Monday 9 August 2010

What every Wife Needs to Know - Sylvia D. Pearce

What Every Wife Needs to Know!
Sylvia D. Pearce from Liberating

originally in pamphlet form.
God called us help-mates, not fix-mates
1 My testimony is in its fullness in my book “The Treasures of Darkness,” Chapter 10 called: “A Severe Mercy” page 64. You can find my book available at the bookstore.

What wife doesn’t want to FIX, CHANGE OR REARRANGE her husband? I certainly did. Our good friend, Burt Rosenburg once said, all new marriages are like “two ticks and no dog.” What a laugh, but so true. Someone else said, “New wives want to change their husbands, while new husbands pray that their wives will never change.”
2 My precious husband has given me permission or should I say insists that I write this. His comment was, “I will never say no to God.” “This might help others to know how to believe the impossible.” I believe I have a miracle man for a husband.

3 A fuller presentation is developed on this mysterious, but glorious point in the chapter called “Strong Negatives,” number 34.

What a joke God plays on us married folks—He challenges us in Ephesians 5:21-25---Wives submit to your own husbands, and husbands love your wives. But then He rebukes us in Luke 12:51-53 by saying, “Suppose you that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, No; but rather division.” He tells us to love and submit and then He comes to divide family member from family member! What is that about? Only the Holy Spirit can unravel this mystery of seeming contradictions. Hopefully, we will unravel some of its mystery in this pamphlet.
We all sincerely, yet naively promise to submit, and to love one another on our wedding day. But, do we really know what we are doing? No, not at all. “For better, or worse?” “Of course,” we say, but how worse? We can’t even imagine.
First love is so blind and yet so powerful in its newness, that we think our passions and feeling of love for each other will get us through anything. Yet, what we don’t understand is that this first love is mainly self-indulging, self-centered, and self-motivated. Under the pressures of family responsibilities, time consuming tasks, and demands from our children and mates, we all fail to really love anybody but ourselves. All we can think about is our need to somehow control our lives so that we will be pressure free as well as pain free. Impossible!
God called us Eve’s “helpmates”, not fix-mates. Big difference. Fixing means to change him so that I, the wonderful wife that I am, will get all my needs met, and basically I won’t have to give up myself for him, or suffer any emotional pain from his inconsiderate behavior. On the other hand, being a “helpmate” as God intended means: I will have to give up myself and what I think that I deserve, and be spiritually and bodily for my husband
whether he deserves it or not. Ouch! How can I do that? You can’t, only Christ can be the unconditional love required to be a true “help-mate.”
Am I saying that we wives have to be door mats letting our husbands walk all over us? No, I can tell you from experience, door mats are boring, non-persons. I use to be a non-person, you know, I hardly had an opinion, stuffed all my emotions, and did begrudgingly whatever my husband said. I guarantee you that my only motive was for self-preservation and keeping peace. Even though I rationalize and justified my actions, it was still SELF on the throne of my own life. I was just as wrong as my husband who was displaying obviously bad behavior, while my good behavior was subtly just as self-centered as his.
God had to deal with me first. Self-centered good behavior is hard to expose—it looks so good and so right. My good friend Therese Thurston calls this kind of self-goodness, “plastic fantastic.” However, God’s light exposes it all.
I stayed depressed for a good three years dealing with my deep insecurities, self-hatred, and unmerited fears of loosing my husband. Finally, as God drug me
through a dark night I reached the end of my own self activity, and miraculously discovered who I really was in Christ.
My true identity is Christ living, not me living at all. With that discovery I lost my fearful insecure self, and found my-true-self joined to Christ. It seemed like I lost myself, as Jesus said in Matt. 16:24 that we should lose ourselves, but eventually, I got my humanity back. I am Sylvia, a true person with opinions, feelings, thoughts of my own, and a true power for living, yet it was not me living at all, it was Christ living as me. Christ was using my precious humanity to express Himself through, yet I was just commonly me, yet not me, but He (Gal. 2:20).1
Christ wants us to be fully ourselves, yet fully Christ at the same time. That takes a radical reversal in our consciousness. I move from “me” centered, to Christ centered and then to others centered. That kind of mind has to be “the mind of Christ.” Philippians 2:3-5 says: “Let each esteem others better than themselves, look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Now let this mind be in you, which was
also in Christ Jesus, who humbled himself and become obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” How do we let this mind be in us? By recognizing that through the cross you already have the “mind of Christ” (I Cor. 2:16), and trust Him to manifest His other love through you.
