But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. (1 Corinthians 11:3)
God showed Adam a big garden, representative of the possibility of inheriting the whole world, if he handled it right.
He said: I want you to dress it, keep it, cultivate it, so it becomes productive - be a watchman over it, guard that garden. You have to cultivate your wife, so she becomes a beautiful woman. Take her out, and buy her something nice, look after her; speak words to her.
Headship is Male (1 of 5)
The source of all power and authority is God, who has entrusted it to 4 specific places on earth: Government, Church, Family, and Individuals. Spiritual authority in the home is Gods design, and a source of releasing power and blessing. Everything God established, the enemy has tried to destroy and curse. Rather than react out of your own opinions or experience, open your heart to God, our creator. See what God calls us to do, acknowledge it, learn how to co-operate with God, and enjoy the results.
Headship and Responsibility (2 of 5)
God has set spiritual laws and natural laws in place - we can't shift them, they are upheld by His power. Our only response is to recognize them and align ourselves with them to flow under His blessing, or resist. Resisting the laws of God (even in ignorance) opens a legal doorway for demonic spirits to gain access to our lives and bring destruction. This teaching will help you become aware of your positioning and help you move forward.
Guard that Garden (3 of 5)
In Genesis 3, God gave man a clear mandate (area of responsibility), with instructions to "dress it" and "keep it". How does this apply today? What does it mean? This session practically unpacks this - how to work it out in marriage? What happens if we don't? What am I responsible for and what am I not responsible for? How does it affect the spirit world? What are the broad principals? Is there room for personal initiative?
Because of the Angels (4 of 5)
The whole reason for divine order in the home is because of the reality of a highly structured spirit world, that recognizes chain of command. No-one should engage spiritual warfare (Ephesians 6) without being properly positioned (Ephesians 5). Modern society rages against divine principles, and has become increasingly demonized, as demons have access wherever God's laws are violated. To regain spiritual authority and blessing, we must come into agreement with God's order. We choose our positioning, the consequences follow.
Loving Leadership (5 of 5)
God never uses His power to get His way in our life, His loving-kindness attracts us to follow Him (Jeremiah 31:3). What does this look like in marriage? This very practical session unpacks 5 principles that will empower your leadership in marriage: Principle of Headship, Principle of Bonding, Principle of Partnership, Principle of Honour, Principle of Loving-kindness.
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The source of all power and authority is God, who has entrusted it to 4 specific places on earth: Government, Church, Family, and Individuals. Spiritual authority in the home is Gods design, and a source of releasing power and blessing. Everything God established, the enemy has tried to destroy and curse. Rather than react out of your own opinions or experience, open your heart to God, our creator. See what God calls us to do, acknowledge it, learn how to co-operate with God, and enjoy the results.
We've been sharing how to build and draw your marriage into unity, by turning the hearts, one towards another. We found that when hearts are directed towards one another, then there comes a tremendous flow in a marriage. Otherwise if the heart has got barriers, and walls, or defilements in it; you find that no matter what you try, you can't build that sense of unity. We shared a couple of weeks ago, about how people can be free from defilement, and many people were prayed for, and began to acknowledge things that come into their life, previous relationships, defiling thoughts. One of the things that happens so frequently, is that people find that their mind is troubled by memories or pictures, which are very powerful and very vivid. It's important to know what to do with those things.
The first thing is to realise this, is that pictures and memories associated with previous relationships, we need to reject totally any hope of that relationship, any desire for that relationship. We need, within our heart, to totally reject that which we were a part of in the past, which was not right. Without that, you can never be properly free and separated from those things. The second thing is that breaking soul ties, or prayer ministry, can literally break the links in those relationships, and bring a great measure of freedom in the mind. However some people find they still struggle with thoughts and pictures that come back to them, pictures that re-invade the mind, even though they've turned their heart against it, and they've been prayed for.
Let me give you then another key that will just help you, a very, very simple key. The Bible tells us in 2 Corinthians 10, Verse 5, it tells us: we are to bring into captivity every thought into the obedience of Christ. So there's actually something we can do, and that is: take every thought captive; making it a prisoner of war. A prisoner of war is a soldier you captured and disarmed, so it says: thoughts which are ungodly thoughts or pictures, are like enemy soldiers that come against us to hurt us; and we must arise inside, and take them captive, or prisoner of war; and disarm them. Well of course how do you do that? Well it says this, it says: you take the thought captive into the obedience of Christ. There's something Jesus has done, there's an area where Jesus has been obedient; that you and I can take our thoughts, and make them submit to what He has done. Now you say: how do I do that? That's what we really need to know, how do I actually make it work? I can share with you testimony of how it works.
In my life, I have found things that from my past have come up at times; and they've been quite vivid pictures, that have been hard to displace. Whenever they come I used to fight them. Now of course as you fight them, they become more attractive. The sign that says 'don't touch the paint', of course you want to touch it straight away. If I put a box down the back, 'do not open this' it'd be sure to be opened more than a dozen times before the service is over. [Laughter] It's just how it is. When we see the law 'don't do it'; you feel you want to do it. Knowing you're not to do it never gives you any power, it just draws you to get more attracted, makes the sinner alive. So I've found that when you fight negative thoughts, you actually end up empowering them; so I found a very simple way of dealing with it - very powerful, it works very effectively. As the thought comes, I begin to identify the thought, I see it. Then I consciously just take another thought, the cross of Christ. I consciously meditate on the cross of Christ, and superimpose it over the picture that is coming to invade my mind; and hold it there by faith, until what is beyond it, begins to just disappear.
I've found, if I have separated in my heart from all desire for that thing, and it is invading me as an unwanted thing; then if I will just see the thing for what it is, and lift the cross of Christ against it; so I'm looking through the cross at it, believing for that cross of Christ; His obedience to break it's power. I find within a short time I literally - the power of the thing is lost and it goes. Then I just redirect my thoughts somewhere else. But I have found sometimes just trying to redirect your thoughts, the thoughts keep invading, so I have found it very helpful to consciously meditate on the cross of Christ, His obedience on my behalf, and push it upon that troubling picture, until I see the thing vanish and go. I've found it to be very powerful, taking every thought captive, or prisoner of war, into the obedience of Christ; not to my obedience but His obedience. It's very simple. I've found it works, and I'd encourage you to try it if you're struggling. How many people struggle with these thoughts that invade them, they can't seem to get rid of them, they seem to push against them? How many people have experienced that? See, many.
Well I encourage you, over this next week or so, to consciously do that. Instead of fighting the thought, just superimpose a picture of the cross of Christ, believing for that to destroy that image. I literally picture it, disintegrating and fading away, and then its power is broken. I've asked the Lord, over the years, to bring everything up to my mind that has still got resident power; and as it comes up, I bring the cross of Christ, and declare its power broken, and gradually watch it disappear. It's been very helpful - so that's just not my message today but, it'll be helpful because the difficulty is we know what the scripture says, we don't know how to do it.
I want to share with you something else, 1 Corinthians, Chapter 11 and Verse 3. I want to move from where we're going, about building oneness; and I want to take a different tack. Now over the next three or four weeks I want to talk about "headship in the family"; and we're going to talk about God's order and government, and I want to open this area up. As we do it I want you to be very open to let God teach you something. The Bible says: he that has ears to hear, let him hear. Now when we listen to things, many times what happens is, we don't actually deny it; we just quietly lift our thoughts up against it, compare it with what we think, and then quietly go on our own way, and our thoughts remain unchallenged. The Bible calls that "hardening of heart". You can never grow, if you don't let the word of God into you, to transform you. Another reason that we resist being changed, is because when we hear the word of God, it requires something of us. We need to respond, and do something we didn't do before; and many times we just quietly nod our head: oh I wish so and so was here, this was a good message for them; and we don't actually let it get into our own heart.
Now I want to talk over the next few weeks just about Headship in the Family, and some of the areas we're going to touch will rattle your cage a little, and I'm deliberately going to do that. Today's subject is Headship is Male. If you don't like it, I won't change it one little bit. Headship is Male, and we're going to push on this area, because if we get the men thinking right, then I think we can make some major changes. So we're going to focus our attention on the men, but also bring it together. Now I can't in one session answer every question. Clearly there are specific situations, such as: what happens when a couple separates; what happens if there's a single parent situation; what happens if a couple divorce, what happens? We can't answer them all just at the moment, but what I want to do is, rather than look at the exceptions, which seem many; and your particular situation; I want to lay out first of all the principles, because if we build our life around the principles, then we will find our life will begin to start to be empowered by God.
If you want to try and build it into your life - the Bible says: unless the Lord builds the house, they labour in vain that build. In other words, you've got a heap of work, then and it doesn't get anywhere. You're frustrated and disappointed how little outcome you've got, but when the Lord builds our marriage - how does the Lord build your marriage or build your relationships? Why this: He lays out principles, He lays out ways of operating; and when I understand those ways, and come into agreement with them, His power's released, and things happen that I don't have to make happen. How many are tired of making your spouse change? [Laughter] Not very many, okay. [Laughter] You're still hardened in commitment to get them to change. You will never get them to change, I can tell you now, not by doing it that way. No, there's another way that we can influence our spouse powerfully, and we need to understand the principles of God in this area.
I want you to have a look with me in 1 Corinthians 11, and if I don't answer all the questions you have, that's quite acceptable. Over two or three Sundays we will actually get into quite a few areas and they will help you. Now if you're a man; how many men have we got here today? We'll get all the men to stand up. [Applause begins] Okay, now this is it - no, don't clap them yet. I want you to say after me, right - is any man sitting down? Grab him by the scruff of the neck and pull him to his feet. [Laughter] Okay, we've got the men. Okay men, I want you to say after me, come on: headship is male. [Headship is male.] Headship is male. [Headship is male.] That means me! [That means me!] Good, okay, sit down. You've just come into agreement with God. Come on, let's give them a clap. [Applause] Then all the sisters pray for them hard, because we're going to get into them over the next two Sundays; get all the men standing up inside, not just standing up on the outside.
But let's read in 1 Corinthians 11 verse 3: I would have you to know, that the head of every man is Christ - that produces a challenge straight away for the men, how you're getting on with God. Are you a man of prayer, or is your wife carrying the prayer? If your wife is carrying all the prayer load - you're irresponsible, and you need to actually get back into the place God has called you to be. The head of every man is Christ - now here it is - the head of the woman is the man. If you didn't get it before, the head of Christ is God. Now in Ephesians 5 verse 23, it says: the husband is the head of the wife. Headship in the home, headship is male. If you are male, you are the head of your wife; and we'll talk about what that means. Now as we begin to go through this, of course the difficulty is, most people today do not recognise headship, or God's order and authority, or there's a tremendous attempt to overthrow it.
We live in days, when people are trying to overthrow all truth, all authority, everything that God has set in place; over this last three decades it has been subtly undermined, through the education system. It has been subtly eroded through society, through media; until now people have got no idea, and there's this sort of thing where we're all equal or whatever. Now there are two extremes, that are a problem here; which we want to identify straight away. They are two complete opposites, and the truth lies somewhere between there; and that's what we want to focus on - what God has to say. Here's one extreme. One extreme is when a male is dominant, and abusive, and oppressive over a woman. This is an evil in God's eyes, and He will deal severely with that person who is like that. Many men are abusive, they are self-centred, they have unresolved conflicts from women in their background; and they misrepresent God, and they misuse and abuse what God has entrusted to them, in relationship to their wives and children.
This area we want to deal with, we're going to look at areas like: headship and responsibility; what the responsibility is; and how you go about doing it. So that is one extreme, the other extreme is when men just give up all their responsibility, as a reaction to avoid God's order altogether. So the extreme on one side is male chauvinism, an attitude that comes from fallen, sinful men, of despising, belittling and hating women, and using or misusing their authority over them. This is godless, it's anti-christ, it produces tremendous spiritual problems in the home, and reaction, and hurt, and bitterness right through the family. But the other extreme has a similar result. It's exactly out at the other end. It's called feminism. It's where women who have been hurt, reject God's way, God's standard; and begin to try and rise up and equalise it, or even reverse it. Both extremes unleash spiritual powers into families, that cause immense harm, and immense destruction. Both, equally, are evils.
Now what we want to understand is, we want to see how God put things together, and how I can co-operate with what God has set in place; because every time I agree with what God says, and I understand what He wants me to do, and I do it, I will get results. Not only that, the Bible, as we'll see in a moment, makes it very clear, that God upholds His order. The way He set things in place is actually sustained by His power; so everything that's out of God's order, you're fighting against the power of God - you'll never win. You can't win if you try and fight against God, it's like trying to overcome gravity by leaping up in the air. You'll just go so far, then you'll fall down, gravity will again master you. You can't get out of the hold of that law. Now I want to just talk before I get into headship is male, I want to look first of all at the order that God has set in place. Look in Colossians 1, and then we'll look in Romans 13.
Colossians 1, I want you to see something that the Bible tells us. God is a God of order. He has constructed the universe clearly in an ordered kind of way. Everywhere you go, you meet God's order. You can't get away from it. You can pretend it's not there, you can pretend there's no God. It won't make any difference; He's still there, it's still ordered; and you will experience the result of ignoring His laws. Verse 16: for by Him - Jesus Christ - were all things created, those that are in heaven, and those on the earth. So He's saying now, there's some things in the realm of the spirit that God has created. They're invisible, you can't see, them but they're there. There's some things in the earth that God has created, they're visible, you see them. He's created them both; and it says here, whether they be visible or invisible - now He talks about what He's created. He's created positions of authority, or areas of influence and responsibility - thrones, dominions, principalities and powers. All of the things were created by Him, and for Him.
So we understand now, that God has created certain realms of authority in the spirit world, which the church and Christian believers are called to arise and to fill. He's created also in the earth, certain structures and forms, and He's put it all together. It says not only that, that He created it, it was created by Him, it was created for Him, and it is upheld by Him; so that in Him, He will have the pre-eminence everywhere. Now when we look at the natural world, we see a thing like the law of gravity. Scientists cannot tell you why the law is there. They can't explain how the law operates. They can only describe the law. They can't really work out how come the thing works, but what they can do is describe what it does; and the Bible tells us that these natural laws are upheld by God's power. God is the power source that keeps it all working. He upholds it all.
In the realm of the spirit there are laws and principles, and the power of God upholds them. You have to understand that, that the power of God upholds the thing. In other words, when I co-operate with it, work with it, the power of God is released in my life. If I try and go against it, it's like pushing water up hill; so I need to understand the order that God has set. Now have a look in Romans 13, and it tells us about authority, whether it be natural, or whether it be in the spirit realm; it's source is the same - Verses 1 and 2: let every soul be subject unto the higher powers, for there is no power but of God; and the powers that be, or the powers that are in place, are ordered by God. Whoever therefore resists the power, resisted something God has put in place; and those that resist, shall receive judgement against themselves.
Now let's just take it through piece by piece. The Bible tells us that there's an order in the human world, and in the realm of the spirit. Everywhere you go, you encounter an authority of some kind; like for example, if I just step off here now, I will encounter an authority, a law that operates, the law of gravity. If I go out on the road, there's road rules. If I break them, I encounter the law. I go and try and put something on the side of my house and build it, I come into a conflict with the authorities in the town. If I try and do various things, I come into conflict, or I find that there are authorities everywhere. Go to the school, I cannot just walk into a school, there are authorities established there. I might have my child in a class, I just can't walk in and interrupt the class, there are authorities there. Everywhere you go, there's order in society; and if that order is violated, or if the boundaries of it are violated, terrible problems take place.
So the Bible tells us, that there is no authority except it comes from God; so that word there 'power' is the word exousia: a legal or delegated right to act or exert power. That word 'power' there means literally, in the original language: something delegated to you, that gives you a legal right to act. So if for example you buy a house, if you go to that house, you can do what you like with it. You can tear it down, you can renovate it, you can paint it, you can change it, you can add to it if you get the right permits, you can all kinds of things. Why can you do that? It's your house, you own it. You've got legal title to it - but if you went into someone else's house, and said: I don't like this house, it's been annoying me for a long time, I think I'll paint it a different colour. Now you would very soon find that now you are moving outside your authority. You're moving into someone else's area of authority, and they would be right to resist you very, very strongly. [Laughter]
You could drive down the road, and you see a car, and you say: oh, I like that car. That's very nice, I've always wanted one like that. You get in and drive it away. After a little while, you get arrested. Why? Because you have violated an authority boundary; it does not belong to you, you have no right to act. But if someone said: here's my car, borrow it, you could drive it and it would be alright - within reason. You understand that? You need to understand: what I am responsible for, I have authority over. What I am responsible for, I have authority. Now God has set in place four authority structures in the earth: one is civil government. This is what it says: all authority comes from God - here it is - all authority comes from God, the powers that be. So whenever you encounter authority, guess whose authority you're encountering? You're encountering [God's] God's authority. Now a lot of people say: Jesus is law; but friend, where the rubber meets the road, is the first time you come into conflict, or encounter an authority, then you'll find out whether He is Lord or not; because to resist, the Bible says: whoever resists the authority, is resisting what God put in place; and God will sort them out.
When you go down the road, and you deliberately and wilfully violate the traffic laws, you are violating the authority of God; and He sends someone along to sort you out. [Laughs] You get a ticket, or a picture, smiley picture. [Laughter] There was always disagreement in our home over who was the one entitled to the picture. [Laughter] We would always get the picture, and then when it came, we'd put it on prominent display, so the criminal could be seen - pay the fine. So it tells us here four distinct structures, so one is government; and the Bible tells us that government has a certain role in society. It has some things it's given responsibility to do, to fulfil what God wants. As soon as it steps over that, it becomes oppressive, invasive, and we have a right then to resist. Understand that? Of course you pay the price if you do, but you still have a legal right to; and for example in the New Testament, we find that the apostles were gathered up before the religious leaders, who were also political leaders in their time.
They said: don't preach about Jesus; and they spoke with a respectful attitude: well you can decide what you wish in this matter, but Jesus has clearly commanded us to take the gospel to nations, and we will continue to preach in His name. So a clear command in the Bible given to them could not be violated by authority over them. Authority has very strict limits on what it can do. The second area is the area of the church. Now the church is an authority structure God has set up; and it's not just a bunch of people, all equal in God's eyes. Each one is of equal value, you have to understand that. We have equal value, but we have different roles; and there is authority related to the responsibilities that God has given. Also there are areas in the family. The family is an authority structure God has set up. God ordered it, God set it in place. Guess what? God's power backs it.
Whatever God set in place He stands behind it, His power; now you want to get the power of God released, you've got to find out how God ordered it, and then play your part in that order; and the power of God is released. A lot of people are striving and struggling to make things happen, because they don't understand how to align themselves with God's order, and then see and experience His power being released. So they're trying in their own effort to make something happen, instead of enjoying see the power of God flow, because they've aligned themselves, and just did what God said to do. We'll talk about what those things are. Finally, there's the authority of the individual. Every one of us has got personal authority. How do you know that? Because you have your own life you're responsible for; and therefore if you have your own life, you're responsible for, you have authority over your own life, you are directly accountable to God. You'll give account to God, not to me.
So we understand that there are four principle authority structures God has set in place. Every one has something God told it to do. It is to function in a certain way, so God's order can be developed and built in the earth. When we pray: thy kingdom come, thy will be done - it happens through the structures God's set in place. God is an ordered God. You stay on the earth because He set a law of gravity in place, otherwise you'd fly off the earth. Everything in creation, natural and spiritual, is ordered. Now spiritual powers, the powers of darkness, are extremely limited in what they can do. They are limited in where they can operate. You know where they can operate? They can only operate outside the law of God, where it's dark; so their mode of operation is this: firstly they recognise authority structures, which God has set up. A couple goes and forms a new family, then the spirit world recognises: there's a new headship, there's a new unit, there's a new person in charge - the husband, the man. The Bible says it: the man is the head.
The spirit realm will try then, to get that man either to: abuse what God has given Him; or to neglect what God has given him. Every authority structure that's set up, the spirit world must recognise it; so what we do on the earth - for example if on the earth, I acknowledge Jesus Christ is Lord, a new authority structure is set up in my life, and demons must acknowledge it. So what I do on the earth can cause things to happen in the spirit world. Now we understand that many of the problems that people have, is because of ignorance of the spirit world, and how it operates; so we just go our merry way doing our merry thing thinking it's right: well that was how I was brought up, I can't see what's wrong with that - and we have no power of God released. We've got tremendous demonic infestations in marriages, and families, and personal lives.
Now this is what the Bible says. It says: ley every soul; how many are excluded under that? How many are excluded? [None.] That's every one of us - let every soul. It doesn't even talk about Christians there. Every soul is, every soul who's subject to the higher powers. That word 'higher' is literally one that has got a higher level, an increased authority; so in other words, every one of us, in our life, needs to discover where we fit in the piece of things. It says: let every soul be subject. That word 'subject' is a military term, it means to subordinate, or literally this: recognise your rank, and where you fit in the big picture, and acknowledge those who are over you in the right kind of way. For example, if I am a sergeant I look down, I am a sergeant. That means I've got to salute the captain, and the major, and the general, and I get commands that come this way. However, I've got people under me. I've got the corporal, and the lance corporal, and the privates; and they all look up, and they give me a salute. Do you understand that there is a chain of command?
Now God will not violate His chain of command. You are directly responsible to God. The church is responsible to God. The family, the head of the family is responsible to God, and the government is responsible to God. Any time they start to go over their boundary lines; church cannot interfere within family, family cannot interfere with individuals, government cannot interfere with the church or family. When they do, great problems occur. Now let's just pick up the headship of the family, the man, and I'll just give you a couple of key points, then we'll finish here. So this is what the Bible tells us. Go back to 1 Corinthians 11 again, and we'll see why it is, that the husband is the head. Is it because he looks better? [Yes.] Is it because he's smarter? [Laughter] See, we have to tear down these wrong concepts. [Laughter] Is it because he's more gifted? We've got some real male chauvinism here, I can see. [Laughter] Alright ladies, just come next week, and bring them along next week, because we'll be going into it a bit there.
Is it because men are superior? [Laughter] I see we've got a lot of repentance to come. [Laughter] Here it is, this is what the Bible says. It says this is why. It says - Verse 4 - gives four reasons why the man is the head, and they all point to one single reason. Here it is, number one, here's the first one. Now He's quoting the Old Testament, and He's saying here: the man is the image, and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of the man. In other words, He's saying: God has made the man to reflect what He is like, in his government and leadership in the home; and the woman reflects what the man is like, in his government and leadership of the home. If the woman is depressed, defeated, down, neglected, rejected, looks plumb ugly => he has done a very poor job. [Laughter, applause] Blame him!
So when we want to see how the man is really doing in his leadership, you don't look at him, you look at his wife. Does she look beautiful and radiant? Is she lifted up, because of his love, and his service, his honour and his value, his esteem, and his laying his life down for her? Or does she look as though she has to run around and do everything, she's burdened? [Laughter] You can tell whether he's doing his job or not. I think you're already getting the picture: love; and they're missing the mark altogether. Here it is, macho male, independent male, this kind of thing that's in our culture. We've got to get rid of that, and understand what it means to be the head. Okay, here it is, so the first thing is: the man is the image of God; but the woman's the glory of the man. Here it is, second reason: the man didn't come from the woman; but the woman came from the man. That's why the man is the head, because why? He is the one who God first made. Sorry, we can't change it, God made it that way.
He made a man, and then said: he needs a woman; so he took part of him out. So the woman came out from the man, that's why the man is head. The man is the head, because he's the glory of God; and the woman is his glory. The man is the head, because he came first, and the woman came second. I can't help that, it's just how it happened. It's how the Bible says it. Come on now, it'll get better. [Laughter] Now look at this. Come on now - neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman was created for the man. That's why the man is the head. She was not created to run her own life, and have an independent life from his; she was created to be a helper for him. [Laughter] I know you're not going to like some of this stuff, but you've got to get the truth of God's word.
See, this is the danger, is we'll go on in what we've been used to, and won't change; but if you can let God's word change your thinking. Today, an independent lifestyle is cultivated. You get two people together, haven't got a marriage, they just learn how to live together, but they haven't learnt for her to bring her goals in life around so they are in harmony with his, and they work as a team. The woman was created for the man. That's why the man is the head. That's what the Bible's telling us here. Oh, I can see some of you are getting upset already. Remember we've got several weeks to work on this stuff. I'm sure our thinking will come around. Now here's the other reason, here's another one. Verse 10: now for this cause, ought the woman to have a covering on her head, as a sign she's under the power of her husband; because of the angels, or the spirit world.
Now here's the other reason. This is why the husband's the head. This is why the woman needs to recognise it: because of the spirit world. Now a lot of women think: because they've been hurt, they can get away with all kinds of things. What you don't understand is, that's exactly what the spirit world wants you to think, in fact it came from there. It's a demonised idea, to bring you out of God's plan for your life, so the oppression can continue, and the bondage can continue in your life. That's what the Bible says: the husband is the head of the wife. Now I'll just explain in a moment what that means, and then we'll finish and develop it more next week. Here's the good part. You notice here it says: having stated God's order - He's making a statement. He's just saying see the sky? It's blue. See the man? He's the head. You can't make it be any different. Its how God set it up. God said: let there be blue sky, there's blue sky. God said: let the man be the head, he's the head.
Now he never has to try to be the head. It just is. It just is that way. The Bible isn't saying: he's got to try and become something; the Bible just says: that's how God said it to be. You either agree with it, or disagree with it. You either co-operate with it, or you rebel against it; but you can't change it. It's like saying gravity is gravity, there it is, you can't do anything about it. So the husband cannot make himself the head of the home, he is already. All that is needed, is that both he and his wife recognise it, and learn how to work with it. If he tries - well I've been to a men's convention, I'm going be the head of the home - he will mess it up very, very bad. She'll say: is that right! [Laughter] It won't work. No, I won't go there. [Laughs] It won't work. It won't work. You've got to realise, we either agree with what God has said; now headship is male. The man is the head of the woman. It doesn't say he's the head of the home, it says: he's the head of the woman. It has to do with the relationship. What it means is, her life comes into harmony with his goals and purpose in life. That's why it says: Christ is the head of the man. He better be listening to God, so he's going in the right direction; not causing the one who's following his leadership, to feel grieved, burdened and oppressed.
Headship - let me just describe it. Headship is a position of authority. Men, God has given you a position of authority. You need to learn how to exercise it, and you can stop demon attacks on your whole family. Secondly, headship is a position of responsibility. Men, because you are the head, you have a greater responsibility in the home, than your wife. You better not neglect it, because God requires more of those, to whom much has been given. When the day comes to sort it all out, God will look to the man, He says: because you're in charge, the buck stops with you. If it ain't going well, you're the one I want to talk to.
If something's going wrong in a business, you don't go talking to the guy on the front desk. You go to the manager. When a firm is not going well and gets taken over, guess who they get rid of? The manager. In a home that's not going right, the one who needs to take the rap, and take the ownership, is the man. He's got to be responsible. Headship is a position of authority. Headship is a position of responsibility. Headship is a role of leadership, in relationship to his wife. It's a role of leadership. There needs to be a leader. Although you work as a team in partnership with one another, the man is called to give leadership in the home. We have a nation without leadership, we have homes without leadership, we have families without leadership. It's no wonder it's in such a mess. It's because we have men who do not know their role, or are unwilling to stand up, and fulfil the responsibility God has given to you.
