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Hand Over the Pants and Let It Be You
pamela spurling

Dear Sweet-heart Sisters

What I’d like to share today is part of a series of messages I will be sharing on marriage.  I have a sense of urgency here as just in this past year alone I’m aware of a number of struggling or failed marriages.  As I listen to the wives share “their side” of the struggle, I am painfully aware that the enemy is leveling marriages everywhere, attempting to thwart the work of the LORD in couples’ lives and attempting to destroy godly seed and future generations.

 Psalm 11.3 If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?

 The messages I’d like to share are not in any particular sequence or order of importance.  What I’d like to share are some observations---things I’ve been learning over the years, bits and pieces of what constitutes a genuine, rock-solid marriage.  I know that some of these will not necessarily seem applicable to “unmarried’s” or to young ladies, but may I just ask you to bear with me and seek the LORD as to His purpose---even if you’re not in that season yet or ever.  If you are unmarried, then the LORD is your Head and He is your guide and I trust Him to show you what He would have for you just as I will trust Him to show the married women what He would have for them *where they’re at.*  

 So, here we go…

 Sisters, it’s time to take them off,
fold them up,
stretch out your arms
and hand them over.   
It’s
time to hand over the pants.

Now, friends and people who’ve been reading these letters over the years know that I do not necessarily mean actual fabric and stitching, zippers and buttons: pants.  [Although, if the shoe fits (or the pants, in this case) then perhaps it’s worth considering.] I mean the role.  His role.

 It’s time to hand over the pants.  Perhaps you’ve attempted to wear them in your family and yet you’ve always known they’re not yours to wear.  Perhaps you have had sort of a tug-of-war over the wearing of the pants in the family.  Perhaps you’ve attempted to “let” your husband wear the pants and he simply won’t lead.  May I gently say to you---it’s not your business to determine what he does with the pants… it’s not your responsibility to determine that, but it is your responsibility to *not* wear the pants in your family.  Now, I trust that I have the LORD’s direction here. 

Ephesians 5.17 “Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.”

Continuing on in Ephesians, we see the instruction that is the foundation for what I am sharing with you today.  You see, wives are to *submit* *themselves* to their own husbands---as unto the LORD. (5.22)  The husband is the head of the wife and the wife is to be subject unto him in *every* thing.  Everything. 

 NowI know that several are probably glazed over right about now.  But stay with me and perhaps by the end of this letter you will *want* to “hand over the pants” ---to submit in everything and find yourself desiring the fruit of a marriage rooted deeply in the Word.  I trust so.

 At this point I often hear comments like: I would submit but… you don’t know my husband.  My husband is not easy to submit to.  I don’t really “know” my husband anymore. My husband is a tyrant.  I don’t love my husband anymore.  My husband won’t lead.  My husband is arrogant and rude.  My husband had an affair.  My husband is insensitive.  My husband is not like your husband.  My husband mocks me.  My husband is lazy.  My husband only loves his ________________ (fill in the blank: golf clubs, baseball, sports, cars, boat, job, computer (gasp!), shop, cigarettes, bowling, books, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah) more than me.

 Okay. So any or all of the above are true.  Okay---so what does God say?  God’s Word says:  Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.  God, who cannot lie, in His mercy set the parameter and He will provide what’s needed to work within them.  I believe this---I believe this or I would not be sitting here writing to you. 

Now… at this point, I may only be talking to a few sisters.  You others might just stay at the table and keep sipping your cup and listen in. 

Okay… dear sister--- I’m with you, here.  I understand what you might have been feeling/thinking.  Your husband may or may not lead.  But you are to obey him, you are to submit to his headship and you’re to do it reverently.  Wow. Yes, that, too.  So it’s a tall order to hand over the pants.  It means you lose everything---but you know what?  What you thought you had really wasn’t yours to possess.  What “power” you think you’ll lose in the transaction really wasn’t your power at all.  Really the power you exercised was simply power you usurped from your husband.  He may have “allowed” it because he was caught in a “power-struggle.”  Most men are these days.  They’re trying to walking on both sides of the fence or riding the top of it.  To keep peace, many unwittingly allow their wives to lead.  And the enemy sort of confirms to the wife that things are just fine this way and that it’s really the way the husband likes it.  But! I assure you, sweet sister, that’s not true.  The “double-standard” is really like a two-edged sword.  It’s slicing marriages in half, cutting the husband’s strength and chipping away at the foundation of each marriage.  The husband in such a case is really half the man he is meant to be.  The wise wife will see this, repent, hand over the pants and take a good look at what she is responsible to do/be.