Jesus was an intercessor, and He is calling us to be co-intercessors with the Holy Spirit who calls us to intercede for our families and be true help-mates to our husbands. Let us look at what an intercessor is and what is the call of an intercessor.
God said to Moses, “I will send you to Pharaoh (Ex. 53:12); God said to Isaiah: “Go, and tell this people (Isa. 6:9); God said to Jeremiah “This day I have set you over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant; God said of John the Baptist, “There is a man sent from God” (John 1:6); and God said of Paul, “He is a chosen vessel to me to bear my name before the gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel. For I will show him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake” (Acts 9:15).
Maybe you think, “I’m not a Patriarch, or a Prophet, or an Apostle! Well, at the time, none of God’s men and women of faith considered themselves anything special either. Yet God called them as intercessors. Think of yourself as Esther. Remember Mordecai’s words to her, “Who knows whether you are come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
All intercession starts with a call from God. The call usually is so overwhelming that you immediately know that only the Holy Spirit Himself can fulfill the intercession. Sometimes it is so overwhelming that you, like Jonah, want to run from it, or like Jesus Himself, ask to have it taken away “take this cup from me.” That is normal human reaction, because it is impossible for the human you to undertake it. The impact of its immensity is scary and too big for anyone. “Why me, and how can I?” are our first questions. Sometimes the Holy Spirit doesn’t even show you what He is going to accomplish through you. I’ve had Him say to me, “this is none of your business”. Looking back, if I had known, I couldn’t have taken it anyway. One more point to consider is that you need not look for intercession, it or they will find you.
How do we know that we are being called? It all starts with desire, God’s desire in you. You desire someone to be saved; you desire a Spirit break-through in your work-place; you desire your marriage to be healed, or you want someone to be set free. Or maybe it is bigger than your loved ones, maybe you desire for people to know the truth of union, or maybe your church is still preaching legalism and you want more for them. It will be suited just for you, for it is the Holy Spirit groaning in you desiring transformation, and liberation.
For me personally it was my husband. He was not a free man, he was bound by his ferocious temper, his total control over the family, his flirtatious lust towards women and young girls, and his total control over his hard earned money. Does that sound like your husband, or someone you know? All this is pretty common behavior for un-discovered independent-self.
He was a Christian, that was for sure, but he did not operate from who he really was, as Christ. Nor did he see anything wrong with his behavior, at least if he did he
surely wouldn’t tell me. But I got glimpses of how much he lived in self-condemnation. Every problem that he had, he blamed me. It is pretty typical of people who condemn themselves to take their frustrations out on others, especially those closest to them.
But you know, I just loved him--I know, that kind of love had to be supernatural, and it was. That didn’t mean that I escaped the pain of dark days, and restless nights, no intercessor does that. Pain is a part of it. “If you suffer with me, you will reign with me.”
That did not mean that I was a doormat either. No, Christ as me is no doormat. Jesus said that, “No man takes my life from me, but I will lay it down of myself.” I wouldn’t let Scott take my life from me. I couldn’t! One day, he was reprimanding me for losing a renter’s check. I took the responsibility, but he wouldn’t stop preaching at me. I didn’t need to take that so I said, “The only reason that you condemn me like this is because you condemn yourself, I don’t deserve this kind of treatment, and neither do you.” “Stop taking condemnation from the devil.” He stopped immediately.
My job is not to condemn him, or correct him, just to tell him the truth in love, nothing else. Recently, to
my surprise, I over heard him say to someone, “you can tell Mom anything and she won’t condemn you.” I thought to myself, I sure felt like condemning him, but somehow the Holy Spirit keep that from him so I take it that he never felt condemnation coming from me. That was a total miracle.
So then, what did I tell myself or what was my self-talk? That’s real important. I told myself that Scott was perfect for me, just the way he was. I based that on the fact that God ordains all things in our lives for our good. This is not because God ordains evil for evil’s sake as that would make God sadistic. God means all things to work together for our good. As I took my husband’s behavior as God’s very best for me, then I had peace with God, and peace about Scott. Some would say, “Well then that justifies Scott.” Scott is responsible for Scott. My faith stand doesn’t justify any of his wrong behavior. And if he would dare say that I was perfect for him too, there wouldn’t be much fight left.
One of the first thing I had to learn was that I was not his Holy Spirit. He was really strong willed and prideful so thankfully he wouldn’t let me be his Holy Spirit anyway. Actually, I always say that the greatest gift
