestions, Husband comes home. “How about we have dinner at 5:30 tonight so that we can put the children to bed early and then we can have some time together?” Wife “Oh, I thought we were going to have time before dinner.” Husband pulling into a parking spot. Wife, “Oh, honey, there’s a much better one over there.” I was just trying to help!

You see we think we know better. Is it pride? The point is it’s something that’s pretty common among women. I don’t know if it’s more common to women with my background because this is my background. I don’t know if some of you who have grown up plain might say we don’t really struggle with that that much. All I know this woman who wrote this book. The name of the book is Daughters of Sarah. She is not a plain lady. She does not cover her head, but she knows more about submission than a lot of other woman that I know. So we can learn from people that aren’t exactly like us.

Now we’re going to have a sister give a testimony.

Testimony: Wow, I’ve really been enjoying listening to you Christine. I could keep on but since I agreed to this, I guess I have to do this now and I don’t think it is just people with your background Sister Christine because I grew up in a conservative background and my name is Vera Smoker by the way, me and my husband Brandon live in Lancaster and about seven months ago we had a beautiful little girl and we named her Sarah and part of the reason that we named her Sarah a big part was that we were married two years this June and ever since we’ve been married. My prayer has been Lord. I want a Sarah  heart. I want a Sarah heart and I’d hear about the Jezebel spirit. I was like, I know that’s not what I want. So what’s the opposite Lord? That’s what I want. I want the opposite and so I prayed this a lot.

I was asking for it for a long time and my husband is a very steady Eddie and he was always like you’re a wonderful wife, but I felt like something was missing and every once in a while he’d say, “Yeah, it would be nice if you were more rest, but you’re a good wife.” And so I would kind of okay, okay. So I kept asking and the Bible says, “Ask and it shall be given. Seek and ye shall find. Knock and it shall be opened.”

It was about a month and a half ago. I was at a sister’s meeting at our church. And there was a dear sister there from India by the name of Annie Poone. And she was speaking on our relationship with our husbands and respect and unity and how we are given the glorious privilege to show Jesus to the world- how Jesus related to the Father. And God is really counting on us wives to display part of his glory and I felt like something was seriously missing in me. I felt like maybe I was suffocating some of that Glory so I went home and I really prayed about these things and I think it was the next day. I went to the computer was like, I want to hear another sisters talk on marriage and I was just kind of scrolling down through some names on the Charity Sermon Ministry Website and I saw Sister Christina, I had never heard of Sister Christina, I’ll see what she has to say and after I listened to her talk God really stirred me through that sermon and I’ve listened to it three times, and I’m not done I’m sure.

I began to tremble, because I began to realize this is a serious thing. And I’m guilty. I’m guilty of controlling my husband. I would counter everything that he would come up with. In nice ways. You know, nice ways. It didn’t sound ugly. But in a nice way, I would say oh honey, how about this, you know. I thought about this! Until he was thoroughly confused. Who is he hearing God’s voice or mine?

And so I got on my knees that day that I listened to that and I repented before God of criticizing my husband even in my heart was rising over the glory of God. It wasn’t just rising over Brandon. I was rising up over the glory of God and smothering that. And I tremble! We have such of a beautiful thing to display to the world. I have such a beautiful thing that God has entrusted to me and not only that but I was also hindering my husband from hearing from God when the more I would talk the more he was like whose voice what am I hearing? And I would say I have all these good ideas. He needs to hear from God.  We want our husbands. I wanted my husband to hear from God more than anything else. What I didn’t realize was when I have my hands on my husband he can’t. When I keep bombarding him with all my ideas and good plans and solutions. I would ask a question. And before he had even time to answer I would give my own answer. Wow. So why did I ask him the question?! My husband needs time to think and I wasn’t even giving him that time to think I would just right away- Oh, yeah. I have the answer this sounds good and he would agree with it.

So I started seeing that this is a mission this honor command from God. It’s not something cool. It’s not something neat. This is not an option. This is a necessity if our home is going to survive if my sons and my daughters are going to be like olive trees planted in the house of the Lord. I want this and I want to do whatever it takes to have this and so the next step was that I needed to repent to my husband and it’s not about what my husband does or doesn’t do. It’s not about what he says or doesn’t it say, it’s all about God and His glory and so after I repented to God, I went to Brandon and asked his forgiveness and told him I’m just going to trust God the you’re going to hear from God and I’m done bombarding you with all my ideas. And he got this candle-like glow on his face and he just looked at me. He’s like wow you are going to be so much at rest. I was like, yeah, that’s right. I said I’m giving you the responsibility and then he got kind of quiet and said that’s a lot more on me though. I was like, yeah, do you want it and he said I sure do. I was like you want to hear from God first. They want to hear from God for us. So right now we’re both a very much at a learning place with this whole thing, but it’s wonderful. It’s phenomenal. Once you’ve tasted it you sure don’t want to go back.