That is why our nation's in such a mess. That is why there are so many people in jail, so many drug addicts, so many problems. It is because, the heads of the home, are not in place. The heads are not functioning like they ought to. Finally understand this: that headship is male; simple as that. Now what God calls us to do, is acknowledge it, and learn how to function in it. God calls wives to recognise the role God has called your man to; and instead of criticising him, uphold him and lift him up in your prayers, that God would give him the wisdom to fulfil a role, he probably feels inadequate, and certainly not prepared to fulfil.
Men, your wife should not be the key prayer in the family. You are called to be. How could Christ be your head? How could you say that He is head, the leader, the ruler over you; and you don't even talk to Him, and listen to any instruction? How unsafe it is, for all of those under you. Now you don't need to have a dramatic prayer life, or you don't need to actually have some great spiritual thing. You can be a very practical person who has a regular prayer life, and God will give you wisdom. In fact what I've discovered, God so honours this principle of headship, even an unsaved man will be given by God, wisdom for his family to protect them. Now we'll touch on that a little bit later. There's situations where the husband is unsaved, or the husband is struggling in his own Christian life, or the husband is not there at all; these are difficult situations, but God will give us wisdom how to handle it.
Next week I want to talk about headship and responsibility. I want to talk what this means to the man, what it means you are called to do, what it is God gave you to do; and if you don't do it, there is a hole in the spirit realm, the demons come through. There's a gap in the umbrella; and your family, your wife, your children and loved ones, all are subject to difficulties and pressure. Friends, God wants us to accept this order, and come into harmony with it. Why don't we just bow our heads right now. I don't want you to be condemned, or feel guilty. If you're reacting to what I'm saying, there's some hurt, there's some unresolved concepts in your mind, that need to be worked out. I encourage you to stay open.
Father, I pray that every man in this place; and every person, every male, that hears the tapes of this message, will be challenged to come before You and fulfil the responsibilities you've given us; that we might sense in our heart our fulfilment as a man, by being exactly what You wanted us to be. I pray for every man here, that you'll help us break out of the intimidation, of feeling inadequate, and the resistance to assuming responsibility; and that men in this church will arise and stand up, and be all the leaders that You've called us to be.
Father, I pray for every woman in this place, particularly those who have suffered hurt, and heartache, and pain, because of abuse and neglect, and abandonment by a self-centred husband. I pray that they will arise, they will obtain Your grace to break out of those limiting hurts and wounds; and that Lord, You will bring them to recognise Your order in the home; that they would stand up and support Your order, and Lord, find the freedom and security that they've never known, that comes out of being in the order God called us to be.
Father, I just pray for any person here today, that has never come to know Jesus Christ; that Lord today You put it in their heart, I want to become a Christian. Everyone said: [Amen.] Amen. If you've brought someone with you today that doesn't know Jesus, talk with them quietly and ask them if they'd like to know the Lord; invite them to come up and I'll talk with them, and share with them, and pray with them, to become a Christian.
May the Lord bless you. I encourage you to think about and meditate on what I've shared. I'll give you some more next week and the week after. Let's get our thinking around what God wants us to be. If you're a single person this will help you. Single people, let me just say this, before I finish. Today the trend is for single people to leave home. When you leave home, you come out from under authority, and you're in a very vulnerable position and place. I have many young people come to me, and they're: oh, I believe so and so is the right person for me. I think this is just the most wonderful man, wonderful person, whatever. I ask one question, and you see all the stars go out: what does your father think of this relationship? You'd be amazed how many don't want to talk about it; and that tells me immediately, they're out of the order, and the blessing, and the protection that God could give them. We need to talk into these areas. We need to understand, there is a hostile spirit world, committed to destroying you; and God has provided roles and functions and connections. We find our place in those. When we play our part in them there is an immense security, and protection from demonic attack, comes.
I believe that God going to; whether you're single, whether you're a parent, whether you're a solo parent; God is going to challenge you over these next few weeks. Be open to it, and let God re-order your ways. These are some of the most important concepts you could ever learn in your life. When you understand authority; and begin instead of reacting, rebelling and fearing it, find your place in it; you will exercise great authority over demon powers. You will see the power of God released around your life, in a way you've never known before; and you'll find the security inside, and a confidence: God will help me through every situation. Who wants that kind of thing to happen in their life?
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HEADSHIP IS MALE
1. DO YOU HAVE EARS TO HEAR?
· Mk.4:23-24 If any man has ears to hear … more shall be given.
· The Word of God is like a seed - it grows within and has power to change your life.
· You must receive and respond (yield) to the Word of God for it to benefit you.
· There is much confusion and emotion about issues of authority, government, submission.
· God’s Word sets out clearly the principles of authority and how we are to respond to it.
· Rejection of truth is not always open - often it is a quiet resistance and holding your own thoughts.
· Clinging to your own thoughts that resist God’s truth make you unable to hear.
· You must overcome the tendency to reject what you don’t want to hear.
· When you accept, embrace and agree to act on God’s Word - the power of God is released.
2. THE MAN IS THE HEAD OF THE WOMAN
· 1 Cor. 11:3 The head of every man is Christ - the head of the woman is the man.
· Eph. 5:23 The husband is the head of the wife - as Christ is the head of the church.
· Questions arise: What is headship? How is this applied? What about …?
a) The Problem Of Extreme
· There are two equal but opposite extremes or errors related to this verse:
i) Domination and oppression of women.
ii) Denying or opposing the truth of headship.
· Prayer understanding and applying this truth releases God’s power and blessing.
b) God is a God of Order
· Col. 1:16 - 18 …visible and invisible…
· God has constructed the universe to operate according to laws and principles.
· God upholds or sustains these laws with His power.
· The natural world operates according to laws and principles e.g. gravity, sowing and reaping.
· The Spirit world operates according to laws and principles.
· God has set authority structures in place in the natural world and in the spirit world.
· All spirit beings (angels and demons) are required to recognise these structures.
c) Authority originates from God
Ro. 13:1-2 Let every soul be subject to the higher powers, there is no power but of God, the powers that be are ordered by God.
· Power = exousia = legal or lawful right to act, delegated right to act.
· Higher = one positioned above another or at a higher level.
· The source of authority is God himself.
· God has established four distinct authority structures in the earth. All exist by God’s design to fulfill a purpose He has planned.
i) Government (1Pet. 2:13-14) - this includes various levels of local authority.
ii) The Church (Heb. 13:17) - This includes leadership and various ministries.
iii) The Family (1 Cor. 11:3) - this involves authority of both husband and wife.
iv) The Individual (Ro. 14:12) - this includes various gifts and talents entrusted.
· Each of these authority structures have clear God given responsibilities.
· They also have boundaries or limits beyond which they have no authority to act.
· Each of these authority structures is recognised in the spirit realm and upheld by God.
· The violation of one authority or the boundaries of another unleashes evil spiritual forces.
Note: The word of God states our responsibilities in relating to authority:
i) “Every Soul” - God’s laws of authority apply to every individual.
ii) “Subject” - 5293 = Hupotasso = subordinate; arrange and position self underneath i.e. we are responsible to recognise and position ourselves into right relationship and attitude.
iii) “Whoever resists” = 498 = Antitassomau = to arrange and position oneself against.
§ Whenever a person positions themselves to resist or oppose God’s ordered authority they are resisting what God has set in place and are resisting God himself.
§ God requires that we position ourselves with right attitude to this authority whether it is directed or delegated.
§ Authorities themselves are accountable to God directly.
d) Headship is a Role Relationship
1Cor 11:3 “Christ is the head of the man, the man is the head of the woman”
§ The Bible simply states the relationships that exist e.g. The sky is blue.
§ The Bible does not tell us to force this relationship into being – it reports the fact.
§ God has established the order or role of the man in relationship to the woman.
§ The order is unbreakable – either flow with it or rebel against it.
§ The man does not have to try to become the head (results in a mess!)
§ The man is the head of the woman i.e. he has a role in the relationship.
§ Gods plan is for the woman’s work and home management to be bought into line and harmony with the direction and course the husband is going (“help meet”)
e) Headship is Part of Gods Design in Creation
1Cor 11:7 – 10
i) Wrong concepts
· Women are inferior (male chauvinism) - godly women extremely capable (Prov. 31).
· Women are less spiritually gifted - men and women both gifted (Gal. 3:28).
· Women are less valuable - each person is of equal value.
· Society male dominated in the bible - this is not the reason for headship.
ii) God created “Headship is Male” 1 Cor. 11:7-10
· Man is the head because God created it that way in the beginning.
· God gave man clear responsibilities and authority in relation to his wife and family.
· Greater authority - greater responsibilities - greater accountability.
· The spirit realm recognises the authority structures God has set in place.
iii) What Headship is:
· It is a position of spiritual authority.
· It is a position of responsibility
· It is a role of leadership in relationship.
· It is a manifestation of the headship of Christ.
Response: Recognise and embrace.
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God has set spiritual laws and natural laws in place - we can't shift them, they are upheld by His power. Our only response is to recognize them and align ourselves with them to flow under His blessing, or resist. Resisting the laws of God (even in ignorance) opens a legal doorway for demonic spirits to gain access to our lives and bring destruction. This teaching will help you become aware of your positioning and help you move forward.
Romans 13: Let every soul be subject to the hard delegated authorities, for there is no authority but of God, He's the source of it. The powers that be, or the authorities that God has set in place, they are ordered or set in place by God; so whoever resists the authority, resists what God has ordered; and those who resist, receive for themselves His judgement. For rulers, or those in authority, are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Are you afraid of authority? Do what is good, and you'll have the praise of the same; for he is the minister of God to you, for good. But if you do that which is evil, you have every reason to be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain; he is the minister of God, to bring and to execute God's judgement upon all that do evil.
Father, I'm asking that you'd bring divine order into homes and families, particularly today that you'd open our hearts to understanding of Your government, Your order; and You'd cause a willingness to come into our hearts to respond to it, in Jesus' name. Everyone said [Amen.] Amen.
Let every soul be subject to higher powers. The Bible makes it very clear, that every one of us has a choice, how we will respond to authority. The Bible tells us that the powers that be, whatever that means, are ordained or set or ordered by God. Now everyone loves to come to God like a great Santa Claus, and to receive blessing from Him; but God wants us to actually understand that He has set things in order in the spirit world, that operates by principle. The natural world operates by principles and laws, and God upholds what He has set in place. He's created an order in it all, and so the Bible tells us this. It says that the powers that be, or authorities - that word there is a lawful authority, or someone who has been delegated a legal right to exert power or influence. The Bible tells us, that wherever we go in life, we will encounter authority. We encounter it in the physical realm and the natural laws. You cannot change those laws, you just accept that they're there and work with them.
If you are driving a car fast, and you slam on the brakes, everything unattached will fly forward. You can't stop that. You just understand it happens. It's called the law of inertia. It's a law, God set it in place. If you step off that decking there, what will happen is, you'll fall down - the law of gravity operates. So in the spirit world, there are laws as well; and the Bible tells us that God has set some things in order. He says there are some authorities that God has established. An authority is someone with a lawful right to act, because they're given responsibility. Authority and responsibility always go hand in hand, so when God gives someone responsibility, He says: you've got the right to act. If it's not your responsibility, you've got no right to act. If that's your house, you've got the authority to change the colour of it; if it's not your house, you've got to leave it alone, you can't go painting. It's as simple as that. If that's your car, you've got the authority to run it the way you like. If that's not your car, you keep your hands off it and leave it, it's not your right to do that.
So wherever you have responsibility, authority is closely attached. Authority is the legal, or lawful, right to be able to act, or exert power, or to run something. So the Bible tells us there are higher authorities. There are some that are different levels, they have a greater level of responsibility. You have lesser responsibility, lesser authority; greater responsibility, greater authority; and the Bible tells us where the source of that is. The source of it is God, and it tells us how we are to respond, whenever we encounter this. You're going to encounter it everywhere you go in life. You go out on the roads, you'll encounter authority. You go into the tax department, you'll encounter authority. You get your rates demand, you're encountering authority. It may not all be good in the way it's done, or run, or we may disagree with how it operates, however the Bible says we're going to encounter it, and it's there to bring order into society. We found when we looked last week, there were four authority structures God has set up, that affect us directly. One is the authority of government. Government is given certain responsibilities, given certain authority. If it goes beyond its responsibilities, it becomes oppressive.
We found also that God has set up the church. The church is given certain responsibilities, concerning the salvation of souls, and exerting influence in the spirit dimension, and touching the hearts and lives of people; so God gives us authority to do that job. The church is the only body of people that has authority over demons. Church is the only body of people that can deal with spiritual forces and influences. The Bible tells us also that there is set up the family. In the family there is a divine order, which we're looking at in this part of the series we're doing, and we found that in the family there is a certain authority structure that God has set in place, all related to the responsibilities. Then finally there is the individual; you have responsibility for your life. You can choose to spend a life serving God, you can choose to spend a life serving the devil, you can choose to spend a life serving yourself. You have authority to do that.
God has given you responsibility for your life, therefore you have authority for your life as well. You can choose what you do with it. You can misuse your life, you can use it well. You can invest your life so it serves God; you can invest your life so you cause great havoc to the cause of godliness in the earth. You choose. You have authority because you have responsibility - but everyone gives account one day, everyone, no exceptions. Romans 14 tells us: every one of us, no one excepted, will one day give account of their life, and what they did, before the source of that authority. So if you've been given a lot of authority, you'll be required to give more account. If you have less, then you'll have less to give account for. It just works quite simply and quite straight forward. Now the Bible tells us: let every soul; turn to someone and say: that means you, talking about you right now. Let every soul be subject to the higher power; and then it says: for whoever resists the authority, resists what God has set in place.
Now you have two choices whenever you face an authority. You have a choice of resisting, or a choice of subjecting yourself, it's as simple as that. So we've got the first one, resisting. Whoever resists - that word is an interesting word in the original language. It means like this: it means to put yourself in a position, where you are opposed to, or against, that authority. So it says: if you put yourself in a position, where you are opposed to, or resisting, or standing against, what God has set in place - you are opposing God, simple as that. Whoever resists the authority, resists what God has set in place. Now of course, some authorities misuse and abuse their authority. You have to confront them. Sometimes you have to withdraw from them, for your own safety. There are situations, and the Bible says that. Jesus said: if they persecute you, flee to another city; so you don't have to stay. When you're being persecuted, you can get out of it. Not only that, sometimes we need to set a strong boundary where there's oppressive leadership, in order that we can be saved, or safe, from being hurt or wounded in some kind of way.
So we have to understand that God has got some safeguards around this area, but remember we're just trying to find what the principle is, before we go looking at all the exceptions, and the misuses. So those who resist the authority find themselves fighting against God; now why is it that people resist? Basically, it's one of usually three reasons: one, they're ignorant of what God has set in place, and because we're ignorant, we just fight against it. As soon as we use the word authority or submission, people have got great emotions rise up. Most people have very negative emotions. They have negative feelings, because they've never understood God's proper use of authority, how it works for protection and blessing and good; and the experiences they've had with people with authority, have been very negative and painful and hurtful. So whenever the word authority comes up, then we have negative feelings about this. Whenever the word submission comes up, we have negative feelings about that; and we're going to try and take away some of those things during this session, to help you understand that authority, rightly used, is for your blessing, benefit and to build you up, never to destroy you. That's how God has designed it.
God's power is used to uphold things for our benefit, not to hurt us. All good things come from God. The Bible says you meet a person in authority, they are God's minister, on His behalf, for your good, not for your evil. So when God has a thinking, or He's thinking about authority, He's thinking about how He can have order, and release blessings upon people; and we'll see that rightfully used, any person who carries responsibility and has authority has ability to release blessing into that area he's responsible for, if he knows what to do, and how to do it. Men have a unique capacity to release the power and blessing of God into their marriages and family. They also have a unique ability to destroy and mess it up, so one reason that people resist God's authority, or resist God's ordering, is because of ignorance. If we don't know what God expects, then we will find ourselves standing against Him in some kind of way. Now you can be a Christian, you can pray to God, and still never experience the blessing of God in your life, because you actually, inside yourself, are resisting and fighting against the order of God.
So for example, now I'm not going to go here too far, but I just want to throw something out. When we think of giving, most people's concept, immediately, is one of resistance. They think someone's trying to take money away - there it is, the church is trying to get my money. But that's not the concept at all. You see the Bible teaches that we sow, and then we reap; so when you give, or sow, in faith, you are positioning yourself in harmony with God's purpose, so the blessing of God can be released. When you give reluctantly, or don't give at all, you're positioning yourself against God's way of blessing you, simple as that; then you can complain all you like, how come they're blessed and I'm not blessed? You've got to position yourself, so you can flow with the release of God's power. Whenever a person positions themself in harmony with God's order, they find the power of God will uphold them, and bring blessing and benefit far beyond what they could achieve themselves. That's why we want to get in the place where you get blessed.
The second reason people resist the order of God, is just by neglect. The person just fails to do what they know to do. This is one of the most common problems that is faced in marriages, and in families ,and throughout society - people neglect the responsibility. Today the cry is: what rights and privileges; everyone wants their rights, kiddie's rights, women's rights, this rights, that's rights, but the Bible speaks about responsibilities before it speaks about rights and privileges. Rights and privileges go with responsibilities. When you are responsible - every parent knows this - this is the big beef they have with their teenagers. As you show more responsibility, you get more privilege, you know that they go together. If you are irresponsible, you lose your privileges. This is how life works. Even life itself teaches you that principle, for example when a child is born, they have no responsibility for feeding themselves, for cleaning themselves, for anything. They have no privileges either. They just are there, are someone's looking after them.
As they grew they learn to feed themselves. As they become more adult - adult means taking on more responsibility, they get more privileges. But if, as an adult, you break the law and lack responsibility, you lose your privileges, you're in a room, you're locked up, you can't even say when the light goes off. You lose all your privileges. Privileges and responsibility go hand in hand, so one of the reasons that people find themselves resisting, or positioning against, God, is by neglect. This is the most common one in our society today and the third is basically our thinking's wrong, we don't think the right way about God's order. We've got our own thoughts, thank you very much, and we'll follow with what we're used to. We find ourselves in our thinking resisting God. I want to just turn that around, and we want to begin to find ourselves positioning ourselves, so we can come into blessing with God. It's so hard to make it all work without God's blessing. God wants to bring favour, blessing, help, grace, make it easy; so you put a little in, and get a heap out.
The Bible says: unless the Lord builds the house, they labour in vain; you put a lot of sweat in, you don't get much result. How many know that's hard yakka, when you put a lot of work in, and get little results? It's true, so God wants us to flow in the principles of His blessing, and that comes firstly through relationship with Christ. When a person connects with Jesus Christ, receives Jesus Christ as their saviour, becomes connected and joined to God through a personal relationship with Christ, they are positioned where they can come to blessing. However, there is something else needed, and that is that we have to bring our life into harmony, or co-operation, or agreement with God, so that His blessing can flow. In other words, you can say all you like you're a Christian, but if you position yourself against what God has set in place, you're pushing water up hill. It won't work, and so you can't just pray for God to bless you, unless you're willing to bring your life into harmony with His way of doing things. That make sense?
So we can choose to resist, or stand against, what God has set in place; or we can choose to submit, or subject, ourselves to that. Now let's look at that word there. Let every soul be subject to the higher powers, that's every Christian. You notice now, in that passage, it's not talking about men; it's talking about men and women, both, every person. Every one of us must learn to recognise the position that God has given to Jesus Christ, and bring ourself into harmony. It's your choice. You can either co-operate, and receive the blessing of God; you can position yourself against it, and you miss out; it's as simple as that. It's not as if God sort of is personally favouring this one, personally doesn't like this one. It's nothing to do with that. It's just, both people love the Lord, but those that actually bring their life into harmony with Him, find the release of blessings, it's very simple. So what does it mean to subject? The word to subject yourself means literally this, it's a similar kind of word to the one before. The other one was 'position yourself against', this one is: 'position yourself beneath'; so it says: you do it yourself. You position yourself in a place, where you recognise what authority God has put over you.
Now that's a choice every person must make. The first time you ever do that, is when you recognise who Jesus Christ is, that He died on the cross, that He loves you, and that one day you'll give account to Him. When you subject yourself to the word of God, then you become born again, the power of God is released to your life. Every time you subject to the word, and order of God, the power of God is released. So the start point for our walk with God is recognising who Jesus is, and submitting to that. Now the word subject means literally this: it describes an order in a relationship. It does not mean that one is more superior to the other. It does not mean one is inferior to the other. It is actually: this is how you put it together; and it's put together like this, in order that as a team, you can accomplish a purpose. That's what it's about. This one subjects to the leadership and direction of the other one, so together they can accomplish a great purpose. That's what 'subjecting yourself' is about. It's about team work. It's about knowing where you fit. It's about accepting your placement in God's purpose and structure of things, and out of being an equal person, you take your role; and your role is, you look to the one above you, for leadership and direction. That's how it works.
So when the Bible is talking about this, it has in mind team work; and I'm going to show you the illustration of this in a moment, very powerful illustration. Now to be subject, you can be obedient without being subject, but you can never be subject without obedience being a part of it. Why? Because I can do what you want me to do, but inside I'm saying: no way, no way! I'm going to go slow, reluctant resistance. If I'm subject, I actually recognise the right that you have to give leadership direction, and I co-operate with it. So to be subject means these kinds of things. It means to have respect, or to honour, or to value the role that person has in my life. It means to listen to their directions in my life. It means to co-operate with them, in the purpose they have, which is God's purpose for me.
So when the Bible tells me to be 'subject' to those over me, it means I should have an attitude of respect and honour, because God has placed them in that role, and I'm in a lesser role, a different role, less responsibility. Two, I am to be open to the direction and correction in my life, because God gives them a bigger perspective than I have; and three, we work together to accomplish common things. That's how it works. That's God's order. Now God's order absolutely works wonderfully, and I'm going to give you an example of it in a moment. I want you to have a look with me in 1 Corinthians 11:3.
Now these kinds of things create a lot of antagonism, to talk this way, because people either: neglect authority; abuse authority; or try to reason it all away. I want you just to have a look in this scripture here, in 1 Corinthians 11:3. I want you to know, that the head of every man is Christ; the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. Now how many people are described in there? There is God, Christ, the man, and the woman. How many of them are given a position or a rank as being head? How many out of the four? Three. Have you noted that, three? So the Bible tells us: God is the head of Christ. He's talking about a whole lot of relationships here, and how God has ordered them so that it works. The one at the top is God, the Father; and He says: He is the head of Christ, Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Now is Jesus Christ any less of a person, or any less value, than the father? No. The Bible says: these three are one. They're equal in value. They work and flow as a team.
However, Jesus Christ submits Himself to the Father's purpose. He said: the man, Christ is the head of the man. Now the only way that Christ can be the head of the man, is if the man acknowledges it, and it begins to outwork; so a person who comes to Christ, acknowledges Christ is my source of life, He is the one who gives direction, He is the one who has rightful authority over my life; he submits to that, and it becomes effective in his life. Finally, it says: the man is the head of the woman.
I want you to see, this is actually an order in relationships. Now I want to just show you how well it works, because it describes who has the leadership role, and who has the follower-ship role. Now I want to ask you this question, before we look at this, and you'll see how wonderfully God has intended that this works; and how it only works if we actually submit ourselves to the Lord, and allow His spirit to fill us. I want to show you how it works. Let me ask you this question first of all: Who is the one man, that was born into this world, that has been honoured by God, above every other man or person ever born? Who was that person? Jesus Christ. You know that. The Bible says: He has been exalted, or lifted up, and given the name above every other name, far above every principality and power; that at the name of Jesus Christ - everyone shall bow, everyone acknowledge Him. Now is that a high place or what! Is that about as high as you can get or what? How did He get there? How did He get there? You see, when He came out of heaven, He left it all behind. He left all His authority, all His power, all His glory, all His majesty, all His influence behind, and He left it, and He was just born like a helpless baby in the earth.
Now here's how headship and followership works as far as God has designed it. God's heart, and God's desire, and God's plan, is that Jesus should be raised up, and have a higher place of honour, and value, and esteem, and share in the rulership over all that God has created. That's His plan. That's His desire, and Jesus submitted to that. The Bible says, of Jesus: I am the Father of One, I'm One, We're One, I'm One with His purpose. I never get out of agreement with Him. The second thing He says: I've got no independent agendas. Whatever the Father shows to Me, He wants Me to do, I do it. In Jesus' life on the earth, there was a total oneness of relationship; and out of that, a total co-operation with the Father. He said: I don't ever start anything off My own back, just like in a marriage relationship, husband and wife, I'm submitted to whatever the Father's purpose is. The Bible says that's how God has ordered it.
Now, Jesus became obedient or submitted Himself to the Father's plan; having a trust and confidence that God, the Father, had the very best plan for Him. When He did, when He co-operated, and laid His life down in service, loving service, God has lifted Him up and given Him a higher place. It was always part of the plan of God, that Jesus would be elevated to the highest place. He just called on Him, to submit to His way of getting there. Now He had two choices of how to get there. The devil offered Him the other choice: you fall down and worship me, I'll get You there right away. You can exalt Yourself. You can compromise. You can just go Your own way. You can either lift yourself up, or let God lift you up; but let God lift you up, it'll take you to the cross. You don't want that, that's painful. It doesn't sound very nice does it? It might be a bit of inconvenience and pain there, but if you just lift yourself up - that's the devil's talk. You lift yourself up. You get ahead, you go for it, you go for it, look after number one! No one else will look after your life. That's all the devil's talk.
God says: no, if you co-operate with Me, I'll lift you up. You can either lift yourself up, or let God lift you up. Jesus let God lift Him up. You can't get a higher place than He is now. So what did Jesus have in His heart? Well, He had in His heart, the church. He had in His heart, a body of people; and what was in His heart, was that He would lift the church up, and that by the church, to all the principalities or powers, we may know in the wisdom of God. His heart was to lift the church up, and bring it into a place where one day it would rule over all that He had. It would share in governing over all that He had. His plan for you and for me is that we be lifted up and exalted to a place of rulership, stewardship over everything He's created, to the point where even the angels are subject to us. How about that? How do we get there? That's the problem. You either lift yourself up, trying to get there; or you submit to God's way, and He'll lift you up. God's way always means that you recognise the headship of Jesus Christ, and you flow in harmony with His order in life, and you lay your life down to serve Him, and He lifts you up. That's how it works.
Now what did God have in mind for marriage? Well He had a marriage, and what He had in mind in marriage, and the way it would work, was this: exactly the same as the relationship between the Father and His Son, exactly the relationship between Jesus and the church. In fact the Bible says, that the way Jesus loved the church, husbands should love their wives. In fact it says: marriage is like Jesus and the church, in what way? Well this is the way; Jesus had in mind that the church, He would lift it up, elevated it up. He would love the church. He would serve. He would pour out His life. He would fulfil the will of the Father. He would accomplish all the purpose of the Father, and lift the church right up beside Him, into a place of great honour, great esteem, great glory, great value. The church, in turn, submits to Him; and allows Him to lift us up.
Now what He had in marriage in mind was this: that the husband, being the head of his wife, would love her, and would invest his life in her sacrificially as Jesus did for the church; that he would have in mind she would be lifted up, she would be esteemed, she would be valuable, she would come up right beside him in a place of great honour, alongside him, sharing all that he had, a partner that he had; brought up into that place because of his love, and his giving of himself to her. Her part, well she needs to recognise her role: that he is the leader, and co-operate, and not run an independent lifestyle; to flow with him in accepting God's purpose, a help made for him. That's how God's intended it. Of course you can understand, when you look at how God intended it, how much we've messed it up. It's been badly messed up, because people haven't understood. People have either - men have either neglected their leadership, or abused it; but Christ is the model and example. You follow Him, you see how to lead. Men are called to lead, look what the Bible tells us here. The man is the head of the woman. It makes it very, very clear.