God ever gave me was a man who I could not even in the slightest way, change. He was my impossible brick wall. However this impossibility is the perfect condition for producing desire in me--a desire so strong that I cried out one day, “Lord, you have to set Scott free, whatever it takes, he must be set free. If it takes my life, I will give it, if it takes our children’s lives, then take them. If we all need to suffer, then let it be, but set my husband free.”
The Intercessor, the Holy Spirit has to first do a cleansing work on the one who is called to intercede. That meant that I had to be transformed first. All had to be laid on the altar, and the Holy Spirit, Himself would detach and cleanse me where necessary.
I had walked through my own dark night of the soul some years earlier. I had been set free from fear, uncontrollable jealousy, self-hatred, and deep insecurities. Christ was my life now and, He filled all the holes of insecurity and scars of self-hatred with the presence of Himself and I knew it. My life was complete in Christ. I was satisfied beyond my wildest dreams. It was a miracle. But, I reasoned with the Lord, “What good
is it if I have all the glory and my husband is still bound? I want the same thing for him. But how?”
My Journey of Faith
My own journey had been a journey of faith. When I was in my craziest darkness, I began to just confess who I really was. That was absurd in the condition of madness that I was in, yet it was my only hope. I spoke, and I spoke, and I spoke the truth about myself, and by the law of faith, what I took by faith, took me and I knew that Christ and I were one. A law or principle only means, “How a thing works.” All of life works by faith, and my life certainly proved that. All my fears, insecurities, jealousies, and self-hatred were swallowed up in Christ who was my life, my breath, my food, my mind, my health, He as me was the new me, and I experienced glory.
Now if the way for me was simple faith, then that was the way for Scott. Except he couldn’t believe for himself, I had to believed for him in his place. I remember thinking at one point, “The only way for me to be free was for him to die, and I pictured him in a casket,
dead. But little did I know that I had the wrong person in the casket. I had to die. Actually there is a verse in Romans 6:7 that says, “He that is dead is freed from sin.” The only way for me to be free is for me to die to how I saw him which had been in unbelief.
It is a real death because all my flesh would scream out to me, “he is the problem, not you.” Yet, if I hadn’t died to looking at him in separation, he would never be free. Sometimes I think we hold people in their place of bondage because we refuse to see them as God sees them. So it began there. I had to die to my own understanding, my own hatred of his actions, my own rights, I had to die to my self reactions regarding him and his behavior. Basically, “I had to get over myself”, but how do I do that? I simply believe that I have already died to sin and unbelief (Rom. 6:2), and Christ in me sees him perfectly whole and therefore by faith so do I.
All life springs out of death—There is hardly a page in the book of nature which fails to emphasize the fact that all life springs out of death. Not a tree, not a blossom, not a shrub, not a fruit, but what cost the death of a seed. Just think of what we eat and what we wear—every plant, every animal which gives up its life, does it
to give life to others. Do they do it voluntarily? No, only Jesus can do that. But I must say that there is something deep inside every living thing that knows it is being sacrificed for others, and therefore fulfilling a higher purpose for living.
The whole purpose of our existence now as intercessors is to be for others, and that means as Jesus said, “taking up your cross.” It may cost you your reputation, your ambitions, your family’s understanding, your fellowship’s understanding, your personal possessions, your marriage, or even your health. But as Paul says, “the love of God constrains me,” in a sense we can’t help it. The new nature is other-love, and God’s love drives us to be sacrificial. Our joy as Christ filled Christians is to lay down our lives for others which fulfills our purpose as intercessors. For death works in us, but life births in others (II Cor. 4:12).
How Does This Work Out Practically?
Before I begin to tell the stories let me say that I never had an agenda, I walked in the moment with the Holy Spirit and He spoke these things out of me. It often
surprised me, although I knew that there is no way I could have thought these come-backs up myself. Jesus as me handled each situation in wisdom and love.
Scott was a junk collector. Not by trade, but simply due to childhood fears of losing and not having. The junk was everywhere. There were barns, basements, attics, garages and our yard filled with junk (You get the point). Needless to say, I hated it. One day I cried out to the Lord, “Why does he have to have and save all that junk?” The Holy Spirit said to me, “The junk is in you.” What? The junk is in me? I didn’t understand, but I was open.
Several months later, I was going to paint some cabinets in our family room with his stuff in it. I knew better than to move his stuff, so, I asked him very carefully to please put all his stuff in boxes and place them on our back porch, and after I painted the cabinet, then he could move it all back. I thought that I had covered all the bases. But to my surprise, he went nuclear. I thought his reaction was totally uncalled for in the face of my reasonable request. I was crushed and went to my room. I declared to the Spirit, “His identity is his stuff. When will he see who he is?” The Spirit quickly answered, “When will you see who he really is? Is
