Here we are at our last installment of the 4 Spirits to Detect and Defuse in Women’s Ministry series. I have saved the Jezebel spirit for last because it just may the most important. We’ve used the title, “Jezebel” when describing a woman that may be comparable to Belle Watling on Gone With the Wind, but I am going to talk about the woman Jezebel in the Old Testament.
Picture Source: fanpop.com
Ahab was like a puppet in the hands of his overpowering wife. Because he was pliant and weak, Jezebel found it easy to achieve her murderous designs. How could worthless and spineless Ahab resist the evil scheming of his unscrupulous partner? With Lady Macbeth, Jezebel was the evil genius of the man, and a frightful crime ensued. It was Jezebel who became the feared commander in Israel and not the cowardly husband she could wrap around her thumb. It may be that Ahab was more luxury-loving and sensual than cruel, but under the complete domination of a ruthless woman he was forced to act against his finer feelings. “His culpability in this hideous drama lies chiefly in his using his personal power as a means to Jezebel’s wicked ends,” says Mary Hallet. “For without Ahab’s authority, Jezebel would have been a serpent without fangs.” In this marriage, Ahab was the weaker vessel with a wife who mocked at his conscientious scruples and bound him in all wickedness as with strong chains. ~Hebert Lockyer’s All the Women in the Bible (via Bible Gateway)
Jezebel would certainly be described as the one who “wore the pants” in her family. This meaning that she was the leader of her home instead of her husband, who was king no less.
Still, there was no one like Ahab, who devoted himself to do what was evil in the Lord’s sight, because his wife Jezebel incited him. 1 Kings 21:25
Our ministry to women must be based upon promoting a Proverbs 31 woman in contrast. The biblical woman is strong, smart and a decision-maker for sure (Don’t believe me? Read Proverbs 31:10-31), but she is also submissive and respectful to her husband as requested in Ephesians 5:22-32:
22 Wives, submit[f] to your own husbands as to the Lord, 23 for the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of the body. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so wives are to submit to their husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing[g] her with the washing of water by the word. 27 He did this to present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or anything like that, but holy and blameless.28 In the same way, husbands are to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hates his own flesh but provides and cares for it, just as Christ does for the church, 30 since we are members of His body.[h]
31 For this reason a man will leave
his father and mother
and be joined to his wife,
and the two will become one flesh.[i]
32 This mystery is profound, but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 To sum up, each one of you is to love his wife as himself, and the wife is to respect her husband.
The problem with sending this message in women’s ministry is that most of us Women’s Ministry Leaders aren’t buying this whole “submissive” thing; therefore, we do not promote it effectively or correctly. This is a mistake.
I recently read a marvelous post by one of my sister Must Follow Women’s Ministry Leaders on Pinterest content providers who share some thoughts from a recent Christine Caine message. It perfectly described the original ministry and intent of Women’s ministry and how “Women’s ministries, then, must help women connect the dots between the gospel and the Titus 2 activities that typically appear in women’s ministries”. You can read this very smartly written piece by Melissa at The Hive Resources here.
I wasn’t at the event to hear Christine Caine’s message on why a Titus 2:3-5 based women’s ministry is critical to the safeguarding of the gospel message, but I have given it a lot of thought since. I believe it is because the picture of marriage mirrors the relationship between Jesus and His Bride, the universal church of believers. When we, as believers, succeed in our marriages as Christ intends, it demonstrates the manifold of wisdom in God (Ephesians 3:10).
In the Old Testament, God used Hosea, His prophet, to demonstrate how a failed marriage grieves Him and is comparable to how He feels when His people reject Him, as Hosea’s adultress wife grieved him.
So, it is gospel critical to insure we have a robust Titus 2:3-5 based women’s ministry. Which means we should find ways to affirm women loving their husbands and children. You know as well as I do that we now see more than ever, women comfortably abandoning their husbands AND children; it is grievous. Here are some practical ways we can do this:
- When marriages are failing, we must be able to properly and scripturally mentor our women by staying in God’s Word.
- When planning initiatives, we must find ways to promote the biblical woman. Here is a great series that I recently used.
- We must model it in our own lives.
In the same way, older women are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not addicted to much wine. They are to teach what is good, 4 so they may encourage the young women to love their husbands and to love their children,5 to be self-controlled, pure, homemakers, kind, and submissive to their husbands, so that God’s message will not be slandered. Titus 2:3-5
” And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,” Hebrews 10:24
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