[maranathamedia.com note: John sent this article to me in a shorter form a little while ago. There are many important points to consider in this article that express several things I have tried to say in different ways. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. - Adrian Ebens]
Some years ago, I was privileged to have met a man in his forties, who visited in our home for one evening on an occasion while he was traveling on business. He was not particularly clean-cut, having longer hair, dressed in common corduroy pants and comfy shirt. He occupied himself by selling trinkets at the flea market, composing songs, and singing and playing guitar. He was married, and owned an ordinary home in the city. I do not remember exactly but they had more than eight children and by now likely more, the oldest being close to twenty years of age and the youngest around two at that time.
They home schooled their children in this happy, busy little hive of a home on a small city lot. I had seen some of their children on a different occasion, about six of them, from late teens down to about six years old. Respectful and well adjusted, unassumingly dressed, yet happy and content and with a sense that they are a part of the family.
As we sat visiting over a meal, and talking about what he was doing and the family, he had my attention as he volunteered a comment on how people wonder how they can manage being so many in a relatively small home. How is it that they do not have the common problems of discontent and disobedience? “It is easy!” he said. My interest was stirred; I was curious what he would say. He looked towards my wife and then continued: “It is simple”, then waited some more, then he said: “My wife has never contradicted me in front of the children.”
The simple statement struck me profoundly. Speechlessly, I sat listening and trying to digest what he had just said. This cannot be just a technical statement. This is not something you can just execute technically. Contradiction has many forms: words are just one form, deportment, actions, support, contentment, discontentment, silence, enthusiasm, body language, the look in the eyes, the facial expression, attitude, and so many more different ways one can communicate. And this is not only in his presence but in his absence as well. It is not a small thing or a technicality. There is an abiding underlying foundation that makes it possible. It is faith and trust in the God given relational authority. It is not possible to happen otherwise. For a father and husband, to be able to give this testimony regarding his wife is marvelous, and…he was not required to be a saint either. He was indeed a king and priest in his home.
We have been brought up in a society and education which has instilled certain or rather many principles of Satan's kingdom which we do not even perceive as such, rather we think them good.
I have likewise had the opinion and schooling, with which I had been brought up, that did not perceive the true position and place that God has given to man and woman (husband and wife) and the relationship he designed. The deceiving basis is in the concept of “reasonability”. That which is paramount in today’s society is "reason"; that which seems right, good and desirable in one's eyes. These by the nature of the performance system are always addressing a “what”, and argument can be carried ad nausea to what is right or best or desired. It becomes obvious that different intents and purposes (pursuits) come to different conclusions. In other words the reason is not really reasonable. In this reason one's own interests are paramount and God-established relationships mean little or nothing. This, in its fundamental sense, is the nature of sin. This problem started in heaven.
It is particularly in the concept of relating to God as well as husband on the basis of reasonability as opposed to faith, that the serpent beguiled and deceived Eve. This is because the requirement of “reasonable”, by its very nature, does not recognize the God given relational authority, but questions the relational authority to see if it is reasonable. To do this it sets one’s own judgment as paramount. Thus faith was removed from the God given relational authority to one’s own reason or judgment. From this all relationships suffered, the relationship between man and God, the relationship between wife and husband, the relationship between children and parents. All these were sacrificed to reason.
To understand the basis of this reason, we need only to look at its introductory considerations at the tree. Reason observed that the fruit was good to eat, pleasant to the eyes, desirable for knowledge (to make one wise), and that there are no negative consequences. To establish that there are no negative consequences, this reason insinuates that faith in the relational authority is not warranted because the relational authority is keeping something from us that is good and pleasant and desirable. That the relational authority has lied, is knowingly depriving us, which makes it downright evil, and certainly not worth of our trust. That we shall be advantaged and wise to follow our reason. That there are things that are outside of the relational authority that are valuable for our advancement. But, taking a step back, we can see that this reason is entirely consumed by self-interest. Yet, this self-interest is clothed in benevolence and charity by offering these dainties to others to free them from the bondage of faith, for such is the consideration of this reason.
In God’s kingdom faith always establishes the relational authority. Faith deals with who you believe, and not who you think is reasonable or right, or what you think is best, true or desirable. The serpent beguiled Eve to switch from her relational authority to debating the “truth” and arguing the validity of “what” the Lord said, thereby breaking faith and establishing reason paramount. This reason as we have pointed out is not reasonable.
Today, that which is totally missed is the faith relationship that God established. Reason is what brought sin; a reason which is not of faith. The God given faith is a relational faith, that of who you believe, such as the faith of the Son of God that believes his Father. Such faith defines the relationship, headship and source. Faith defines headship, it defines who is the head. The head defines whose judgment is followed. In this way the agape love of the husband can flow to the wife and the children, and is received in faith for a blessing. True faith establishes that it is but only reasonable that we should trust the God given relational authority, while to trust reason destroys the God-established relational faith.
