There is so much real Spirit led preaching about honor these days! And it is all good stuff! However, the point that is still continually being missed, at least in what I have heard so far, is that it is rarely, if ever, applied to the proper honoring of women! If it is, it is never addressed thoroughly enough. And, consequently, the dishonoring of them is rarely, if ever, cited as the cause of the general loss of honor which prevails over our nation! Though it may be occasionally touched on, or hurried over, that this issue is perhaps the greatest hindrance to a man's prayer life, individually speaking, rarely is that applied collectively, church-wide, from the leadership down - as it should be! But fellows, have you not heard, read, and preached, that you will reap what you sow?!
Leadership is quick to howl about the way "women dishonor their husbands" or "take leadership too lightly"! All the while ignoring the women's desperate pleas for help, as well as the blatant ignoring of Scriptural boundaries by the men-folk and other leadership! How many times have outraged men, deprived of their “rightful butt-kissing”, "instructed" me about my “disobedience in dishonoring Godly Authority”? I'll tell you, too many times to count - over the last 40-plus years of faithful church attendance! Now there is a great example of the love of Christ for His Church in action!
How often have I endured what would be considered outright slander- in legal realms, consisting of false accusations, and one misguided “spiritual” diagnosis after another! And this unfortunate, though entirely too common phenomena, has occurred mostly because it is assumed that honor is a one way street!
I have put up with it over the years because the prevailing "wisdom" or instruction indicated that this was the right thing to do! It was expected of me, etc. And they inflicted it upon me because that is what they truly believed to be what God wanted! They believe, conveniently enough, that this is what the Scripture says! But now, knowing what I know. I can not understand how one could possibly reach that conclusion from scripture!
Anyway, as I came to a place of healing, I begin to repent of judging God's motives by those of men, and I began to be able to really come to know God's heart, hear God's voice, and obey God's Word, I slowly began to see the reality. This was wrong! And I was enabling sin to put up with it! I was indeed being misled, and falsely accused!
At first I was shocked! I had entrusted so much to their authority, invested so much of my life to their minstry! I had believed them so thoroughly! By this realization, I was hurt. Plus, I felt incredibly stupid for having fallen for it! I was disillusioned, and staggered by the blow of facing this reality. And then, which is the next phase of grief, came the anger. One might ask what was I grieving? Oh, nothing much, only a lifetime of being held back from God's best for me!
Still burns that anger ever hotter, not against the poor souls caught up in the deception, on either side,neither the ones abusing, nor the ones abused! But it burns against the deception itself, and I have come out to war against it!
It is written that the devil is the accuser of the brethren, but it would seem, at times, that maybe pastors took over accusing the sisters? My brothers this ought not to be! Of, course, I am letting God lead me to forgiveness where individuals are concerned, but forgiveness does not necessarily mean that I must continue to agree with and support this false doctrine!
Sin bears its own consequences! And the consequences for this misuse of this office, of Shepherd or of Steward, whether it be assigned to husband, father, pastor or bishop has brought consequences of wide spread, though often covert, division! And strife of all kinds, along with resentment and, yes, that general loss of honor that is being significantly felt in today's mainstream society. We who have enabled it unwittingly, apathetically, or just through plain old cowardice, must also repent, and be willing to do what we can to cooperate with the changes which the Spirit of God is indicating!
We must handle our boundaries in a more responsible way, and prevent the misuse of authority over our own souls. The time has come to recover our capacity to think, to decide, and to act as those redeemed! The time to walk in our freedom has arrived. When it comes to freedom, will we stand up for honor?