Why is the man the head of the woman? Well God created it to be that way, it's an order. Is he more important? No, he's not more important. Is he more gifted? No, he's probably less gifted in some areas; but in the area of being the head, or the leader of the home, God has uniquely called him to be that. Did you realise that, that when a father comes down the aisle with his daughter, that it symbolises that he is the covering, the authority, the protector of her. Now he hands he,r or gives her hand - who gives this woman in marriage? I give her hand in marriage. What is the father doing? The father is giving his authority, his role, his positioning that God gave him over his daughter, over to another man. What does that other man do? He takes the hand in marriage. Why is he taking the hand in marriage? He's assuming responsibility to be the leader, God's head over a completely new unit; so God says: you've got to leave your home, and you cleave to your wife, and you love her, and you lead her as Christ loved, and has given leadership to the church.
That's God's plan, and that's the symbolism that's involved, in the father coming down the aisle with his daughter; symbolising that she's still under covering, still under his protection, still under his headship and authority. And he's handing over the daughter, indicates he approves of that man. He gives this relationship his blessing, and now releases his daughter to come under the headship of some other person. Believe me, you need to choose the right one, if you're going to submit to someone else's leadership. It's got nothing to do with feelings. People mistake the feeling of being bonded together. God has put a law in place, that when two people open their hearts, and share intimately with one another, or sexually with one another, that their hearts bond. The feeling of bonding has got nothing to do with whether that's the right one. People make that mistake, young people make that mistake, over and over and over again. Young women, if you are going to marry some man, hold yourself back, and make him earn the right to lead you; and if he won't earn the right to lead you, by loving you, and looking after you, and honouring you, before you ever get to marry him, it certainly won't do it afterwards, absolutely certain. Don't cheapen yourself. Don't sell yourself cheap, because you want to feel good, or because there's a vacancy, or a lack in your life, because of something in the home. Never do that. Find healing and wholeness in Christ, so you can stand up and be a whole person, and let that man prove he's got the gumption in him to be a leader; because I'll tell you something, you will regret it, all the rest of your life. You'll be working hard, trying to change him to be something you hoped he would be, and end up even more frustrated and hurt. You can't do that, so wait. If the guy hasn't proven he's got it before you get married, don't marry him.
You know one of the people that would be the key person to ask what he thinks? That would be your dad. If he doesn't like the guy, there's something wrong. You better liste,n because that's the person God has appointed, as head over you, to give protection to you, spiritual discernment over the whole deal; and if he's very, very unhappy with this, there's probably very good reasons. You've got a good reason to have a double think about what you're doing. It's such a mockery of this whole thing, when a man brings his daughter down, she's been living out of home, and living in a relationship with someone else. To go through this whole - it's hypocrisy. This is not what marriage is about at all. It's about God's plan to bring people into committed covenant relationship, and into divine order; where the husband is the head, and loves her, and he leads her. If a man can't lead you morally before you're married, believe me, he won't lead you morally after you're married either - unless he comes to a great heart change. Ooh, getting all quiet now. This is true, this is how it is.
Because we don't understand God's way in this matter; men, if you're a man who doesn't know how to love a woman, and lead properly, then you're just failing as a man. You want to be a good man, want to stand up and be proud of who you are, and others proud of who you are? Then be a Christ-like man, submit to Christ, begin to get a holy, clean life; instead of using women, learn how to love them, and to lead them well. You will be a great candidate to be a husband. Ooh, you've all got so quiet. [Laughs] We're biting into the bone now aren't we? Okay then, now let's get to it here. It says: I would have you know, the head of every man is Christ, every man needs to get a relationship going with God. If you're a man here today, and you don't have a relationship with Jesus Christ, I want to give you a chance, at the end of this meeting to do it - it'd be the best thing you could do to get your life right. He's the greatest lover. He can change a hard heart, He can melt your heart, He can heal your heart. Not only that, He's the only one who can help you do a good job of what you're called to do.
Now this is what the Bible says. It says: the man is the head of the woman. Now I want to share with you three problems that come related to this. No man can be an effective leader until he settles these issues in his heart. Men, you'll never lead your home, unless you get this really settled in your heart: number one, God has designed you to be the leader. Two, He has appointed you, to be the leader; so you better agree with Him, that's His order. If you don't accept He made you up - a man has been created by God. He has certain things in his make up, that actually equip him to be the leader in the home. He has things in his make up, that are different to the woman, that enable him to carry the weight. That's why so often, you know, she might be having some trouble with the kids, he comes out, one word from dad [growl] [Laughter]
So there's an authority. God has given something, if the man knows, understands; if you're a man, I have been ordained, or appointed by God, to be the leader of the home. Not only that, He's got something in me, to enable me to do it. Even if I haven't realised it yet, it's in there, I can do it. I can do it! I can do this job! God would never ask me to do something, unless He enabled me to do it; therefore, something in my make up will embrace this job. When I've embraced it, I'll feel I'm being fulfilled as a man. It's true. Any man who actually neglects his responsibility as the leader of the home, feels bad about himself. You get a man who fails to lead his home, he'll always have low esteem problems; and all the prayer ministry in the world will never fix it up. You've got to stand up on your feet: I'm a man, I'm called to lead, take the responsibility into your heart. Then begin to find out ways to love and to serve, learn how to do it. So God's power is released, only when you assume the responsibility; so if you're going to make a mark in the home, you actually have to own the responsibility.
Who does the buck stop with, for the spiritual life in the home? Come on now, don't think because your wife's such a great prayer, and spends hours in prayers, that it stops with her. It stops with you! It stops with you! You are responsible for the home, you're responsible for the marriage. You have to understand that, no matter what anyone tells you, or anyone says; when you get to heaven, if you've been a married man, He will ask you not only about your personal life, He'll ask you what you did about your marriage and family. You will give account, so if I assume responsibility, it's at the point of assuming responsibility, power begins to flow. Until you own the responsibility, until you carry a sense - most men go out, do their thing, they think their wife will run all the home. Friend, that is wrong. You've actually got to own responsibility for the thing. Once you've taken on that, you'll find that in your heart, the power of God will start to arise. You'll feel a surge, something begins to change inside, you when you take ownership of responsibility.
Now God will hold every man to account, believe me. Who does God hold to blame, for the entrance of sin into the world? It wasn't Eve. It was the man! Why did God hold Adam responsible? Because when you read in Genesis, Chapter 3, that the serpent gave the fruit to Eve, Adam being with her. What on earth was he doing, letting the devil talk to his wife? What on earth was he doing, saying nothing, while the devil proposes all this great scheme for her to get ahead, self promotion scheme? He was doing what a lot of men do - ooh, nothing! [Laughter] It's true. He was silent. When he should have spoken up, he was silent. When he should have protected, he was silent. When he should have actually confronted the devil, he was silent. The silence of Adam, caused sin to enter the world; and the silence of men today, causes sin to enter marriages and families, and destroy them. Men must stand up on the inside. There's no government can heal our nation, only God can do it, as men arise, and take their rightful place. We have to understand that, it's crucial.
So God held Adam responsible for the entrance of sin into the world. Now one of the reasons that we see overall, that God talks about male/female roles, is for this reason. It's the most common thing in the world for men to just avoid their responsibilities for leadership in the home; and two, it produces tremendous harm and damage in the home, when the man is not the spiritual and proper leader of his home. It produces weights on the wife. It produces problems with the children. All kinds of things come into the home. The woman gets subject to spiritual attack, that the husband is capable of dealing with, but is refusing to. I want to show men how to deal with that. A man can stand in a place of prayer, and protect his wife and children from immense amounts of demonic attack; but he's got to own responsibility, and position himself in prayer in the role God gave him. When he does, literally a shelter comes over the family.
I believe that the reason we've got so many break downs in families, are men who have lost understanding of what their role is, and what they're called to do and to be in their family. Because they've lost understanding of it. This has been about 30 years of reaping what's been coming into our education system. I can remember when I went to Teachers College, they ruined me for teaching for quite some time, until I got godly principles into my life; because educational philosophers had taken humanism, and were pouring it into the Teachers College and it's education institute, through a guy by the name of Drury. All of this teaching came in, and it literally removed absolutes, and replaced them with relatives, until there were no standards left. Today, basically the common thinking - I won't go down this line too far: if it feels right, then it's true. There's no connection between truth, reality, and what people feel any more. If they don't feel like it, they feel bad about it, then there must be something wrong with it; so men must take responsibility to lead.
Let me tell you what'll happen, two things that'll happen, when a man stands up to lead. When a man actually understands, God has called him to be a leader, and stands up and is willing to embrace the responsibility, there'll be two things I guarantee will happen: one, the power of God will start to flow to his life, to help him; but it starts with ownership of responsibility, and that means if you've failed, you've got to own the failures as well. If your marriage and family are in a mess, you'd better own that as well; because my experience has been, that whenever a business goes wrong, you don't look for the clerk in the front desk. You go to the boss, and say: what's gone wrong? You're responsible. That's how it works. Something wrong in the family - men, better have a good reason why you're not doing what you need to be doing. I don't think God will listen to too many excuses though. It's time for men to stand up, and take that ownership and responsibility, and learn how to lead with love, their family.
Now you can't just suddenly stand up, and start to go bossing everyone around. That'd be the wrong thing to do. That'll create more problems. You can't swing from one side, doing nothing; to the other side, doing a lot. You've actually got to first of all take a sense of ownership, and come to a place of repentance, where you've neglected or failed or let the family down. To be the head of the family, means to take responsibility for the marriage, and the family. You take responsibility. You take responsibility, and if you fail to take responsibility, you've failed to fulfil God's role, and there's a problem in your home because of it. Now you could have all the excuses under the sun, but God will not listen to any of them. Adam - hey you did this. Hey, don't look at me, it's my wife. [Laughter] God didn't listen to any of that. The Bible records: by one man, sin entered the world. When we look at your family, it'll be recorded by you, the man, sin entered the family. Won't be able to blame your wife, won't be able to blame the kids. You're responsible, because you're in charge.
Now we start to take ownership and responsibility, the first thing that happens, is the power of God comes to us. Immediately a man takes responsibility, the power of God will come to his help, what to do? To give him ideas. It's God working in you, to will and to do what He wants. He'll give you ideas, He'll give you insight, He'll give you wisdom. He'll give you perspective, He'll give you ideas, He'll give you ability to make decisions, in consultation with your wife - add that bit in there, just in case you think it's all a one man thing. [Laughter] We'll talk about the partnership later on. The second thing that'll happen is, you'll find intense pressure and resistance come from the spirit world. Everything, every devil, will try and stop you taking your place in God's order; because you can say: Jesus is Lord over your family until the cows come home. A parrot could say it, and it'd have about as much effect.
At the end of the day, Jesus becomes Lord of your family, when you take your position as head of the woman. That's when the lordship of Jesus becomes established, when you submit to Christ, and you take your rightful place of assuming responsibility. Once you embrace responsibility in your heart, and you begin to pray, you begin to walk out those responsibilities, God's power comes into the whole deal, the whole deal. You can change people, without even having to do too much, once the power of God is flowing on your behalf; but to do that, you've got to stand up. Every devil in hell, will stop men standing up. Every demon of witchcraft - as we'll see a little bit later - will come and try and stop a man standing up and praying regularly, consistently for his wife and children, standing up and taking responsibility of the home. The devils will come, they'll try and push on you, to make you feel inadequate, as though you've got no ideas, you're useless, you're hopeless. They'll push everything against you; but friend, if a man will stand up and hold the position God has given him - you've got to understand this, that spiritual warfare is about getting you out of two places: one, out of your relationship with Christ; and two, out of the position God called you to be.
The battle is to just stand up, and believe what God says, and to embrace that call, that responsibility to give leadership to your home - not to lord it over them, but to lead them, as Christ led. He loved. You know, He washed the disciple's feet. Perhaps some of the men, it'd be a good idea if you went home and offered to wash your wife's feet. [Laughter] Be a change of attitude, of sitting there and waiting for her to come round and wait on you. A lot of men come home, they expect their wives to wait on them. God says: you're the leader, you're the servant leader; so you not only give direction, you learn to serve. You pick up some of the responsibilities. You help around the place. You get involved, you don't just: well I've done my bit out there, I come home, you do it all here. That's an ungodly thing, that comes out of culture; it's got nothing to do with the Bible.
I can wash my disciple's feet, which is the lowest job. You can do a few low jobs around the place too. We'll talk a bit about how to put this into practice [laughter] - all the women are going ha ha ha! Men are sitting down in their seats - but you know something? Let me just finish before we get onto the other side of the coin. We'll get the flip-side of the coin in another session of course. [Laughter] Even though a man embraces the responsibility in his heart, the fulfilment of his leadership requires his wife accept him in that role, and release what she's been carrying to him. You can either release it wilfully, or you can go with a fight. [Laughter] I can remember the day when my wife released the finances to me. She came in with a cheque book, threw it down on my desk, and said: there, you do it. [Laughter] I said: yes I will, and I did it ever since. It was as simple as that. But you understand this, that in order to give leadership, you have to assume responsibility of the person who's following. That's why God says: husbands, you be the kind of leader a wife would easily submit to. Wives, be in submission to your husband, and don't be fearful of doing this, because God will help you. You don't have to change him. You don't have to manipulate. You don't have to do this and that. If you will just take your right place, and do what God says to do, His power will come on their heart, and move him.
Why don't we just close our eyes right now. The first step is to come into relationship with Jesus Christ. I wonder is there any person here, who's never actually ever admitted, that Christ died on the cross for your sins. Your sins have cut you off from God. Jesus died for your sins. Your sins will leave you in eternity without God, eternity without hope but friend, Jesus died for your sins. If any man, any woman, any person would acknowledge what Jesus Christ has done, and who He is, and open their life to receive Him, and make Him welcome, then that person will be changed.
Are you here today and you want to become a Christian? Why don't you raise your hand right now, say: I want to become a Christian, there's emptiness in my life. There's something lacking, there's a God dimension lacking. I want to receive Christ today. Why don't you raise your hands now and say: that's me, I want to become a Christian, I want to receive Christ.
I wonder how many of you, as men today, have felt God speak into your heart, and say: son, you have not represented my headship well by your life, by your example, by your love, by your words. You've been absorbed in yourself, and like so many of the men of this nation, passive, resistant, laid back; and the role of headship in the home is no longer occupied by you, but your wife has had to carry the responsibilities, responsibility for the children, for the discipline, the order, for the prayer, the spiritual direction. You are a rebel against God. You are resistant of God's order. Whether it's because you didn't know it, because you just failed to do it, or whatever it is; at the end of the day, none of those things will count. Demon powers have been able to access your marriage and family, because you were absent without leave, you were AWOL.
Today God's speaking to men, saying: men, you need to stand up and take your right place, your right place in the family, the right place in the marriage, the right place in the church, the right place in the community; the place God gave you, a place of headship, a place of leadership. If God's speaking to you today, and you're saying: Lord, I have neglected my responsibilities; today my first step is to own my failure, own my neglect and self-centredness, and to actually turn to you and say: Lord, I want to carry responsibility for my family, for my marriage. Are there men here today who would say: that's me, why don't you just stand where you are. I don't want you to come to the front, I want you just to stand where you are, say: God is speaking to me today. I need to stand up on the inside, and begin to shoulder responsibility. Men, come on, just stand, stand where you are. Let God's spirit come on you, and the change that you need. My experience has been, in so many marriages, it's the woman who carries the weight. Men - God bless, there's men standing. Father, I just thank You for these men now. Other men need to stand too, other men who could take that responsibility; to protect, to love, to lead, to give direction, to set standards, to bring spiritual life.
Father, I thank You for these men that acknowledge their need, they've acknowledge their need of You Lord. Today I'm asking for the power of Your spirit to come on them, to raise them as godly men; that Lord, You will dispossess the demon powers that have hindered them, and held them down; and that they will arise with great strength and vigour in their families. Help them to recognise and put right what was wrong. Help them to love their wives and children, humble themselves, that they might Lord be lifted up by You.
I just wonder right now, how many others in the church today, and as I've been speaking you're aware that your heart has been hurt and broken, because in your family men have failed. Men have failed to lead, or men have been abusive in their leadership, and it's left a deep wound inside your life. You say God, I need You to help me to forgive and release these things so I can take my right place. Why don't you just stand right now, just do it right now. It could just be women, it'll also be men, men that have been abandoned by their dads, and men that have been abused by their dads, women that have been abandoned, and women that have been abused. Could be many. It's one of the most difficult things for a man to lead, is because he's been under an abusive leader himself, controlling, self-centred man; or a passive, self-centred, self-absorbed man, who won't take responsibility. What a tragedy. What a tremendous hurt and heartache in the family. Father, I'm asking for each of these ones today, for the anointing and the power and the love of Your spirit to come around them, to heal and restore and to raise them up. Father, I ask that the grace of God to forgive would come around our life, that they could move past their hurts, and into a place of accepting Lord, their role.
Just while our eyes are closed and heads are bowed, those of you standing, just keep your eyes closed. I'd like others in the church to go to the ones who are standing. I'd like you just to pray for them, encourage them, bless them. Put your arm around them. Some of them have tremendous pain and hurt. Let's just believe that God will come and help them. Tremendous pain when fathers do not do what they're supposed to do. Just come, put your arm round him, say: I'm with you brother.
Now Father, in Jesus' name, we break the power of abusive words. We break the power of critical words, that found fault. We break the power of violence and hatred. We break the power of abandonment. We break the hold of those things that have locked up the hearts of these men and women. Father, we release Your love. We release Your anointing. Father, I pray Your spirit would touch the family, every man, every woman and stand up in a new role.
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HEADSHIP AND RESPONSIBILITY
(a) God is a God of Order
Ro. 13:1-2. Let every soul be subject to the higher powers and for there is no power but of God. The powers that be are ordered by God.
· God has established an order in the spirit world and an order in the natural world.
· Authority originates from God. He is the source of it.
· Power = exousia = legal or lawful or delegated right to act.
· Higher = one positioned above another or at a higher level.
· There are four distinct authority structures God has ordered – each has distinct responsibilities.
i) Government (1Pet.2:13-14)
ii) Church (Heb. 13:7)
iii) Family (1 Cor. 11:3)
iv) Individual (Ro. 14:12)
(b) Response to God’s Order
Ro. 13: 1-2. Be subject … or “Resist” (Only two responses possible).
· Resist = anti tasso = to arrange or position oneself against.
= military term to arrange oneself in battle against, opposition to.
· People resist what God has ordered because of ignorance – not knowing what is expected or required of them, because of neglect; because in their thinking are opposed to what God has ordered.
· Subject = hupotasso = to subordinate, arrange oneself in order beneath. This does not mean one person inferior; or imply oppression or control. This refers to the order in a relationship in which one person looks to the other for direction. The purpose of this order is to allow those in relationship to function together in unity.
· E.G. Jn 5:30 I seek not my own will but the will of the Father who sent me.
Jn 17:22 That they may be one even as we are one.
· Subject means much more than just obedience.
· E.G. Honour, respectful, responsive to direction; co-operating with anothers purposes.
· All Christians are call to “be subject” to authorities.
2 HEADSHIP IS MALE
1 Cor. 11:3 Headship: God Christ Man Woman.
· The headship of man is a role in relationship to his wife.
· This headship is part of a series of headship relationships involving both headship and submission.
· These roles do not imply inferiority but are part of divine order.
· Reason given: Creation design.
· Man was created first and had already begun his God given work.
· Man stood alone – God’s representative ruler in the earth, designed to lead.
· Woman was made out of man designed to be his helper and companion.
· Woman was the glory of man as man was the glory of God.
· Examples of God – Christ
· God’s purpose and desire = to exalt Christ to share rulership with him over all He created. Father gave direction – Son subject o.
· Father loved and gave leadership – Son subject to this!
3. HEADSHIP IS LEADERSHIP
(a) Recognise God’s Design
1 Cor. 11:3 Headship Responsibility /People want rights and privilege – God’s design = responsibility.
· No man can be an effective leader in marriage until settles the issues in his heart.
(i) God has appointed him as leader/spiritual head. (1 Cor. 11:3)
(ii) God has creatively designed him for this task – not his wife (Gen. 2:18; 1 Pet. 3:7).
(iii) God’s power is released only as he assumes a sense of responsibility for leadership. (Eph. 3:7) Headship is not just a role it is a position of responsibility and authority.
(b) God holds Men to Account
· Rom. 5:12 By one man sin entered the world.
· Eve ate the fruit but God held man responsible for allowing sin to enter.
· Adam failed to fulfil his leadership responsibility – remained silent Gen 3:6.
· Male/Female roles are emphasised in the Bible because:
(i) Common for males to abdicate spiritual leadership responsibilities in home and the church.
(ii) Male irresponsibility and passivity frustrates and creates immense damage and ruin in families and churches.
(iii) Male abdication of headship – refusal to submit to God’s order and design.
(iv) Every husband and father will be held to account for his marriage and family. 1 Cor. 4:2 – required of stewards a man be found faithful.
(c) Men must assume Responsibility to Lead
Whenever a man arises to assume responsibility for leadership.
(i) Experiences strong spiritual pressures against him to –
Undermine his confidence and ability and fill with feelings of inadequacy and intimidation.
Push him to yield up his responsibility and spiritual position.
(ii) Heavens power is released to stand behind him and impart wisdom, direction and help him make decisions.
4. LEADERSHIP MEANS SERVING
· God is for leadership – oppression, abuse, neglect not His will.
· The line between evil oppression and true leadership is in the heart. Mt.20:25-28.
(i) King Mentality – man assumes ‘King’ mentality when seeks his wife and family as subjects existing for his purposes and convenience.
(ii) Servant Leader
· Husband sees role as servant existing for benefit of his wife and family to fulfil the purposes of God.
· God’s principles of leadership are based upon serving.
· Serving begins with attitude of heart – sense of responsibility for and willingness to give self to those you lead.
· Servant leadership
(ii) Example – standards
(v) Protects – spiritually and naturally
(vi) Unites family to relate and work together.
Notes» Audio» Paperback» Share» Website»
In Genesis 3, God gave man a clear mandate (area of responsibility), with instructions to "dress it" and "keep it". How does this apply today? What does it mean? This session practically unpacks this - how to work it out in marriage? What happens if we don't? What am I responsible for and what am I not responsible for? How does it affect the spirit world? What are the broad principals? Is there room for personal initiative?
Romans 13. I've just been thinking of 1 Corinthians 11:3; the man is the head of the woman, and Christ is the head of the man; so we're going to get into that area today. Don't get all reactionary on me. I want you just to listen, open up your heart. It'll help you. It'll give you some understanding and insight of some dynamics in relationships.
[Aside:] One of the things we need to understand, is that God calls us to bless and to give to one another, and to help one another; and sometimes people can feel a tremendous burden inside. I know that for single parents that are living on about $40 a week, and they feel a tremendous burden with these things. I encourage you though, to let your faith be in God. I've discovered, it didn't matter really how much I had, it was never enough; but when I just honoured God, it was amazing how He made what I had increase. But a vital part of that happening is that the body of Christ, we give to the Lord - the Bible says: as you give, then it's given back to you, shaken together shall men give unto you. So basically, when things come back to you, they come through people; but if the people, who God has called to be responsible for helping you, won't do it, then there is a lack. Do we understand that?
In other words, in the body of Christ, in this local church, God calls us to be responsible to help one another. That's why we put you in cell groups, and encourage you to connect together; so that where there are needs, you become aware of them, and you can bless and minister to that person. So an important part of God's provision for us, is our giving and supporting and helping one another. So I encourage you in thinking: if you have, then learn to look out for those who have not, and bless them. What it does is, it produces a tremendous reassurance, that God has heard their prayers. They begin to thank God, and they begin to open their hearts to God, in a new and fresh way. So we've made it a practice, wherever we can, whenever we can, to just bless and give to people that we encounter, that are less positioned than we are. Now if you have a look at yourself, if we drew a line, and over there is the person who has the least resources, over there is the person who has the most resources, then you are somewhere in that line. Would that be true? Okay, now here's where the difficulty is.
Most of the time, we look up the line, at everyone who has more than us, and envy them; quiet grief, and reluctant acknowledgement they have more than us. What God wants you to learn to do is this: to thank God for where you're positioned, and look down the line and say: I could really bless someone. Isn't that great? That's how I've learnt to do that; so what it does, it stops you being full of envy, and you begin to - because you're in position - you begin to bless all of those who have less than you. What you do, you actually come into a place where God can expand you. Before you know it: hey, my position in the line has altered. [Laughter] It's true. See most people focus on altering their position in the line. God says: fill the position you've got; and He'll alter your position in the line. That's not hard is it? So there are times when we lived on very little, had six kids and $120 a week to pay everything, including school fees, and every other kind of thing, so we had to learn just how to take what we had, which was very little. So we learnt all about you know, cooking our own fish and chips, because we couldn't afford to buy any - but you know what? I just got the newspaper, and wrapped it all up, and it was just like we bought it. [Laughter]
We got others to come around to our home-made chips, and our home-made fish and chips. You see it's not [I like it!] how much you've got, it's what you do with what you've got; and you could be up here in the line, and be a miserable, poor person. You can be down here, have very little, and be very rich! It's not anything to do with how much you've go - it's got to do with what's in you, attitudes. It's a great thing to be set free of having to have lots of things. One of the things the Bible says is: as goods increase, they increase that consume them. [Laughs] So if you've got lots of things, there's a lot of problems come with it. So one of the things we need to understand in this area of giving, wherever you stand in the prosperity line, thank God for what you have, and use it to bless someone who has less. Isn't that a good principle? And the Bible says: no one will be in lack, if we all do that. There'll be not a single person here in need, if we all purposed we would do that; and the Bible tells us: we need to do more than just love God, who we can't see; we need to love the person, who's a member of the body of Christ, His representative on the earth, who we can see. That brings a lot of releases of things to us. Amen. [Amen] Well that's not the message today, but that was a good one anyway, so [Laughter] I had it on my heart, and I've got to say that.
Main Message I want you to have a look with me in Romans, Chapter 13. We've been looking at God's order, and how God wants to order the home, and order the family. Now I know there are single parents here, and you'll be bucking and whatever, over some of the things I'm saying. There'll be women whose husbands are not saved, and they'll be [grrr grrr grrr] but let me just say this: most situations that are out of order, are out of order because men failed somewhere. If you're a single parent here, let me tell you this: I know there's a man who failed. He failed to be a man, he failed to protect you, he failed to honour you, he failed to make commitment to you; and part of the reason you're in the place you're in, is because a man failed seriously. It doesn't mean you're not responsible for your situation, but it does mean: a man failed. When marriages break up, guess who God holds responsible? The man! This is where I'm aiming for, I want you to understand, if we want things to work right, we've got to discover God's order, and find out way into God's order, because it works.
The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 8:4, where the word of a king is, there is power; and who can say to him: why are you doing it that way? Where the word of a king is, there is power; and who can say to him: how come you're doing it that way? So Jesus is the king that we serve. We come to know Him through a personal relationship, we receive Him as our saviour, and now we have access to a whole new realm of living. We don't live our life according to the way we were raised, according to our culture, according to the society around us. We have a whole new realm to learn how to live. It's called the kingdom of God, it's got its own value system, it's got its way of working; and God has set in place laws in the spirit world, as well as laws in the natural world. The Bible says: He upholds them, or sustains them, and makes them work; so there are principles He set in place, I can't change the principles. I can't say: well how come You set it up like that? I can't just say: well God, I disagree with the man being the head of the woman. I don't like that doctrine, I don't like that teaching at all.
