I love the book of Exodus. It is like binge-watching a Netflix series. We go from one episode to the next with each chapter.
- The birth of Moses.
- His mother putting him in a basket in the Nile.
- Pharaoh’s daughter fishing him out of the Nile.
- He commits a murder.
- He meets God in a burning bush (what?!).
- Several meetings with Pharaoh (that don’t go well).
- A victory march out of the country with all the treasures of Eqypt in hand.
- Last episode is the building of the Tabernacle, complete with God’s glory coming down (can you imagine seeing God’s Presence every single day?).
The cloud of the LORD hovered over the Tabernacle during the day, and at night fire glowed inside the cloud so the whole family of Israel could see it. This continued throughout all their journeys.
When I first started trying to be a decent wife, I learned about authority and submission through Moses’ and his interactions with Pharoah.
I know that seems like an unlikely and unromantic place to start, but it was so powerful to me. I believe it’s the reason I am more in love with my husband today (35 years in) than most people are on their honeymoon.
I talk to quite a few people and happy marriages are about as rare and elusive as a bigfoot sighting. Most people tolerate each other, they do not enjoy each other. In a Christian home, marriage is supposed to show us, our children, and the world the mystery of Christ and the Church. We are to be so thrilled with each other and “one” with each other that we are fun to be around and people will be drawn to our Jesus through us.
Deep inside, we all long for a happy home.
Why else would Hallmark movies and Nicholas Sparks books be so popular? Even movies with car crashes and mobsters have love stories intertwined. We all want someone to make us feel loved and complete.
However, many homes are a battleground of who makes more money, who cleans the most, and who is going to pick up the dirty underwear and socks.
This is where Moses comes in. When I started to read the Bible, I saw something amazing when God called Moses to go to Pharaoh. He told Moses, who had been in the desert tending sheep, to go to the most powerful man on the planet and give him a message from God. Pharaoh did not respect or believe in Moses’ God. As a matter of fact, Pharoah was using all of God’s people as his slaves. He was the one in power and God’s people were his little minions whose only purpose was to serve and worship him. He was able to beat them and have them killed at will.
There are so many details to this story, but the details aren’t the point. What God started to show me through this amazing story is that He tells us what He wants us to do and that’s the end of our responsibility. When He puts us in a position of subjection (being under another’s control), He becomes responsible for what the other person does. Our only responsibility in this life is to love God with all our hearts and listen to His voice above all others. When we get under His wing, He moves on our behalf…no matter who the person is who has been placed over us. It can be our husband, our boss, or the president of the United States. Ultimately, their hearts are in the hand of the Lord and He is able to turn their hearts any way He chooses.
The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, Like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes.
Knowing the Bible says this and trusting that it’s the truth are two very different things.
I saw my husband make many decisions that didn’t seem wise to me. I would quote that verse and wonder why God didn’t stop him.
I saw through Pharaoh that God not only doesn’t stop people from doing things against what He says to do, but that He can also harden people’s hearts for His own glory. He will use their obstinance to show His children His sovereignty and power. God sent Moses to Pharaoh with a bone-chilling message.
For by this time I could have stretched out My hand and struck you and your people with a plague to wipe you off the earth. But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display My power to you, and that My name might be proclaimed in all the earth.
God raised Pharaoh up to take him down.
As He was taking him down, He brought judgment on all of Egypt’s gods. They worshiped the sun and God brought darkness. They worshiped the Nile god and it was turned to blood. There was a corresponding Egyptian god to every plague God brought on that nation. God is never random. He is always doing more than meets the eye and His genius mind is accomplishing astounding things.
God wanted to not only deliver the Hebrews from physical slavery, He wanted to deliver them from mental slavery. He wanted them to know He loved them and was the most powerful Being in the universe. He wanted them to trust Him and follow Him.
Ladies, He wants us to know the same thing.
When Moses first obeyed, things got worse. We want God to move on our timetable and give us immediate relief. God wants to do far deeper works within us and around us than we can ever dream or imagine.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us….
We have the power in us that raised Jesus from the dead. He has written down in His Word what He wants us to do, and who He wants us to be as a wife.
Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct.
1 Peter 3:1
Did He tell us those things to make us feel inferior? Absolutely not! He knows His Word will put us in the central place of unleashing His power in our homes. He knows what makes a man tick deep inside (He created him). He knows our lives will scream into a man’s soul what our words can never do.
Just as Pharaoh saw God work through Moses to decimate his country, God would work through us to show our husbands that He is with us and is fighting for us.
We don’t have to manipulate or threaten, we can simply get under God’s wing like a chick gets under it’s mama.
He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
Instead, many of us will do what comes naturally, which is to fight this battle with our greatest weapon–our mouth (either with silent treatment or harsh words; not sure which is worse).
God is very smart. The things He wrote in the Bible reflect His character. The way He has told us to operate as men and women is deep. When we are a woman after God’s heart, He is able to do a deep work in a man that will happen no other way. It’s a miracle. We don’t see people operate this way very often because our sin nature has lied to us. Our desire is to control our men instead of trusting the God who is ultimately sovereign over every man.
Then he said to the woman, “I will sharpen the pain of your pregnancy, and in pain you will give birth. And you will desire to control your husband, but he will rule over you.”
God, at the time of Pharoah, is the same God who still sits on the throne.
He is the God we have the privilege of speaking to all day long and is available 24/7. I saw in the story of Moses that God gave a command to him to take the Hebrews into the desert to worship Him. Moses told their authority (Pharaoh) what God had said and then God took it upon Himself to handle Pharoah–over and over again. God wanted so much more for them than a little bit of time worshiping in the desert. He wanted a life of total dependence, love, and trust with Him. He wanted to be their God and take care of their every need. He wanted to give them a land flowing with milk and honey and show the watching world what it was like to know the God of heaven.
The things God would do if we would dare trust Him and His Word would blow us, our husbands, and a watching world away.
Sometimes, we can’t believe Him enough to trust Him or we learn these things too late. What does our life look like then? God takes us right where we are and still has an amazing plan for our lives. It may mean your marriage will never be put back together, but it doesn’t change God’s love. When two broken people come together, it’s a miracle any of us make it “til death do us part.” Many won’t.
God knew this before He chose us and He chose us anyway. If our marriages fail and we walk away, it won’t change God’s love and care for us. He will go with us and love us tenderly. He is in the business of binding up the brokenhearted.
For those of you hanging by a thread, this is encouragement to try being a wife, God’s way.