Every morning when I wake up. I place myself, my husband, my family in God’s hands. I say God I want to trust you to work this thing in me, show me how to walk, show me how this thing works today. You know, what situations are going to come up. Prepare my heart and if I fail there’s grace. I repent right away, but we need his Spirit to show us how to walk to teach us how to walk in these things.

So I’m discovering more and more what it is to be a helper suitable to my husband’s needs not to another husband, but to my husband. I’m learning that I need to learn to know my husband. I can’t go to a book or talk. I can talk to a lot of people but it comes down to discovering my husband. What is a helpmeet suitable for his needs. That’s what God said. He created me for I will make a helpmeet suitable for his needs. So that’s where I am and taking thoughts captive. Criticism and  comparison are from the enemy.

When I stop and think about it. I don’t want that. I don’t want that in our home at all and anything that raises itself above my husband’s leadership is raising itself above God’s glory and it’s got to go because I want God’s glory to come down and shine in our home. When I’m tempted to question or rise up or correct him with my words. God reminds me with this verse, “He is my anointed.” And I think of David with Saul and I say to myself. “He, Brandon, is God’s anointed.” Do I want to say that to him like that? Probably not. No then that’s the answer. It’s taking my heart to God when I’m tempted to concern myself with his spiritual walk. How he is or isn’t doing family devotions or whatever it is in my life. I remind myself that he is- God’s workmanship created in Christ, Jesus and God’s going to perfect that which concerns me. I would try to change I would bring up all kinds of things trying to change. It did not bring a rest to our marriage but this is beautiful and I am captivated. Instead of quickly answering I pray- Lord give him your answer. Show him your perspective on this. My husband just told me the other week. He said, “You know, I just  feel different I feel more responsible.” And he said, “You’re more at rest.”

That is God. So to God be the glory. I am excited to see what God’s going to do. You know, when we trust ourselves into God’s care and we wait on our husbands. It’s surprising to see how God takes care of us. It’s really given us more time to enjoy each other and just enjoy life together, because I’m not always countering him. So we don’t have those things to discuss anymore. I mean, you know, not all those little things that really doesn’t matter. It’s really, really neat. It’s amazing. He’s the leader. We’re a team. I look at it that way. We’re a team now. It’s not whether I’m right or wrong. God did not give us perfect husbands, but His way is perfect and it works and it’s beautiful.

So just one quick example yesterday we were on our way home from Virginia and we had this big garbage bag of trash in the back of the car that I was worried what are we going to do with because we had been staying at a cabin and the cabin we had to take our own trash.  He needed to get gas so he was going to pull in a Sheetz station. I have this funny thing about Sheetz. I don’t like Sheetz gas and I almost said, “Oh honey. What about the Exxon down there?” And right away I checked myself and I was like doesn’t matter Sheetz- Exxon just as long as we have gas in the car and it gets us there. Right? And so I just kept quiet. We pulled in and here was this guy gathering the trash and so Brandon said, “Oh I’ll ask him if he’ll take our bag of trash.” And he said,” All the trash you have in the car. I’ll take it.” So it’s just neat little things like that. What if I had raised myself up and my husband would have said, “Oh yeah Exxon. Yeah, let’s do the Exxon.” Would it really mattered? Yes, because my spirit wasn’t right in countering him. And see how God took care of us. It’s a little thing but God wants to do that for us when we put ourselves under Him and do it His way.  -Vera Smoker

Christine- Thank you Vera! You’ve brought up some really good points. I’m sure some of you can relate to some of those things. One of the things she talked about was learning to submit to our own husband. Well, when I started this journey and started looking to see what I was doing right and wrong and just learning- reading the book trying to find my way. I went the wrong way. I went the other extreme. So my husband would say, “So Christine, what do you think about such and such?”  “Oh, honey, whatever you think.” “But what do you think about..” Oh honey- I know you’ll make the right decision.” But honey, what do you think? I want your opinion?”  “Oh honey, it’s fine. Whichever way you do it.” Was getting him a little frustrated because I would give no opinion now, because I watched other sisters, which is not wise we’re not supposed to compare ourselves.

