Stone walls do not a prison make,
Nor iron bars a cage;
Minds innocent and quiet take
That for a hermitage;
If I have freedom in my love,
And in my soul am free
Angels alone, that sour above
Enjoy such liberty.
How quiet? Quiet enough for him to hear Jesus in you.
In order to be quiet, we need to become gentle (meek).
. . . . it should be that of your inner self, the fading beauty of a gentle and quiet
spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight. (1 Pe. 3:4)
Gentle means power under control.
If you buy a wild horse, he will not let you ride him until he has been broken. To break a horse you feed him and care for him (show him you love him) and discipline him until eventually you wear down his resistance. He will now allow you to ride him. He is considered tame because he will allow you to ride him. When he trusts you, he will obey you. When he starts to obey you, he is considered gentle. Now you have a trustworthy horse. He is still as powerful as he was when you first got him; but, now his power is under control. Because he is still powerful, he commands your respect. God has tamed you: now trust Him and be gentle.
In the King James version, it says meek instead of gentle. Meek means docile, forbearing, humble, mild, modest, peaceful, and patient. To be meek is to accept the circumstances we are in and humbly allow God to work in us. We are not to struggle or contend with or try to withdraw ourselves from the burdens our husbands may impose on us. We are to endure the hardships so we can be disciplined and purified. If we do not give up, we will reap a harvest.
Many will be purified, made spotless and refined, but the wicked will continue to
be wicked, None of the wicked will understand, but those who are wise will
understand. (Daniel 12:10)
He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; He will purify . . (Mal. 3:3)
When a silversmith puts silver in the oven to purify it, he watches it very carefully. He does not take his eyes off it because if it is in too long, it will be ruined. He removes it from the oven when he sees his reflection in the silver. Then and only then is it pure. Jesus is the silversmith and he does not take his eyes off us. He will not allow us to be ruined. When He sees His reflection in us, He will remove us from the hardships we are enduring.
You may ask why we need to be disciplined and purified. It is because we went against God's will with our attitude of pride. If we are not disciplined for this, we are not children of God. God disciplines those who belong to Him.
God's Discipline brings about meekness and meekness makes us quiet and in quietness God's love is manifest.
Don't stumble as I did. It took our home burning down and a car accident for me to become as quiet and meek as was needed so Al could be saved. I did not realize how wrong I was, or how out of God's will I was until I was forced to examine myself. I did almost everything backwards and until I repented, I was not humble or meek. God is faithful: He will forgive us if we repent and allow him to work in us.
Church leaders taught us that the way to get a person saved is to tell them about Jesus and quote scripture to them. But when we apply this method to our husbands, it hardens their hearts and they become more determined not to become who we want them to be. God's word is a two edged sword and cuts to the quick.
Every time we quote scripture to our husbands, we hurt them and a scar develops – this makes them harder to reach. Could it be because of one of those Biblical principles that keeps popping up?
A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to
teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. (1 Tim. 2:11-12)Man does not like to be corrected (especially by a woman): he thinks he is right. If you tell him he is going to hell for whatever he is doing, you are wrong. He will not listen to anything else you have to say. A man does not go to hell for anything he does: he goes to hell because he does not believe in Jesus. A man who does not believe in Jesus might as well do anything his heart desires because this is his heaven and hell is yet to come. For Christians, we must do God's bidding because this is our hell and heaven is yet to come.
Have you ever owned a pet? When you put your pet on a leash, he tugs and pulls trying to get away. But, if you take the leash off and leave your door open, he is constantly under your feet. Jesus wants men to be free to choose to whom they want to belong. Your husband feels like he is on a leash when you bring preachers home, nag him about church, and try to force your beliefs on him. Let him go free so he will come to Jesus' feet. I'm sure you've heard the expression "Let go and let God." Well, that's what you need to do.
When your husband asks for a mixed drink or beer, do you lecture him on the evils of alcohol? Next time he asks for an alcoholic beverage, get it for him and silently ask God to turn it into whatever your husband needs. Give the drink to him, smile, kiss him and tell him you love him. Being the suspicious person he is, he will wonder what you are up to. If he asks, just tell him you found out it's not a sin to drink. If it doesn't upset you, he may drink less or quit. On thing for sure, he will feel like he has been freed from oppression.
Did you know the Bible says that alcoholic beverages are to be used to celebrate and kill pain (physical and emotional). Maybe that is why your husband drinks. Did you know sin is painful? Being unforgiven hurts worse that the sin. He will probably quit drinking after he accepts Jesus - not because it is a sin; but because the pain will be gone.
I met Aleta in 1983 when I had back surgery. She was a Christian lady who was an alcoholic in a suicidal depression.
Aleta had been to several alcohol rehab centers and seen several psychiatrists. No one seemed to be able to help her. She found out I was a 700 Club prayer counselor and decided maybe I could help her. I knew only Jesus could help her; and, decided to try to lead her to Jesus.
For four years, I loved Aleta and was there when she needed me. I always used the Bible as my counseling handbook and tried to lead her to the realization that the pain and bitterness were what was preventing her from being well.
