I (Leslie) gave the below content titled, Obedience In God's Order of Marriage, as a talk to a group of women in December of 2022. While going through some paperwork, I found this document and realize that this should be out for all wives to read, meditate on, and see how the Lord will lead you in making any adjustments in your marriage.
As I was preparing for this day and what I’d speak about, I kept questioning, is this really the way you want me to go, Lord? Because I wanted to talk about my marriage testimony and forgiving the unforgivable, which I know is a powerful message, especially as we look toward starting a new year. That forgiveness not only frees us but allows us the ability to receive forgiveness from God according to His word in
Matthew 6:14-15, “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
But I kept hearing the word obedience, obedience within God’s designed order of the home. A message that is not always one we as woman want to hear or consider to be a message of encouragement.
So, in obedience, I put down my idea of a subject and will share today how obedience within the covenant of God’s order in marriage releases your blessing.
God reveal to each woman individually what You want them to get understanding from the stories I share today. Stories that reflect what You have been revealing to me in this area of obedience. Even those ladies that are not married, may Your message today also give them revelation to anything that may be out of Your order and where you desire each of us to align ourselves to fully obey Your Word. Amen.
I’ve come to learn that God is putting my house in order, and that His desire is for all our homes to follow the order in which He created it to be. That in doing this, there will be healing and restoration, not just for us but for our families and this nation, and that our dreams as strong-willed intelligent women of God will come to fruition as we submit to the order and covering He has placed over us as a married woman or as a woman who desires to be married.
And what is that order? I think we all know it and many women, many women of empowerment in our society, do not believe that this is relevant for today. However, we cannot pick and choose what we like in God’s Word. So let’s go to:
Ephesians 5:22-23 “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church...”
So today, I’ll share a few examples of what this submission has looked like for me in the last few months, along with the fruit that has come from it.
June of this year was my 12 year wedding anniversary. The night before our anniversary I noticed my husband got out of bed in the middle of the night for a couple hours. That next morning, he shared with me that he had a Holy Spirit download. He was awakened at 2am the two previous nights and finally on this third night he said, ok God, it must be you that keeps waking me up, what is it, I’m listening? And it was at that moment he had to get up out of bed to start writing all the thoughts that began to flood his spirit.
What he wrote down was a mix of seemingly random information along with some very specific directions. Some things we understood immediately and some we received revelation on in the following weeks. But as I reflect on that exchange that morning, I did not do my “usual” questioning or commenting on any of it. For example, some of the direction from God was to sell things, and one item was very important to him, even something that his daughters used in their tattoos in honor and representation of their Dad. To my surprise I did not make a comment, like wow, that’s a big ask and I didn’t ask any questions like, how do you plan on going about it?
Comments and questions I typically express without any ill intent but rather just pure curiosity and many times to gain better understanding because of how my brain works. But this usually causes my husband to second guess himself and think that I asked a question because it’s something I don’t want him to do or that he must do it my way. Or, sometimes he feels stuck between pleasing me or pleasing God, even though none of that is why I even made a comment or question. Can I get a witness? I can’t be the only one this happens to…
Well, I believe that God is saying, we don’t always need to fully understand, especially if it is something He is speaking to and through our husband. We should instead support, and sometimes what that looks like is just staying quiet and listening. Which provides revelation to 1 Timothy 2:11, a verse I’ve not understood in the past, a verse among others in that chapter that us woman say that’s not for today because it states,
“Let a woman learn in silence with all submission.”
But now I see, in this example how fully submitting, was just yielding my full attention to my husband to truly listen to learn and not to listen for a comment or to add my opinion. I believe this small shift increased my husband’s confidence to obey and follow-thru with what God revealed for him to do. I did not offer advice as to how he should do it, like where he should post the items for sale, etc. I just remained silent, watched, and learned while he worked out the plan and walked it all out immediately. I was really impressed by how quickly he moved on that list, it made me question myself, would I have responded so quickly? I believe that is also what the Lord wanted me to learn, how to move quickly when He speaks.
This leads to the first question I leave with you today:
In what instances or relationships are you commenting and questioning, instead of allowing God to be the instructor and learning in silence?
Another revelation my husband shared that God said was, your ministry is to be your vocation. We’ve been in marriage ministry at our church for at least 6 years now and we have had our own project management and interior design business as our career, so this was interesting. But immediately as I heard those words come out of his mouth, in my spirit I felt, well that means that the business expo we are signed up for in Oct. is not meant for us to promote our design business but instead it is intended to be the launch of a new marriage coaching business. Again, to my surprise, instead of my typical jump in with my thought, I actually waited for him to finish sharing everything before I responded with that idea. Man, that was tough for me, especially because I knew that idea was not of me.