It won't make any difference. Where the word of a king is, there is power. He doesn't say: He's going to make it that way, He just says: this is how it is. He says: the man is the head. It's a position God has given to him, which he is required to be responsible for fulfilling. Now I want you to have a look in Romans 13, and I want you to see - again we'll just recover a couple of points, so we pick people up who weren't here. In Romans 13: let every soul be subject under the higher powers. It's talking here about our attitude to people who occupy roles of authority, or delegated influence somewhere - for there is no power or authority but of God, and the powers that be are ordered, or set in place, by God Himself. That means: He arranged it, and set it up. It doesn't mean they're doing a good job at it, it just means that God arranged it - so it says: whoever therefore resists the power, resists the ordinance of what God has set in place; and those that resist, shall receive to themselves judgement.
Let me just read that part again. Let every soul be subject; whoever resists, resists what God has ordered; and those that resist, receive to themselves, a judgement or sentence passed on them, because they failed to respond right. God has created order in the natural universe, and the spiritual universe. He just set certain things in order. Now the devil has got very limited realm to move. People have a big devil, and a very little God; but you don't understand that the devil can only work in the area God has let him work in. The area God has let him work in, is the area outside the law of God; so when a person responds to the law of God, they automatically remain in the place of light and the blessing of God. When a person violates the laws of God, they're automatically in darkness, where the devil then is allowed to operate. The Bible says to you and I, it says: do not give the devil that kind of opportunity in your life. In other words, let your life be in order, as God wants it to be, and you'll walk in a river of blessing and of life, and the devil can't touch you. That's why it says: those that overcome the devil, they are strong, because they exercise, and because they have practiced in this area, and the word of God is in them. They know what God wants and expects of them.
Now in this area, the verses that we've been looking at, the Bible says: God has set certain things in order, or set them up in a way He's arranged it. Now no one can tell Him: why did You do it that way? No one can say: I don't like it that way, and change it. You can't do that. If you do that, there's only two ways you can handle the word of God, or the order God has set up. The first one, is to be subject to it. To be subject to it means literally, it's the word hupotasso: to position myself underneath, or in the place God has appointed for me in the scheme of things, assuming all the responsibility of that role; and if I do that, the blessing of God flows. So to be subject to authority means - I'll put it in other words - position yourself in right relationship, so God can bless you; because they're not for evil, they're for good, to bless you. So my responsibility is, wherever I go, find out what God has set in place, and position myself so I can receive, by having a right relationship and attitude. That's not a hard deal.
Now the only other position you can take is this one: he that resists the power. That is the word anti-tassomai, meaning literally to stand against what God has ordered; in other words, to position my life, my attitudes, my thinking, my actions, so that instead of being in harmony with what God has planned, I am now ordered myself against what God has planned. You can only be in one place or the other, you can't be in both at the same time. You're either positioning yourself so that God can bless you, because you've come into His order; or you position yourself against it. Now you may do it ignorantly, but ignorance doesn't make any difference. If you position yourself against it, God can't bless you. Now God's concern is this: He wants to bless you. He wants you to be positioned, so the maximum good, and blessing, can come on your life. Most people, when they think of these things, think: the Lord God's going to restrict me, or God's going to limit me; but friend - God wants to bless us.
Every good gift comes from Him, so when God says: Christ is the head of the man, the man is the head of the woman; He's describing an order, which if I position myself in that place of order, God's blessing starts to flow unhindered around my life, and around those under me. So when God says: the man is the head, it means God has ordained, or ordered, or positioned, that a man must stand and accept full responsibility for leadership of his wife and family. If he doesn't do it, he's positioning himself against what God has ordered, and many problems come as a result of that. You can't be in two places, you can only be in the one place. You've either positioned yourself in harmony with it, or positioned yourself against it; and we want to talk about that. So headship in the home, literally, is the man accepting the responsibility God has given to him, and all that goes with it.
Now Jesus is the classic example of it. Jesus gave up all the authority and goodness and glory that He had in heaven, came to earth, and He was the model example of a servant leader. He loved the church. He gave His life for the church, He gave direction, He led, He released the power of God - how did He do it? Because all the time, He fulfilled Romans 13:1, He was subject, or positioned Himself in harmony with, the positioning God had for Him. Now to position yourself in harmony means this: you learn, or understand, or get to know, and you ask this question: what has God made me responsible for? If you can't answer that, it's almost certain, that at least to some degree, you'll be positioned against what God has planned; and be out of the blessing of God. Now you can pray all you like, it won't change anything, until you change. You must position yourself in harmony with what God's planned, then you can receive.
Now let's just pick it up and go a little further. I want you to look with me now in - where will we go? We'll go over into 2 Corinthians 10. Now I'm just going to keep talking just about the area of responsibility. Headship is a role, or a function, that God has set in place, so He can get a job done. Wherever you've got a group of people, someone must carry the weight of it seeing the jobs get done; so God says to the man: you're the man. You're the man here. God says: you're the man! And you know what? You are wired to carry responsibility. God has made you, so something in you thrives and grows and comes alive, when you carry responsibility; and something inside you dies, when you don't. Sin will cause you to do one of two things: either be passive, and refuse to take responsibility; or to misuse your responsibility and authority, and damage and hurt others around you. God wants us to learn how to handle it right. Whoa! [Laughter] [They're all excited] So to do that, I've got to know what it is. My biggest problem was: I just didn't know, and I had role models that didn't help me either.
I want to just talk to you now about understanding your responsibility, or your metron. Headship means you just assume the responsibility God has given you, and start to fulfil it. Here it is, 2 Corinthians 10, and Paul is writing, and he says in verse 12: we dare not make ourselves of this number or group of people, nor compare ourselves with some that are commending themselves. That's saying: look how good we're doing - but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. That means they're foolish. So what he's saying is, he's talking about his ministry, and he's just saying: I never look what anyone else is doing, to worry about that, and I never compare myself with what others are doing, and say: well I'm doing real well. He said: I don't even look at anyone else, I just look at what God has entrusted me. Comparing with others makes you stupid, because you're different, and at the end of the day, you'll only ever be successful if you do what God gave you to do. To do that, you've got to discover it. You've got to get connected to Him, and find what He gave you to do, read and study the Bible, learn and listen, and say: what does God want me to do? Why am I here? Where am I going? What have I got to do? That's all the questions we ask.
Now let me just read here the next thing, this is the bit I want to pick up. He says this: because God, we want those things outside our measure, but according to the measure of rule or influence God has distributed to us, a measure that reaches even to you, we do not stretch ourselves beyond our measure. Now the word 'measure' there, is literally like that, it's a measure. The Bible uses the word 'metron', which you get the word 'metre', a metre. We used to have a stick called a metre-stick. Now if you want to know how long something is, you actually take out a measuring stick. If I wanted to find out how high I am, the best way to do it is to get a measuring stick; not look and say: well I'm really good, I'm higher than him - or stand next to my daughter in platforms and [laughter] I'm shorter than her! So what the Bible is saying is: you can't use people as your measure. God says: you've got to use a measuring stick.
Now for example, if you want to make a cake, you don't just put any ingredients, in any quantities; you measure the quantities: this measure of flour is what's going to make it go, but if you put too much or too little, it doesn't work. You put too much of some ingredients in, it doesn't work. It just doesn't go properly, so you measure it. Now that's what the Bible says: measure. Now when the Bible's using the word 'measure', a measure refers to the responsibility God has distributed to you. What has God measured to you? You've got to ask that question. Let me give you some principles related to that. I'm just going to go through them, and then we'll apply it to a man, and to the dynamic in a marriage, when you don't understand what your responsible for, and pass the buck. There's some big problems happen [laughs], so this is what God says. The word of God says: we don't boast things that are not ours, but according to the measure of influence that God has given to us; and He says: it actually involves you as well. Here it is...
The first thing is, every human being has their own measure of responsibility, your metron. God has given you something you're responsible for; for example, I'm responsible for my life, for my money, for cars - two of them now. One was bad enough, two is more responsibility; for a house, for a wife, for children, for ministry responsibilities here, for responsibilities to other churches. I could actually list them all down, and these are the things God has entrusted for me. They're not for you. You don't compare yourself, because God's only going to ask you, He's going to hold you to account, only for what He gave you to do; and you might have just a little bit, but you were just so dynamic and great, and filled it so good, that when you get to heaven, God says: wow, well done! When I get there, I've got all this stuff, He says: well you didn't do so well. I gave you more, I entrusted more, you didn't do good enough, not compared to that one over there. Do you understand? It's nothing to do with how much I'm responsible for, but everything to do with owning the responsibility, and doing what God wants me to do with it. So if God's called you to do one thing, and you're doing something else, it doesn't matter how good you're doing at it, it doesn't cut it with God. We're going to be responsible to Him for our lives.
Okay now here's the second thing, so for example a different thing - a businessman. His metron includes not only his own life, and marriage, and family and whatever, it's also his business. When I was teaching, my metron included a classroom; so a policeman, they have a measured area of influence, so a policeman can only operate in a certain area. Everyone, God's measured something to you, so you need to ask yourself: what am I responsible for? Today the cry is: give me my rights, give me my privileges! The rights of this, and the rights of that, and all kinds of rights, but God says: no, find out, and inquire what you're responsibilities are, because with that comes privileges and authority. Now let me share a couple more things about your metron or your responsibilities. Your metron ends exactly where someone else begins; so I'm responsible for my stuff, but if that's their stuff, they're responsible for it - it's none of my business. I've got to be responsible for my bit, not for someone else's bit; so in a marriage, the husband is required to be responsible for certain things - but not everything.
He's not responsible for his wife's feelings, they're her feelings. She's got to own them, do something about them; otherwise he'll always feel: what have I done to upset her now? Why is she never happy? [Laughter] Do you understand? There's some things you're responsible for, some things as a Pastor I'm responsible for certain in relationship to members of the church; but then there's an area where it stops, and your bit begins. I can't come in there and tell you what to do in that, that's your thing. I can offer counsel advice, but you are responsible; and the problem comes, if I invade your areas of responsibility, I become dominating, overbearing, and all kinds of problems happen; or if I don't actually fulfil my responsibilities, another problem happens. In New Zealand, our difficulties with men are either: they control and dominate, and the women are left very weakened and never come forth; or they're very irresponsible and passive, and the women are forced to carry things God never intended them to carry. It affects them negatively, and that is a major problem in New Zealand - passive men; partly because of the spirit dynamic of the nation, partly because of break-downs in family roles and whatever. But at the end of the day, none of those things cut it. If you're irresponsible, you're irresponsible, full stop. There are consequences for it.
So as a Christian, we're called not to just drift along in the way we were, and the way we were raised, and carry on the sins of the fathers. We're called to discover what God called me to do, and then do my best to do it, to fill it. That make sense to you? Turn to someone next to you and say: I think he's talking to you. [Laughter - I think he's talking to you.] It can't be me, I know I'm doing okay! [Laughter] There's usually with these kinds of areas, everyone thinks: well I'm doing okay, it must be someone else. I wish so and so was here, to hear this message. [Laughter] I know someone who really needs to hear this. [Laughs] But it's for you. See, I wouldn't be bringing - it's for me too, for all of us. It's what God's trying to talk to us about. Okay then, so whatever is your metron; here's another thing you need to understand about your responsibilities is: whatever God has given you responsibility for, He permits you to take initiative. He expects you to take initiative, and be creative in what you do with it. I better say that again. Whatever God has entrusted you to do, you don't have to pray about it all. He expects you to be creative, and take the initiative. You don't have to talk to Him about it all the time, because you're in charge.
If you're in charge, you do it. He lets you do it. You got a house, you can paint it whatever colour you like, as long as you're happy to live in there, and you can do it when you like. You don't have to pray: now God, I wonder could you lead me and guide me, when should I paint my house? If the paint's peeling, paint it! [Laughter] Some people are just so impractical in this area. If your car's dirty, clean it; if the lawns are overgrown, cut them. [Laughter] Look after what God gave you. Treat it like it belongs to God. You've got a lot of ways of doing it; for example, I could go out with hand clippers and cut my lawns, but it would be a very long, slow job. I could get a motor mower and do it. I could buy one of those sit-on mowers and do it - be a bit of overkill. I could ask one of my sons to do it, or I could pay someone else to do it, whatever. There's a lot of ways you can get the job done. My deal is, God didn't say: you've got to cut the lawns; He just said: you're responsible for them - either way, get it done. Be creative, take initiative, make it happen. Do you understand that?
So every area, you'll find God will give you the principles, but you figure out, you've got to be creative how you make it outwork. That's why we can't tell one another, what you ought to be doing in your marriage, what you ought to be doing in your family, you ought to do it this way or that way. You can't go doing it, because God's knitted couples together differently, so they'll have a lot of ways of handling things. There's a lot of ways, so God gives the principles, you've got to figure out how to put this thing into practice, and be creative, and take the initiative; and you ask God to give you wisdom. Then He expects you to think about it, and to talk it over, to ask ideas from this one and that one; then to do something, just do something. Passive men, oh my goodness me. I feel tired just even talking about it. [Laughter] Now you notice here he says: we stretch not ourselves beyond our measure. Now this is the apostle Paul talking. Now you think: here's someone, I've got the mighty power of God, there's all these miracles - but you notice this inside him. He says: I will not go out beyond what God has entrusted to me. I will stay within the boundaries God has given to me. He said: that, someone else is responsible for, this is my bit; and you notice the bits that he's responsible for, are the ones he has relationship with.
So one of the problems that comes, is where we try to take on things God has not given us responsibility for. You'll be burdened. There'll be no grace to do it. You'll be meddling, and you'll create many problems when you do that. What I need to do, is to know what's my business, and do my business. The Bible says in 1 Timothy I think: study to be quiet and mind and do your own business. If we had people minding their business, it would be a lot happier world to live in. We wouldn't have so many people [tap-tap-tap] who have made it their business to be in everyone else's business. [Laughter] The Bible calls them: busybodies. It says, about busybodies, it says: stop being a busybody, and wandering around talking about everyone else's business. Mind your own! Get busy working on what God gave you to do, and let others do what they're going to do; but don't meddle and busybody - you create a lot of problems that way. 1 Thessalonians talks about that, 2 Thessalonians talks about it. Actually it's very clear about men being responsible. This is how clear it is. This is how clear it is: if a man doesn't work, let him starve to death. That's how serious the Bible is. If he shan't work, let him not eat. Well you can't go on long not eating before you want to work. If you connect eat/work together, work/eat together, then you actually get your thinking right, see?
Today we want to have eat, eat, eat, eat and work [Laughter], but you notice that God gave man a work to do, then He said you could eat. Every tree of the fruit of the garden you can eat - except that one. He got into the garden, gave him the work first, and after giving him the work, then He said: do the eating. We seem to have got it all the other way around. Now you see the problem is, our society has actually stripped away responsibility, and when there's stripping of responsibility, you become disempowered. Friend, every time you assume responsibility, there's an empowering takes place in your life; provided it's what God gave to you, and not what belongs to someone else. If it belongs to someone else, then unfortunately, you will empower demons to operate, because they operate outside the law of God. So for example, if I assume the responsibility God has given me, I not only rise up on the inside, I have authority over that area, I can protect that area. I can do all kinds of things in that area, but demons can't get in there, because I'm in there.
But if I let go that responsibility, then they can get in; and if I go somewhere where God didn't authorise me, I'm standing against what God put in place, they can get in there too. Witchcraft is connected to rebellion, resisting what God has ordered. That's all. Whenever you resist what God has ordered, you open up the way for demons - they are authorised to act. It's like the law of gravity, it's just there, pulls everything down. It's got some good in it. Where's the good? It holds you on the earth, so you don't fly off out into space. It's a wonderful thing - gravity, but not so if you fall off a building, or off a bank like I did one time. [Laughter] Horrible feeling to be looking straight up in the sky, as you fall. There's just this very long, long half second. Whoa! Done! I didn't like gravity that day [laughter], but that didn't change it. Whether you like it, or don't like it, it's still there, and it has its place. Do you know what its place is? To hold me on the earth; and so when God sets laws in place, they're to bless us. If you violate them, you have all kinds of consequences; so don't go outside what's your business. So if it's your business - you've got to discover what your business is, and mind your own! Turn to someone next to you, say: I know he's talking about you now! [Laughter]
So once you know your business, once you know your responsibility, it stops you manipulating and controlling someone else. That's their job, let them do it. If you pick it up, it'll burden you, and you'll have all kinds of problems; so this is what God calls you to do. First of all you position yourself. How do you position yourself? See, remember what we said? You submit to what God has ordered, so this is what you do. Where's God positioned me? Well if I'm the wife I'm here, if I'm the husband I'm over here. This is good, I'm up higher. I'm higher than you, no doubt I'm better than you. You'll do what I tell you! That's not positioning yourself. That's arrogance, and pride, and all kinds of horrible attitudes. You know what will happen? She'll just rise up against you, and rightly so; because when a man shows pride, the woman will counterbalance it. She'll expose it. You'll look an idiot, just in a moment; grandstanding, and then his wife gives him 'the look' [laughter], and he's gone, just in a moment - poof! Like popping a balloon, poof! Gone like that. It's all over for him.
So if I'm up here in the scheme of things, that means: all that's down there, I'm responsible for. Now you understand this, that if a man fails to take responsibility, he goes down the end of the line. [Laughter] Becomes an overgrown flippin' kid, has to be fed, looked after - but where does that leave his wife? She's carrying the responsibility. She's in a position God never intended her to be in. She's exposed, carries pressure, has assaults on her, and all because of that man. [Laughter] Think about this. The Bible says this: by one woman, sin entered the world, and death through sin. Does it say that? [No.] What does it say? Who got to listen to the devil first? The woman. Who ate the fruit first? [Woman.] Who did God hold accountable for this whole deal? [Man.] Why? [Laughter] It's not fair! She did it! [Laughter] In case you got it real clear, the Bible says: by one MAN, sin entered the world. God would not let him off the hook; I put you in charge, this is where you're supposed to be, up here. So what's he got to do? He's got to position himself. How do you position yourself? You understand where God has placed you, and you accept and embrace full responsibility; this is my job, my business, and I've got to mind my business.
The second thing you do, is you fill up the area of responsibility. This is how God said it to Adam, in Genesis 3:15. He brought Adam out. Now there was no Eve around, no woman around. He brought him out, and He showed him a big garden, representative of the possibility of inheriting the whole world, if he handled it right. In other words, Adam didn't start out in charge of everything. Adam started out with a piece of the pie, and if he could handle that well, God had in mind to give him a heap more, like He always does. If you can handle your bit well, God's going to give you a lot more. Now so here it is, He said: Adam, this is what you do. I want you to dress it, and keep it. Dress it means, I want you to cultivate it, so it becomes incredibly productive, and I look at it and say: oh wow! The second thing He says: I want you to keep it. I want you to be a watchman over it, to guard that garden. Don't let any enemies get in, don't let anything get in that'll mess it up - and Adam was busy doing that before He even arrived. That's why Adam's the head, because God set it up that way. He's at the beginning, He started it.
So Adam's a bit lonely, tired of doing all his work, so God said: I'll bring someone to him, brings Eve out, oh! Eve - so Adam even named her. I'll call her 'woman' - just a little bit of ego in there already I think [laughter], because she came out of man you know. [Laughter] God said: I brought her here to be a helper for you, so you're still in charge. You've still got responsibility. You've got to make this thing work. You've got to dress the garden and keep it, and now its not just the garden, you've got to look after your wife as well; so you've got to cultivate her, and you have to protect her. So that means when I come back and have a look, oh wow! What have you done with Eve? She's looking beautiful! So that's the role God's given to man. You have to cultivate your wife, so she becomes a beautiful woman. If she's looking an old hag... [laughter] I've got to really ask: it's your fault! Take her out, and buy her something nice, and look after her; speak words to her, and get her some make up, and take her down and get her hair all done nice. Take away special and look after her. You've let the garden go mate! [Laughter]
Come on now, who was responsible? She's responsible for her own life, but you've got to understand that cultivating means to invest into it, and become a husband, until it becomes a beautiful, productive thing. So God has in mind not that the woman be inferior in any way, but she be a partner for him in life, and that through his ministry to her, she would become beautiful. The trouble is, many have been abandoned by men, who failed to fulfil their responsibility for some reason. Come on, you've got to get a hold of this thing - and God called him to protect her. So this is what he's got to do: first of all, he's got to embrace the responsibility; two, he's got to fill it, and cultivate it, protect whatever. Then he has to trust God to help him do the job he's called to do, because it needs God's ideas; and if he embraces it, and sets his mind to actually do those things, then he can expect that God will give him lots of ideas on how to do it. If you just set it in your mind: you're going to work at making your wife a beautiful woman, I know you'd find a lot of ways to do that - and it wouldn't be nagging her either. Usually it involves sacrifice. That's how Jesus did it. He sacrificed Himself, He gave Himself; He loved the church, and laid down His life for it.
Then He said: in case you think that being a leader, or being the head of the home, is a big deal, He took off His garments in John 13, He became a servant, and He washed the disciple's feet. Wouldn't it be wonderful, if some of the men just go their wife, and just said: honey, sit down there. Now let me get a little basin, just going to wash your feet, and I've got the meal all cooked all ready for you. [Laughter] See I can feel them manifesting all right away [laughter] saying [mutter mutter] - but Jesus did it, why couldn't you? He says: if I am your Lord and master, and I do this, why couldn't you do something like that? I can see this is shocking [laughter] the serious Kiwi male. But a woman is wired to respond to that kind of loving, and you'll feel good when you do it; that's right, instead of exploiting her, or allowing her to carry the weight, and being an overgrown kid with mummy. [Laughter] [I know that feeling!] Come on, it's what it's like in New Zealand. Not in every home, but in many homes, we've got some overgrown kids, that want their wife to be mummy a lot of the time, and the rest of the time their wife, usually at night time in bed. [Laughter] It's true. There are other times it's mummy - shocking, mummy's boy. Isn't that dreadful?
Does it command respect? It doesn't, does it. Why? I'll tell you why it doesn't - you know why everyone gets revolted by that thought? Because it's out of God's order. God's order is extremely attractive. It is extremely beautiful when it operates right, and it produces the goods, because God upholds it. As soon as we resist what God's ordered, there's just no end of problems. They just never stop, so that's why you've got to actually address things at the root. That's why we're focussing on the men, for a little while, because that's where the source of much of the difficulties lies. Is that true? Ooh! How are you going to distribute the responsibilities in the home, who'll do what? Now the Bible doesn't tell you who does what, it just says: the man is responsible to make sure it all happens, so how are you going to see? Well you see what usually happens is, we put things together based on: well in my family, we did it this way. She says: well my family, we did it this way; well I'm from another culture, and we did it this way. But once you're born into the kingdom of God, and you become married, you actually have a new culture, a new kingdom, a new way of doing things. You've got to work it out [applause], and make some adjustments around here.
My wife, she came from a family where her father was a great gardener. She automatically assumed I would be a great gardener too. [Laughter] I have an aversion to gardening. I tried one attempt at it. I was very good at doing the oxalis [local noxious weed], oxalis just multiplied and increased and filled my garden. The tomatoes, I just didn't know whether I wanted to eat them or not, black spots, and small and green, and had things that sort of got around - I just thought: this is hopeless. Then inspiration came! I got my mower out, and mowed the garden [laughter] and turned it into lawn, and I've bought vegetables ever since. [Yay! Laughter, applause.] She couldn't understand that. She said: we had chooks; we had chooks for a while too. We've done all kinds of things to try and figure out how this thing goes. In the end, I said: listen honey, I'm too busy for all of that kind of stuff. God's going to find another way of getting - I'm going to focus my energy over here, and we had to adjust. You understand that? You've got to adjust the way you do it.
So the Bible doesn't actually tell you how to do it, He just gives you some principles. I'll give you the principles. Here's some of them, they're very, very simple things. Number one, the man carries the final responsibility. He's got to just actually, be in charge. Someone's got to do it, someone's got to carry the can, carry the buck, and just make sure it gets done; and then be responsible. There's a difference between delegating, where you stay in charge and responsible; and advocating. Now this happens with money - ooh, we get into that in a moment. Let me just give you this in case I forget, and get off track. The one who's most gifted, is the logical one to do the job. A man's got big muscles, why shouldn't he chop the firewood? [Laughter] Why not? Wife out there [laughter] digging the garden. So you've got to work out where it is, and we've got to break through traditions, and just find whatever - whoever's most gifted. Some women are wonderful with resources and finances. The Bible says, that in Proverbs 31: a godly woman, she's very skilful in business, all kinds of things; and some men are not so skilful in that area - but you can't just hand it all over.
Some situations you get, where the man actually doesn't run the finances at all. He doesn't even know what's going on. Don't know what's going on, the wife runs it, she's got the purse. [Laughter] Well you can't have that! Here's your allowance for this week! [Laughter] Believe me, there are some here, who know what I'm talking about. [Laughter] I'm not looking at anyone right now. [Laughter] I dare not. You'll say: ooh ooh! Usually you know after a little while, it manifests. Now this is not right. He is responsible. If she administers it, and facilitates it, that's one thing; but being in control of it, is another. She's actually usurped his role, or he's absconded from his role; either way, it's out of order. He must stay in charge. He must know what's going on, and you get good reports on how it's going. You pray together, you hold the responsibility in your heart, you pray God's wisdom, and you seek counsel, and you work it out. This area's a big deal, so you get two extremes: one is where the man won't give anything to his wife. It's appalling how some men treat their wives, have to give account to everything, treat them like a little kid, what's wrong with you? Give her something to spend, don't ask where it went. She'll figure out what to do with it. [Laughter] You don't have to ask.
You won't have to ask to buy every kind of item of cosmetics and things like that, just give her some, say: that's for you. Don't be mean. Don't be mean. Even if you haven't got a lot, just give something that's hers. You won't believe what it'll do, just to have something that she's got to look after. The other extreme, is where the man just gives out - don't know what's going on. I was like that for a long time. Then one day - it's quite interesting how responsibilities can change - my wife came and handed me the cheque book, and said: it's all yours now. [Laughter] I said: okay, and I did it. That'll lead to another thing in a moment too, how if one person picks up responsibility, it'll create a loss of responsibility, and sense of responsibility, in the other; and here's the danger. See women will mean well, and they'll pick up that, because they feel a sense of responsibility, they'll pick up, and pick up, and pick up. The man becomes more, and more, and more irresponsible, because there's a dynamic inside the marriage.
God's brought you together, and He will do everything, His power sustains the thing; so if one person picks up something beyond what the other has, it causes it to go out of balance; so you find that where a woman starts to pick up responsibility, the man loses his sense of responsibility more, and more, and more, and ends up very childish. Or if the man picks it all up, it leaves the woman feeling very demeaned, as though she has no value in the home; so you've got to work the thing out. It's quite an area to talk out, and to work through, so God doesn't tell us how we're going to do it. He just - these are the principles: one, the man's responsible; two, use the best gifted person; three, team work. Just work to get the job done the best way you can, and that may mean you just alter the roles and things around. We had strict things: the men's work was outside; women's work's in the home! [Laughter] That's how I was raised up, and it didn't work. [Laughs] I don't know where it came from, but there's no example of it in the Bible just like it. It's a very cultural kind of thinking that, and so what you need to do is work out something that works, so sometimes I would do meals, and I would work things, and do cleaning, and do this and do that.
