by Joel & Kathy

Something to Think About


2000 years ago, Mary said, “Jesus, we are out of wine!” Jesus asked, “What does this have to do with me?” According to Jesus, it was not time to start doing miracles. His mind was made up and He was not budging! Mary ignored Jesus. I can hear her thoughts, “Oh, pardon me, Jesus. I wouldn’t want to ask You to do anything! After all, angels sang at Your birth. Wise men traveled many miles to bring You millions of dollars. Hundreds of babies were killed when Herod tried to kill You. You are going to be the savior of the world! You are only 30 years old! I wouldn’t want to ask You to do anything!”

Mary took charge! “Whatever He says to you, do it!” The men who were running the wedding didn’t know what to do. Here was a pushy, Jewish/Israeli mother telling them what to do.  Of course, they obeyed! What else could they do?!  His loveable, pushy Jewish mother forced Jesus into performing this first miracle.

Did Jesus rebuke Mary for her lack of submission to the men around her? No. Did He chastise her for embarrassing Him? Jesus? The one and only King of Kings? No. Did He tell her that she was in rebellion or had a Jezebel spirit? No. Jesus did what she demanded. Some would say that Jesus had an Ahab spirit because He let a pushy Middle Eastern woman tell Him what to do!

Flash forward: Jesus is teaching. Martha interrupts the meeting, demanding that Jesus tell Mary to help her. Here is Martha, another pushy Israeli woman, telling Jesus what to do! Did Jesus rebuke Martha for her “insubordination?” Did Jesus tell Martha that she was operating in witchcraft because she was acting in rebellion to the male leadership in the house? Did He call on the ushers to escort her out because she was out of order? No. Jesus very sweetly said, “Martha, you are very busy. But Mary has chosen the better thing.”

Flash Forward: Lazarus is dead. Mary and Martha are upset. “Jesus! If only you had been here, our brother would not have died!” (In other words, “Jesus! It is your fault that Lazarus is dead!”) Pushy Israeli women! I know a few Israeli women living in Hilton Head Island from a business venture that our family is involved in. I love their personalities. They are strong willed and, yes, they are very, very pushy! We get along great, though. I understand them. In the realm of our business, when they call, I meet their needs, and they are very, very happy! One in particular will call me on the phone saying, “Joel, I need you to come here today!” I say, “I am sorry, I am four hours away. I cannot come today.” She replies, “No, Joel, you must come here today. I need you here today. You must come today.” So what do I do? I get in the car and drive four hours to “come today!” I have no choice! What else can I do? Pushy, lovable Israeli women!

It was to these pushy, sometimes loud, Israeli/Jewish women that Paul suggested some caution: “Come on ladies, your husbands have to die for you to the same extent that Jesus died for the church. They are going to do anything that you ask of them. They are laying down their lives for you. Five times I have told them that they have to love you with ‘agape’ love. This means that they have to lay their lives down for you, regardless of what you do, and expect nothing in return. I have not told you to love your husbands with ‘agape’ love one single time. That is not your job. You are only asked to respond warmly and lovingly with ‘phileo’ love to your husbands as they lay their lives down for you. Please don’t take advantage of your husbands. They are at your mercy. You Israeli women can be very pushy, so while your husbands die for you, meet your needs and adapt/submit to you, be sure that you also adapt/submit to them!”

“Hupotasso.” “Subordinate.” “Hupotasso” to one another, husbands and wives. It is a key to marriage success. But, men, listen to me and listen to me very clearly. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER tell your wife that she has to submit to you because you are the head of the house. When you one day realize what a huge insult this is to the death that Jesus died for His bride, you will feel great grief for so belittling His sacrifice. You are to lay your life down for her as Christ did for you.

Pastors and teachers, quit telling women that if they will “just submit to their husbands” that they will have a successful marriage. It does not work that way. Take this pressure off of the wives. The success of a marriage is not dependent on a man’s wife. Women are not required nor are they equipped by God to carry this load. Teach men to lay their lives down for and serve their wives. When husbands deal with their own issues, the wives will do fine. In 99.9% of cases, the wives are not the root nor are they the solution to the marriage problems. When a husband gets right, his “wife issues” will often magically disappear. If men receive this paradigm, you will have happy marriages, which equals happy men and very, very happy women.

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