that stuff really his identity?” “Oh, I see. No, it isn’t his identity.” So, I was the one who got to sweep away the cobwebs of unbelief in myself, and clean up the junk in me. Ok, I will confess who he really is, and not give power to who he is not even though the evidence of appearances testified that his junk was his identity. I will believe for him and “call the things that be not as though they already are” (Rom. 4:17). Therefore, Christ is his true identity, and now his junk has no power over him. Today Scott’s heart is to minister to God’s precious people taking the gospel to the world. His things mean little to him, because now he is more eternal minded, than temporal minded.
Another problem was his uncontrollable temper and uncompromising demands which he used to control the whole family. I believed that he would even scare God with his threats and temper tantrums (just kidding, but it was that bad).
The first thing that happened to me was that I was no longer afraid of him, and that was a total miracle. As I settled into my true identity, Christ took away all my fears. Scott would scream, and I was calm and fearless. I was not trying to get back at him, rendering temper for
temper, and acting like he did. I just peacefully loved him in the middle of his ferocious temper fits. It surely was Christ loving him. There is no way I could have done that. It almost made him madder when I wouldn’t react in fear, because he was beginning to see that I wasn’t being controlled by his fits of anger. I would quietly say, “Scott this is not who you are.” He would stop almost immediately and get humble and sorry, but I would never hold any of this against him or condemn him for his behavior. How could I? I had been the same way in my own crazy time. God didn’t see my fits, He saw who I really was. How could I do any thing less for Scott?
Once Scott told me that I would no longer have his money for ministry travel. He was tired of having me gone ministering to others. Quickly, I said, “Oh, Scott, you really do want to give me the money. I couldn’t bless others without your part.” He stormed out of the room. Two weeks later without any other words said about it, we were in Sam Club shopping. He said to me, “Mom, I have a surprise for you.” “What is it”? I said, “I have opened up a savings account in your name. Money will be taken out of my check each week for your travels.” The Holy Spirit transforms in His timing when we dare to
believe what we do not see, and call into being that which doesn’t exist in the visible.
There became a rod of strength in my back given to me by the Holy Spirit. The rod helps me not take what the devil was pouring out, but I speak the truth in love and God would defeat the devil’s activity in him. I love the verses in Psalms 149:6, “Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand.” When all goes crazy, let praise be in your mouth, but do not give place to the devils lies. Cut them to pieces with the truth of who we really are in Christ.
Scott is very dyslexic and has attention deficit.
Therefore he never finishes any projects that he started. One day, he said I am going to build a patio in the back of our house. “Oh, no,” I thought. That means he will dig up our yard and it will be under construction forever, and I will never be able to have company come because they will be looking at lost dreams in the form of at weeds, holes, and bricks. I was not at all for him doing it, but he was determined. He ask me to help him mark off the new patio. I thought, here we go! I helped him, but my body language spoke volumes. As I made my way back into the house. The Holy Spirit spoke to me
these words, “Believe in him.” “What! How can I don’t you remember how he never finishes anything?” “Believe in him,” the Spirit said again. I got the point. (The Holy Spirit was asking me not to believe in his past history, and not to look at anything in the future, but simply believe that it is in him to finish the job.)
I did it. Like a child, I simply believed. It immediately changed my attitude, and all of a sudden I got positive. I started telling him how excited I was that the patio, was already finished. It put new power in him and today with our children’s help, we have a beautiful patio where we amazingly have our annual May conference.
I remembered the verse that said, “If two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them” (Matt. 18:19). I saw that that was also true in the negative. If I agreed that Scott was a loser as far as finishing anything, and he also believed it, it brought defeat into being. But, if I dare believe and declare the impossible, and remember Christ and I are two, (although, as I believed it, Scott started to believe it), then it shall be done, and it was done and beautifully done.
Faith is so powerful, but it works both ways negatively and positively. One time a friend of mine came to vent negatively about her husband to me. I let her say it, then I said to her. “Lisa, why don’t you believe what God says about your husband?” (He was a Christian). She said, oh, no, I can’t have that kind of faith. I said, “Why not? You are already in faith. Your faith is in the negative, but it is still faith.” She frowned at me and left my house. Today, sadly, they are divorced.
