If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his own father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters--yes, and even his own life--he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. - Luke 14:26-27 HCSB

There once was Christian woman who faithfully attended Church and Bible studies. Her husband actively led several church ministries. However, one day her husband presented her with a dilemma. She discovered that he had had an internet relationship for months with a single woman who had four kids.

When confronted he claimed that he had fallen in love with the kids and simply wanted to mentor them. He would refer to the kids as “our precious kids”, meaning his and the single woman’s. He insisted that his wife help take care of the kids and even keep them on weekends so that the single woman could rest. He also wanted to support the woman financially.

When the married woman naturally resisted this idea, he claimed to be following Christ’s call and that if it cost her then too bad. When she went to her church leaders about the situation they advised her to submit to her husband’s wishes.

I too believe we must follow God’s commands even at the cost of our human relationships. However, we must be certain that we are actually following the prompting of the Holy Spirit and not our own will.[1] People misconstrue or even deliberately twist the Scriptures on a disturbingly regular basis![2] Humans have an almost limitless capacity for self-deception – even concerning something as critical as their salvation.[3]

The Holy Spirit will never contradict the Word of God and the Scriptures clearly dictate that a husband must sacrificially love his wife, place her above his own interests and seek her welfare.[4]

I believe that this ladies’ husband knew the truth of this. He was “kicking against the goads”[5] of the Holy Spirit, trying to justify himself in his sinful attraction to this woman. Hashem speaks directly to him and says that a man is to take pleasure in his wife lest he get entangled in the ropes of his own sin.[6]

According to Romans 1, if we suppress the truth that the Holy Spirit voices, we darken our own mind and become even more foolish.[7] I find it noteworthy that this particular sin leads directly to immorality!

If that man does not change his ways, his worship will be useless. The Lord will reject this husband’s offerings simply for acting treacherously against his wife.[8] His prayers will be hindered.[9]

In fact in my judgment he needs to carefully consider whether or not he has truly understood salvation and has a relationship with Christ or is merely doing external works.[10] When we are truly submissive we will know our Shepherd’s voice.[11] We must make sure that we are not victims of a false calling.[12]

[1] Ephesians 5:15-17; 2 Corinthians 13:5

[2] John 16:2; Romans 1:18-22

[3] Jeremiah 17:9-10

[4] Ephesians 5:25-31; 1 Timothy 5:8

[5] Acts 16:24

[6] Proverbs 5:18-22

[7] Romans 1:18-22

[8] Malachi 2:13-16

[9] 1 Peter 3:7

[10] Matthew 7:22-23; 2 Corinthians 13:5

[11] John 10:4-5,27

[12] Acts 17:11