In today’s relationships faith is lacking as well as the fear of God. The wife does not trust the husband. It is not even a consideration in this society (in or outside of church). The trust is switched from the person to the subject considered, thus “reason” takes the throne. The wife does not trust the husband’s judgment or goodwill, and is not willing to bear its cost or blessing. It is no longer for better or for worse. It is only "if and when they agree". Thus faith is no longer reigning in the home. Do you see why children see no reason to trust the parents, when the wife sees no reason to trust the husband!?
So we are sold to a performance base. Hence we say; if someone has the qualifications, it does not matter who they are. But what is the criterion for "qualifications"? In times past, or better said in the kingdom of heaven the qualification is based on relationship. The relationship is defined by origin. If the father said something, that was heeded. What happened to that? Well you see, education taught us that our parents did not know, (is that not what the serpent said at the tree?) and we know better, and so the hot heads made for cold hearts. The qualifications of relationship went to the wind and now there are new kinds of qualifications: it is the battle of wits, or who is right based on a reason of “what”. So it matters no more "who" speaks, because that is the dominion of relationship and faith; but that which matters is "what" is said, because that is the dominion of reason, and such reason argues the "what" to suit one’s pursuit.
True faith establishes relational authority, and God established particular relationships and the laws of their governance. He established a blessing to such relationships that are governed according to his laws of governance. Satan's purpose is to destroy what God established. The family is in the center of his attack.
If the wife would show (live) trust and faith in her husband, the children would also, but when such does not exist and hence reason takes the field, well the children have their reason too. So we see relationships have been sacrificed to reason, and such reason is not reasonable because it has forsaken God given relational authority.
The son of God came to restore the faith according to God defined relationship; to break the power of Satan. Christ did not come to restore the Father’s agape love towards us. That was not the problem. The problem was that His agape love was rejected by us through the breaking of our faith and trust towards him and the pursuit of our own reason which by nature of such dominion has to insinuate the Father’s ill will towards us.
We need to be able to see the principles of the two kingdoms. God's kingdom is based on faith relationship reality according to God’s design. Satan's kingdom is based on our own "reason" (breaking of the faith relationship). Such reason by nature relies on one's "winning qualifications" (strength, beauty, intellect, charm, cleverness, appearance, etc). It will frame it’s cause (just like the serpent did) in wisdom, desirability, progress, charity, freedom; while of necessity it will insinuate doubt, ignorance, ridicule, unconcern, unfeeling, malevolence or even evil upon the God-established relational authority. It cannot rely on God given authority of relationship, because it has rejected it.
The nature and order of the relationship and the relational authority of agape love and faith is established by God in the very design of creation. He has imprinted it in every aspect of our being. The laws, precepts and principles governing all relationships is thus established by the Creator. The Creator also established what improper and forbidden relationships are. We see that breaking the God-given relational authority is what sin is. This is why the word says: whatsoever is not of faith is sin. The authority and nature of all God-given relationships resides with the Creator in origin. The work of the enemy is to make these upside down and pervert them into other forbidden relationships.
The apostles understood this well, for they plainly state that the reason why the husband is the head of the wife is precisely because God made it so and purposed it to be so in his design in creation. For this same reason the Son of God is the head of the man (husband) because through him man was created. For the same reason the Father is the head of Christ because Christ receives his life from the Father.
1Co 11:3 But 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.
1Co 11:7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.
1Co 11:8 For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man.
1Co 11:9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.
So we see the order of the relationship is established by God in the very origin in creation, for a very specific reason. Not by accident, but by design. When God created beings he created relationships and not things. Man was created first, and in the image and glory of God (therefore Christ is his head), but the woman being created from man is the glory of man, and created for man, that she would be one with him. (therefore the husband is her head)
1Ti 2:12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
1Ti 2:13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.
1Ti 2:14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
1Ti 2:15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.
In the marriage relationship, God designed that the seed comes from man, which the woman is to receive and “nurture”. The woman is not to nurture “her own seed”, she does not have it, she needs to receive it from her husband and nurture it to birth and nurse it to maturity. We see that the basis of the relationship is established by God in the origin by design of its very existence. The wife’s salvation is hinged in her receiving the seed from her husband and nurturing it in faith. (this is a spiritual parable)
There are many spiritual parallels. Through the seed is the promise. The seed is the word. The wife is to receive the word from her husband and nurture it in life in a relationship of faith. We have been taught quite differently in this matter. As priest and king the husband is to be head of the home, that includes both spiritual and temporal. This union which God established in the garden at creation; that they should be one even as the Father and the Son are one, Satan has purposed to destroy.
1Co 14:34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law.
1Co 14:35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.
To set up women ordination is to do what Satan did at the tree, and convinced the woman to be the source. The fact that such is even being considered is only revealing the end product of all the fallacy of false “qualifications” based on self-life performance, and not on God made relationships of faith.
1Pe 3:5 For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:
1Pe 3:6 Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.
