So in Bible Study today we talked about Jezebel. To quote a friend, “she is possibly the most evil woman ever to live.” Ah, but most people we abhor are the ones in which we see our own flaws and faults. Honestly, let’s take a quick inventory of the people in our lives who just grate our nerves. Do you see some of the things you don’t like about yourself in them? Do you see their characteristics in you? OUCH! Often the people who push my buttons are the ones who exhibit some trait I believe I have overcome. I find myself asking, “why can’t they just get over _______ (whatever it is)? I did.” Or, “don’t they know that talking that much just annoys people?” I talk more than I write, a lot more…So you can see how hypocritical I can be. Or I judge and situation and decide without walking in his or her shoes that I would handle the situation differently.
And so we come to Jezebel. She certainly is a strong woman. A woman who gets what she wants. A woman who when she sets her mind to it will get it done, no matter the cost. Does that sound familiar? It sounds an awful lot like the people our society praises, but let’s look at what Jezebel leaves in her wake. She sought after and murdered prophets of God, her husband was sulking about a piece of land he wanted and so she “takes care” of it for him. She has the land owner falsely accused and executed so her husband could claim this man’s land.
So are you scared that I can find Jezebel in me…Well, the issue is this…I want to be right all the time. I run the house when my husband is at work so when he comes home what do I do? I fuss at him when he sweeps the floor and yet earlier that day I was just saying he didn’t help me. I don’t like the way he puts the kids to bed at night or I don’t like the way he holds the baby…Fill the dishwasher?! According to me, he doesn’t have a clue. He can’t win. I want to be a strong woman, but a strong woman does not domineer her husband. A strong woman does not have to steal the pants from her husband nor should she pick them up off the floor and put them on if her husband isn’t willing to wear them. Her hope should be in God and her security in Him. Genesis tells us after the fall that this would be an issue that we would desire our husbands and he would rule over us…So this isn’t a new thing, it is just something I realized in me, finally.
The Jezebel part of me rises up when my husband says the kids need to pick up their toys. WHY? Because I think he is putting down how I am keeping the house, when he is really trying to get the kids to help. I don’t want his “interference.” The truth is it isn’t interference, he is doing the thing I want, helping around the house, but the Jezebel in me wants to think I can do it alone. Oh Jezebel you make my life difficult. You turn my blessings into curses by misrepresenting the blessings. You turn God’s command to submit to my husband/parents into pictures of slavery. You turn God’s command to love others and do life together into a crutch that only the weak need. You turn my husband/parents/friend’s desire to pitch in and help into interference, a put down, or some other slander.
The bottom line is if I want to be obeying God, if I want a healthy marriage, if I want a healthy friendship, if I want a healthy family, I have to say NO to the Jezebel inside. I have to say that I will NOT manipulate to get my way. I have to say that I will NOT force things to be done my way. I have to say I will NOT put myself in first place. OUCH! I like to be right, I like to be a leader, I like to be strong. The thing is that if I have to be right or a leader or strong I am often losing sight of my goal. Do I want a great marriage? Do I want a great friendship? Do I want a great family (being both the kid or the parent)? If those are my goals the only way to do it is God’s way. I have to say goodbye to Jezebel and hello to God. It isn’t easy. It is sometimes a second by second struggle, but the goals to be more Christlike and to have relationships that work are really worth it.
Oh that I would see the strength it takes to say no to myself. That I would see the strength it takes to follow when I am not sure which way this Godly leader is leading (be it a parent, a husband, a friend). That I would see the strength of letting God lead and not trying to be the Holy Spirit for someone. That I would be willing to let the pants of my family lie on the floor if my husband (who is a great leader when I let him lead me) is unwilling to wear them. Oh Father forgive me for the Jezebel inside. Cleanse me of her power hungry ways.
Praise be to God for His forgiveness. I am so grateful for the forgiveness of friends, sisters, brother (I only have one), husband, co-workers, etc. As I fight with God’s strength the Jezebel inside I am blessed to have those who walk beside me and forgive me when she rears her ugly head.