What is a “Usurp Authority Over her Husband” kind of Woman?

What does a “usurp authority” woman look like? I’m not sure any of us really know, even those who are constantly warning us about the dangers of this somewhat unidentifiable person. We are thrown elusive hints and innuendos about questionable behaviour to look for, as a means to help identify her.

From what we are taught most of the time, she seems to resemble ‘Rosie the Riveter’, flexing her sizable muscles as she throws her weight around and runs roughshod over a husband who can’t rein her in. Taking charge, running the show and generally making a fool of herself while he and a paralyzed congregation stand by, seemingly helpless to stop her.

Let me assure you, there are scores of women in the body of Christ who are absolutely terrified of being labelled a “usurper of authority” over their husbands. They live in fear of the humiliation and shame that accompanies  such a verdict being handed down from their peers. It effects every thing they say and do in the church setting.

{In some circles, of course, any woman who preaches or has a leadership role is labelled as “usurping authority” over her husband. That is not where I want to focus. Those folks are entitled to their opinion but this post is not for them.}

No, I want to address those who have spiritual understanding in this area and know that there is neither male nor female in the Spirit. And consequently there is neither male nor female in the work of the Spirit either. It is as the Holy Spirit wills.

As examples of women who do not usurp authority over their husbands, we are often pointed toward prominent ministers like Joyce Myers.  We are further assured that since she has her husbands blessing, approval and permission to preach and teach, she is operating within the will of God.

This subtly or not so subtly lets the ladies know they will need their husbands permission to pursue a similar course, should the Lord put it on their heart to do so.

I have several questions. The first one is, what do you say to a teenage girl who says “I would rather never get married then to worry about having to get my husbands permission and approval to do the will of God.”

The second one is, what do you say when that same girl asks, “If I have to have my husbands permission to do the will of God, why doesn’t he have to have mine?”

The third one, again I need an answer for the same young girl, “Why do I have to ‘adjust to and support his calling’ but he has to ‘give me permission’ to operate in mine?”

Last but not least, this young girls conclusion. “Something ain’t right about that and I don’t believe it! Nor do I receive it.”

I couldn’t have said it better. Or asked better questions. And quoting a friend, “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander!”

Anyone who has done the most general of studies on the subject will know to “usurp authority” simply means “to dominate“. Why do we keep warning women about the evils of dominating her husband in this context? In the context of doing something for the Lord?

And why have I never, in thirty years of church life, heard a sermon on the evils of a husband dominating his wife while “doing ministry”?

We have a hierarchy mindset in the church that is very much like the class system in other nations that we Americans find so horrifying. This ungodly class system is considered “normal” in Christian marriages as well as the church establishment.

To do what God puts in their hearts to do, lay people are taught they need approval from clergy and wives are taught they need approval from husbands. Instead, husbands and wives should be encouraged and taught to seek the will of the Lord as one will for the two of them and submit to that will as one unit.

I believe it is wrong to presume any of us have the right to give another person “permission” to do the will of God. I say that isn’t “normal” Christianity at all.

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About Geneva

The road in my rear view mirror is marked by hard places. My Guide has been faithful. He came into my life and I was branded. Marked. Labeled. Ridiculed. Judged. Stoned. But the road ahead always looks grand and full of light! The furnaces from the past have only caused the fire of His Spirit to burn hotter. The edicts of man have tried many times to make me bend in worship to him, yet I have met the true Flame who delivers me in every furnace!
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