I watch some of the other sisters and they seem to have no opinion about anything it seemed. And I seemed to have an opinion about everything. And so I had to find my way and say to my husband. “I’m not sure what my place is here honey. I don’t know how to be your helper. I’m just not sure.” Well we happened to have good communication. And I know that not everyone does but I sat down and explained to him that I wanted to be his helper. I realized that I was created to help him. But I couldn’t help him without him giving me some help to help him. So my own husband.

My husband is a lot different than your husbands. Some of you have type A kind of husbands. Take charge do it all and you don’t have to worry as much- they won’t let you take over. But my husband is more like Vera’s the steady Eddie- kind patient slower than I am even in my sickness. He’s slower in the sense that I have my ideas that are all over the place and he needs to think and he needs to make the right decision. But he makes the right decision and guess what? His timing is always right. I’m the one that’s wrong. His slowness is not a problem. It’s my impatient with his slowness that is wrong or my feeling like I have to hurry him up. That’s where I was wrong.

So I had to learn to find a happy medium and also it’s not just about obeying our husbands. It’s much more than that. True submission is yielding ourselves to God through our husband you see if it’s just about our husbands. Okay, but when you realize it’s really about God. So now when we are struggling with our husband’s decision guess what sisters we’re struggling with our Sovereign God, the God of the universe, the God who created the universe with just words. We are thinking He made a mistake. We’re at a place that’s out of order. Maybe you’re thinking- yeah, but you don’t know my husband.” And it’s true. I don’t know all your husbands but I do know my God, and I know that He is able. He wouldn’t put this into His word if He was not going to help us.

It’s not about I’m going to try harder. I’m going to turn over a new leaf. It’s not about trying harder. It’s not about strong will. It’s about the Holy Spirit changing us. It’s about taking our thoughts captive. It’s about being changed on the inside. I have a prayer partner. She’s out of state and we pray regularly and this is what we pray for and we regularly pray that the Lord will put a guard on a mouths. That no words would come out that shouldn’t, but we never stop there. It’s always, “But Lord change our heart, change our thoughts because if we start thinking the wrong thoughts, I guarantee you they will come out if they don’t come out in words; sighs, body language, silent treatment like we heard and it will come out and even if it doesn’t come out where they see guess what our children are watching. And young people same thing with your dads. Your dads might ask you to do something and you’re like why in the world does he want me to do that? You know what you’d be more blessed to do that than to not do that. Because again, you’re obeying your father. You’re obeying God.

So if you don’t have a big enough view of who God is let me recommend tape series by Denny Kenaston “The Divine Attributes of God.” They help you see who God really is. It just makes it bigger and it’s just the more we see who God is the more we can obey our husbands. Trusting in our God to work through. So even if our husband makes a “mistake” in our eyes and maybe it really is a mistake. To God that’s nothing he can work it out together for good. He might change at the last minute. He might change it. That’s between God and our husbands, our God, and our fathers. All we have to do is remember that God is speaking through our authorities.

Now one thing the book doesn’t say. There have been situations, obviously, where a husband asks a wife to hide the fact that they’re selling drugs or there’s some abusive things going on and there are times that we need to bring it to the attention of our pastor or whatever. But most of the times it’s just going to be things that we can we could live with.

So now we’re going to have another reading from the book. I have to go back a little bit to the book. So back to the homeschool conference where she’s talking about this book and I’m sitting there thinking it’s getting more interesting. I’m thinking yeah, this does sound good. I think I will definitely look into it in the beginning. I thought I maybe and by the middle I thought yeah, I should at least look at the book, but they had a shortage of the book at that conference, and I thought you know somebody else might need it more than I do. By the end of the talk. I made a beeline right down to the book table. And I said no one needs it more than I need it. It even has my name right here Christine like right in the center. I was like, wow, I needed it. I still need it. I need it again, and I hope that in this year and you’ll see that maybe we all need help in this and maybe we can help each other through this.

“Manipulation”

“Now the serpent was more subtle and crafty than any living creature of the field, which the Lord God had made.” Genesis 3:1. Manipulation is an insidious device that Satan uses to deceive wives into subtly affecting their husbands behavior. Funk & Wagnalls dictionary defines manipulate- “To influence or control artfully or deceptively, to change, or alter usually fraudulently.”

