BY PASTOR T.O. BANSO
The world is becoming increasingly complicated. The challenges confronting wives and mothers are grave. Combining the responsibilities of being a wife and mother with work and societal responsibilities is not only putting extreme pressure on women but has actually torn many marriages and homes apart.
Many wives have lost their marriages to housemaids that they hired to assist them in doing household chores because of the busy schedule they have as a result of other demands on their time outside the home.
Those who are full-time housewives are not excluded from the havoc that house-helps they procured have done to their marriage despite the fact that they are at home most of the time. The housemaids eventually became help that didn’t help. Some housemaids are reported to have stolen the hearts of the husbands of their mistresses making such victims vow never to hire housemaids again.
Sarai made the mistake of giving her housemaid, Hagar, to Abram to sleep with because of the challenge of infertility they were facing despite the promise of God. What she did was an oriental custom but if you see Sarah, she will tell you that was the greatest mistake of her life. Her suggestion to Abram which he took created more problems than solutions, and the problem still exists today. “So Sarai said to Abram, ‘See now, the LORD has restrained me from bearing children. Please, go in to my maid; perhaps I shall obtain children by her.’ And Abram heeded the voice of Sarai. Then Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar her maid, the Egyptian, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan. So he went in to Hagar, and she conceived. And when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress became despised in her eyes” (Genesis 16:2-4 NKJV). Eventually, she had to request that Abraham send away Hagar and her son, Ishmael.
One does not even need to talk of other atrocities committed by some housemaids including sexual molestation of children, theft, witchcraft, etc. An extramarital affair by a husband can result in the wife’s lack of trust in him and emotional pain, anger, and other psychological problems for her. The collapse of the marriage is the unfortunate ultimate.
In all of this, obeying the Word of God is the unfailing recipe for women to ensure not only emotional stability but for ensuring a blissful marital life free of sex scandals. In a situation where a wife has chosen to engage the services of a housemaid, what are the things she can do to ensure that the maid doesn’t bite her finger by overthrowing her and taking over her husband? The Word of God has something to say about this.
The Bible says, “The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish pulls it down with her hands” (Proverbs 14:1 NKJV). In this message, I want to share with you how, as a woman, you won’t, with your own hands and money, pull down your marriage and destroy your home as a result of one housemaid you have hired taking over your home. I want your home to continue to be at peace and want you and your husband and your children to live in joy and harmony. This will be possible if you take heed to the voice of God through this message.
Maidservant displacing her mistress
Hear what the Bible says in Proverbs 30:21-23: “For three things the earth is perturbed, yes, for four it cannot bear up: For a servant when he reigns, a fool when he is filled with food, a hateful woman when she is married, and a maidservant who succeeds her mistress” (Proverbs 30:21-23 NKJV). Note the phrase “a maidservant who succeeds her mistress.” The New Living Translation puts it thus: “a servant girl who supplants her mistress.” The Living Bible puts it this way: “A servant girl who marries the husband of her mistress.” The New Century Version says, “a maid who replaces her mistress.” Did you see that?
The Bible tells us here that it’s possible for a maidservant to supplant or displace her mistress; she can marry the husband of her mistress. So you’ve been warned that it’s a possibility. All you need to do as a wife is to ensure that this doesn’t become your experience. You must be careful that the housemaid you employ doesn’t displace or supplant you – she must not take over your husband and your home.
Verse 21 says a maid taking over the husband of her mistress is one of the four things the earth cannot bear. Can you bear it? Can you endure seeing your maid marry your husband before your very eyes? The Bible says it’s painful and unbearable. That’s why you must guide against this evil under the sun, and I want to quickly share with you how you can safeguard your marriage so that your maid does not displace you and take over your husband.
Please understand that I’m not justifying a man abandoning his wife for the housemaid for any reason – there’s no justification for it, not even the wife’s failure. Of course, there are husbands who are so promiscuous that there’s nothing their wives can do that will satisfy them and close their adulterous eyes to anything in the skirt including their housemaids. Such men need serious spiritual help! But my emphasis in this message is to help all women do all they need to do to preserve their homes. If you follow the points discussed in this message, you’ll not be ousted by your maid and you’ll secure your marriage and home.