She confided in me her most hurtful experiences and we prayed, cried and laughed together. I never condemned Aleta for drinking: I accepted her as she was. That is what unconditional love is all about.
At the beginning of the fourth year, Aleta found out she had advanced cirrhosis of the liver and had less than a year to live. Close to the end of the fourth year, I came across the parable in the Bible about the orchard keeper who asked for another year to work with a baron fruit tree. The owner said he could only have one more year and then he would have to cut it down if it did not bear fruit. The keeper was only allowed 4 years. (Luke 13:8-9)
I cried and prayed, "Lord, the fourth year is almost up. Please do something with Aleta before time runs out. Lord you and I know all I can do is love Aleta; but, you can heal her heart, mind and soul. Please, Jesus, intervene and help her."
In January (one month before the four years was up) Aleta called me and told me she was going to the hospital to die. I told her that Jesus wanted to heal her and asked her if she would allow him to. She said she would and we prayed together.
Her husband called me from the hospital and asked me if I would pray for Aleta. The doctor said they doubted she would live past the week-end. Her husband and I prayed for her. At mid-night Aleta called me. She was so excited she could hardly talk. She said Jesus was telling her what was causing her pain and then removing the anger and pain from her. She said, "I'll call you back. Jesus is telling me something else" and hung up.
At 5 a.m., a nurse went into Aleta's room and found her dancing around the room praising God. The Doctor re-ran the tests and could find nothing wrong with Aleta. The insurance company refused to pay the hospital bill because "you're not supposed to admit a perfectly healthy person to the hospital." Her husband gladly paid the bill.
That was seven years ago and Aleta has not touched a drop of alcohol since. She doesn't need it anymore. God removed the pain and healed her mind, body and soul. Since then, she has become a grandmother and is so happy she can enjoy her grandchildren.
I did not heal Aleta. I only loved her and was there when she needed me. In return, I have one of the best friends a gal could ever hope for. We live several hundred miles apart now; but, Aleta calls me often and I write her. We see each other once or twice a year. Thank God for Aleta.
We must allow our husbands to be themselves and accept them as they are. We are to love them as they are in a quiet, respectful manner. We are to be their friends and pray for God to give them the faith they need to be saved.
Non-condemning in word is not enough: your expressions say how you feel. You must maintain enough self-control not to express condemnation in any form.
(2 Co. 1:3, 4; Matt.7: 1-5) Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved,
clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear
with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.
Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds
them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts,
since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. (Col. 3:12-15)
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men,
since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is
the Lord Christ you are serving. (Col 3:23)
Jesus said "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you
rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in
heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden
is light. (Matt. 11:28-30)Jesus created us; therefore, He knows us better than even we know ourselves. He does not lay on us more than we can bare.
A yoke is something that binds two creatures together so they will walk at the same pace. Jesus does not drag us along: He waits until He has prepared us, and then, moves forward with us. The Holy Spirit is the yoke. The Holy Spirit is our Helper who lives in us to give us strength - He teaches us and gives us gifts and fruit.
The Holy Spirit in us produces the fruit for us if we allow Him. We just rest in the Lord and He does all the work. How much lighter could a burden be? What an easy yoke! Satan can duplicate the gifts but he cannot duplicate the fruit. Only God can produce fruit in us.
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit--fruit
that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. (John. 15:16)Here, it does not say if you believe you will receive. Could it be that if you believe in Jesus, you already have the fruit of the Spirit? The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. We receive all these when we become Christians. If we use them, they become stronger in us. Jesus said "you will know them by their fruit." The fruit of the Spirit is all that the non-Christian should see in you.
It never ceases to amaze me that non-Christians recognize the fruit of the Spirit faster than Christians do. It's as if they are starving for love and see an unusual type of love in Christians. Without opening our mouths they recognize us as Christians if we are fruitful.
Have you ever-noticed how quiet fruit is? They don't say anything; nevertheless, they are so appealing that we keep reaching for them because they look good and taste delicious. Maybe that's why Jesus called loving things fruit.
We are to plant seeds. Where are the seeds? That's right, in the fruit. You are a tree that produces fruit. When fruit is ripe, it falls off the tree and someone eats it. When he finishes eating, he has a seed left. When the seed dies, it goes into fertile ground and sprouts: it will eventually become a tree. See, no words just a lot of silent action.
1. LOVE - comes via the Holy Spirit and grows as we use it. We receive love from God when we start to trust Jesus. Love comes in the form of the Holy Spirit into us and flows through us to others. Love overcomes evil.
2. JOY - Comes via the Holy Spirit as we love and trust Jesus, by hearing and understanding God's Word, by miracles, by God blessing the work of our hands. Joy gives us hope, strength, makes us feel thankful and causes us to be generous givers.
Love your husband in word and deed: speak only of things that build him up and make him feel good. Sincere praise is good: phony praise he will spot immediately. If you don't have something good to say it is better not to say anything at all. Speak only loving words: be gentle, kind and forgiving.