In fact, one time I said to my wife: why don't you go away for the weekend, and leave me with it, so I find out what it's like to be in your shoes? So she went away - for four days! [Laughter] Guess who was waiting to see her back? [Laughter] A whole new appreciation! [Laughter] It's a great way to get appreciation, is when you've got to do it all. Now whoever feels the sense of responsibility, usually is the one that picks it up. The final key is: servant leadership - there needs to be a heart of a servant, just to be willing to fit in whatever's needed. Now what happens is, if a man doesn't take up his responsibilities, there's a terrible thing happens. There's an imbalance starts to take place. Someone will fill it. Firstly, if a man won't pick up his responsibilities as the head of the home, usually that often takes place in finances, or in spiritual matters. Oh well the wife's a good prayer, let her do the praying. Yeah, let her fight off all the demons. [Laughter] You rotten, miserable person. God wired you, and equipped you, to be a warrior, to be a fighter; and now you're a couch potato, leaving her to fight the demons. I think it's terrible, shocking.
She's the spiritual one around here... No, you're the lazy one. You need to stand up, assume God's role - protect the family. You know what happened, you know why Eve got into the mess? If you read in Genesis 3:6 it says: the devil gave the fruit to Eve, her husband with her. What's he doing with her, letting all this happen? [Laughter] So she's contending with the devil, he's leading her off track, and Adam says nothing; nothing to say, silent. Because he was silent, this problem emerged. That's why a lot of problems emerge in families, silent men. What do you think dear? [Laughter] It's up to you, you work it out, sort it all out. We've got to realise, God has designed men to carry this weight, and when they do it, there's some things happen. Now if they don't do it, this is what happens - I won't develop this, I'll just list it for you. Number one, God's order is violated. If a man won't carry his responsibility, God's order is violated; therefore, he's not positioning himself to be blessed, and his family is robbed of what God's best is for them.
Here's the second thing: he loses his authority, and ability, to protect his family, in that area. Often men don't give it up in every area, they just give it up in one or two. The third thing is, someone else feels that sense of responsibility, picks it up, and it's usually his wife, and she feels burdened by it. Sometimes, in some families, both parents abscond; and one of the eldest kids is picking it up. I've prayed for many kids, and you know what? I've said: I'm going to talk into this area - I've prayed for a lot of kids, out of families where both parents are sat down drinking down the pub, and they've left one of the kids to look after all the other kids, and they've done it regularly. You know what happens? It's quite a common problem, and what I've found is this. The kids grow up, and their childhood is robbed. They become angry, resentful, and dysfunctional in handling their family responsibilities. They have many marriage problems, and relational problems. I have prayed and seen women just weep and weep and weep, because their childhood years were stolen, being a parent instead of being a child. They were forced to grow up and carry a weight way beyond - a reasonable amount of responsibility's okay, but when the parents abscond, demons come in and torment the whole family. It's as simple as that.
Here's another thing. The man feels a deep sense of guilt. He actually knows in his heart he's not doing right. His pride won't let him admit it, but he actually knows in his heart he's not doing right - his esteem goes down. His wife becomes burdened, and because she becomes burdened, she usually feels resentful; and that resentment, if it isn't dealt with, what happens is it overflows. She's really supposed to be standing here, he's supposed to be standing here watching over, protecting, cultivating it, sharing out responsibilities. They work in a partnership. If he just lets go, he positions down here, now she's up carrying the weight. Now she begins to feel resentful of him. She's positioned where she shouldn't be, by default, and she carries a huge weight. Do you know what happens then? She begins to question the man in other areas. She begins to feel insecure, and doubt his competence in dealing with other areas. She begins to be negative, and starts to nag on him, [nag-nag] you know, and this creates many, many problems in the marriage, because she's feeling insecure and burdened. She doesn't like it being like that, but she doesn't feel safe to let it go.
Now many times what you find, for example a widow, and they remarry. The hardest thing for them to do is to let go that sense of responsibility, and let the man pick it up. A woman's been a solo parent, very hard for her, when she remarries, or when she marries, to let go that sense of responsibility - but this is what needs to happen. There's almost like a dynamic of a see-saw takes place. If one carries extra responsibility, the other feels less responsible; so suppose it's the man, and here's the man. He's away, way out there; hey, you don't have to worry about all the finances. I've got it all under control - and she's seen a few of those bills unpaid there, and she's feeling a sense of responsibility. He just makes all these statements: okay, go on, don't worry about it, whatever. What's happening is, she's getting more and more nervous, because she knows he isn't hearing; and so she feels more responsibility. The responsibility goes on this side, she feels even more responsible now, so she begins to talk [nat-nat-nat] and so the more she talks, he says: what are you worrying about? God will provide, everything will work out. She gets more burdened - you brought religion into it. More burden now!
What he needs to understand is, the more he moves this way in becoming irresponsible, the more she'll move the other way and become responsible. It's like a see-saw thing, for example if a man becomes very passive his wife, will become very active, to compensate. If a man is introverted and sits alone, she'll become quite a spark, a live spark and really become extrovert. If the man is a very tightwad, she'll become very generous, to compensate. If the man doesn't discipline the kids, she'll feel the need to, and actually get involved in it. Do you understand? It's like a dynamic, and of course she feels resentful of the burden, and goes: why don't you? You never do this... Well now you can see it's getting bad. He says: ...you're always on my case, you're never happy... but the problem is, he's being irresponsible.
Now here's what he needs to do. If it's bad, he's got to do something. Here's what he needs to do: he needs to first of all, listen to his wife's concerns, so she feels she's had a hearing; secondly, he needs to assume the responsibility that he's failed to assume - honey, I'll take this thing. I haven't been doing it. I'd like to pick it up, and work it out. Third, he needs to develop a track record of consistency, so she feels safe; and the other side of the coin, she needs to be willing to let it go, because if she won't let it go, she'll hold it, and you'll never be able to be the leader. Now in many families, the man cannot be the leader, because the wife won't let go the carrying of responsibility. She feels hurt, and feels distrust or whatever, but at some point, the dynamic has got to change; and it can't just change with one, both have got to do this. The Bible says: you pick up a person, and carry their burden for a while, but once they're going then you actually - they've got to carry their own burden, Galatians 6:5.
So for it to work, there needs to be both move towards the centre, otherwise they both polarise. If you see your wife reacting to something in you, it's almost certainly you've gone out too far in that area. Listen to what she's saying, and try to come back in, so she stops reacting so much to it. It's like you've got to work the thing out. There's a dynamic balance in the spirit. Now if we fail to fulfil our place, demonic powers are authorised to come into that area, and create havoc. Many families are in trouble because demon powers operate in the family, because the man does not assume his responsibilities. Whatever God has given for you to do, take it in your heart, and assume it fully. Begin to plan how you'll work the thing out, and expect God to help you in doing it. Talk it over, so that there's a change takes place.
In our family married life, things have changed, sometimes very dramatically - like with the money - yours! Fine. Now when I took it over, I ran it differently to Joy, and that's okay. She had to be willing to let me do it differently. It got done, and she feels safe. There are other areas I had to pick up too. I didn't realise, just how passive I was, and in need of picking things up. Now for the woman's sake, you're praying for your husband, you're not taking up responsibility. It'll end up in conflict and confrontation unless you can actually let go that sense of responsibility to him. Many times what happens, is as soon as you let go trying to carry it, and just let it go, supernaturally the weight of it will fall on him - if you'll let it; because you'll think: well what if nothing happens, what if it gets a mess? Well maybe it'll get a bit of a mess for a while, but the weight will start to sit on him. As soon as you pick it up again, it transfers, and he becomes more irresponsible; so always you've actually got to be willing, if it's not your thing, find a way in God to let the thing go, there is sense of weight of responsibility.
If you need to carry it for a little while, because he's in a growth part, do it with joy rather than feeling a burden in it. If you see your man starting to respond to God, don't suddenly download or dump on him. Encourage every step he makes to rise up and become responsible. Stand behind him, and maybe you're holding on to things for him, but that's alright, let it be until he rises - as he rises up, encourage him to go forward and do that. It will help you. Amen. [Amen.]
Father, I just thank You, You're bringing divine order into lives. I thank You helping us, men and women, to take up responsibilities that God, You've entrusted to us. Father, I'm praying for divine order to take place in families, in marriages, in this church. I pray for every man that's here today, that a spirit of encouragement and faith would come, and that where men have struggled in these areas, that God, You'd cause him to stand up, and shoulder weight and responsibility to protect the family, to bless, and to cultivate, and to protect what you have entrusted us. Father, I pray for every wife who's carried burdens, every single parent, every widow that's here that's carried burdens, You'd help them let go those things in their heart to You, and get free of resentment and anger, and be able to Lord, let the burden be carried, and not have to be weighed themselves. Father, let Your spirit come.
Just while we finish, is there any person here who's never made the first step, which is to connect to Jesus Christ by faith, and allow Him to be the leader of your life, to give you direction in your life, to save you from the weight of sin, to lift you up, and to give you a whole new beginning? If that's you today, why don't you raise your hand, say: I want to become a Christian. I'd love to become a Christian today. I want to actually be the kind of man or woman God's called me to be, and I really know I need God. Is there anyone here today, saying that's me, I want to do that? Just raise your hand quickly now.
I wonder just while we're here, I wonder as I've spoken today, how many women have felt something rise up inside you, because you've carried a tremendous weight of responsibility. You've felt it's been unfair, and it's been like a crushing weight. Today you say: God, I want to let this thing go to You. If that's you today, would you just raise your hand, women that are feeling that way - God bless many, many, many.
One of the best ways that single parents could be helped, is if men who carried responsibilities, would reach out and extend grace and help them. There's no one man can do it, but several men can help fill that gap. I wonder if there's men here today, God's spoken to you about standing up, and assuming responsibility, would you just raise your hand, just be honest before God, say: that's me, God's been speaking to me? God bless, good on you - some guys. For those men who haven't felt touched and challenged, I encourage you to talk to the Lord, and then to talk to your wife; say: honey, do you feel like you're carrying things that I need to be involved in or need to carry? Ask openly and honestly, and she'll tell you - if she knows and can trust that you won't get angry and reactive. She'll say: yes, I'm feeling burdened about this, could you lift the weight of it? What a great change would take place in your marriage, if you just humble yourself and do that.
Father, touch the men of this church, raise up mighty men in Jesus' name. Everyone said [Amen.] Amen, God bless.
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DEFILEMENT THAT DIVIDES
· Eph 5:23 - let everyone of you love wife as himself and wife, see that she reverence her husband.
· Marriage = covenant relation – designed to reflect relationship of Christ and the Church.
· When working as God intended – dynamic flow of 2 lives together – heaven or hell.
· Very act of joining and flowing together surfaces hidden unresolved attitudes/walls.
· Prov 4:23 “Out of heart flow issues of life”
- Unresolved treasures – pain, resentment, reaction overflow and must be resolved.
- Reconcile = change thoroughly. Definition – bring into harmony so sound together in unity.
- Most focus on the impossible – trying to change their spouse!
· Key Problem Area – point of focus = bad habit, character flaw, personality trait. Come to point of intolerance or alternate between:
i) Demand change
ii) Give up – what’s the use
Never solve problems by trying to make the spouse change – resentment, discord.
2. Defilement that divides
· Heb 12:14-15 “Follow peace, looking diligently less any man fall from grace of God, lest any root of bitterness springing up many be defiled.”
· Follow (1377) To pursue, follow hard after
· Peace (1875) To join, set at one again, oneness
· Defile (3392) Contaminate, pollute
· Trouble – to annoy, crowd in
Example – David and Michal
1 Sam 18:20,28 Michal loved David – deep affection and attraction for David
1 Sam 19:11-12 Michal had deep loyalty to David – even at risk of fathers anger
2 Sam 6:16 Time of revival, presence of God strong – season of fulfilment of promise
Michal unable to enter or participate or unite with her husband - defiled
i) Distance: separated herself from David so remained distant and aloof
v16 “looked through window” – to lean out, gaze at spectacle, passively look.
v16 “despised him in her heart” – to condemn, judge, look down upon, think to scorn.
· Harboured inner feelings and sat in judgement of David.
Rom 14:10 “Why judge your brother or set at nought your brother, for we shall all stand …”
· Judgement and criticism are rooted in pride and law, person did not measure up to our standards.
iii) Defiled: polluted within by own attitudes and feelings
v20 “How glorious was the King of Israel today!”
· Harboured anger and resentment in heart - look and words – sharp, scorning.
· Life in turmoil because of unresolved reactions.
a) Father: 1 Sam 25:44 – Saul had given daughter to Phalti – forced into adultery.
b) Husband: Failed to rescue her – unmet expectations.
· Anger is a powerful destructive emotion – crushes, damages, releases demons.
· Anger à resentment and bitterness – must address what fuels it – unmet expectations.
a) Desire for fulfilment through external things – people, circumstances.
b) Unrealistic expectations – perfect world.
c) Unfulfilled dreams, hopes – disappointments.
d) Inability to meet expectations of others – struggling for approval
· Michal - angry at father, angry at David, felt helpless – overflowed in reaction
- blind to blessing of God
· Behind the look and scorning words was a demand for David to change!
· 2 methods changing people – seen in way God has dealt with people.
a) OT – Law: “Thou shalt”
· Law = requirements or demand to live by à reward if obey, consequences if don’t.
· Law à spouse distances self and demands change à will reward if change occurs.
· Result: spouse sets self up as judge and demands/withholds.
· 2 consequences:
- person forced to change feels rejected, lacking, pressured to perform, resentful.
- marriage is under a curse. Gat 3:10 under works of law - curse
· unhealthy patterns, denial/victim/control
b) NT – Grace
· Grace = God accepts, loves, forgives and becomes one in spirit with those willing to trust.
· God exposed His heart and opened Himself for personal relationship even at risk.
· Ro 2:4 “The goodness of God leads you to repentance”
· Grace: Accept spouse as they are. Ro 15:7 Receive one another as Christ.
· When try to change spouse, therefore a demand, pressure to use own strength, will power.
· When 2 people become one there is an interflow of life supernaturally.
Note: Exception – God does not join Himself to every person
- when person won’t respond to grace then law is needed.
- 1Tim 1:9 Law is for lawless
- Ro 3:20 By law = knowledge of Son
- some situations require demand for change or consequences follow
2 Sam 6:23 Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul was barren – desolate
3. Removing the roots that defile
· Trying to change spouse:
- is sign heart attitude not right
- creates demands and pressures within relationships
- leaves you resentful and focused on negatives
i) Prayer: Draw near to God for grace for personal change
Heb 4:16 “Come boldly … grace to help in time of need”
cf - Michal – husband “Phaltiel” = God is my deliverer
ii) Humble Self:
Ja 4:6 “God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble”
Grace = power to live a godly life
· Must deal with own heart attitudes – hard?, uncaring?, judgemental?, fearful?
· Are there unresolved issues? – bitter judgements?, inner vows?
· Repentance of own ungodly reactions and hidden walls.
· Renounce destructive reactions – silence!, bitter judgements.
iii) Accept spouse as they are:
· Face realities and let go unrealistic expectations
· Release blessing
iv) Commit self to unity: Activate law of bonding
· Do things together
· Communicate honestly – share personal feelings, struggles, without blame
Notes» Audio» Paperback» Share» Website»
The whole reason for divine order in the home is because of the reality of a highly structured spirit world, that recognizes chain of command. No-one should engage spiritual warfare (Ephesians 6) without being properly positioned (Ephesians 5). Modern society rages against divine principles, and has become increasingly demonized, as demons have access wherever God's laws are violated. To regain spiritual authority and blessing, we must come into agreement with God's order. We choose our positioning, the consequences follow.
Over the last few weeks I've been speaking about authority, God's order, and particularly we've been looking at this whole issue of authority as it relates to the home. I'm aware, of course, that there are some who are single, and there are some who are single parents, there are some who are divorced. There are people in a whole range of situations. What we need to understand, is that over the last 30 years, there has been a tremendous push into the community of teachings and philosophies that undermine confidence in the word of God.
Around about the '60s there came the emergence of the feminist movement, and they had a lot of cause to want to stand up and speak. Much of their cause was justified, in that there had been tremendous abuse and misuse of women. However, what they attempted to do, was to change an order that God has set in place. We have to understand that while God treats everyone as being equal before Him - the Bible tells us in Galatians 3, it says we are all one in Christ. It tells us that there is neither male nor female, Jew nor Greek. In other words, racial distinctions, or gender distinctions, do not count in the eyes of God. When it comes to receiving Christ as your saviour, when it comes to receiving God's favour and blessing, when it comes to receiving faith to operate in the gifts, we are all on the same basis in that area. However, God makes it very clear that people have different roles.
We understand that people can be equal, but have a different role and function. The movement that's taken place, as a result of humanist philosophies, through the Teachers College and our society, has been one to promote equality and rights; whereas the Bible does not promote equality. It says that people are equal before God, but they have different roles and responsibilities that must be recognised; so the Bible very much teaches concerning the roles we have, and the responsibilities that go with that. Over the last three decades, there has been an erosion of biblical standards, and ways of thinking, that has come into every part of society; and so as we teach in the areas of the word of God, you have to understand this, that what I'm teaching is directly contrary to the flow of what's happening in society; that as you embrace this teaching, it will upset and disturb people around you, who understand that you think and act this way.
I was talking to one young man, and he said that even now, two years after he got married, his people at work are still manifesting over his wife vowing that she would submit to his leadership in marriage. You understand that a spirit of rebellion and lawlessness, an anti-Christ spirit that opposes what is godly, is at work, and under the guise of: firstly men and women being equal; then it goes on, and it begins to start to promote this equality teaching all the way through to demanding rights, demanding equality; whereas the Bible's perspective is: responsibilities and roles. So we do not have the same roles, we do not have the same responsibilities. God causes us to be quite distinct in these areas; and so you have first of all the women's rights, then it comes to gay rights, then it comes to kid's rights, animal's rights, the rights of the trees, the land rights. It actually just goes beyond all sense, and underneath it, what you've got to understand, is a spiritual power working to erode our confidence in the word of God, so we doubt; like the devil came to Eve and said: hath God said this?
Now many of you will be the position: hath God really said this; and so as I share and speak, it will certainly up heave and upset some things. I can't deal with it all in one meeting, but one of the things that's interesting in our society is this. It's that people take the exception, and then they build a case for the whole thing on the exception; and so you find for example, there'll be large numbers of parents who will be correctly using corporal punishment in their homes. They use it sparingly, they use it in a right attitude and spirit; but there'll be some who are abusing their children, and so people take the situation of abuse, and then make it a rule that covers all; and it takes away even the rights of those who are actually walking in the way that God has told us to walk. So you find all over society, rules and laws are being bent, so that the exception then sets what the whole rule will be. In trying to put things right, you've got to go to how God set it in place the first time. As I talk, I can't address in one session all of the issues that will arise out of this. All I can say is, if God is speaking to you, listen to what He is saying, and let Him adjust your heart and your attitude. Ask Him for wisdom to know what to do.
There will be many situations I can't address, but I'm trying to lay the principles, because if you get the principles, you can then let God show you how you apply it to your specific situation, in your specific area. Do not get legal about it, but ask God to show you, as you hear His word, how to respond to His word in your life. This is the way to do this. Now we will find as we're speaking in this area, one of the reasons God is talking on these issues of authority, is because over the last three or four decades, there has been a restoration in the church of various areas of ministry. There was the restoration of evangelists around about the '48 through to '50s, the restoration of healing ministries, pastoral ministries, teaching ministries. In the '90s there came an emphasis in the church of prophetic ministries, so all over there's prophetic conferences for this and that, and there's an awareness that God is wanting to restore the prophetic gift (in office) into the church. But now, as we enter the 2000s and this decade, God is speaking worldwide about the restoration of apostolic ministries in the church.
So because of that, there will be changes take place, that we will need to understand. One of the things the apostles are interested in doing, is establishing the foundations right, and getting the order right; so in the next decade, you will find an increasing awareness of God's order, of how God wants things set in place, and you'll find the church will go through changes in how it's operating and organised. This is because God is calling it to be this way. He is restoring these giftings in their authority, their office, and in their direction into the church; and so with the apostle, there will come measures of anointing, that will cause disruptions in the spirit atmosphere. They will cause exposure of demonic powers. Everywhere you see the apostles ministering, there is great exposure of the works of darkness; and there was an ordering, and a setting into place, in a way that the church could properly be built. So God is doing that in this decade.
Now one of the areas you and I need to understand, is the area of authority, and how authority works, mostly because of the abuse of authority - that's all we ever hear about. You hear about the misuse, or abuse, of authority, and the reactions that come with that. All over the world, that's been very, very clear. However, you can't look at the exceptions, or the misuse, and build a way of thinking and relating on that. You must go to the word of God. What did God say? How does this apply to me? What must I do in my life, to adjust to what God is saying? Does that make sense? [Yes.] So as we begin to speak into these areas, this important teaching concerning spiritual authority, I could speak for weeks and weeks on it, because it covers every aspect of how we live, and move, and operate in the spirit.
One of the things that God has helped me to understand is, because of an involvement in deliverance ministry, I've had the privilege of seeing things happen that most people have not seen. Because of that, I've come to understand how some things operate in the spirit world, that people generally do not understand. Because they don't understand, they find themselves positioning themselves in a way that God can't bless them, so over these next months, we'll keep the issue of authority in mind, as we address various areas of how we walk with God. At the moment we're looking at the area of man, and his headship in the home, and I've been pushing it for a few weeks for this reason: one, that most of the problems that you can trace in our society, directly come back to the loss of men fulfilling the proper role God gave them, and designed for them. The second one is because there is tremendous brokenness and damage in the lives of people, and misunderstandings about this area; and thirdly because, as a result of this, demonic powers have set themselves into marriages and family situations, creating havoc and destruction, and they're able to continue to do so, because men do not understand their role, or understand the authority God's given them, or know how to use it properly.
I want to touch particularly on that today. Finally the final reason I want to keep pushing on it is this: my observation after preaching on this area for about three weeks, is that there is a general unresponsiveness in men, that no matter what I'm saying, it's not bringing change. Now there's only two things that can be the cause of that: one, there's a real need for deep repentance, and an understanding of the truth, and a turning of the heart; or two, that demonic powers are holding men in bondage, so that they are unable to see, grasp and arise in this truth. The third is the need for models of how to do it.
Now women, I encourage you to be patient as I speak into this area, because if you get it right at the head, it comes right everywhere. I'm not in any way saying that women are not of value. What I'm trying to do is to get God's order into place, and the problems many of the women here have today, are because men fail to function properly, and continue to fail. God is wanting to address that, and alter the dynamics in marriages and families, and also alter the dynamics of how church operates, in order that the church can be a safer place, and that there be an increasing apostolic authority over the church. Does that make sense?
If the church is going to exercise authority, men who are appointed by God as heads of their home, must stand up and fulfil the responsibility God has given them. The women must encourage them, and stand behind them, and give a loud shout every time another one stands up. You understand that? Because the pressure will come off you. Let me say this: If the man fails in this area, the weight does come on the woman, and God has not designed you to take it. So what happens is, you are stressed and pressured, and taking pills and tablets and having nightmares, because men aren't doing what they ought to do. I believe God wants to bring a significant adjustment in the church, not only here but in other places, so that we can get this breakthrough. Now just before I get on to preaching the message, I want to share another thing.
Some years ago I gathered the church into spiritual warfare. We began to teach on how to address spirit powers, and what to do in the spirit. Now we had tremendous results. You could literally predict the kinds of miracles we would have on Sundays as a result of that, but an unusual thing happened. I found within the space of three months, I had major breakdowns in marriages and families occurring, and I asked the Lord about it. He told me a very simple thing. He said: Ephesians 5 comes before Ephesians 6. You think: well that's pretty simple, but it's very, very deep. Ephesians 5 has to do with right order in relationships, or as we see it, positioning yourself in battle array so you can win. Ephesians 6 has to do with the battle, but if we don't position ourself in a winning position, we can't win the battle. So the only way the church is going to be able to ever bring revival into a region, is if it takes seriously what Jesus says about order in relationships, that is: husband and wife, parents and children, bosses and workers, leaders and followers. God addresses each one specifically in Ephesians 5, and through into Ephesians 6, so that we can launch into spiritual warfare and be safe.
I get tired of having a lot of casualties, because casualties take a lot of time to repair. You don't need to be a casualty. You can be a victorious soldier. That is God's plan for us - but if you're going to do it, you've got to abide by the rules of engagement, so I want to go into the word of God again, and I want to push again on the husband's role. I'm going to start off by looking at why God says for a wife to be in submission to her husband. Now we're not going to go into all the hows of that. I know the men were starting to get excited by that teaching, but no, we're not going to go there. [Laughter] I just want to actually today address the area of understanding, and I want to call this message: Because of the Angels. I want to give you insight to the spirit realm, that I've learned after ministering in deliverance, that will help you see why it is important; whether you're a man, a woman or a child, that you get yourself under the covering God has ordained for your life, so you can be a winner in the spiritual conflict. That make sense? Okay then, well let's go to 1 Corinthians 11 and pick it up there.
Verse 3: I would have you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of the woman is the man, and the head of Christ is God. So the head, the one person that is not designated head, is the woman. Did you notice that? God is the head of Christ, Christ is the head of the man, the man is the head of the woman, and the woman is not the head of anything. But yet many women are burdened, because they are occupying that role, and they're occupying that role because men fail to do what God said to do, so we've got to get this into perspective. Now of course, there'll be situations in single parent families, where the woman, because there is no man there, is the head of that family unit, the spiritual head of that family unit. However, if she's wise, she'll find a mature Christian man who can stand in agreement with her, and provide a measure of spiritual covering for her. If a woman is single, normally she's under the headship covering of her father. That is why the father takes his daughter down the aisle, because his daughter is under his covering.
Most women today have left home, gone here, done this and done that, and they live a life outside that protection and covering. They've got to have many problems come with it. We won't go there, we'll just stick with what the Bible says in this area. As I say, there's a lot of side tracks I could take [laughter] but I'll just throw them out to you, and if it pricks you, well then ask God to show you what He wants to say. So the head - now the head is a role of leadership. Your head directs your body. If your body operates without the direction of your head, you are generally considered worthy of being locked up somewhere, or given medical attention to sedate you. [Laughter] In other words, your head should direct where the rest of your body goes, and so the head is a positional role of leadership and authority that God has designated to the man. Now we don't have to pray it into being, God just said it, this is how it is. God is the head of Christ, Christ is the head of the man, the man is the head of the woman.
Now what you understand is, the head means a role of leadership and authority, spiritual authority. It is a positioning of authority. It carries weight in the spirit world, that the spirit world recognises; and when a man stands up in it, he can accomplish more in his praying than his wife can, if he exercises the authority of the office God's given him. Now the Bible tells us very clearly, that authority does not mean that he has greater value. It doesn't mean that at all. Both the husband and the wife are of equal value, but what it does mean is this: that the husband in the relationship has a particular role, of greater responsibility, and generally it goes like this. The one with the greater authority, is required before God, to protect those of lesser authority; so if God has designated the man to be the head of his wife and his family, then he is responsible to protect all who are under him. If the man fails to protect his wife and his children spiritually, then they will come under demonic attack, and all kinds of problems will enter into the family; so the man has a responsibility to use his authority, in order to protect his family, his wife particularly.