How to Keep Your Husbands From Satanic Takeover
1. Respect your husband: God’s instruction to wives is to respect or reverence their husbands. Ephesians 5:33 says wives should see that they reverence their husbands. Sarah called Abraham, her husband, lord demonstrating her respect for him (1 Peter 3:6). There are wives who respect other men – other people’s husbands – but dishonour their own husbands. That’s not what the Bible teaches.
Instead of respecting their husbands, some wives would rather focus on how to change their husbands; they see themselves primarily as their husbands’ teachers or supervisors whereas that’s not God’s main assignment for a wife in marriage. God didn’t make a wife be his husband’s supervisor, counselor, or teacher. He’s not given the wife the assignment to change her husband. Your duty is to help him, respect him, and reverence him. If you do this, you’ll indirectly succeed in changing him and your husband will be the one to ask for your counsel, opinion, or advice. You’ll not need to generate tension unnecessarily in the home by constant correction and teaching of your husband or by trying to appoint yourself as his advisor.
If you do what God says, you’ll effortlessly change him without any desire to do so. It will be unobtrusive. If your priority is to teach, counsel, or change your husband, you’ll only make yourself miserable by the tension you create in your marriage. It’s a Herculean task changing your husband by persistently teaching or correcting him! No wonder the Bible says the wife should adapt to the husband.
If you don’t respect your husband and you live in the same house with a housemaid, a female like you, who respects your husband, you’re sowing a dangerous seed for the affection of your husband to go towards your housemaid even though this is no justification. But one thing you must know is that a man cannot put up with a disrespectful wife. “Better to dwell in a corner of a housetop, than in a house shared with a contentious woman” (Proverbs 21:9 NKJV).
Proverbs 21:19 says a similar thing: “Better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and angry woman” (NKJV). The Bible says further of a contentious or nagging wife, “A nagging wife is like water going drip-drip-drip on a rainy day” (Proverbs 27:15 GNT). Also, Proverbs 19:13b says, “The contentions of a wife are a continual dripping” (NKJV). The New Living Translation puts it thus: “A quarrelsome wife is as annoying as constant dripping.” Are you a nagging/quarrelsome/contentious wife or a peaceful wife?
If you don’t respect your husband, you tempt him with respect coming from your housemaid. The devil, working through her, may even make her respect your husband deliberately to seduce him knowing that you’ve starved her with reverence. She’ll do for your husband acts of reverence, which you’ll not dare do, thereby stealing his heart. Ecclesiastes 7:26 says, “I discovered that a seductive woman is a trap more bitter than death. Her passion is a snare, and her soft hands are chains. Those who are pleasing to God will escape her, but sinners will be caught in her snare” (NLT). Please read that scripture slowly again. Did you understand that? Protect your husband from the housemaid’s seduction. Not only will a seductive housemaid kill your marriage, but she can also kill you and even your husband. Be wise, woman.
In addition to respecting her husband, what is the second thing a wife must do to keep her husband from a satanic takeover?
2. Submit and adapt to your own husband: Ephesians 5:22 says, “Wives, be subject (be submissive and adapt yourselves) to your own husbands as [a service] to the Lord” (AMPC). Pay close attention to the word “adapt” To adapt means to change, adjust, alter, modify, get used to, and settle in. Also, notice that the reason to subject yourself as a wife to your husband is not because of your husband but because of the Lord – subjecting yourself to your husband is a service to the Lord. Most wives don’t realize this. If you can’t subordinate and submit yourself to the man you want to marry or you’ve married, you’ll create avoidable problems for yourself. There’s no need to compete with your husband or engage in a rivalry with him notwithstanding your justification for this.
Ephesians 5:24 says, “Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything” (NKJV). Subjection to your own husband (not another person’s husband or all men), should be in everything as long as it doesn’t amount to disobedience to the Word of God.
1 Peter 3:1 and 5 also emphasize the need for a wife to be subject to her husband. The Amplified Bible (Classic Edition) renders verse 1 thus: “In like manner, you married women, be submissive to your own husbands [subordinate yourselves as being secondary to and dependent on them, and adapt yourselves to them], so that even if any do not obey the Word [of God], they may be won over not by discussion but by the [godly] lives of their wives.”
If you’re struggling with your husband for the leadership of the home which God has given to your husband, and you’re not ready to play the second fiddle to him, you’ll only hand over your husband to your housemaid who by virtue of her place in your home expectedly submits herself being a housemaid – she has no reason not to submit. But such submission, in the same home where a wife won’t submit and adapt, is a serious temptation to many husbands especially those who aren’t born again and aren’t sensitive to the enemy’s trap even though this is no excuse for a man. Be wise, woman.