We see that women “who trusted in God” called their husbands “lord”. Those who make themselves the source, trust their own “reason” cannot do so. This is why Christ also uses the example of a bride or wife for the “church”. We should think how we should receive his seed (word) into our hearts and nurture it to birth in our life. How is Christ the head of the church? If that faith relationship is not recognized, neither will the wife recognize her relationship to her husband or the husband his headship in Christ. As Christ is the key, through his faith, to unite us to the Father, so also the wife is the key to unite the children to their father in faith.
Eph 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
Eph 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
Eph 5:24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
Eph 5:33 Moreover let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.
Satan has sought to make of agape love a universal principle, so that anyone could claim themselves as source, and thus agape would be redefined according to reason and not the relational authority which God established. However, agape love is only true when it comes from the head in a God made relationship. Agape love can only be recognized and received by faith. It cannot be used in any other order. Any other order makes it false and evil and changes it into Eros. This is a ploy of Satan to change the source.
1Co 11:3 But 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.
Seeing then these things are so, let us break the chains that have so subtly bound us to sin. Let faith be restored, because for this purpose Christ was manifested, to take away our sin, and to establish relational faith, which is the faith of Jesus. The man and husband can break the chain of sin by taking hold of the faith of Christ. Thus Christ shall be his head, and Christ’s head is the Father. Let the man and husband step into the relational authority which God established, that he may stand in the channel of protection and blessing, and trust the Father to break the yoke of sin over the family. Let the woman and wife accept the God-given relational authority in faith, that she may stand in the channel of protection and blessing of God. Let the children accept the God-given relational authority in faith, that they may stand in the channel of protection and blessing of God.
As man stands in the obedience of faith to God, he can be certain the enemy will fight war, but we know that our Father knows best, and let us not succumb to the deceit of reason, but stand in the obedience of faith. Now true faith declares that it is but only reasonable that we should trust the God given relational authority.
In the faith of God’s design, it is a faith that works by love. It is not a relationship of subjection or submission, but it is that of faith, and such faith delights to do the will of the relational authority. It is not a belief or subjection in a matter, because such is not of faith. It is a faith which trusts the person, recognizing the rightful authority of the husband according to God’s design and purpose that brings about oneness. Such oneness as is between the Father and the Son. Such oneness as God purposed and designed when he said that they shall be one.
In closing I would like to share with you an experience. I had just completed writing this when a close friend and brother in Christ came and we talked of the Lord, as we talked I said to him I would like to read something that I have just written. As I read it to him, he said: it is so true, so true and so clear. This really impacts the life. This is the way. I have to show this to my wife. (His wife was away for several days attending to her elderly parents.)
The next day he called me, and said: John, I am troubled. This is so true and so clear, but it troubles me…It troubles me greatly…how can I ask this of my wife? I…I am not worthy, I am not fit for this. I mean, God is always right, but I…”. Praise the Lord, I said. This is the work of his spirit. Praise the Lord! No, this is not something you can ask of your wife; it is something you can share with her, but most of all it is something you must live; it is something we must live. It is only as we (husbands) take hold of the faith of Christ, in that relational faith in which he lives, so that he is our head, and we draw our life from him in obedience of faith, the faith of the son, that we step into the relational authority which God established. When we set “our reasoning” aside, seeking to do his will, and trust him, that he knows what he is talking about, and will lead us in the way, that we become the channel of blessing and protection, regardless of the resistance given us.
Satan will raise a fight, he does not want to loose his subjects. But remember, it is not about us, but about the Lord. We must be hid in Christ, or we will never survive. Consider the options: they are simple, unless we are in the dominion of the God-established relational faith, we will live in the dominion of reason, which is sin. It is the difference of life and death; of salvation or perdition. All the reasoning in the world will never bring about faith, but standing in the place where He puts you so that He can work has life changing power. “I know” he said, I can see it. The faith of Jesus is the key. He is the way, the truth, and the life. There is no other way. Amen.
I need to share with you another experience. This happened about twenty years ago. I was flying home from a business trip, from Los Angeles to Toronto. I was sitting in the window seat, and next to me was a young man, perhaps late twenties, neatly dressed in suit and tie, clean shaven, and hair well trimmed. As the flight started, I wondered if there would be an opportunity to talk about the Lord, and I prayed a silent prayer.
As soon as the flight was up, they started with the refreshments and food. When they came to our row, he indicated that he did not wish any. After a little I ventured; do you have a special meal reserved? “No”, he answered, “I am fasting”. Oh, I thought, this might be interesting. I was not at all prepared for what he said next.
“I am fasting…I am a Satan worshipper, and I am fasting for the breakup of families.”
I was stunned, shocked, and began praying silently. While most of us can see the attack on the family from the outside in the immoral entertainment and education. It would be a good number of years before I began to fully realize the reality of Satan’s warfare.
We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. The insidious dominion of the goddess of reasonability is waging war against the dominion of the faith of the son of God. To destroy the faith relational authority in the family is to destroy the family as God designed it, and to separate man from God. Satan seeks to complete his work which he started in the garden of Eden. He has but a short time, and so have we.