Last week you created a list of issues that irritated or offended you. Big, little, giant or tiny. I told you this week we’d examine them to decide how you should best respond. Some you’ll need to learn how to exercise grace and overlook. Some issues you’ll need to compromise on (compromise doesn’t mean to be silent) and others will need to be confronted. Before we decide which issues need to be confronted, compromised or overlooked, let’s take a look at 3 relationships in the Bible and how conflict was handled.
King Ahab and Queen Jezebel
We all know that Jezebel was wicked and controlling, but how was she able to continue in that destructive behavior? It’s easy to see that controlling people have evil intentions, but what about passivity? Jezebel married Ahab and here’s what the Bible says about him:
There was never anyone like Ahab, who sold himself to do evil in the eyes of the LORD, urged on by Jezebel his wife.
Jezebel lured him. She enticed him. She instigated several evil plots, but guess what? He allowed her to control him and the Bible called him evil.
May we be convicted about giving our own God-given authority away.
Many women, instead of confronting, leave a controlling relationship. But without learning effective conflict resolution skills and using them to confront those that manipulate them, they leave one bad relationship only to find another. The next guy may operate under a different genre of control, but the relationship is just as toxic, because she has not repented of her passivity.
Samson and Delilah
Samson was the strongest man alive physically, but his soul was weak. He allowed Delilah to taunt and manipulate him. He responded to her tricks, giving her permission to go deeper until he was tempted beyond his resolve.
His first mistake was marrying a woman that was off limits. In arrogance, he was prideful about his ability to fight off her taunting. He minimized her strength. He should have refused to engage in verbal combat with her. But he lost more power with each seducing plea. She begged and cried and when that didn’t work, she used accusations.
All this time you have been making a fool of me and lying to me (Judges 16:13).
That’s what controlling men do, too. If sweet talk fails, they hurl insults to wear us down.
Samson’s soul was blinded by seduction, but as he gave his power away, he was eventually blinded physically as well. The Philistines gouged his eyes out and he spent the rest of his life in shackles, grinding grain in prison.
Ladies, it’s our responsibility to find ways to neutralize the power we’ve given away.
It’s our job to stand up against manipulation and control. We are not called to be weak.
God had set Samson apart since birth, but he forfeited the vast majority of his calling by using his strength for his own agenda.
It started when he ignored his parents warning to marry a Philistine woman. But in all honesty, I think his father was passive as well. He allowed his son to demand his own way.
When Samson grew up he wanted a Philistine woman. His father and mother replied, “Isn’t there an acceptable woman among your relatives or among all our people? Must you go to the uncircumcised Philistines to get a wife?” But Samson said to his father, “Get her for me. She’s the right one for me.” (Judges 14:3).
During their wedding feast Samson crafted a riddle to rob her people of 30 linen garments and 30 sets of clothes.
Maybe he was a fashionista. Otherwise, why would a man want 30 new outfits? Just saying.
Anyway, when he refused at first to tell her the meaning, she cried the whole seven days of the feast. So on the seventh day he finally told her, because she continued to press him. She in turn explained the riddle to her people.
When the men were able to solve the riddle, Samson was filled with rage. He kept his end of the bargain, but he didn’t give them any of his clothing. Instead, he struck down 30 of their men, stripped them of everything and gave their clothes to those who had explained the riddle.
Not only was Samson impulsive and easily persuaded, when he was manipulated he burned with anger. And that is what often happens when we give away our power or allow others to deceive, manipulate or control us.
Passive people often claim to be victims, but here’s the deal.
Passive people often give their power away. In reality, no one manipulates us without our consent.
What does the Bible say about passivity?
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:7).
Other versions say God didn’t give us a spirit of timidity, but love, power and a sound mind.
Timidity comes from a Greek word, deilia that means fearfulness, cowardice
This verse points out an important point. It doesn’t say that God gave some of us love and power. It says He gave it to us all. So if you feel weak, Paul gives us the solution for weakness. Fan into flame the gift of God.
Your love, power and self-discipline are gifts from God. He didn’t leave you out, but you have to take hold of it. Receive it. Learn how to function in the strength He’s already provided for you.
The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe (Proverbs 29:25).
The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down (Proverbs 14:1). By the way, the word house used in this verse means: temple, human body, a metaphor that means the inwards, or within. It can also mean a prison or a dungeon. Ouch!
Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong (1 Corinthians 16:13).
God didn’t call you to be weak and passive. He created you a strong woman of influence and favor. A woman like Queen Esther.
Queen Esther and her Man
Blaming everything on the devil is a victim mentality. It’s true that our fight is not against flesh and blood, but let’s face it. Some of our issues stem from our own refusal to take action. Instead of facing our giants, it’s easier to blame the devil. Eve did. When God confronted her, she blamed it on the devil. “That serpent deceived me!”
The bottom line is this: Eve allowed the devil to take away something that originally was hers—her love, power and her sound mind. Eve is a great example of how not to handle conflict. Don’t give in and don’t give away your strength.
But now, let’s take a look at a woman who refused to do that. Even in the face of possible death, Queen Esther is a woman that modeled conflict resolution with kingdom authority.
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