3. Don’t be so busy that you do not have enough time for your husband and children. Every wife must be a homemaker no matter their career or trade outside the home. That’s why there must be an agreement between the husband and wife about how much time the wife who is also a mother should stay outside the home. Unfortunately, some wives see no reason why they need the agreement of their husbands before they can take up a job, pursue a career, etc. This attitude can create unnecessary tension in the home which can open the door to the devil to penetrate the marriage and wreak havoc.
It’s wrong for a woman to enter into marriage with a mindset of facing her own life and not being ready to help her husband. The woman is created to help the man in marriage not simply pursue her own independent vision. Any marriage contrary to this command will collapse. There can’t be two visions in the home; two visions will cause division. The wife’s vision is to be realized within the vision of God for the husband. Both visions (which are actually one) won’t suffer if they’re from the Lord and aren’t mere human ambition.
In Genesis 2:18, God calls the wife a helpmeet. That’s God’s will for the woman. The woman is created for the man, and the man is incomplete without the woman. That means the man can’t afford to be selfish. No man worth his salt will allow a woman to continue to live in his home with an independent spirit becoming a law to herself. A non-believer husband may be tempted by a housemaid who is always available in the home preparing food and doing all the household chores while the wife, the mother of the house, is nowhere to be found. The husband is deceived to conclude that there’s no need for such a wife who has abandoned him, the children, and her responsibilities in the home to the housemaid. He may begin to pander to the housemaid, which is another grave error.
4. Don’t deny your husband access to your body. In marriage, the bodies of husbands and wives belong to their spouses. You can’t go into marriage and still want to withhold your body from your spouse. If you’re married, you don’t deny your spouse access to your body. Sex is at the center of most troubled marriages today. The wife shouldn’t deny her husband her sexual obligation and vice versa.
The man is different from the woman. The make-up of a man is such that he may not mind having sex with his wife every day! But the wife will want to be in the mood first. Lack of understanding has made many women lose their marriages; you can’t allow your husband to have sex with you only when you feel like it. Be wise. That doesn’t mean that the husband should be insensitive to the health condition and the emotional state of his wife.
Man shall not live by bread alone as important as bread is but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. A man shouldn’t promote sex as important as his daily food. Even as important as food is to the human body, man can do without it for some days. And with discipline, you can do without sex for some time. 1 Corinthians 7:4-5 says, “The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband gives authority over his body to his wife. Do not deprive each other of sexual relations, unless you both agree to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time so you can give yourselves more completely to prayer. Afterward, you should come together again so that Satan won’t be able to tempt you because of your lack of self-control” (NLT). Did you see the condition given there for abstinence from sex for married people?
While both the man and the woman should not deny each other sex, they must, however, have consideration for each other. There is a need for balance.
When a woman denies her husband her body and keeps a grown-up housemaid in the house while she spends much of her time outside the home, she is setting up her husband for temptation and giving her home over to the devil but this doesn’t exonerate the husband. “Whoever commits adultery with a woman lacks understanding; He who does so destroys his own soul” (Proverbs 6:32 NKJV).
If your husband begins to move towards the housemaid to satisfy his sexual urge, both of you will have to live with the negative consequences of your indiscretion. The case is even worse if the man is not born again and the housemaid is a willing accomplice who deliberately tries to outwit and displace her “madam” and enjoy the good things of life in the house which her “madam’ has gotten so familiar with not to appreciate any longer. “The mouth of an immoral woman is a deep pit; he who is abhorred by the Lord will fall there” (Proverbs 22:14 NKJV).
5. Don’t hire a grown-up housemaid. Your marriage stands the chance of being more threatened if you hire a grown-up person as a housemaid who spends more time in the house with your husband than you because you’re more outside the home. Don’t hire a grown-up person or someone who is already sexually active or has a marital problem. If your husband isn’t born again, you may have already unwittingly married a second wife for your husband, and this second wife may eventually displace you if she is interested in taking your place and transforming her life from being a house help to being a housewife! Some women have made this mistake and it was too late before they realized it. May you not destroy your home with your own hand.
