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The Respect Dare, Day 8 – Building Him Up

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That your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.  Philippians 1:9-11

Today in The Respect Dare –

Nina Roesner encourages us to remember why we married our husbands and to focus on their strengths.

WHY DID I CHOOSE TO MARRY MY HUSBAND – WHAT STRENGTHS DID I ADMIRE ABOUT GREG?

He was:

  • strong in his faith in Christ
  • responsible
  • trustworthy
  • dependable
  • competent
  • intelligent
  • playful and fun
  • careful to treat me with dignity, honor and respect
  • patient
  • forgiving
  • calm and steady, even-keeled
  • hard working
  • creative
  • talented
  • masculine
  • gentle
  • strong emotionally, spiritually, physically
  • loving
  • thoughtful
  • generous
  • mature
  • accepting, not critical/judgmental

WHEN I BEGAN TO STUDY RESPECT, BIBLICAL SUBMISSION AND BEING A GODLY WIFE

I realized I had been focusing on a few flaws and weaknesses that I perceived instead of concentrating on all the good things in my man.  I also realized that as I stopped looking at and concentrating on and talking about the negative things, they began to disappear from my view.  And as I began to focus on, give attention to, talk about and think about the strengths my husband had – they grew and grew.

I started a list of my husband’s strengths.  I began to add to it whenever I could think of another quality to add.  I kept the list in my prayer journal along with a list of my sins.

So I went to God each day with a list of my husband’s strengths and my sins – and began to approach God respectfully about my husband and humbly and with contrition about myself.

A MISTAKE I MADE

When I was learning about showing respect to my husband – I still didn’t understand men very well.  I thought they think and feel just like I did.  So I started sending my husband LONG emails about all the things I respected about him.  Like, 2000+ word emails every day.  I didn’t get that men aren’t necessarily very verbal so words about respect don’t mean as much to them as words about love mean to me.  It is our actions, attitudes and behavior that speaks respect the most to our men!

Then I would check my email every few minutes all day waiting for the awesome loving email he was going to send back in return.  But most of the time, I got no email at all.

By the time Greg would get home, I was in tears because I was convinced he must not love me since he didn’t return my awesome email with a wonderful, long, loving email of his own.  And my husband was so confused.

– He would say, “What happened to the wife who sent me that respectful email?  Why are you crying?”

– I would say, “You must not love me as much as I love you.  Why didn’t you reply to my email?  If I got an email like that, I would send a wonderful email back saying all the things I loved about the other person.”

– He would smile and say encouragingly, “I got it.  And I read it.”

– But I was so upset that he didn’t send anything back.  I felt unloved.

At that time, I still truly didn’t understand how VERY, VERY different my husband was from myself.

LESSONS LEARNED

If you want to share with your husband things you admire about him – that is AWESOME!

Let me suggest a few things to pray about and consider – each man is different – so they will have different preferences:

  • many men prefer BRIEF emails/messages (ie: 2-4 sentences)
  • I would suggest thanking him for/praising 1-2 things per day or every other day – it is possible to give too much praise for some guys
  • do NOT expect him to compliment you in return or send you a message/email in return
  • do this because you love and reverence Christ and out of obedience to His commands to you to respect your husband
  • do this to build your husband up, not to get him to do something for you or make you feel loved or to change him
  • love and respect him with no strings attached – knowing God will reward you in heaven for your obedience to Him
  • realize that however you treat your husband – Jesus counts it as if you are doing those things for Him.  Look past your husband’s shoulder to see Jesus – and treat your husband with the respect and honor you would give Jesus if He came to your house.
  • spend plenty of time with God, reading His Word and humbly praying for your husband and marriage so that you can be empowered by His Spirit to be the wife God desires you to be

QUESTIONS:

1. How does your husband expect you to treat him – based on your past behavior – with kindness or contempt?

2. Does your husband feel safe with you?  Does he feel safe with your thoughts about him?  Does he feel safe with your words about him to others?  Does he feel safe alone with you and your words?

3. Your husband is someone very precious to God – for whom Christ died, too.   If he is a believer in Christ – he is God’s son.  If he is not yet a believer in Christ, God desires him to receive Christ and become His son.  And if you are a believer  but your husband is not – God’s greatest missionary assignment for you is to minister to your husband and share Christ with him – as He prescribes in I Peter 3:1-6 (by your reverence, without preaching, nagging, lecturing or talking about spiritual things.)

4. Pray that God will help you see him the way that He sees him.  How does God desire you to treat this son He loves so much?

5. If you have a son, how would you want his wife to treat him one day?  Are you modeling the kind of attitude, respect, cooperation, love and friendliness you desire to see your future daughter-in-law use with your son?

BLESSINGS:

One of the most amazing blessings about learning to respect my husband and honor his God-given leadership has been that God has made me much more into the woman I have always wanted to be.  When you only bless your husband with your words and use your words to give life – you don’t carry all that guilt around anymore from yelling, being impatient, being controlling and all that other sin.  This is true freedom and abundant life!

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