Are any of you like this, sometimes you just can’t seem to wait to share whatever thought has come to mind and you basically, unintentionally end up interrupting? Unfortunately, when this does happen with us it often collapses the conversation. He doesn’t feel heard and receives it sometimes as though I think I know better because I couldn’t let him finish talking it out. And instead, he feels disrespected, even though that is never my intent, I just want to share my excitement or agreement with what he’s saying.
Ephesians 5:33 says, “…and let the wife see that she respects her husband.”
Even though my intent is not disrespect, the fact that he feels disrespected is valid and something to take into consideration, even though in my mind it’s a ridiculous connection. In this example, he feels respected if I patiently wait until he’s finishes all his thoughts and then I can circle back.
Thankfully, that’s how this played out this time. I actually waited for him to finish sharing everything, then I expressed what I felt in my spirit about what that meant God was telling us to do, to launch a new business. He was able to accept the idea and that was the start of our walk in obedience together to take steps to start a new business. And by God’s orchestration, and blessings of our obedience we successfully launched Three Cord Marriage on October 13th at the US Christian Chamber Expo.
Now, the second question I leave with you today is:
Are you giving respect the way the other person receives it?
Several months back, there was an event in town with Priscilla Shirer, whom I love because her sermons got me through the very difficult times in our marriage, but I kept forgetting to bring it up to see if my husband wanted to go so we could buy the tickets. The weekend before the event a mutual friend invited us to go out for the day to celebrate his wife’s birthday, the same day of the event. This sparked the conversation about this being a conflict to what I wanted us to do and why. My husband then went on to say, well, we really should spend time with them and to my surprise I responded with, ok, I’ll let you make the decision of what we will do. And I really did just allow him to make the decision on his own without any coercion of bringing it up again, putting out little clues, you know, doing some of the things we might do to lead someone to make the decision we want. No, it was like, set it and forget it. I truly just waited for him to come back with the decision of what we would do a couple days later. And sure enough, he decided for us to go to the event and hear Priscilla Shirer. This is an example of allowing my husband to be the leader of the home, allowing him to make the final decision.
In an intimate moment with the Lord in August, the Holy Spirit clearly revealed to me what God’s been doing. The Lord said, “You are the roar but placed under the covering of your husband that I have placed over you. Submit to him and I will give you the desires of your heart.”
Wow, that’s pretty straight forward, I thought. He says I’m the roar, a lioness arising, but only within the headship He’s placed over me. I believe I am here today to tell you that promise is for you too. Just like God says in His Word in
Psalm 37:4-5, “Delight yourself also in the Lord and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your ways to the Lord, trust also in Him and He shall bring it to pass.”
So trusting and operating within God’s design and order for our lives as married woman is the way that the Lord will bring to pass the desires of our heart. As we who are women arising, women stepping into our calling, women of courage continuing to walk out our calling, when we delight ourselves in encouraging, edifying, honoring, and submitting to our husbands as to the Lord, He will bless us.
The third question I propose to you today is:
Is there a desire of your heart that you are still waiting on to come to fruition?
Ask the Lord if there is an area you still need to submit to within His divine order of your home that may be blocking you from receiving that blessing.
Lastly, one of the many blessings that has come out from this walk in submitting to God’s order, is me standing here before you ladies today sharing this message. Although, this is out of my comfort zone, and not a desire I thought I had in my heart, the desire I do have is to give other women hope. We all know God’s ways are greater than our ways. So when Nyiesha invited me to speak at this amazing event that is to empower a room full of woman as we prepare for a new year…although in my flesh I did not want to do it because I’d rather be sitting where you are, I knew in my spirit that I would be disobeying God if I declined the opportunity and I would miss out on fulfilling the desire of my heart, the desire to give women hope.
As I close, I understand that submitting to our husbands as to the Lord can feel like a completely disconnected idea. Especially as a strong willed, vision casting woman, and especially if your husband does not act how the Lord would toward you, or maybe your husband doesn’t even know the Lord yet and you can’t truly connect with some of my story so far. Well, I first want to encourage you, by saying that God is able to turn that all around.
It was only two years ago when a counselor advised me to divorce my husband because he was a narcissistic sex addict who betrayed our marriage more than once. But through my obedience to the covenant I made before God, trusting His word and knowing that although God gives us an out in this situation, His word still states that He hates divorce and God also tells us that He will crush Satan under our feet shortly. He just doesn’t define shortly. But these verses are what I held on to along with speaking God’s truth and life over my husband, saturating him in prayer. And today we have a “But God” story! One in which God is still working on putting our house in His order but He is still using us to create healthy community for other married couples around the nation.
So I challenge you, to understand and walk this out in your specific situation, not because of your husband’s worthiness, but because of God’s worthiness for your obedience to His Word.
1 Corinthians 7:16 also says, “For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband?”
And I end by leaving you with last question,
Ask Father God to reveal to you how submitting to His divine order of the man’s headship in your home will empower you, give you freedom and give you the desires of your heart.
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