In the garden Satan did not approach Adam directly. He went through Eve just the opposite of what God did. He knew that if he could appeal to her mind and her reason she would get to her husband for him and she did. Adam was the responsible one here. He made a decision to disobey God and listen to his wife. And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened and given heed to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you saying you shall not eat of it. The ground is under a curse because of you. In sorrow and toil shall you eat of the fruits of it all the days of your life.” Genesis 3:17

Eve was used by Satan. She was tempted by good food and more wisdom and right away she went trotting off to bring her husband into it. If she had said to the serpent when he approached her, “Talk to my husband about it,” instead of engaging him in conversation, or had gone to Adam and said, “Listen to what this serpent is saying to me.” Then she would have been placing the responsibility where it belonged. Adam would have had to decide how to deal with it. Even if he had made the same decision Eve would have been freed from responsibility. Usually when a wife is manipulating she is deceived as Eve was. Deceived means- to mislead the mind, to cause to believe what is false, or disbelieve what is true, to delude, to beguile, to cheat.

“But now I am fearful lest that even as the serpent beguiled Eve by his cunning. So your minds may be corrupted and seduced from wholehearted and sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 2 Corinthians 11:3 Manipulation is tricky. It’s very easy to get caught into it because of our ‘good intentions’. We want to improve on situations and be helpful. And any way we can make good things happens seems legitimate to us at the time. We try to manipulate major issues like housing, jobs, schooling, finances, friends, etc. Always with the best intentions. We try to manipulate minor issues too numerous to mention.

Just recently I got into a manipulative situation with my husband. He has been very careful to pray for me and watch over me as I work on this manuscript. He knows me well, and he knows that when I believe I’m to do something I’ll throw myself into it and wear myself out and so he’s been constantly cautioning me and at times has literally demanded that I stopped working. Well, I’ve obeyed him but inside I’ve been anxious to keep going and to get this work completed. And so one day when I was in our book shop, I saw a big thick book- a new one that I thought Walter would like to read. I know what he is like when he gets involved in a big thick book. I lose him for days. So I brought this book to him just like Eve and said, “I think you might enjoy this.” But in my heart it was not his enjoyment I was concerned with. I was manipulating.

I thought- you guessed it, if he got involved in a big thick book he’d let me work as hard and as long as I liked. I’m embarrassed to confess that I got caught in this trap, but I did. I wasn’t really submitting my time to the Lord. I was just admitting to Walter and that’s how I was deceived into manipulating. If I had been looking to the Lord I would have said, “Okay Lord, You want me to quit thank you for taking care of me.”

By the way. It didn’t work. It never does. My husband was as diligent as ever at keeping his eye on me. And what’s was worse. He didn’t even like the book. In fact, he found it to be a disturbing book fascinating enough to keep reading, but he did not really enjoy it. And I had to watch him spending all this time on it feeling ashamed and guilty. Wishing I had kept my suggestion to myself. Please do not take this example too far. The reason it was wrong for me to suggest it in this instance was my motive. It wasn’t pure. It was manipulative. I’m sharing this in the hope that you who are reading this will examine your motives.

The enemy is always trying to deceive us. He uses means that seem good, sincere, benevolent. We fall for them and get deceived into believing we’re helping. When in truth we are manipulating. “Be sober, be vigilant because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about seeking whom he may devour. 1 Peter 5:8

Christine- We laugh and it is a real original idea. But how many of us have similar things that maybe we did? Not quite the same but I think we all have some embarrassing things that if we wrote a book like this that we would share.

We’re going to turn the corner now. We’re going to take a look at the words from this verse. It’s actually the Amplified Version. We will be using it like a commentary just to get some synonyms to the words and we will go through them.

Okay, so it says, “Let the wife see that she respects and reverence her husband.” and then it goes on with the synonyms. So we’re going to go through them just so that we understand what is expected of us. But remember this is not by strong will this is by God’s grace. This is by God’s Holy Spirit. This is not something we can do. We can do it maybe for a week or two, but we can’t do it for a long time with without the Lord changing us.

Respect. “Let the wife see that she respects”- to consider worthy of esteem, to value, to refrain from interfering with. I read somewhere respect looks at your husband through the eyes of eternity. We heard something about that those of you that were there this morning. I heard there was something about the man that married this woman that was nothing to look at, but he saw through that.

Esteem. Because we just said to consider worthy of esteem. Esteem means to set a high value on, to hold in high regard. Remember this is how we’re supposed to be thinking towards our husbands. Okay, young ladies that are here, maybe some of you will get married, maybe some of you won’t, but you can still learn this if you’re called to get married learn it now, it will save a lot of heartache and pain if you learn it now. And for those that maybe the Lord has you be single for life that you can still know about these things and use what you can for your authority.