Psalm 123:2 says, “Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters, as the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress, So our eyes look to the Lord our God, until He has mercy on us” (NKJV). If I may just make a deduction here with regard to what should gain the attention and focus of male servants and maids. The eyes of the housemaids should be towards their mistresses and not be seductively desiring their mistresses’ husbands. As Proverbs 4:25 says, “Let your eyes look straight ahead, and your eyelids look right before you” (NKJV). The eyes of housemaids should look away from their mistresses’ husbands. The eyes of husbands should also look away from their housemaids.
Woman, don’t hire a housemaid who will be competing with you for your husband’s love and attention by the way she dresses, walks, or looks. Maybe she is envious of you and what God has given you; she sees you as a rival and, indeed, a hindrance to getting your husband; she wishes to take your place and does not care what happens to you in order to take your place. Some wives have been attacked spiritually and became either incapacitated or died after which their maids took over their matrimonial beds. That won’t be your portion in Jesus’ name. Be careful.
6. Set boundaries with your housemaid. As a wife, you should set boundaries with your housemaid. Clearly communicate to her the scope of work and restricted areas. For instance, your bedroom should be out of bounds to your housemaid, and serving your husband food should also be forbidden to her. You should keep her off as much as possible from close contact with your husband, especially if she’s a young lady. It’s your job to protect your husband and you should have no apology about this.
Some women do not set boundaries with their housemaids. They want them to do anything and everything, and they’re happy to be relieved of their household responsibilities. But there’s a danger in this. As a wife, if you allow your housemaid to enter your bedroom for whatever job you think you can’t do, you may be giving her the licence to take over your matrimonial bed! You will regret this later.
7. Keep watch over what goes on in your home. There are both spiritual and physical watches that a woman must do. The spiritual watch has to do with prayer. Don’t neglect to pray for your home, including your husband. Colossians 4:2 says, “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful” (NIV). Pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Protect your marriage in prayer.
With regard to physical watch, many women aren’t in touch with the reality of their homes. They’re not current because they’re not observant. They’re not like the virtuous woman in Proverbs 31. And every wife ought to emulate this woman in all the good attributes the Bible gives about her but more particularly with regard to verse 27. The Bible says concerning her: “She carefully watches everything in her household” (Proverbs 31:27a NLT).
Woman, how much of what is going on in your home do you know? How many things that happen in your home in your absence are you aware of? That’s the problem with many women. They’re blind to what is going on around them in their homes. Their husbands are already getting too close to their housemaids and they don’t know. Their husbands are already buying special gifts for their housemaids to seduce them and they don’t know. Their husbands are already spending a long time alone with their housemaids with nobody around them and they don’t know. What other fertile ground for sexual misadventure can a husband prepare than this? Yet the wife is not aware of all this. She’s not only busy outside the home; she’s not deemed it necessary when she returns to carefully watch all that’s going on in her home.
Some wives may even be in the home but are insensitive. Sometimes outsiders are even aware of what is transpiring between her husband and the housemaid but she is ignorant of it.
I’m not talking about suspecting or not trusting your husband. I’m talking about you monitoring your home enough to know what is going on. Have you bothered to look at how your housemaid dresses in the home? Is her dressing decent or indecent? Do you monitor her movement in the house? Is there any change in the way she talks with you and your husband of late? Has she become less respectful these days? These may be pointers that something is wrong or right. If you take keeping watch over what goes on in your home as your responsibility, you’ll be able to help yourself, your husband, and your marriage. Don’t be ignorant about events in your home. Proverbs 9:13 says, “A foolish woman is clamorous; she is simple, and knows nothing” (NKJV).
Conclusion: Don’t forget this: “For three things the earth is perturbed, yes, for four it cannot bear up: For a servant when he reigns, a fool when he is filled with food, a hateful woman when she is married, and a maidservant who succeeds her mistress” (Proverbs 30:21-23 NKJV). The Bible says the earth cannot bear a maidservant succeeding, displacing, or replacing her mistress. All I have done in this message is to help you with some precautionary steps that can help you protect your home from the possibility of your housemaid supplanting you. That doesn’t excuse your husband from his personal responsibility to remain faithful to his oath of marriage and abide by the Word of God against sexual immorality especially if he’s a child of God.
I pray you’ll not lose your home to your housemaid in Jesus’ name. May you not oust yourself from your matrimonial home due to indiscretion on your part and on the part of your husband. Be wise. “The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish pulls it down with her hands” (Proverbs 14:1 NKJV).
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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