She Was Queen But Acted As King
By Dot Bowen
He answered her, “Because I said to Naboth the Jezreelite, ‘Sell me your vineyard; or if you prefer, I will give you another vineyard in its place.’ But he said, ‘I will not give you my vineyard.’” 1 Kings 22:6 (NIV)
King Ahab was probably considered the most evil king to ever rule Israel, yet his wife was more evil than he. When reading 1 Kings 21, I felt like I was reading about a reality show featuring Ahab and Jezebel, and it was quite disturbing. The more I read, the more I saw similarities between Jezebel’s spirit toward her husband and many of the responses from women when their husbands don’t assume the role of spiritual leader in their home. If you aren’t married, I pray you’ll take to heart these lessons should you date, fall in love and marry. If you are married, carefully examine how you can encourage your husband to be the spiritual leader in your home. I strongly encourage you to read 1 Kings 21 and analyze the relationship between Jezebel and Ahab. After reading it myself, I couldn’t get this story out of my head for two days.
King Ahab and Jezebel lived in the palace with everything they would ever need. Unfortunately, Ahab wanted his neighbor Naboth’s vineyard to cultivate a great vegetable garden. Naboth refused to sell his vineyard to the king because he believed keeping his father’s inheritance would please the Lord. This is where the story begins to resemble a reality television show. The neighbor wouldn’t sell and King Ahab wouldn’t eat. When Jezebel found her husband sulking in bed, refusing to eat, and pouting like a two-year old who has been told no, she further fueled his ego saying, “You are king. Take whatever you want!” rather than encouraging him to respect his neighbor’s beliefs and property.
I don’t believe you or I would say this to our husbands, but as I studied the text closer, I became very aware that Jezebel’s response was simply her way of taking control. When Ahab failed to be the leader, Jezebel stepped in and took control of the household and Naboth’s vineyard. She had Naboth killed and began acting like the king. I can almost hear her attitude when she told King Ahab to get out of bed and make his vegetable garden. Jezebel, like so many women, wouldn’t allow her husband to lead the home because she believed she was more qualified to get things done more quickly and better. The longer a woman controls her husband, the quicker she loses all respect for him as a man, father, husband, and leader. It’s only a matter of time before she loses her sexual attraction for him and her family becomes very dysfunctional. This kind of woman desires down deep for her husband to be the leader of their home, but she does everything to discourage him from leading. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve mentored a woman in this situation, I wouldn’t ever have the need for a Cup of Joy fundraiser.
I’m writing this devotional for one reason only—to encourage every woman to enjoy her God-given role in her home before becoming tired and wanting to walk away from her husband and children. It’s not easy to reverse the years of control, but it’s not impossible to stop controlling what you were never meant to control. Ladies, please remember when we give in to the desire to control, we don’t lose our souls, we lose ourselves. Just like King Ahab lost himself because he wasn’t willing to say no. I understand how difficult and painful it can be for a woman married to a man who has no desire to be the spiritual leader of his family, so I want to address it. As women, it’s not our place—nor is it possible—to make our husbands be or do anything. Our power lies in our willingness to pray for God to change our husbands. Do not underestimate the power of a praying wife.
God desires for your husband to be the man and lead your family. This is the order He established from the very beginning. As a wife, join Jesus in interceding for your husband and step back and allow God to make your husband Godly. You can’t be God in your husband’s life. As you read this, I will be praying you will choose to become the Godly woman, wife, or mother you are called to be and for you to begin praying daily for your husband to become the Godly leader he is called to be. God desires men to be spiritual leaders even more than us. You can pray with assurance because you are praying in His will with the hope of having a husband you’ll respect and a home that will show the world what it truly means to have a Christian home.
- Read 1 Kings 22 and examine Jezebel and Ahab’s marriage.
- What do you think Jezebel should have done? How should she have responded to her husband?
- How would you describe your husband’s role as your family’s spiritual leader?
- Are you willing to step back and allow your husband lead you and your family spiritually?
- Are you willing to communicate your desire to allow your husband to lead your family?
- Will you commit to pray for your husband daily asking God to grow him spiritually so that he can lead your family?
- Will you give God your desire for a Christian home?