Reverence. To have profound respect mingled with love and awe. Awe- a feeling of reverential respect mixed with fear or wonder. When was the last time you looked at your husband and said “Awe wow!” Let the wife see that she respects and reverence her husband, that she notices him- to pay polite or favorable attention to.

You know, there are times I think they might walk in the room and we don’t even greet them. That’s something from our culture that you just wouldn’t do that. That’s politeness. You greet the person when they walk in, but maybe to some of you maybe they work at home and you’re just used to having them around. Notice them, pay attention or favorable attention to.

I also was just thinking there might be some newlyweds here and some of you might be thinking; I can’t believe these ladies have these problems. What’s with them? Or maybe a courting sister and saying; it’s different for me. I won’t struggle with these things. Why would I even think that way? You will. It happens. I mean, maybe there’s an exception but we didn’t think we would have trouble with it either, but we did.

Regards. That she notices him; regards him. Regards- to treat as something of peculiar value or worth, to keep in view. That doesn’t mean necessarily physically keeping in view, but keeping his wishes and preference in mind when you go shopping, when you’re going around the day, when you’re planning a meal, whatever you do you’re keeping his wishes and preferences in mind. I know single moms. They’ve been separated, and you know, they actually say I know my husband would want me to do this. They keep that in their mind. We need to keep it in our mind.

Honor- to show high regard or appreciation for, to be a credit to, to adorn. That’s beautiful. It says in Proverbs 12:4 “A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband.” That’s an adornment. A crown. It’s beautiful, “but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness to his bones.” Want to be a crown? a jewel? A critical and complaining wife is not at all a crown to her husband- is not adorning her husband. If you go around with a sad countenance that is not adorning your husband. I remember there was a sister who would complain regularly about how hard it was to home school. She was always complaining and her husband would hear it. And it was one day her husband came home and said, “I’ve made my mind I looked into school and we’re going to send the children to school next year.” She was devastated. Send the children to school! Where he get that idea? From a complaining wife. They’re listening. They’re hearing and they’re seeing our countenance. Are we complaining because there’s too much work because we have a few children? Our husbands might not want to have as many as they thought if we’re complaining about it. Let’s be careful. Let’s be their adornment not be something ugly.

Prefers- to value more highly than. Prefers him. Prefers him to what? Prefers him over our own will. It’s not important what I think about a particular situation. It’s what he thinks about it. We prefer him and his will and his decision.

Deference- a yielding of judgment or preference out of respect for the position, wish, or known opinion of another. Deference. We’re not supposed to respect them because he’s such a good husband, or because he’s such a godly man. It’s his position. It’s kind of like the president the United States some people don’t like him and I don’t mean just this one, just in general. Maybe this one’s not a favorite of ours, but we still shouldn’t say- Obama. What does he know? He’s the president of the United States and we should respect that position. You go into a courthouse. You don’t go to the judge and say, “Judge, I have a question!” Oh no, you have to respect the position. We must respect the position of our husbands, or of our fathers, or of our pastors. Whoever’s over us in authority. We must respect them for the position.

Praise- to honor because of Excellence or worth. “He (put your husband’s name in) is the image and glory of God.” I’ve had a card like this around for years. It’s misplaced now since we moved but this is a new one. Ron is the image and glory of God. Maybe it’s PMS. Maybe just having a hard day. Keep that where you can see it. Ron, Philip, James, Paul, whatever the name is, is the image and glory of God. Wow. That changes things.

Let the wife see that she respects and reverence her husband, that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerates and esteems him, and that she defers to him, praises him, and loves and admires him exceedingly.

Love- to hold dear, to cherish.

Admire- to esteem or regard highly in spite of the mistakes he makes, in spite of him maybe not being what you want him to be. Admire him. Exceedingly exceptional in amount quality or degree greater than is customary. So we’re supposed to do this abundantly not just halfheartedly. Go for it. Exceedingly. You can’t love them too much. You can’t honor him too much. Honor him exceedingly admire him.

So you can take those papers home. You can put them on your refrigerator. You can put them in your Bible and use them. Hopefully they’ll give you some ideas of how we should be treating our husbands. Don’t leave here saying, “I can’t believe it. I have been a terrible wife!” That’s the enemy. Instead say, “Today’s a new day.”