The authority is just literally how God organised the roles, so the family could function as a unit; so God has got a father, husband and a wife and children, and God says: this is how it'll operate. The husband will be the head. He will give the leadership, and carry the greater responsibility, greater authority. His wife will be a partner and co-heir with him under his authority, and a partner with him. Together they will have authority over their children, and as the children abide under the authority of their parents, and the wife under the authority of her husband, and the husband under the authority of Christ, they have great spiritual influence, and can minister and release the power and blessing of God. That's how God set it up. So the man is the head, very clearly, and the woman is designed to be his help. In other words, God put the man first on the earth, and gave him a commission and a job; then created the woman to come alongside him, and help him fulfil the destiny that God had given him. So when a woman marries a man, you marry into the destiny of that man. You come in under his authority and leadership, so you better check out you got a good one [laughter], and not let insecurity and some other kind of goofy reason get you involved.
If those around you, including your father, say: this isn't the right one; you had better listen. You are about to become a partner in someone's destiny, a helper provided by God, to help him fulfil his God-given call. But if you're a man here, you better stand up and find out what your God-given call is, so that when a woman comes along, you're able to give her leadership and direction, and know where you're going, instead of hanging around, waiting for something to happen. Now I want you to see - Verse 9, it says: neither was the man created for the woman, but the woman was made for the man. That's what it is, so now it says: for this cause, because the woman was created for the man; it says: for this reason, then the woman ought to have power on her head, because of the angels. Nevertheless, neither is the man without the woman, nor the woman without the man, in the Lord. In other words, it's saying in Verse 11: they're a team; but in Verse 10, it says: now the woman ought to; or is - that word 'ought' means is obliged to, is indebted to; needs to, or it is of great benefit to her, if she does this thing. It says: she ought to have a power on her head, because of the angels. What an unusual thing to say.
Now of course in some churches, the women wear hats; and so they sit there with their hats, and others have little things that sit on their head, and they sit there. They think that they are fulfilling the biblical directive by having their head covered, and naturally, they may well be, but the heart could be full of all kinds of rebellion, resentment, all kinds of other things. This is primarily not to do about whether you wear a hat, or not wear a hat. It's about being positioned in a place, where you are covered or under authority, so you can be victorious in battle. So it says: the woman ought to have her head covered, a power over her head, because of the angels. That word 'power' is literally this. It's the word meaning: a delegated authority. The woman ought to have a person of delegated authority, someone with legal right to stand in that role, ought to be over her. Why? Because of the angels? What on earth could that mean? Yet that term, because of the angels, is full of spiritual significance, and not only spiritual significance, practical significance, as you'll see in a moment.
Now when he says 'because of the angels', there are two kinds of angels he could be referring to: those angels who come from God, to fulfil God's bidding, and they are able to operate where God's order is being established; and demonic spirits, or demonic angels, or fallen angels under the governorship or leadership of Satan, who operate where God's order is violated. So it says: you ought to position yourself in a place, where you're under spiritual protection, because there is a whole spirit realm out there, and either blessings or assaults are launched upon you, depending on how you position yourself. We're going to have a look at how you can position - there's only one of two options you have, in positioning yourself. They have to do with your heart attitude. Now the word the Bible uses is the word 'submit' - terrible word, people don't like it, full of emotion, but it's because they don't understand it. Now 'submit' and 'obey' are two completely different terms.
Submit is the word in the original language, hupotasso. Tasso is to position yourself in battle array, or arrange yourself in the rightful position you ought to be. Hupo means under, so putting it together, it means this: you position yourself under the authority God has delegated over you, so you can be in battle array, and fulfil what God has called you to do; and there are only two positions you can take: under, hupo; and anti, against. There's no in-between ground. In these issues, you are either in your right place, or you're out of your right place. You have positioned yourself, God will not position you. He just tells you how it's to be ordered; you position yourself there, or you position yourself against it. There's no in-between ground, can you understand that? There's no in-between ground. It's either: we're positioning ourself so God can bless us, and protect us, and we can flow with authority and power; or we position ourselves against it, where Satan has legal rights of access to our life. That make sense? Okay, I know where I want to be positioned. I tell you, anyone who has a revelation of the kingdom of God, and the authority structure in it, wants to be protected. You just want to be in the right place. You don't want to ever find yourselves out there as a rebel, and demons have free access to your life, to bring all kinds of havoc and torment.
So it says here: because of the angels. Now it says that the woman needs to position herself, because of the spirit world. Now I want to talk a little bit about the spirit realm. I want you to have a look with me in Psalm 8:4-6, just three verses there. Now I have found some interesting things in deliverance work, that a lot of people don't understand, it's quite interesting. I'll share them with you in just a moment, but let me just - I want to share with you something here about the order in the spiritual world. Now I'm sharing this, I'm not going to go into a lot of Bible study on it, because I want to get to the real issue, which is: the man, occupying the place of spiritual gatekeeper. However let's just touch on some things here. It says here: what is man - Verse 4 - that You are mindful of him? In other words, how come You think about men all the time - and son of man, that You visit him? For You have made him a little lower than the angels, and have crowned him with glory and honour, and You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands. You have put all things under man's feet, all sheep and oxen, even the beasts of the field.
Now God is a God of order, and so there is order in the universe. God has created rules that govern the natural world, and the spiritual world. Everyone abides by them. Now one of the most important rules, is the rules which govern authority relationships, and we'll see in a moment, the devil is required to submit to God's rules. He just can't run around doing what he wants. He actually has to obey what God has set down. Now all, everything that God has created, He's ordered in ranks of authority. They're not just lots of people all over the place; so for example, the angels of God - we won't go into the scriptures on it, but the angels of God are ordered in a hierarchy. The Bible describes at least two of them by name, the top ones are the archangels, and it tells us Michael is responsible for Israel; and Gabriel, who visited the earth at one point there, announcing the birth of Jesus - archangels. There are cherubim and seraphim around the throne of God, and then there are various levels of angels. In the demonic kingdom, the Bible tells us there's Satan, an archangel; then there are, in Ephesians 6, Verse 12, principalities, powers, rulers of darkness, spiritual wickedness in the heavenly, or the spirit, realm. In other words, ordinary demons, occult demons, and then lower-level demons, so that's structured. It's like an army, in battle array.
So you have an army on one side, in battle array; an army on the other side, in battle array; and both are required to submit to the terms that God has lain down. That's extraordinary, because God has chosen man out of all His creation - now man also has to submit to the rules God set out, so God has set rules of authority governing the government, home, workplace and the church. There are set things God has set down, and so one of the most important things you can do, is find where you are in the order of things; and then you are empowered to bless all those below you. Does that make sense? To be a greater authority, is to have greater responsibility. That means you're a greater servant - why Jesus said: if you want to be great in the kingdom of God, it's not about bossing people around. It's actually, those are all the people you serve, so you want to climb up the ladder? No way, you're going down, you've got a heap of people more to serve, and you've got to lay your life down for them.
That's what Jesus said, Matthew 20:24-28, He said: in the world they will boss over one another, but in the kingdom of God it's not like that. You become the servant of more, so if you want to be great, get to serve a lot more people. That's how you get to be great in the kingdom of God, but before you start doing that, make sure you're doing what you've been given now. Be responsible for what you've been given now, and fulfil that. So now the Bible makes it very clear that human beings shall judge angels, so we need to understand that God has positioned us only a little lower than Him. We are made in the image of God, and our destiny is that we will govern all of God's creation. How about that? We will rule over angels, but it's not quite like that at the moment. So when a person is outside of Christ, he has no authority in the spirit world at all. He is under the dominion of darkness. When a person gets saved, he comes out of the kingdom of darkness, by acknowledging allegiance to Jesus Christ. Now he enters a new realm, and out of his relationship with Christ, he can be positioned to have dominion over demons and over spiritual forces, to release blessing and to protect, so here's some of the guidelines that operate it.
Number one, Satan as a created being, must abide by God's guidelines. He can't just do what he wants. He's confined to work in darkness, outside the law of God. That's where he's confined to. He can only get into your life if he deceives you, and you don't believe the word of God. He's got to find a way in, and we'll see how he does that in a moment. Now God has created laws that govern the natural world and the spiritual world, and he upholds them. The greatest laws of course, are concerning authority. Now you have one or two positions you can take, in relationship to spiritual authority. You either position yourself under it, as you recognise it; or you resist it. If you position yourself under it, it tells us in Romans 13:1-2, then we are able of course to actually flow with God, and be blessed and protected by those God's placed over us. But if we resist it, then we receive into ourselves the consequences of that, and we'll see what those are.
Now one of the things that we need to understand, is that the spirit world recognises all authority relationships, so the spirit world recognises the authority of a husband. Now I had a situation that vividly pointed this out. I had a deliverance situation, where there was a woman who'd been involved in the occult. What had happened was, she had been intensely involved, and through a number of perversions had entered into unlawful marriage relationship with a demon power. So years later she's in terrible bondage, and there's a problem in their marriage, so I got the husband to stand up as the head of the home, and I showed him how to pray. As he began to pray, this situation had been covered for 30 years, exposed itself; then when I tried to minister to her, she didn't want the husband to be there. I just allowed it to be for a little while, although I didn't feel quite right about it, and we got to a certain point when this demon was exposed, and was manifesting, and I couldn't get it out. It was very hard to get it out, just there was a resistance. I don't carry on. I've learnt that if it won't come out, it's got a ground to stay there; and if it's got a ground to stay there, you've got to get rid of the legal ground.
That's why it's not a matter of being delivered, you've got to walk in holiness. You've got to walk with God, otherwise demons come back again. So what happened was, I got the husband, I said: now listen, your wife doesn't seem to want you here, but I'm going to get you to come anyway. I'm the pastor, and you're the head that God has appointed over her. I want you to be there, so we're going to direct it. So I said: get in the next room and pray in tongues, and when I call you, this is what I want you to do. I want you to walk straight in behind me, I want you to come over, I want you to lay your hands on your wife's head, and I want you to speak very strongly and clearly to the demon in her, and say: as her lawful husband and the head of this marriage, I take authority over this unlawful marriage, and break it; and I command the demon afflicting my wife to go. So I said: now just do it when I tell you, so we got praying, and the woman manifested. I had another woman with me, and I told her: now you just keep praying for her, and keep that thing manifesting up near the surface for me, and I'll be back in a minute.
So she was lying on her face, with her feet to the door, her face away from the door, face down, so she couldn't see what was going on. Now I went out the door, got the husband, came back and as we walked through the door, and the woman - she can't even see what's going on - the demon yelled out. This is what he yelled out: what's he doing here! I thought ooh, I like that. [Laughter] I said: you'll find out in a moment. [Laughter] He went straight over, and he laid hands on her, he stood in his office as the head of the home, took dominion over the demon unlawfully connected to his wife, and I laid hands on top of him as the pastor - immediately it went out, just like that. I learnt something that day. I learnt that in the spirit world, this thing counts; and if it counts that much, then there's a big problem if men don't stand up, a big problem, because they recognise it.
Now let me tell you something else. Demons can discern the condition of a person, whether they have grounds to access them or not. Now you might think you're smart, and you can hide from me and from everyone around you, but you can't keep hidden from the spirit world, your heart condition. The Bible says in Ephesians 4:27, do not give a legal ground, or a foothold, for the devil to access your life. Don't do it. Now it wouldn't tell us that, if it wasn't possible; and it's in the context of people being angry with one another. Wow, He's got some things to say about anger, and how it unleashes demonic forces against the person you're angry against. In Matthew 5 (you can read that some other time). So it says: don't give place, or position. I want you to have a look with me quickly in Matthew 12:43-45. I want to show you a verse that makes it very clear, demons can discern when a person is open for them to come in. In other words, if you've created the right opportunities, they can get in.
Verse 43: When the unclean spirit's gone out of a man, he walks through dry places seeking rest, and doesn't find any. The demons are looking for a place. They're not looking for a place to lie down; for a demon, the place of rest is the place he feels comfortable in. That's a person, especially the sin area in their life. He says: I will return to my house, from where I came out, and when he has come, he finds it empty, swept and garnished, and he goes and he takes with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself. They enter in, and the last state of the man is worse than the first. I don't want to go through all of that, it's related specifically to deliverance, but let me just bring this out of that: that a demon knows people, because he goes back, and says: it was my house, I was there. It can come back, okay. If it can come back, it was there originally. It looks at the person, and this is what it can do: it can actually tell whether a person's open and exposed and vulnerable, or unprotected. It can tell, because it says: look to the house, so I'll go back in there. He says: I know what else I'll do, the demons can talk to one another. They work together. They can work together, to come in and invade a person and destroy their life, and through them destroy the marriage, destroy the family - if we give them opportunity. How about that?
No wonder the Bible says: better get under covering, because of the angels. You can't hide from the angels, you can't hide from the spirit world. You're fooling yourself thinking you can. You can't hide from God either. God can see your condition. He says: what you sow, you'll reap. Now you know why He's so certain that that'll happen? Because He set a law down. If you step outside the law, you're exposed, you'll reap some consequences. Now does that mean God doesn't love you? No, it doesn't mean that at all. He loves you. He's a holy God too, and He's a righteous God, and there are consequences for walking in ungodliness, you understand that? There are consequences. That means bring your life into divine order. Why? Because you position yourself to get blessed. God says: I want to bless you! But He says: I'm also a holy God, and I've got to make sure this deal works right, and it doesn't go out of control, so I'll set down the laws, I'll set down the principles, I'll set down the guidelines, and if My people will walk in My ways, then I will bless them and heal their land. [Amen.] But if they step out of My ways, all the calling on the name of Jesus won't do you any good. You've got to get to repentance.
He says: I've exalted My word above My name; so you can call on the name of Jesus, but if you don't do it out of a repentant heart, you won't get the breakthrough. Does that make sense? This is wonderful. This means, if I can let God teach me... You say: well I'm not very good at learning. He says: I'm giving you the Holy Spirit to teach you! You know it in your heart, and if your heart says: don't go there, don't go there! This principle of covering is so important. I understand this, because I moved in this realm. People who don't move in the realm, don't understand it. We've moved in this realm for years, and I know that if we get out of line, or my children move out of the covering, they get hit. If I get engaged in warfare, the devil will come and assault me, and I've got to know my position, otherwise we get hit bad, runs of accidents, and all kinds of manners of problems and things. You've got to know your spiritual positioning. All very great to think to think you take on the world, but if God wants you just to stand up and learn how to bring our lives into order, into God's order, wives in proper relationship with her husband, husbands in proper relationship, taking up the responsibility God's given you, which is to protect everyone in your family.
If your family's demonised, probably the major reason is, you did not protect them. Now we've got to understand that's how it is, and coming to church on Sunday won't do it. This is a lifestyle of the man being the head, the leader, taking responsibility in his home. He must do it. He must do it, and the failure to do that, because men - and I don't want to be too hard on men, I'm just trying to push on you for your responsibility - the reality is, over the last two decades, all of society has bombarded the whole idea and concept of men being the head of the home, and torn the thing to shreds, so men today are confused. They don't know where they stand, or what they do, but this is truth. This is going to help you to stand up on the inside and position yourself. I questioned for years why it was people go to marriage seminars, and their marriages never change much. I asked the Lord, and one day He told me. I thought that makes sense to me - He said: because they never deal with the spirit powers, that have already encroached into their marriage, and into their personal lives. If you get him to deal with that, then all the other stuff will work properly.
I went around the country for about three years. I went into cities, and we did massive campaigns for men, crusading to get men to stand up. I went around preaching about witchcraft, unlawful authority, which gets established in a marriage, whenever a man gives up his responsibility and becomes passive. I showed men how to stand up, and take that responsibility back, and how to stand in prayer and fight; and I tell you something, I had reports from all over the country of people who were set free, because they began to content with one of the prevailing spirits over our nation: the spirit of witchcraft, which makes men weak, effeminate, passive, irresponsible. They hide behind their wives. They allow, like Ahab, they allow their wife to run the whole show. It's a spirit power. If you found it was hard to stand up, it's because you're dealing with a spirit power, and if you don't use spirit weapons, you can't defeat it. You've got to get free, in your own life, of the grounds it has to stay there; and then begin to war and push that thing out of the way.
I had all kinds of demonic attacks and problems, all kinds of manners of things - but man, we had some mighty breakthroughs in men. Those tapes are still circulating. You know we stopped those conferences after a while - we called them a Heroes Conference, but when you hear the word 'heroes' you think of the gay parade up in Auckland! But we had that name, and we were using it around the nation, and then suddenly you know, it was just as we were about to enter Auckland, that was our next place to go for a Heroes Convention, and we'd built up a rapport around the place. Next thing we know, the first gay parade called Heroes Parade - what a misrepresentation of what a hero is. What a total bizarre distortion - they'e got heroes, but it's perverted, it's against what God's order is. It's trying to say that two men enter into a relationship, it's the same thing that's destroyed men being the leaders of their homes, the same spirit. When you come against it, you get an angry reaction, believe me - not just a disagreement. You get hostile reactions, hostile reactions when you declare that the word of God is very clear, that God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. [Laughter, applause] Very clear. Man oh man, okay, let's move away from there.
So demonic spirits can see a person's condition, and they co-operate to bring them into bondage. Now I don't want you to be condemned. If God opens your eyes and you become uncomfortable, ask God to show you what your next step is. Don't react. Let the word of God help you break through; and so the Bible tells us, very clearly, that a man can give up authority in his life. God has given you authority and responsibility, man, woman and child. You can yield that up to God, and His authority increases in your life. You can give it up to the devil, and establish agreements, and his authority is increased in your life. You have the choice which way you go. When you give your life to Christ, and establish allegiance to Christ, and obedience, His authority is increased. His power flow increases in your life. Whenever a man aligns himself with the will and word of God, all the heaven's power stands behind him. But when you align yourself - see a lot of men have got involved in the Masonic lodge, and they've opened the doorway for demons to come, or they've got involved in various kinds of things, and they've created a legal ground.
Now here's the last thing about the spirit world I want to tell you about. There's lots of other things of course, but this is the other important thing, is that when a person in leadership yields to demonic powers, everyone under his leadership gets hit. It's like having an umbrella full of holes, you're standing under it, everyone gets wet. They all complain: why did I get wet? Because there's holes in the umbrella! When a man yields his life to demons... Now in Luke 4:6, the devil came to Jesus, and said: all this power of these kingdoms, I'll give to You, if You'll worship me; and he said: because they have been delivered to me. That word 'delivered' means this: to yield up, to hand over, to betray. That's what it means. It's actually the word 'betray'. All this has been betrayed, by Adam, to me. When Adam disobeyed God, he came into agreement with the devil, he betrayed his wife. He betrayed all the generations that came after him, and he handed authority over to the devil, who's been beating on humanity ever since.
Jesus Christ came into the earth, He was the last Adam. He did what Adam didn't do; He obeyed the Father, even to the point of death, wherefore he has now authority over all demons, and He's exalted to the highest possible place, the place God always intended for man, right next to God, sitting in the throne, ruling over all that God has created. That's what God intended for us. When you come into alignment with Jesus Christ, you then, as you submit and give allegiance to Him, and obey His words, out of a heart of faith, you are empowered to have dominion over demons. So few Christians do. They just huff and puff, and nothing happens - demons don't take any notice of them. It's quite distressing really, but however, we can learn, and make it a lot different than that. Now this is one of the worst things. In Exodus 20:4-6, it tells us, that when a man opens the doorway for demons, they can go from generation to generation, and he will do it. But we can stop this whole show, dead in its tracks, stand up and take dominion over these kinds of things. I want you to look with me, I'm just about finished - Ephesians, Chapter 5. Well I've got heaps more I could tell you, but I'll just give you a little more. I want to get to this verse here, particularly, then I want to just put a couple of practical keys on it for you.
Ephesians, Chapter 5: submitting yourself to one another in the fear if God. Wives, submit yourselves unto the husbands, as unto the Lord. Now I don't want to go there too much. You can read it, it's just what it says - for the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church, and the Saviour of the body. That's what I want to link to. The husband is the head of the wife, as - now that word means like this. In the original language it's stronger than just 'as', it means this: He says the husband is the head of the wife, and that's exactly the same thing as what follows, which is: Christ, the head of the church, and the Saviour of the body. So you've got to understand this, that if you relate to Christ with respect and honour and reverence, and you follow His direction for your life - now that's the same deal with your husband. That's how it should be. That's what God intended. Now it says that Jesus is the Saviour of the body - look what that word 'saviour' means. It means literally this: it means to deliver, to protect, or to make safe. So a husband's role, he must Deliver his wife and family from demonic powers. He must Protect them from demonic attacks, and he must make it Safe for them in the relationship, in the family. How about that?
He can't save his family from their sins, but he can fulfil those meanings of the word 'saviour' - to protect, to make safe, or to deliver. Now one of the basic needs a woman has, is to feel secure; so the husband is given the role to make her feel safe under your leadership, by loving her. I'll give you a few things a man can do to help this thing happen, because we've got to get some practical things on it, in a moment. I just want to just take it a little further, just bear with me just for a moment - so then the Bible says: now the wife, be subject to her husband, or place herself under his leadership, so as a unit you can flow together, and fulfil what God has called you to do together. What an amazing thing. Now if the husband loves and serves his wife, that's not a big deal. If the husband doesn't do it the way God said, it becomes hard for her, she reacts to him, she pulls herself away from being committed to him, and under his authority and leadership. She becomes exposed to demonic attack, has all kinds of problems mentally and emotionally, and so she reacts even more at him, more resentful because of his lacks and failures. He sees it, and reacts against her, not realising he's in charge - DO SOMETHING!
Adam stood by, and allowed his wife to be deceived by the enemy. God held him responsible for that thing that was going on in there, and the same he does with the men in the home; so the man is given the task of protecting his home, and those who are more vulnerable than he is. Because he's the head, do you know what it means? Men, you are to be the covering for the home. Now each person in the home must get their own relationship with Christ, but you are to provide a spiritual covering over the home, that makes it safe, it protects them, and defends them, when there's demonic attacks. How does a guy do that? Let me just finish with these practical keys, then I'm going to ask a question of men. I want to ask you to do something, just want to ask if you're willing to do one little thing - it won't be too hard, one little thing. You better believe it won't be easy. [Laughter] Okay, here it is. So how do you do it? Now this is how a husband, or a man, gives spiritual protection.
Now if the men properly protected their marriages and families, they would be in a good place to offer that protection to some of the single parents, and some of the young singles, who come from broken families. In fact if men in the church would just arise and do what God says to do, you'd be amazed the peace that would come into the church, and into families. Do you realise that? Do you realise how much it would - you know something? The men in this church ought to protect the sisters, the women, from any scumbag man who comes into the church, who wants to take advantage of them, and get them in bed. The guys ought to stand up and say: listen, that's one of our sisters. You don't treat her like that. You treat her like that, you're out! [Yeah! Applause] You understand? You got it? That's what the man's role is to do, makes the church safe for the women. Instead you get these guys coming in, now they come in, they've got problems from the world, but what we really want is to get into repentance, get their life cleaned up; and so the men, you talk into them. You see someone, and they're conning some girl up in the corner, go talk to him, say: listen, we look after girls here. We don't believe in all this messing around like they do in the world, this is a safe place.
The men have got to do it. If you don't do it, you've got girls come into the church, they get upset, because the very place that they should be protected, they're just treated the same as they are in the world; because of young men in the church got the same worldly thinking, of getting advantage of the girls, and not making commitment and being responsible. You ought to get stuck into the guys. Same with the girls - you find some girl come in, and she's dressed all in hot pants and short tops, and starting to show eyes for the guys- get alongside them, and tell them how to walk godly. The Bible calls church a family, brothers and sisters. You don't let someone come in and do that to your sister. I remember when one of our girls had some trouble with one young man, all the boys rose up and wanted to beat him up. [Laughter] Part of me said: yeah! [laughter] Yeah! [Go for it!] I almost got into a scrap outside the church, down the other place there, because this guy come into the church, and he was - I'd done a bit of background on him, and he was trying to get one of the girls in the church into bed with him, and he's sitting in one of my seminars.
I said: what on earth are you doing here? Come outside. So I got him outside, and I said: what are you doing here? He said: I've come to the seminar. I said: no you're not. He said: yes, I have. I said: I know where you're from, you've got this background in all this kind of stuff, and he started to get a bit upset. He said: oh I've changed, I've repented. I said: you haven't changed one little bit. I said: two nights ago, you were trying to get one of the girls in our church into bed. Let me tell you this, you're not welcome in this place. You don't come to my - you stay out. Well we were just about ready to square off then, it was good [laughter] and I was getting stirred up, I can tell you. The guys need to get stirred up. You need to get responsible in this area, don't just accept it. Don't accept it. Don't accept what God forbids. God says: don't defraud one another sexually, don't do these things, because God is the revenger. He will deal with those things very strongly, and if you despise it, you're despising God. We've got to get our lives back in order, so church becomes safe for people who are broken and damaged, they come and they say: hey man, there's strong standards in here.
Now parents you've got to get your thinking different about dating in the family, not encouraging the young girls to get sexual before their time, and get involved dating. You've got to make those stands. You're their parents, you've got to protect your family from it. A whole generation's been lost by it. We can at least stand, and raise another generation of men who are different, another generation of young women who are different; men who know how to love and honour and value women. That's what God wants to do! I tell you, it's good. I haven't met a woman yet, that didn't love it when a guy honoured her, and valued her, and treated her right, and made her feel a wonderful person. Women are made to respond to being loved and honoured. Guys, learn how to treat the women properly. Okay, let me just give you the practical things then we - ooh! We're getting wound up now. [Laughter] Well you know we're hitting something that's really important, you know we're hitting something that's really important, and you've got to really realise, as God begins to move to straighten the standards in this area, there'll be a lot of people get upset about it; say you're too hard, too tough. No, you've been saturated with the world, so much you can't see the wood from the trees.
There's no reason to be dating, or going steady, until you're ready for it. Get on with your life! Grow up, and develop your skills and talents, instead of spending all your teenage years, all immersed in an emotionally entangling, physically, sexually, spiritually binding relationship; and then you end up at 20 and haven't done anything you ought to be doing. See, you understand? Okay, let me give you the practical keys. Number one, the man must do these things, just lay it out in two areas: spiritual and natural. Number one, in the spiritual area, there's three things in the spiritual area the man needs to do. Number one, get a relationship with Christ. Get connected to Jesus Christ, and in that relationship [laugh] you need to be connected to it, and getting His direction, and getting your act cleaned up. God doesn't want you to just be a religious man. He wants you to be a man of the Holy Ghost!
You only get the Holy Ghost - He comes, and the first thing He does, convicts where you're going wrong; so men who aren't praying, are irresponsible spiritually. They're leaving their wife vulnerable. Men ought to be the strongest prayers, strongest intercessors, should be punching at the devil! It's really the truth. Why? Because you know when they have a war, they don't call up all the ladies. [No, they call the men.] [Laughter] Let the men stay home and look after the home... they call the young men! It's only recent years they've given women equal status. I believe it's completely wrong, and out of God's order. [That's right.] It actually aborts the role God gave them. Why would a woman want to be in the front row of a military engagement, and exposed to everything like that? It's just bizarre, shows how far everyone's thinking has gone away from what God intended. God intended for men to protect the women. The women have it in their heart to protect the children, so you get the men protecting the women, women protecting the children; family becomes a safe unit.
Okay, number one, man needs to be a man of prayer; connect to God, get connected. If you're not connected, find someone who can help you. If you're not listening to God, and getting some direction, find someone who can show you; but don't say: I don't know how, and don't live with it being different. Okay, so there's the first thing.
Number two, he needs to hold his wife and his children in his heart. You hold them in your heart with a sense: I'm responsible for them; so you'll lift them up with gratitude and value, and you pray God's blessing over their life. You release and speak God's blessing. When a dad releases blessing, they are blessed. Now it doesn't mean mums can't, but dad has got a unique role in this area.
