1Ki 15:11-13 And Asa did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, as David his father had done. (12) He put away the male cult prostitutes out of the land and removed all the idols that his fathers had made. (13) He also removed Maacah his mother from being queen mother because she had made an abominable image for Asherah. And Asa cut down her image and burned it at the brook Kidron.

We know that the very large majority of domestic abusers are men and that churches have been enabling abusers by teaching and practicing what we call patriarchy. The father this. The husband that. It’s all about the father and everyone else in the family exists to serve him and further his “mission” in serving the Lord. The father becomes the “priest” of the family – a virtual mediator between them and God. Men who lust for power and control and self-glory love this system. The Lord does not.

But what I want to talk to you about here is a very similar system in which it is the wife or mother or grandmother in the family who is “queen.” I know this evil exists because I have met it numerous times over the years, and as the scripture above demonstrates, we find examples of it in the Bible as well.

The matriarchal kingdom is established by an abuser who is a woman. In the circles we are most familiar with, in Christian circles that is, a mother or a grandmother craves power and control. She uses her religion (just like Asa’s mother did) to establish an idolatrous dynasty over which she rules. It looks something like this:

  • She presents herself to her husband, her children, her grandchildren, as kthe most saintly, godly, wise woman they have ever known.
  • Her verbage is filled with Bible talk and scriptures (twisted and perverted of course).
  • She is regarded by her offspring and their offspring as a virtual prophetess.
  • She is very skilled at punishing anyone who demonstrates any hint of independence from her kingdom.
  • Her punishing tactics include, guilting, shaming, threatening, removing her favor, hinting at taking away their inheritance, turning other family members against the “wandering sheep,” etc.
  • Anyone who breaks from her control will pay the price of being a non-person, rejected by all in her kingdom.

Get the picture? And don’t miss this – an evil matriarch like this always establishes a false religion. She and her “family” system are the idol-god which is to be worshipped by all…or else.

And here is a sobering, sobering warining: Very few people in a matriarchal system ever break free. They yield to fear and when Christ in some way calls them to come out from this enslavement, they cling to the false god.

Anyone who is born into such a kingdom of darkness is blind to what it really is. Like everyone else in it, they think “mother” or “grandmother” is indeed the model of a true saint. It is only the Lord who can open their eyes and begin to show them the bondage they are in. You can tell them and tell them and tell them in order to help them see, but ultimately the Lord has to give them the eyes to see. And then they have to make a choice which no one else can make for them. Stay in bondage, or leave it to follow Christ.

How many of these matriarchs of darkness hold key and noteable positions in many local churches? More than most people imagine. It must have been something like this at Thyatira-

Rev 2:20 But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols.

Recently Lynn commented on this blog, sharing her experience of getting free from such a family system – ruled by numerous tyrants. Her comment is worth repeating here:

When God opens your eyes, it is an invitation to let go of what you think you know and embrace his loving truth. While his gift to each of his elect is free, it is also extremely costly.

It will cost you family, friends, and reveal to you who are the wolves, who are the sheep, and who are the goats. Anyone who has appeared as godly on the outside but ends up being rotten to the core, we are commanded to remove ourselves from. That’s hard. None of us want to lose people, but the truth of the matter is that if your faith is genuine and you are obedient to Christ, you will not be able to hold onto all of your relationships. Your faith will reveal those who hate God in your midst. Don’t be surprised when you experience the hatred Jesus talks about when he tells us that they will hate us just as they hated him. We live in a day and age and a nation that refuse to be obedient to God’s word yet profess to carry his name.

It was hard leaving my entire family, including my extended family behind. While leaving my immediate family was less painful – they are a pack of narcissists wearing the guise of godly saints. I’ve had to purge most of my extended family and church relationships as well. They may not all be the wolves Christ mentioned, but they are also caught up in deception of false teaching around who Christ is, and what their responsibilities are as the Christians they claim to be. They refuse to separate from those who the Bible instructs us to avoid because they are family. Family means more to them than obedience. They refuse to seek to understand who God is for themselves nor gain wisdom in the face of evil. They let their ears be tickled by lies all the while being convinced they are walking in truth.

One of the things that has been so many fail to take seriously is that when Jesus said he’s come to separate fathers from sons, mothers from daughters and that if you choose family over obedience to him you are rejecting him. That instruction is missing in much of today’s churches. Rejecting unsaved family, especially if they wear the clothes of godliness yet are filled with dead men’s bones, is deemed unchristian.

How dare you be so unloving as to reject your family? Don’t you know you’re not being Christ like you know? And other such accusations are what you will hear from those who proclaim to be Christ’s yet refuse to obey him.

It’s not the narrow road for nothing. If it was easy, everyone would do it. But it’s not. It is hard and costly, yet nothing in this world is worth more than being Christ’s. Not family. Not friends. Not position. Not possessions. Nothing.

So to all those who are broken by wicked people parading around as godly, come out from the wolves den and live. You too can find the healing, hope and belonging your heart craves in the arms of Christ and his true sheep. No longer must you remain in the hands of wicked abusive people. Embrace the freedom granted to you by Christ. If the son sets you free you are free indeed.