 Remember… marriage is a picture of Christ and the church.  Christ is the Head and the church is His glorious bride.   

Think of a bride… what’s she doing?  What’s she thinking?  How’s she spending her time?  Yes… she is spending her time preparing for her husband.  She is thinking of him.  A bride is making herself beautiful for him.  She’s anticipating his needs and wants to fulfill them.   See? wants to fulfill them She’s not thinking of being the bridegroom---no, she’s not distracted by that at all---she knows what she is: the bride!

But something happens along the way.
It happens to all of us, really.

Time happens to us.  Life happens to us.  Trials.  Grief.  Disappointment.  Disillusionment.   Loss.  Age.  All of these and more and we stop being the bride and stop living in preparation for the bridegroom.  That’s when some of us start trying to take on the role of the bride and the bridegroom---perhaps even just the role of the bridegroom.

Some of us have done this in our marriage… some in our Christian walk.  We stop waiting, preparing, looking for or yearning for the LORD and then somewhere along the way we stop walking by His side and then in time attempt to walk ahead of Him and then we find ourselves alone.  Not really being led by Him anymore.  Alone.  Trying to go it alone.  For awhile it seemed to work---really well sometimes.  Then, not so well and then… really badly. 

We do this is marriage.  As life goes along and the newness of marriage wears off and the nakedness reveals some of the scars, the marks and the not-so-pretty parts, we start allowing our thoughts to drift and we lose sight of the original plan.  Then we start to think we’ve got a better plan and just like our walk with the LORD, we start to go it alone---only this time, we’re feeling like we have the power and we feel like we do it better than our husband.  Sadly, he may be persuaded that you’re better at it all, too.   He begins to wither away.  He begins to believe it.  All the while, the man he was meant to be yearns for respect.  He yearns to be noticed and appreciated.  He yearns to be “all that” to you ---or someone--- again. 

At this point one of a couple of scenarios might play out. 

Then… without fanfare, without much notice, he might receive a complement.   He might receive a sweet look.   That man-he-was-meant-to-be is nudged and somewhere deep inside him, an ache is being consoled and a fire is being rekindled.  He is designed to lead.  He is wired to be needed.  He longs for [lots of] physical attention.  He is actually hot-wired to be desired.  He needs to be seen as a “knight in shining armour” saving a darling who adores him.

Let it be you.
Hand over the pants and let it be you. 

Another scenario might play out… he lets you keep on wearing the pants so to speak and you, liking the (perceived) power might start looking around at strong men.  You might begin fantasizing about being swept off your feet by a charming man who is breathless over your fascinating ways and tell you you’re beautiful (whether you think/believe you are or not).  You might begin looking around and you might give in…

Let it be your husband.
Hand over the pants and let it be him

At this point I want to share with you that the enemy is after Christian marriages.  It’s a wild fire that’s sweeping the world.  And it will sweep yours if you don’t ‘fire-proof’ yours.  I also want to share with you that I am not handing you a magic pill:  hand over the pants and you’ll never have a day of sorrow.  I am *not* saying that.  *BUT* I *am* saying that I believe if you follow God’s ways, you will reap rich fruit and you will have His blessing.  Yes… others might (seem to) have it all.  Others might be all that.  Others might enjoy great s*x, have great vacations, great houses, great jobs and whatever other thing you could name that you think you don’t have (yet).  I added the “yet” because *you* can learn to love what you have.   There is great peace and joy in contentment.   I tell you the truth---and it’s the LORD who will be your guide and help in doing so.  I think you’ll be amazed from the very first day you stop wearing the pants---again, I say this figuratively speaking. 

Proverbs 7.15-26   Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee.  I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, with carved works, with fine linen of Egypt.  I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.   Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us solace ourselves with loves.  For the goodman is not at home, he is gone a long journey:  He hath taken a bag of money with him, and will come home at the day appointed.  With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him.  He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks;   Till a dart strike through his liver; as a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it is for his life.   Hearken unto me now therefore, O ye children, and attend to the words of my mouth.  Let not thine heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths.  For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her.

It may seem like I am an alarmist, or that I am being too simplistic---I do not know---nor do I intend to be, but I pray you will join me in prayer that we sisters would go before the LORD and seek His Face on this matter.  That we would, whatever it takes, set about being the wives God designed us to be for the husband He has given.

A husband needs his wife to be the wife God intended so that he can be the man God intended him to be.  Hand over the pants and let it be you.

pamela spurling
The Welcome Home
2005
http://www.achristianhome.org

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