The third thing, he needs to exercise spiritual authority, speak into the spirit world, and take dominion over demon powers. Forbid them to attack your children and your wife, and say: any demon, you listen to me! I come against you in Jesus' name. I stand here as the head of my home, I forbid you to attack my wife, attack my children. Listen, you want to do any business, you do it with me. That's how it ought to be. Speak that way. They're very real, and they do hear you, and you start speaking that way, then they'll see what you're made of. They'll push on you, and mess with your mind for a day or two, see whether you really mean it or not. I can tell you, I can tell you now.
I told one guy to do this, he come back a week later, I said: how you going, are you still praying? He said: no, it doesn't work. I said: what happened? He said: oh, it got worse. My wife went crazy, and I had real problems, it doesn't work. I said: listen mate, you just rolled your sleeves up, and waded into the battle, and got a black eye - get back in there! Don't stop. Get going. Okay, so spiritually, he needs to do those things: connect with God, hold the responsibility in his heart, so he's listening to God; praying for them with gratitude and thankfulness, not focussing on all their faults and failings; and he needs to speak to the spirit powers, forbidding them to attack his wife and family.
Now he needs to do some practical things as well, practical, okay now I'll just give it quick, here they are. Number one, he needs to hold his covenant commitment he will love his wife and family no matter what. Well you do this, then I'll do that? Well you didn't do this, I'm not going to do this? That's not the deal. The deal is: you love, even as Christ loved the church, and gave Himself sacrificially for it. You need to hold fast in your heart, your commitment to love and honour and value your wife.
The second thing you need to do is this, 1 Peter 3:7, you need to listen to your wife. This is a big word, listen. 1 Peter 3:7, dwell with your wife, with understanding. In other words, it says: live together, not apart. Don't live in separate rooms! [Laughter] We won't go there - live together. [Laughter] Live together, with understanding. Now how can you understand your wife? That's a good question for men. They all look, they say: I don't know. [Laughter] When we started out, I thought it was a bloke with women's clothing you know, and then sort of - women's body, but I found it's a totally different being. There's only one way, and this is how you do it: you've got to listen to her concerns, and her thinking; and don't be surprised, it'll be different to yours. She'll come from another view altogether. It doesn't mean it's wrong, it doesn't mean it's right, it's just different - so if you're going to dwell, if you're going to exercise spiritual leadership, you've got to listen. How can you lead people, if you won't listen to them? Find out what they're concerned about - I'm going to finish with that one again. I'm going to come around there in just a moment, okay.
He needs to honour her. 1 Peter 3:7, it says: honour your wife; otherwise - this is what God says - I'll see your prayers are messed up. You won't get anywhere with your praying. If you're praying for getting finance, it won't happen. If you're praying to get that raise, it won't happen. If you're praying your workplace will really go well, it won't happen, I'll see to it. Why? Because you're not honouring your wife. 1 Peter 3:7, you read it - to honour, it means you give her value, you bestow esteem on her, you speak words of comfort, and value, and love, and you treasure her. You don't run ahead of her, you walk alongside her, and you open the doors for her. You treat her like someone - this is an important person, written on her: V-I-P! [Laughter, applause] Some of the guys are looking around [laughter] you come from another planet or something? No, just the word of God! The problem is, if you haven't seen it, and you've never done it, this is all bizarre. Get into the word of God, and say: God, teach me how to honour my wife, begin to look at her again. See you're looking at her through the wrong eyes; you're looking at her through the faults, and the failings, everything's wrong. Stop it. Forgive her. Let grace go in there instead of judgement, and then you begin to start to do what God says for you to do, and she will become a very beautiful woman! [Laughter]
You see men get a lot of their value out of what they do, and their assignments in life; women get a lot of their value out of their relationship with their man; and if you don't value them, they become depressed and full of rejection, and we're praying and casting demons out every week. Sometimes instead of casting demons out, I should find where's the husband? [Laughter] You come and cast the wretched thing out, then apologise for letting it get in there, in the first place! [Laughter] Goodness me, now this is really where the rubber meets the road. This is where it really counts.
Okay, here's the last one. You need to give direction into your home, give it direction. Give it direction. That means, you set out who's going to do what, who's responsible for this thing. Some men, work, that's my thing; home, that's all yours. No, you take some initiative and involvement, see that there's responsibility. Set some values. What do you value in your family? Set some priorities. Now we've got some things we value and things we love to do, and we do them. They're there because I've set them in agreement with my wife, and we're fully in agreement with some of these things. There's many family holidays and times together, family nights, things like that; because you never build a family, if you don't stand for something.
Okay and the last one is, you need to preserve unity, particularly with your wife. You need to give yourself to protect the family unity. That means confront problems, sort things out on the way. Look, we've covered quite a bit. I just need to finish now. Let me just - here's one thing, and this has made people uncomfortable, I can see already. I've been trying to mess with the men, to get them to be men, because this is a godly man, is a Christ-like man, who does these things, now here. How many men felt challenged, a little, by what we've said? There's a few hands gone up, isn't that great? Okay then. Now let me say this. I wonder if you could take it the next step, one more step. We've been talking about the men's role: protect, deliver, make it safe for his wife. Now here's the thing I want every man here, who's game enough to do it.
I want you to take your wife, and give her a nice treat or something nice, and then ask her this question; and then I want you to zip your lip for the next half an hour. [Laughter] Just take down notes. You can let a little tear come in your eye, but no words in the mouth; because she'll only answer this one, if she feels it's safe; that you're not going to get huffy and puffy, and all defensive. Okay, here it is, here's the question you ask her. You take her out for a nice cup of coffee, a nice dinner, take her somewhere nice, you sit down and look in her eyes. You say: God's been speaking to me through these teachings on authority in the home, and I just wanted to ask you this: is there anything [laughter] that causes you to feel unsafe and insecure? She'll look at you, and she'll be thinking this immediately: I wonder if I dare tell him? [Laughter] Can he handle it?
Some will lie, and say: no. Unfortunately that'll be the truth - so men, won't you have enough gumption to find out how it really is, get a reality check; and give her a chance to say what really worries her; because we're tired of counselling your wives, when you ought to be doing it, teaching her the word of God, and loving and listening to her, and praying for her. That's why so many churches are burned out. It's time men stood up, and did the right thing. Are you game to do that? Take her out and ask her; just write down and take a note of the things, and think through how you might start to work on them one by one, to help her feel safe and secure. Let's just bow our heads.
Father, we just thank You for this time together, You're teaching us and helping us. Father, I pray for every man here that's never seen true manhood modelled; and who's struggled in this very area, and feels so inadequate. Father, I pray that in the coming weeks they will begin to stand; and Lord, we will all arise to a new level of positioning in the spirit of responsibility, of warfare for our marriage and family; and of capacity to love our families and wives and be responsible. Father, I'm praying for the women who've been hurt and damaged by irresponsible men, that You will cause a great wave of healing to flow; and a new sense of safety come in the church, as families and marriages begin to orient around Your will and purpose. I pray for the single women here, especially those who are mothers, Lord, that You'll help them stand up in their own right, to take dominion and authority, to stand in the place of spiritual warfare, confident in their power that You have given to them. I pray You'll add senior men in the church, who'll come alongside them, and say: would you like me to pray for you? Would you like me to stand with you in agreement? Can I offer you some help and advice?
Father, I'm praying that men in the church would arise, and they'd begin to protect the young women from lustful men, intent on doing nothing but destroying young women. I ask Lord, the young women begin to arise, speak straight to the other young women, about the attitudes of their heart to men. Father, I'm asking over these next months, that the church would come to a whole new dimension, in divine order in this area, in Jesus' name. Everyone said [Amen.] Amen.
I feel a tremendous sense of the presence of God, of His great compassion for people who are really hurt and broken. There'll be some women here who will desperately need some help and advice what to do. Just go over the tape, and go over the teaching, and ask God to show you. We've got counsellors in the church who can actually sit with you and talk with you, and pray with you and walk with you, through some of these situations, or help you make your stand. Men, put into practice what we've talked about. God will be with you all the way because He's chosen you to represent His leadership in the family. Amen. [Amen.] Why don't we give the Lord a clap offering and thank him [Applause]
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BECAUSE OF THE ANGELS
· 1 Cor 11:3 Christ is the head of the man, the man is the head of the woman.
· Head – role of leadership: authority God has designated to the man.
· Authority – greater value. Both husband and wife are of equal value (Gal 3:28)
· Authority – how God has organised the roles to fulfil His purposes.
- responsible to protect those of lesser authority.
i. Man is the head (1 Cor 11:3)
ii. Woman is his help meet (Gen 2:18)
· 1 Cor 11:10 “For this cause ought the woman have power on head because of angels”
ought 3784 - to owe, is indebted, under obligation; benefit, gain advantage.
power 1849 - delegated authority, it is lawful.
- person delegated authority or legal right to exercise power.
· God calls the women to come under the leadership order He has established.
Submit – hupotasso – to arrange self in order or battle array beneath delegated authority.
· “Because of the Angels” – reason that women needs to position self.
Angel can be:
i. Angels of God
ii. Messengers of Satan (2 Cor 12:7)
2. The Interaction of Spirit World/Human World
a) God has created an ordered universe
Ps 8:4-7 “You have made him a little lower than the angels”.
· God is a God of order – created an orderly universe.
· Rules and principles govern both natural and spiritual worlds.
· One of most important rules is one governing authority relationship.
· All created beings in universe are ordered in hierarchy of authority.
i) Angels - Archangels (Michael/Gabriel) Cherubim, Seraphim, angels.
ii) Demonic Beings - Archangel (Satan) Principalities, powers, rulers, demons.
iii) Human Beings - to government; work; home; church.
· Humans have been created to rule over the angels (1Cor 6:3)
b) Rules that govern conflict in the natural/spiritual world
· Satan is a created being – required by God to strictly obey rules (Job 1), he is confined to work in darkness.
· God has created laws and principles that govern natural and spiritual realm and he upholds them by his power.
· There are only 2 positions you can take in relation to what God has ordered. Rom 13:1-2
Submit - hupertasso - arrange self under
Resist - antitasso - arrange self against
· Spirit world recognises all authority relationships – that God has established and must yield to the lawful exercise of that authority.
· Demonic spirits are able to see the spiritual condition of any individual and identify any legal grounds to attach (Matt 12:43, Acts 19)
· Human beings can yield authority over their lives either to God or to Satan.
(Luke 4:16, Rom 6:14)
· Allegiance/obedience increases the authority/power of God or Satan in persons life.
· Whatever a leader (head) does with their authority affects every person under their care.
eg Luke 4:6 - Disobeyed to God automatically yielded rights to Satan.
- When person yields authority it is used by Satan against them.
eg Exodus 20:4-6
· Any commitment, dedication, curse or blessing entered into by a person in one generation may give authority over that persons descendants. Eg, Adam, Abraham, David, Acham, Eli.
· If such curses, commitments not cancelled they pass generation to generation.
3. The Husband is the Spiritual Gatekeeper
a) God calls men to provide protection.
Eph 5:23 “Husband is head of wife as Christ is head of church and He is the saviour of the body”
· “As” – in just the same manner as follows.
· Saviour – to deliver, to protect, to make safe.
· Subject – to place oneself in battle array under the leaderships direction of husband so as to flow as a team and fulfil the purpose God intended for the man.
· Note: Eph 5 – order in relationships precedes Eph 6 – spiritual warfare.
b) A gatekeeper controls the entrance
· Matt 16:18-19 Gates – place of entrance, authority.
· OT – elders sat in the gates – made decisions, exercised authority.
· Whatever spiritual influences enter family come as a result of the exercise of authority of the man.
· Man can allow demonic activity or allow Holy Spirit activity.
· Man has greater authority – greater responsibilities. ie, man assigned task of protecting those more vulnerable, not taking advantage in the home/church.
· Key principle in exercising authority is service. (Matt 20:25-28) Motivated out of love.
· Purpose of that authority:
ii. Bless (nurture) Gen 2:15
4. How a Man can Protect his Home
· He must fully assume God given responsibilities and exercise authority in love.
i) Personal relationship with Christ – connected, receiving guidance, resolve personal issues.
ii) Holding wife and children in heart – shouldering responsibility.
iii) Exercise spiritual authority – speak into spirit world to forbid/release – break spiritual attacks on wife.
i) Hold fast his covenant commitment. Mal 2:15 (wife attached in security)
ii) Listen to his wife – needs, concerns. 1 Pet 3:7 (wife attached in loneliness)
iii) Honour and value his wife. 1 Pet 3:7 (wife attached in low esteem)
iv) Give direction in home – values, responsibilities, priorities. Josh 24:15 (wife attached in burden)
iv) Maintain family unity/agreement. Ps 133, Matt 18:19, Matt 12:25
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God never uses His power to get His way in our life, His loving-kindness attracts us to follow Him (Jeremiah 31:3). What does this look like in marriage? This very practical session unpacks 5 principles that will empower your leadership in marriage: Principle of Headship, Principle of Bonding, Principle of Partnership, Principle of Honour, Principle of Loving-kindness.
We spoke about leadership, about headship, and what we did was stir up a heap of stuff in both men and women. Women, it's okay, it'll all settle down after a while. We've only just given part of the picture. Today I want to talk about the man's leadership. This is the last thing we'll do related to the man, the man's leadership and I've called this message Loving Leadership. We want to just pick up this macho man, aggressive man, dominant man thing today, and really show a man how you can lead your wife in such a way that she will love to follow you. It'll probably be different. I want to share with you today five principles, that will empower your leadership in your marriage. The ways they're outworked vary from person to person, but as you take the principles and begin to effectively work with them, then you'll find your marriage will change.
Not only that, these five principles will give any single women something to look at, in terms of when you're looking for a prospective man; if some of these things aren't there, you've got a problem coming up, big time. Okay, so we'll both get something out of it. So I want to first of all look in Jeremiah 31:3. We need to understand that when God says that there's an order in the family, the purpose He has is to bless us and protect us, so we'll be benefited from that order; so when God says that the man is the head of the woman, He's not saying he's more important, or that he's always right. He's just saying: there's an order to get the function in the family working right. One of the things you understand about God, God never uses His power to get His way in our life. God always influences us through His love. Never ever did Jesus use His power to dominate, control or direct people; He always used His love to influence them. So we spoke of headship, we're going to describe it and touch in on it briefly, but let me just read this in verses here, because you need to get the heart of God, if you're going to be an effective leader in the home.
The Lord has appeared to me of old, saying I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with loving kindness have I drawn you. Again I will build you, and you shall be built up, O virgin of Israel. You shall be adorned, and you shall go forth with the dances of them that make merry. Now does that sound as though God's going to do some good things to His people? It says the result of His leadership of them, is they will dance and they'll be happy, so when we want to see the effect of God's work in a person's life - happy! Joyful! Dancing! So think about that. Husband, your wife is your glory, so if she's happy and smiling and dancing, you're doing a fantastic job; but if she's sad and depressed and gloomy and withdrawn, you really need to step up. Okay then, so let's have a look, and we're going to go through this verse, and I'll give you these principles. Are you ready? Okay, it says: I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with loving kindness have I drawn you. That word 'loving kindness' means this, I'm going to explain it a little. It means literally: for someone who's in an elevated position, to stoop down, and bend down, to someone in a lower position, and lift them up, and treat them like an equal. How about that?
It means literally: to bend over, and lift someone up, so you treat them like an equal; so God says: I have loved you with an everlasting love, with loving kindness have I attracted you, or drawn you; so in other words, He says: I don't display My power, and My greatness, and My might, but I reach down, and I place such value on you, that I lift you up and I look into your eyes, I treat you like an equal. Now we're not actually equals, but His heart is to lift us up, as someone of great value to Him. Then He says: with loving kindness I have drawn you; or literally: I have drawn you along, I have handled you, I have touched you, or I've opened up your life - so how does God open up our life? How does God lead us or draw us or attract us? Oh, it's not with His power. His power gets our attention, but it is His loving kindness that attracts us to follow Him. It's the demonstration of God's loving kindness that draws us out of ourself, and we are attracted to it like a magnet, like bees to honey. We are drawn to the loving kindness of God.
No one is drawn to the judgements of God, they scare you. People are drawn to the loving kindness of God. That word 'loving kindness' is these kinds of things. It's very hard to get that word, in the original language, into English language, because there's no word describes it. You've got to use several words to try and get what they meant, so let me give you the several words, that when God says: with loving kindness I've drawn you. One of the meanings of it, means generosity. Generosity is very attractive. I've found people like generous people, and they hate misers. Have you noticed that? Generosity attracts us, so He says: with great generosity, have I attracted you. It means also personal involvement, and commitment in relationship, beyond any legal requirements. In other words, He said: it's a heart involvement in relationship. It draws you out, because I get personally involved in your life, with an interest in what's happening. It also means steadfast love or devotion, that never fails or stops. Now that's what attracts people to the Lord - His steadfast love and devotion, His personal involvement in how our life is getting on, and His willingness to build relationship with us, His generosity.
It also means His mercy, His willingness to overlook, or to put aside the faults and failures, and lift us up into a place of great value. Now who wouldn't be attracted by that? That's how God attracts people. Now if that's how God attracts people; men, guess how we want you to attract your wife? This is what He wants to use. I'm going to show you that very clearly in scripture. I'll give you a scripture just related to that, in 1 John 4:19. You know what the Bible tells us? It says: we love Him because - can anyone finish it? [He first loved us.] We love Him because He first? [Loved us.] So what response does God's love bring in our heart? [Love.] We love Him. So He never uses His power, He uses His power to get our attention, but the thing that attracts us to walk with Him, and have a relationship, is His love for us. The more you get exposed to the love of God, the more you love Him. He says we love Him, why? Because He first loved us. We don't love Him because we've got the letter of the law. We don't love Him because we saw judgements on this and that. We don't love Him for those things. We love Him because we experienced Him reaching out, taking the initiative, to love us. Oh husbands, if you could just get a hold of that one. Your wife will love you, if you will take the initiative to love her - and I mean love her. Love her. We're going to explain it, because some people don't understand what that means, so we need to make it really as clear as we can. [Laughs] Okay then, so God's love influences our life, and brings us, or attracts us, into relationship with Him.
I want you to have a look with me in Proverbs 19. The women are saying: already this is getting better. [Laughter] Our message on headship was worrying me, but now I'm feeling safer now. There'd be a few women shaken by some stroppy men over the last week or so, but it's alright. Don't worry. They're just getting stirred up to take the leadership, but just need to learn how to do it, that's alright. You don't always do things right when you start out, but they're moving in the right direction, that's the big thing aye? Praise God for that. Okay, praise God for that. They may make some mistakes on the way, but we're moving in the right direction.
Okay, now we want to look now at the principles that empower a man's leadership. The first principle I'm going to look at, just shortly I'll give you five of them, but I want you to have a look at this. It says: the desire of a man is his kindness; or literally putting it in what it means: that quality in a man, which makes him desirable, is loving kindness. Now you'd never get that in the pictures, and the movies, or the television, or the videos, or in society anywhere. [Rock hard abs.] That's right, rock hard abs is what you get. [Laughter] The rock hard abs, yeah, that'll do it! But you know I haven't met a woman yet who didn't get touched when a man showed loving kindness to her. All the other stuff is image, but loving kindness flows out of a heart attitude, that genuinely cares and is concerned; and God has wired women, so when a man is kind, it becomes irresistible. All the other stuff passes away, but the loving kindness always touches a woman's heart. That's why God commands man to love, because He knows: one, man will forget to love; and two, woman is wired to receive love, and respond to it. That's why it says: love. It's quite simple isn't it?
I had a group of men, and I told them to read Ephesians 5, and they all came back with the same verse: wives submit to your husbands. I mean, what a crazy verse that is, why would you want to read that verse? See what the first word is: wives. It doesn't apply to you. So the men, you can just cover that one up and leave it, because it's actually not directed to you at all. It's none of your business. Just forget that verse, because it says at the front, 'wives' and we've kept away from that one, because I know all the men are wired to that one. I've kept away from it as long as I can. We'll get to it now, but we've got to get the men's thinking right on this one, because that's the only verse they hear in the Bible: wives submit to your husbands. I had a whole group of about seven or eight guys, and out of that, all but one, the only verse they could see in Ephesians 5 was: wives, submit to your husbands. See, it's the only one that does not apply to you. I said: I can tell now, all of you guys have got problems - but here's the one that applies to you: Husbands - husbands! Is that you, a husband? Or are you a wife? You know, I had to tell the guy, you check. You've got to check. [Laughter] Is this a men's group or what? We've got some women in here, then we've just got to sort this one out right now - but no, I said: no, men, husbands love your wives; so we had to get that kind of clear.
So God wants us - that which is attractive in a man, is loving kindness. You become very attractive if you're a kind person. Now Jesus, so anything that's harsh, severe, authoritarian, legal, demanding, all of that is ugly. Men, say it: ugly. [Ugly.] It's ugly. Angry men, harshness - it's ugly, very ugly. We don't need it. We want to have a gentleness. David said: thy gentleness to me has lifted me up and made me great. That's how it really works, gentleness. A servant of the Lord must not strive, but be gentle to all men; see, because that's the character of God, is to treat us gently. Wow, takes it all away doesn't it? Makes headship now understandable. Now you have a look at how Jesus influenced people. He did not influence them by saying: I'm the Son of God, and I've got power boys! You get in my way, I'll fire you! [Laughter] Now His disciples thought that way though. They'd go into a village, and they'd say: we don't want You Jesus, get out of here. The disciples said: ooh just give us the word Lord, and like Elijah, we'll just call fire, fire burn, smoke them up! [Laughter] That's the spirit of many men, and that's not God - He says: you know not what spirit you're of.
He said: I've not come to destroy life, but to give life; just the wrong spirit, wrong attitude, wrong approach altogether. However they were Jesus' chosen disciples, so Jesus' chosen disciples had this thing of calling fire down, and judging everything. We've got to learn to get the heart of God, loving kindness you know? So when Jesus met lepers, He touched them. He didn't have to touch them. He touched them because of kindness. When He met women, He lifted them up and forgave them, He lifted them up and brought them. He entrusted the gospel to them. The first person to get the word to preach was a woman - the first person! Have a look at Jesus' ministry, forever He was lifting up women, and actually establishing that God values them; but everywhere else in the world, from the fall of Eve until now, every other place in the world, you find every other religion, every other nation, there's this oppression and a putting down and a hatred of the devil against women. We're going to get into that in another session - and men get infected with that, for a variety of reasons, and they carry that spirit of darkness, and oppress and hurt. We have a nation full of abused, hurting, suffering women, because they've never seen men who know how to be loving and kind, and take the lead.
What the church needs, and the nation needs in this hour, is men who learn how to be godly men, and stand up and make a difference in the church and in the community, by having a whole different approach. You don't get that in the world. You won't get it off TV, you won't get it off videos, you'll only get it in the word of God. We have a generation that have risen, that have no fathers, so there's such a desperate need for men to learn how to put these principles into practice, and then to raise up another generation that doesn't repeat all the same mistakes - and we can do it. We want to do it. That's what God wants to happen too, so when I start speaking in about men, women don't get nervous. It's because, if we get this one right, everything else starts to come right. It's not the only thing we talk about, but we do need to push on it, because it's such a problem in our nation.
Okay, now let me just give you five principles, that will help a man to lead his wife, to lead in his home. Two of them we've covered already in some detail, so I'll just touch them briefly, and I'll bring up the other three; but the first one is - and these are principles, so there's lots of ways you outwork a principle. A principle is just like a guideline, and within that guideline, you figure out what that involves, and how you outwork it, and you've got to work that out very personally. So the Bible gives us the principles, but it doesn't give us the outworking, because it has to be outworked in each culture. So God's principles never change, it doesn't matter where you are, they're the same principles.
Okay, now here's the first one, principle of headship, 1 Corinthians 11:3. I would have you know that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is the man, and the head of Christ is God. In other words, there is an order that God has set, in creation, a governmental order, where God is at the top, Christ is subject to Him, the man is subject to Christ, and the woman is subject to the man. It's a divine order, for blessing and protection. Now who was the most exalted man, in the whole of the world? There is no man been exalted more than this man. Who is that man? Who exalted Him into that place? [God.] And how did He get exalted like that, into that place? He submitted. In other words, He took His place in order. The Father planned how He could exalt the Son, and the Son submitted to the Father's plan, and now the Bible says: every knee shall bow, every tongue confess, that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. The wisdom of God's plan, is that submission is not a problem, it's God's pathway to elevation; and when Jesus submitted to the Father's plan, it resulted in being elevated to the highest place possible. It's no wonder the Bible tells us: men, use Jesus as your example. He submitted to God's plan.
So when we're talking headship, the first thing the Bible tells us is, there's an order that God has set in place. It's for our blessing, and for our benefit. Now Jesus, His plan, is that He will lift up His people, into the highest place. He has the same kind of plan, so it says: now the head of every man is Christ, the head of the woman is the man. Most men can't get past that bit. Let me get you the first thing about headship. The first thing about headship, is that God wants every man to have a relationship with Jesus Christ. He wants every man to recognise, he can't make it in life on his own. There are areas and dimensions he's incapable of fulfilling and achieving, without a relationship with Jesus Christ; so the first aspect of headship to understand, is that man must open his life to Jesus Christ. He must be born again. He must receive Jesus Christ into his heart and life, and trust Him, and begin to surrender his life to Him; because whatever you have, whatever you've done, all of it you'll leave behind, but all you'll have in eternity, is what you've built in a relationship with God. So the number one part of headship, for a man, is: do I have a relationship with God? Do I talk to Him, read the Bible, and listen to Him for directions, and submit by plans to Him for guidance?
It's very easy for a woman to follow a man who prays and listens to God, but it's a very scary thing for her to follow some egocentric man, who thinks he can make it through life without needing God, and he will make his own life - I'm my own man, and I'll do it myself. Don't worry, I have it all under control. You know that it's only a matter of time before there's a major problem; but when a woman hears her man kneel and bow before God, and says: Father, help me to love my wife, to love my children, and to lead my home - that inspires confidence. It inspires women to follow. The second aspect of headship, is leadership. To be the head of the home, or to be the head of the woman, you must assume responsibility to lead. Headship is about assuming the responsibility to lead. Now what does that mean? It means taking initiative, taking the initiative. Don't wait for your wife to do everything. Have a look around and take the initiative. It means listening to her, finding out her needs and concerns. How can you lead someone, if you don't know what their needs are? You've all got so quiet. Turn to someone and say: I think this is speaking to me right now. [Laughter] Before you get all - everyone gets very, very quiet and serious. [Laughs]
That's it, taking the initiative. It means setting a personal example. Men, let me just ask you this. Does the way you conduct yourself, inspire a woman to follow you? The way you speak, and act, and carry on - is she embarrassed by you? Is she embarrassed to be with you, because of how you handle yourself? Do you make a fool of yourself, your attitudes, the way you conduct your life, the way you speak? Are you setting an example for your wife and your family to follow - because that's what leadership is? You've got to take initiative, you've got to take responsibility, got to set an example, set the pace. If you're not a prayer, why would anyone else pray? Just letting the weight fall somewhere else. Be an example in these areas, so begin to ask, think about your example, and we're going to get more specific in some of these areas - oh I can see the men now, you'll think you've got a case of worms you'll feel so uncomfortable but its okay. [Laughter] A dose of the word of God will fix you up wonderfully. You just need drenching, that's all. [Laughter] Come from the farming community, when the sheep get troubled, they get drenched, it sorts out what's inside. Next week we're going to do that, we're going to talk about men and women being reconciled to one another, and it'll be a good chance to drench out all the worms that get inside us, and give us funny attitudes to one another, that stop us flowing together.