These stories are only a few of many more incidences that God came through in powerful but loving ways to Scott. As I look back, I realize that it was God all along who was after Scott, I couldn’t have loved him that much.
His Awakening
The ways of God through faith for my husband have been wonderful for me, and it has certainly taught me what intercession is about. But, the day came for Scott to believe for himself. I was carrying him on eagle’s wings, but he must fly himself. Final deliverance comes when
we personally take the truth about ourselves against all that we see, all that we do, and stand on the truth of who we really are in Christ.
That day came for Scott. It began by him seeing that all had come to the light; he could not be in denial anymore. He must face the man in the mirror. (Now know the Holy Spirit does that in stages…too much light would make any of us want to commit suicide. The exposures must come to us by the Spirit, and then by inner revelation we all must say, “Yes, it is me, I am guilty, I am acting and living from self-centeredness, but praise God, it isn’t the real me, it is Satan disguising himself as me.”)
Scott said to himself one day, “Is my wife right, is Christ really my life? Is it true that I no longer live, but Christ lives in my place?” Scott took it by faith, the Spirit confirmed it, and now he is not even the same person. Yes, he is the same Scott, but instead of him trying to live a life apart from Christ, he lives a life joined to Christ. Everyone is so amazed at the transformation. He is now a ministry partner with me in Christ, Our Life Ministries. We travel together, we have the same burdens, and believe together for fruit. He personally
began our radio ministry, which by the way is reaching thousands in 9 different cities. There is also, two TV stations, internet radio and TV, and Short Wave all over the world. Scott is all that I could have ever wanted, and even much more. Actually, he has the gift of faith. If I am not in faith about something, he certainly causes me to remember.
Recently Scott apologized to us all on Father’s day, he said, “I am sorry that I didn’t know that Christ was my life when I was raising you all, but I do know it now. Forgive me.” The children were so loving and forgiving to him, I know that some real Holy Spirit healing came into being that day.
Does the old still pop up occasionally? Oh, yes, but it is now our opportunity to see the glory of God come through these slips, not to justify anything, but see that God is greater in us than any of our puny flesh slips. We don’t major on the slips, they happen with both of us, we major on who we really are.
This testimony is a testimony to God’s faithfulness, and His keeping power. There is no way that any of us can keep ourselves, nor can we keep each other. Scott and I praise God daily for keeping us and causing us to
walk in His ways. Our good friend Brian Coatney says, “I will commit any sin unless God keeps me, and by the leap of faith, He is keeping me.” It is not until we stand by faith and declare that “HE IS KEEPING US,” that our confidence is totally in Him, and not what we see, feel or think. We like to call Brian’s statement, “THE KEEPERS CREED.”
The miracle is that God actually uses these weaknesses in us as a calling card of faith. Now we can co-create with the Lord, as God rightly uses our weak humanity--filling weakness up with strength (II Cor.12:11) and creating opportunity for God’s glory to be manifested. What the devil misuses, God rightly uses for His glory.3 By the way, this year we will be married 49 years, and it is greater than ever before.
A word to all you Dr. Phil buffs: Yes, Scott was an adult child of an alcoholic, and that is why he was so controlling, and yes, I was never loved by my mother and was withdrawn and co-dependent and that is why I tried to get my identity from Scott. Well, so what? Who doesn’t have dysfunctional beginnings? Jesus had to die
for something, it might as well be dysfunctional families. Knowing all the psychological reasons for our behavior does help us to understand our behavior patterns. But, insights concerning our behavior patterns don’t heal us, nor does our ability to change ourselves (impossible anyway). By the way, self-change is the recommended method used by most Psychologists.
I’m not knocking Psychology, nor Dr. Phil. Psychology is God given and God used. But, it is not the healer,

we can neither heal each other, nor ourselves.

Jesus in his own body took all the sinful dysfunctional behavior patterns and died to them at the Cross, and in his resurrection we are made free from all family dysfunctions. (The Bible calls them iniquities)--“He was bruised for our iniquities” (Isaiah 53:5). Apprehending these facts by faith alone, heals all our dysfunctions and makes manifest in us, as well as in our family members this reality today


Anonymous said...

This could not have been a clearer message for me. I wish I could say that I did not need to hear it but that would be ungrateful for God's sovereignty in leading me here to receive the understanding at the perfect time that I needed this. Thank you Sylvia...and Chris W. for posting this encouragment.God Bless You

Chris Welch - 07000INTUNE said...

thanks so much and hope it provides some keys!

Cammie Novara said...

“New wives want to change their husbands, while new husbands pray that their wives will never change.” What a statement! So true. There's a really interesting debate that I thought would be of interest on evolution vs. intelligent design going on at