Confess it as sin. It’s sin. We’ve sinned against God, we’ve sinned against her husband, we’ve sinned against our children who are watching. Confess it as sin. Repent. Turn from it. And then ask the Lord to help you to be the godly wife, the godly mother, the godly sister that He created you to be. He has a plan for us and if we get this right our husbands can be who God wants them to be, but if we don’t get this right guess what sisters. It’s not going to work out. This is not optional. This is the word of God. This is something we need to do. Two years from now is too late to start. I mean, I look back 12 years ago I got this book. And I see the mistakes and I could get under them and say- oh no! I can’t do that. I have confessed to my husband, my children. I see where I went wrong. I see the bumps in the road. I see but no excuses sisters. It’s not your husband’s fault that you’re doing this. So don’t say, “It’s because if you knew my husband he’s so slow. He’s so quiet. He’s not even converted.” No, it doesn’t matter. God is bigger than all that.

We are going to end with a song. This is a song called “God Make Us Women.” It was written by a young sister 12 years ago for the me Sisters Meeting I was doing back then. We’ll sing it as a prayer and then we’ll end with prayer.

I forgot to mention that the CD that Sister Christine is talking about that she did 12 years ago. My husband made copies and we brought them along. They’re on the back table. So if you would like a copy to revisit and re-listen to it like I’ve needed to do. They’re right back there and you can feel free to make a donation if you would like or if you don’t have anything on you, please take. My husband and I will cover them because we really want this to get out as far as it can go and if something here’s touched you tell someone else. Just keep spreading the message.

Yeah, we should really explain how this all happened that Vera is giving the testimony. My children are taking care of the registration for Kingdom Fellowship Weekend. She called up about I believe, a Kingdom Fellowship question, and then she just said to my daughter Beth, “Tell your mom I listened to her tape and I was really challenged.” I know Vera prays. So I said to tell her to please pray for me because I’m going to be speaking about that at Kingdom Fellowship Weekend, and that was it. Well, I wanted a testimony from a sister that was here. So I called Vera up. I said to my husband. “What do you think?” And he thought that sounded good. Called Vera up and she said she would be willing. It turned out to be incredible. It was just God putting it together because I wouldn’t have even known if she didn’t call up my children about Kingdom Fellowship weekend. And that was her idea to bring the tapes because obviously I didn’t want to toot my own horn. So she asked if she could bring them and I said well, let me check with my husband and I did and he said that would be fine if she wanted to. So I just thought I should add that.

Elaine. If you could close in prayer, I think I might say something after you pray. In fact, let me just say it now you can sit down for a minute. One of the things that has been a real blessing to me is I mentioned I have a prayer partner. It’s really been a blessing we pray. There’s no talking about our husbands in any negative way. We might talk about a work situation that he needs prayer for. He’s working on a roof today and we pray protection those kind of things but we pray and we pray regularly. Right now it’s been a little they just started a home business. So we’re not praying as often, but we’ve been doing it for three years now I trust her she trusts me it goes to no one else what we’re struggling with how we’re struggling. She told me I could share that I do have a prayer partner. I recommend it if your husband likes it or if your father says it’s okay to find another sister could be in your own home. If you have older siblings or if you have an older daughter or whatever, but it has been extremely helpful to be able to just pick up the phone and call somebody and say I have the sisters meeting and I’m not up to it. Please pray for me or whatever it is. It might be my husband just got a new job and I’m trying to get used to the schedule. Could you pray for me? Whatever it’s really a tremendous blessing. It kind of helps you to go from here to here. Take a Quantum Leap. If you can do it not everybody’s in the position to do it. I didn’t do it for years, but I do recommend that. Whether you have a prayer partner or not. Pray, pray, pray! I can’t say enough of prayer. If we had gone on to the next topic, which we’re not going to have time for it would have come out more in that session, but it’s going to have to wait for another time or another person but don’t neglect prayer. Pray for your husband’s, pray for your authorities, pray for your father’s, pray for your sisters. Pray. Pray. Pray!

Let’s stand and pray and then you’re dismissed. Heavenly Father, we come before You in reverence and fear in humility in love. We want to worship You, we want to praise You. We want to honor You, Lord. Help us to be that woman who respects and esteems our husband, our father, or whoever is in authority above us. Lord, give us a vision. Let us not to go away here and feel condemned or like I’ve messed up so big I don’t know where to start, but God I just pray that you give each woman a little glimpse of where start and there’s always a beginning to draw a line and say I’m going to step across this line. I’m going to start and Father, each new day is a new beginning. We thank You for that. Lord, help us to be willing to apologize, to forgive, and we just asked you to go before us and help us to be that glorious woman that you’ve created us to be. To be that help meet, to be that crown for our husbands, and we just asked you to instill in us Your love and a commitment to serve You the rest of our days. In Jesus name. Amen.