So first the first principle, the principle of headship; now the second principle, Ephesians 5:31. We've already touched on this one, so I won't go too far with it. It's the principle of bonding, God's principle or law of bonding; so let me describe it, and we'll see how it outworks. So for those women who are single, if you're looking for a man, find one who'll take responsibility. Find one who's connected to God and prays, because if those things aren't there, how's he going to lead you? How will he lead you in God? How will he give leadership, if he doesn't know God, he doesn't pray to God, he doesn't talk to God? How could he lead you? If he won't take responsibility for his mistakes, he's too proud to admit he made a mistake, how will he take responsibility in the home? You'll be the one to blame for everything, so look for a man who takes responsibility, and connects with God. That'd be a good start to look for, wouldn't it?
Okay, here's the second quality. This is the principle of bonding. It says, Verse 31: this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and be joined to his wife, the two of them shall become one flesh. And this is a mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Now He's talking here about God's law of bonding. Now God has set a principle in place, because we're not just body and soul, we actually have a spirit, it is possible for two people's lives to begin to flow together, and begin to bond together. Spiritually, we can bond, we can come connected by certain things. God has designed certain things, so that when we do them, we begin to bond with people, and then this applies. It's just a law, and one of the things that God has set in place, is when two people are involved sexually, they become bonded to one another, soul-tied to one another, connected to one another. So sexual intimacy is an important part in marriage, of maintaining a bonding, or a closeness. Sexual intimacy will actually strengthen the bonding of a husband and a wife.
Now the Bible tells us in this, there's another thing that we can do that helps us bond as well. The Bible says: a man must leave, and then cleave; so before you can cleave, you have to leave some things. One of the things you've got to leave, you've got to leave some things behind from your home. You've got to leave unresolved issues. You've got to deal with issues with your parents, because if you've got attitudes against father and mother, you carry baggage in, and you'll have trouble connecting with your wife. So we talked about a man needing to be freed, and leave behind the defilements of previous relationships, sexual encounters, and things that have come through from his family background, generational things that defile him, and stop him cleaving to his wife. If a man has been involved sexually with others, it's hard for him to bond intimately with his wife, because he's got all the junk in his life; but when he comes to Christ, opens his life for ministry, and begins to renounce and put off those things - that means you get rid of the photos, you get rid of everything, so you can cleave and become one.
That means you don't have any secret pictures, secret books, secret videos, secret chat rooms on the internet. You have no one else but your wife, as the one you will bond to; and of course we have to guard because today, there's so many pressures and temptations to bond elsewhere. We shared quite a few ways that could happen. Now in order to bond with your wife, one is regular sexual relationship; but the other is that you open your hearts to one another, because the Bible tells us in Matthew 6:21, where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. So when you begin to take what is precious to you, and invest it into a relationship with someone, you begin to bond. That law of bonding works, you get two people working together and they share their hearts, their struggles, their fears, their concerns. They begin to bond. Some guys in the military together, they have to stand together, they have to connect together, they flow together, have experiences together, they begin to form a bonding, that sometimes lasts for life.
So the law of bonding becomes activated the moment you invest, treasure - invest those things into your wife, you make a sacrifice, because with that sacrifice, there comes a treasure investment into your wife. So putting that simply, here's a couple of things you need to do, here's the first one: you need to have time together, you need to have quality time together. That's not sitting watching the TV or reading a paper or anything like that. It's actually time to talk, and meet, and interact. One thing that can help do that, is you actually do something together, go for a walk together, begin to play a game together, go out on a date together, how wonderful. We went up and stood by the fountain and watched the lovely lights change [laughter]. We went up onto Bluff Hill. You have to do something you know, it just doesn't happen by chance. You actually have to make time and sacrifice, so go dating together. I used to have a date with my children, because we had pressure of ministry, I had six children, it was very, very difficult, so each child had a day, and we had a time together so you begin to look forward to it, and you plan what you can do together. You begin to build anticipation, then you invest time and you begin to share. Now you've got to actually share something you both enjoy doing together, so we found there's a variety of things that the kids liked and we could do that.
Now you begin to bond as you do things together. You get tenting, it's a bonding form, so you go on family holidays, bonding forms in those things. Have family meals, it's to bond. It's because if you don't do it, you'll fly apart. You fly apart, not because you want to, but just because you're neglected, so it requires sacrifice. You can't build a unity, and a bonding in a relationship, without a sacrificial giving. You have to invest into it somewhere, and that means giving something that's precious, and so it maybe a gift. I gave my wife a lovely anniversary gift, and as I gave it to her - it cost me heaps - I felt a deep love for her arising [laughs] in my life. [Laughter] She's wearing it today. But see, it's that it represents something of you. You give it, and it produces the bonding, but with that there needs to be talking, and that means sharing beyond superficial, sharing your heart and your feelings, beginning to take enough time that you open up. Now a lot of guys don't do that. [grunting sound 00.26.47] That's all you get out of them. That's not good enough. All some wives get from their husbands, is grunts, [makes grunting sound 00.26.56] That's a shocking thing.
She depends on you, for a source of stimulation in her thinking and emotions, and all you go is [makes grunting sound 00.27.07]. That's not good enough! Yes, that's right, turn off the television, light a candle, have some supper together. Sit next to one another, whatever it is, those kinds of things. You've got to think about them. Be creative. You don't need to have a great amount of money, but you do need to be creative, and anyway, what it does involve, is that you do things together. So I remember when we were dating, we got up early and went fishing, and had breakfast on the wharf. Isn't that lovely? Well I thought it was lovely anyway, I had a great time. [Laughter] We used to do all sorts of things. I used to take her out to a place called Selenis, where they have some violin played at the table, any song you like. It was wonderful. I still remember it - violins still move my heart. Why? Because there's an investment.
It just doesn't happen. You can pray all you like, but you've got to do other things as well. You've got to guard that intimacy, so you've got to guard that no one else gets in your heart, and so one of the things today that's broken a lot of relationships, interesting things that's dragged a lot of women into adultery, is chat rooms on the internet, because they get talking, and the man on the internet says things that the husband ought to say, but he's too busy, or doesn't give her attention. It's like watering a plant, you water it with words, and if you don't water your wife's soul, then she dies, and then you have a problem. So we want to build bonding, okay, we've gone far enough. It's already getting too tense. Let's just go to the next principle. [Laughter] Let's go to Genesis 2, we'll see if we can do better at the next one - so we don't flip the cards up, and give 1/10, or 2/10 or whatever. Just nod your head. The wives all knew this was true, the men are just finding it out, and the men will encourage one another to do all these things.
Genesis 2:18, The Lord God said: it's not good for man to be alone. I will make him a help meet (suitable) for him. It's not good to be alone, so here it is, the principle of partnership. It's not good for you to be on your own. God wants you to have someone to be with, to work with, walk with, those kinds of things. Now this is a relationship where the man and the woman begin to fit together, and flow together, with mutual giftings. Now it didn't mean that the woman just did her thing, and he did his thing; it's actually a partnership in life. In 1 Peter 3:7 it says: heirs together, of the grace of life. You are partners in life, and partners carry something into it, which is different. Now of course the things that are in my wife, that I was attracted to, were the differences - but afterwards they become the irritations. [Laughter] Until you realise, that she's got her strengths and weaknesses, and I've got my strengths and weaknesses, and when we put them together, they just seem to fit just like that. It works wonderfully, if we just flow together. She's great at some things, and I submit to her in those things.
The Bible says - it's an interesting thing - there's only two passages that tell us about the headship of a man, and I know the men all gloated and rejoiced when I told them those passages; but I hope you read the Bible, and read what else was in there, in which case you'd find in both passages, either just before or just after, it tells us: submit to one another. In other words, that there is a mutual receiving of one another's giftings and strengths in the relationship. So these are some practical ways of putting this principle of partnership into practice. There's some simple things to it - you've got to flow as a team, biggest thing is team. The first thing is, quite very simple: accept your wife's differences, or your partner's differences, and celebrate them. Don't get down on them, and try and change them. You don't want a clone of you, you want someone different; so accept the differences and the strengths, and rejoice in them. What my wife is good, at I'm not; so I celebrate she's very good at it, and I draw from her strength in that area. It helps me to grow in that area.
The second thing is, share responsibilities in the home, according to the giftings. Now that's a new one, because a lot of people have got rigid ideas how the home is run. Now when I was raised up in an Irish family, and the man's role was outside the home; so he did the garden, the garage, the car, and the work. When he came home, that was it, it was over, he was home, sat down. Now in the home, the woman was king; and so she ran everything in the home, that's how it worked - two separate worlds. But that's all changed now, and that's cultural, and it happened to be for that era, but there's nothing biblical about it. It just happened to be the way they did things in that time. The common sense thing with any team is, find out what each one is gifted to, and drawn to, and deploy them in that area, so that means you can share what you do. Now for example, some people think: well a man's got to run all the finances. Now in some homes, that would be a disaster! [Laughter] He can't even balance the cheque book, but the wife's great at it - so let her do it, and don't feel bad about it. But if she takes control of it, ooh that's another thing. There's a difference between managing, something under a leadership; and taking control of it, and usurping leadership.
There's a difference between letting your wife run something, as part of a delegated flow, recognising a gift and deploying it; it's another thing to cop out all together. Do you understand that? When the man cops out, she feels the weight. When he takes responsibility, and they make joint decisions, then it works out just great. Does that make sense? [Yeah.] So it's very, very simple, so you work it out. So everyone's got to work it out differently; and so you know, maybe the men have just got to run around, and if you don't like the home being untidy, well go round and tidy it up, simple as that. If you feel strongly about it, you do it, or get one of the kids to work with you in doing it. It's no big deal, no big deal. It's no big deal if you do anything in the home, just do it, if it needs to be done. I found, after we had two children, that we had to have major changes in the home. Actually I'll correct that - major changes in me. [Laughter] I had to change, and so I used to think: well work's work, and the home's the home. Joy's got the home, and I've got the work - then we had two children, then it all changed, and I had to really get my act together, and wake up and start to get involved. Then I realised that between five and seven, if the man wasn't around when you've got a young family, this is very baaaad! [Laughter] Oh it's a bad time. You can be away any time you like, but not between five and seven when there's meals and there's a baby, and there's baths and there's getting this one ready, that one ready and the phone's going, all that kind of stuff. That's just the time - how many men know what I'm saying now? Yeah, that's right. You be there then - two hours then, will couch you for the whole day just about. But if you're not there, you can't make up with it with a whole day! [Laughter] So you've just got to work a partnership thing in this area, and figure out who's got the strengths. So women have strengths to bring into the relationship, that need to be accepted, celebrated and listened to.
Now that's the third part of being a partner, you need to listen, and don't react when your wife shares her cares. I want you to look with me in 1 Kings, Chapter 12. I'll say it again: listen, and don't react, to her concerns and cares; honey, I'm just concerned a little bit about this. [mutter mutter ] don't worry about that... Don't be like that, it won't work. If this is going to work, you've got to realise your wife will have the heart of the home. She will sense what's going on. She will feel things you don't feel. Men see the big picture down the line, but they often miss what's under their nose; but the wife knows exactly what's under your nose, and she will tell you. So you need to listen to her cares and concerns. That's how you work as a partnership. If you're going to lead, you've got to listen. Here it is in 1 Kings, Chapter 12:7, and this is a time when King Rehoboam is about to take over the nation of Israel. He's about ready to take over. His dad's died, and he's going to be the new king, and it's a huge nation, a wealthy nation, a prosperous nation, and he's about to take over; so he asks for some advice from the old men. This is the advice the old men give him, because he's a young buck, who's just become king. He's really wanting to make a mark.
So this is what they say: If you will be a servant today - now he didn't want to hear that - if you will be a servant. But I'm the king! King! King of the castle! They said: if you will be a servant, and will serve them. Now he says: and answer them, and speak good words them, they will be your servants forever. He said: if you want these people to follow you, you've got to have a servant heart, and a servant attitude, and a servant spirit, and give consideration to their needs. That words 'answer them', means literally to eye them, or to look, so that you become aware of what their needs are, and then speak kindly and encouragingly to them. So he says: if you will be a servant, minister and meet their needs that they have, be sensitive and aware with what they're going through and facing, and speak encouragement to them, do you know what'll happen? They'll just love to run after you and follow you. Now men, wouldn't that be a great verse to put into practice? If you just started to do those things - but you think: well - it's not me! Well that's what the young man said, he said: that's not me!
Listen to the young men, they said: now listen, don't listen to those old fellas there, what would they know? Listen, if you're going to be a king, you've got to show them who's boss. What you want to do is just get tough! Now listen, round here, you've all got to line up! So he did that, and guess what happened? He lost 10 out of the 12 tribes. He was left with just a little wee handful following him, and it's written in the Bible to learn from: if you want to lead people, you must have the heart of a servant. You serve the purpose of God by ministering to the needs of the people under your leadership, and seeing that you're sensitive to them, aware of them, care for them, and that you speak encouragement to them, not harshly or hardly. That's written in there for us to learn from. Now so many men just carry on like that, right in their home. How can you ever expect your wife to follow you? You'll teach her to hate you, resent you and rebel against you; and you'll teach your children to mistreat women. We've got to get out of that spirit. It's the spirit of the world.
Jesus said, in Matthew 20, about 26, He said this. He said: in the world, they lord over and dominate one another, and boss one another around. He said: it shall not be so among you. You always want to remember this, your wife is also a sister in the Lord, and she's a joint heir with you, so you treat her with respect and value, and you listen to her needs and concerns. The Bible says of Jesus, when He came to the disciples - John 13 - it says: He took off His garments, and He got out a basin of water, and He washed their feet, which was the job of the lowest slave. Wouldn't it be nice if all the men after they went home - remember last time I sent you home, someone manifesting as they went [grumbling noises] [Laughter] and I asked you to ask your wife this question: Are there things that I do that make you feel insecure and unsafe? I could see some of the men [grumbling noises 00.38.22], some of the women saying just ask, just ask [laughter] and is it safe to tell? If I tell him what will happen?
I know one guy, he went home immediately, he listened to his wife, and did some things straight away. Now here's one for today. I wonder what it'd be like if you went home and said: honey, I'd like to do what Jesus did, I'd like to wash your feet. She'd be shocked for days. [Laughter] You see, it's the heart of a servant to minister. It's not the washing of feet, it's the serving. It's the serving. It's the heart - like God, His loving kindness doesn't look down; but rather He stoops down Himself, and lifts us up, and treats us like an equal. Isn't that amazing? Now who could not follow that kind of leadership? Hello, people getting quiet. You've got that stare-y look again! [Laughter] Turn to someone and say I think you ought to be washing someone's feet. I think that's you he's talking about there. Okay, so husbands who won't listen are in for a big problem. Okay, here's the next principle, we're going to get through this now, two more principles, I'll give them quite quickly.
1 Peter 3:7, and then we'll show you just how to get started, because we could just about - you know, the men are getting lower and lower in the seats [laughter], and they see the wives sitting up higher and higher. Your turn will come. [Laughter] We should not gloat over someone else's struggles. We should encourage and pray for our men, that they will arise up, because that's what we want. 1 Peter 3:7, this is what it says: Likewise - in other words it's talked about the women - it says you husbands. If you're a husband, this is for you; but if you're a woman looking for a husband, have a look for a man who carries on like this. He'll be a good catch if you can find one - hard to find these days though. We're very rare, very rare, because they don't know to do these things. Feminism has taken them all away. I heard this thing I read somewhere, and this guy was on a bus, and he stood up for a woman. She was obviously pregnant. She said: you don't need to stand up for me, because I'm a woman. He said: that's not why I'm standing up, I'm standing up because I'm a man. [Applause!] That's not bad is it! I thought, that was pretty good.
Okay, here it is. Likewise you husbands, dwell with them, according to knowledge. In other words, learn how to understand your wife, a lifelong calling, understanding your wife [laughs], giving honour unto your wife, as to the weaker vessel, lest your prayers be hindered. So it says: give honour - here's the principle: honour your wife! Otherwise your prayers will be shot down. There you are, praying for your business to succeed, God shoots them down. God watches - no, he's not honouring his wife. Boof! Those prayers, I don't even listen to. You're praying for your business, your money to come right, and God looks how you're treating your wife. He says: forget it. You're praying for wisdom and direction, and you're wanting God to help you in your life, He looks how you treat your wife - ah forget it. In other words - now that gives wives a great confidence, because what you know is this, that you can trust that God will sort this guy out big time. When God gets on his case, He can really, really get this thing sorted out. So the Bible says: husbands, honour your wife. Now to honour means to prize, to value, or to invest value in a person, so they have great honour and great value.
Now I read an interesting story about a man up in the Solomon Islands, and in the Solomon Islands, they pay a dowry for the women. This particular woman he wanted to marry, and she wasn't very a very attractive woman, and they used to pay a dowry of one cow or cattle beast if a woman's pretty. That's what they do, still do that sort of thing up there. If there was three, the woman was really I mean quite something, and this woman was not all that attractive, and people never thought: she'd get married. This man wanted to marry her, and so he considered how he could get over the reproach that everyone would have: oh you've married this woman, and she's not very nice. So this is what he did. He got 10 or 12 cattle beasts, and he paid them for the dowry, and everyone went [inhales sharply] wow, even the best we've ever heard of is three. Twelve! Oh. They looked with great respect now - she hadn't changed one bit, but he had invested value in her. He'd honoured her. He'd put honour on her life, and so honour is something you choose to do, you choose to value.
Now let me give you a few things you can do, to honour a woman. Now women, if you're looking for a good man, you want one who'll treat women right. So here you are, first one: treat them with respect. Respect means they listen to their thinking, and listen to their opinions, listen to their feelings. They include them in the decisions. How do men make decisions without including their wife? That's very dishonouring to her, treats her as having nothing of value to contribute. You make her feel special, give her a rose, give her a flower, honour her. Find ways to treat her, so she feels special. Give her a single red rose, I love you. Little notes, I love you. Isn't that wonderful? Those things - I've still got in here a lovely note that my wife wrote to me. I keep it in my Bible, because it means a lot to me. I've got draws full of notes from the kids, they're special - so treat her with respect.
Manners - now here's a good one, manners. Now one way you can honour a woman, is by having manners. Manners means, you open the door [Applause]. That shows the general state, if you open the door, open the door to let her in. Open the car door, and let her in. You pull the seat out for her to sit down. It seems too good to be true, doesn't it? They used to do it a few years ago. It's just this culture has taken it all away. Wouldn't it be good if we had a generation of men, who honoured their wife, and treated them like they were the Queen - honoured, valued, esteemed, did things like that. Women, would you like that? Would you find a man like that hard to follow? [No] It wouldn't be hard to follow would it? [No!] Is there one there, that's what we want to know? Is there one such as that? Is there such a man? Well you choose to be that kind of man, you just make decisions, you'll start to honour women, value them. You'll have manners, you'll give eye contact, hold their hands. One way is, you don't walk ahead of them - that's what I've got to watch, that one. Hold their hand, and walk together.
We were over in Fiji having a lovely honeymoon experience, and I looked over and I thought, what the heck is wrong with you two over there, two people sitting there, and they're in Fiji, sitting by the waterfront. The candles are there, the music is playing, and we're holding hands having a very intimate romantic moment - and the two of them are sitting reading books. [Laughter] It was all I could do, not to go over, and grab the books, and say: relate to one another! [Laughter] What's wrong with you? It's honour. If she wants to talk, give her your attention. Another way you honour your wife is by faithfulness sexually, you're not looking at other woman, or allowing your heart to go towards other women. That's dishonours your wife. Ooh, getting quiet again. [Laughter] Just think about these things, how do I honour my wife?
And finally the last principle, Ephesians 5:25, husbands, the principle of loving kindness. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church, and gave Himself. It attracts women, if you show loving kindness. How do you show it? Well you extend grace to their differences, and their failings, and you forgive them. You don't let your harbour anger and bitterness. You offer practical support and help. You show acts of kindness, and you speak the truth. One of the things that helps build a loving relationship, is sharing out of your heart, and talking honestly and openly about things, instead of having it all come up. Most men have trouble speaking about their feelings. My wife comes to talk to me about feelings, and she'll ask me a few things, and I have moments when I disappear into a cave, after I work it all out. [Laughter] She says HELLO! You still there? [Laughter] And the voice from inside the cave - only just. [Laughter] Then I worked out, that I didn't have to work it all out. We could just interact, and start to share what we felt, without feeling I had to have an answer, or fix it up. You don't have to fix it up men, you just need to connect, and express loving kindness. That which is desirable in a man, is loving kindness.
Why don't we just bow our heads right now. The most loving and kind person I've ever known is Jesus Christ. What a wonderful person - loved us, forgave us, went to the cross for us. It'd be hard to resist His love. I wonder, is there any person here, who is at a point in your life where you say: I am ready to receive Jesus Christ. I've been living a life cut off from that love, that life of God. I've been running my life myself, my own way, but today there's something in my heart is saying: I want to become a follower of Christ. I want to receive Jesus Christ. Inside there's a struggle going on, perhaps you've had people talk to you about the Lord. You've had Christians talk to you, and as you're here today, God has drawn you, and you're thinking in your heart: I really do want to know God. The Bible says, Jesus said these words: I stand at the door and knock. If any man open up I will come into him.
Jesus desires to put His spirit in your heart, and change you on the inside. He just wants you to say yes. The Bible says: to as many as received Jesus Christ, He gave power to become children of God. God, you have to be born into your family of God, by a relationship with Christ. I believe you're ready to make that decision right now. I want you just to, while our eyes are closed and heads are bowed, I want you just to lift your hand and say: I'd like to become a Christian. I'm not concerned what people think of me, or what the world thinks of me, I just want my relationship with God to come right today. I want to receive Jesus Christ. Is that you friend? Why don't you raise your hand right now, just say: I want to become a Christian, I want to give my life to Christ.
Every relationship starts with a step, a step of opening our life to another person. Today that's the step I'm asking you to take, that you'll open your life up to Christ. He died on the cross for your sins. He won't hurt you, He'll never abuse or use you. Jesus Christ loves you. Is that you today, say that's me, I want to become a Christian. I wonder today how many men have felt God really spoke to you and challenged you. You said: God, you've been talking to me today. Perhaps it's in the area of taking responsibility, of initiative. Perhaps it's in the area of bonding and connecting with your wife intimately, far more. Perhaps it's in the area of honouring her, and valuing her. Perhaps it's in the area of sharing and partnering together. Perhaps it's in the area of just a kindness towards her, God's speaking to you today. Why don't you just raise your hand and say: God's been talking to me today, and I want to make some changes?
Let me just give you how you can start. It's very simple, you do this: you take one thing. You ask God, and your wife, what you could do that would help implement that; and then day by day, you just take that one thing and work at it, until your life starts to change. Say God, help me to grow in that area. We'll be working with men to do this. I want to raise up a generation of men that know how to love and honour women. I think that'd be a great credit to the Lord, wouldn't you? I think that would raise up godly women too, because women being honoured, it would help them overcome so much of what's happened in their life.
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· Headship – teaching on this subject stirs up reactions in both men and women!
· God’s order is for the blessing and benefit of the family, not an exercise for domination.
· Putting the principle into practice requires understanding the heart of God.
Jer 31:3 “I have loved you with an everlasting love, therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you”
· Lovingkindness (2616) – to bow to an equal, show self merciful, steadfast.
· Drawn (4900) – to draw along, draw out, handle, sow.
· Lovingkindness – generosity, personal involvement and commitment in a relationship above and beyond any legal requirements, steadfast love and devotion.
· God does not use His power to control us but extends love to influence us.
· 1 John 4:10 “We love Him because He first loved us” ie, God’s love so influenced our life it brought forth love and commitment and submission to Him.
· Ps 103:11 “As the heaven is high above the earth so great is His mercy to them that fear Him”.
2. Principles that empower man’s leadership
· Prov 19:22 “The desire of a man is his kindness” ie, that quality which makes a man desirable, longed after is lovingkindness. Harshness, authoritarianism, selfishness, all destroy a mans influence. Jesus – the model man – influenced people by His loving kindness, His mercy.
i) Principle of headship
1 Cor 11:3 “ The head of every man is Christ, the head of the woman is the man”
Headship – means:
a) Submission to Jesus Christ – to know, follow Him.
b) Assuming responsibility for leadership
· Having direction and purpose.
· Taking the initiative.
· Setting a personal example that inspires.
· Awareness of the needs and concerns of wife and children.
· Protection from destructive influences.
ii) Principle of bonding
Eph 5:31 “These two shall become one flesh”
· God’s law of bonding is activated whenever 2 people turn their hearts towards one another with desire and longing.
· Leave (2641) – to let go, leave behind, forsake all conflicting attachments. Man must let go all emotional and sexual attachments so he can cleave to wife.
· Cleave (4347) – to glue to, adhere to, join self to.
The bonding or cleaving process is activated by:
a) Sexual intimacy.
b) Turning heart consciously towards his wife through romance and intimacy.
· Time together or common activity.
· Communication – sharing your heart – thoughts, feelings, (date).
· Sacrifice – giving something that costs you, Matt 6:21, (gifts).
iii) Principle of partnership
Gen 2:18 “I will make a help meet for him”
· This is a relationship where man and woman fit together perfectly and complete each other.
· Not co-dependent but distinct, different, fitting like clasped hands.
a) Accept and celebrate the difference in giftings, personality, backgrounds.
b) Share responsibilities according to gifting not culture.
c) Listen, don’t react to her concerns and needs.
I Ki 12:7 “If you will be a servant to this people and will serve them and answer them”
· Answer – to eye, to pay attention to, respond, show sensitivity to their needs.
· Note – 2 passages speak of man’s headship – both also speak of interdependence. 1 Cor 11:3, 11 and Eph 5:21-23
· A proud insecure man won’t listen because it threatens his leadership.
· Only as man listens to his wife can he be successful in all areas of life.
· Husband who acts independently – deceived by own pride, misses warning signs of destruction.
iv) Principle of honour
1 Pet 3:7 “…giving honour unto the wife…that prayers not be hindered”
· Do you want your prayers hindered? - (1465) cut into, impede, frustrate, neutralised?
· Honour (5099) – value, price, ie, show her respect and treat her as valuable.
· Honour – (i) give her special place in heart – (ii) communicate value to her.
a) Respect – listen to opinion; include in decisions, especially $’s; make her feel special; speak kindly; don’t compare or treat disrespectfully.
b) Manners – door open; walk together; seat; eye contact; hold hands.
c) Prayer support – practical help with home; children; encouragement and praise
d) Faithfulness – commitment to purity in mind, heart, speech.
v) Principle of lovingkindness
Eph 5:25 “Husbands love wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself”
· Jesus did not use power over people but to demonstrate lovingkindness.
· Jesus draws people to follow Him because of lovingkindness.
· What makes a man desirable – lovingkindness.
a) Extending grace when there is lack or failure rather than judgement/criticism.
Col 3:19 “Husband love your wife and be not bitter against her”
· Pray for wisdom.
· Refuse to harbour anger, blame.
· Release forgiveness.
· Speak gentle words.
b) Speaking the truth in love.
Eph 4:15 “Speaking the truth in love we grow up”
· Be honest with feelings.
· Face issues one at a time.
· Talk through issues where necessary.
· Be direct.
· Don’t conceal important facts.
c) Practical kindness that meets her needs (Jn 13 – footwashing)
Matt 20:25 “He that would be great, let him be your servant”
· Small regular practical kindness.
· Give yourself – invest, costs you.