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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!

20 thoughts on “The Respect Dare, Day 8 – Building Him Up

  1. Thank u for this very hands on approach. My hubby not too good with praise so a few compliments at a time. Dear God help this be my new language. Yes it seems uncomfortable at first but hopefully it will become more natural for me.

    1. Carla,

      Sometimes husbands will actually get upset at first when their wives stop the negative remarks and start saying positive things. Sometimes they think their wife is being sarcastic or is trying to manipulate them. So, if your husband has a hard time accepting compliments, you may want to just do one every other day or so, very casually. And don’t be surprised if he says nothing.

      If he gets angry, let me know and we will talk about it!

      This can be very confusing for husbands at first, and sometimes they don’t know what to think!

      It can take many weeks or months or longer for some husbands to believe this change is real.

      Praying for you today!!! 🙂

  2. The story that you shared goes along hand in hand with expectations that we wrote about the first day. I text my husband a sweet, short note during the day. When we were dating, he would send me a sweet, short note back. Then the sweet short texts dwindled to “me too”, then after we got married… the “me too” even left. So now when I leave him a text, I almost always get silence instead.
    This has become a great source of discontentment in my life, and has caused me to have many feelings of rejection. It has been difficult for me to receive positive things from him in other areas, b/c I felt so rejected in this area. I have had hurt feelings which has caused me to be more upset, disappointed, and critical. Certainly not the builder upper that I should be =) Thanks for the reminder of how I should treat him, despite my own array of emotions… I do want him to feel safe with me… not closed off from me. I think it’s not just about not letting critical words come out of my mouth, but not even allowing them to take root in my heart.

    1. Just heard this on Christian radio today -“when we throw dirt- we lose ground”
      I don’t want to throw dirt and/or lose ground with my hubby!

  3. Boy I remember who my husband was when I married him. Strong and proud but not conceited, kind, generous, open minded, not judgemental, the most genuinely colour blind person I knew. He never judged people by race, gender even religion. He was polite and gentlemanly almost to a fault, always putting others first. I remember one time he saw a man in a wheelchair carrying a guitar. DH ran up the hill to take the mans chair and push him the rest of the way. Then he crossed the road and went in the opposite direction of our house in order to help the man to the train station.
    It grieves me to know that I had a hand in crushing his servants spirit. It wasn’t all me, he suffers PTSD and that isn’t my fault. But I did take advantage of his servant nature and took without giving. I didn’t know that it was controlling to expect him to always accommodate my wishes. I just thought I was allowing him to be a gentleman and that was a good thing for him. That’s what happens in the fairy stories so I thought I was building him up. Then he crashed and became the opposite of who he used to be and I didn’t understand. How can I change him back?! I demanded to God.
    I can’t change him, only God can and when he changes it will be to become who God intended, and I’m sure that that is not to become my enabler again.
    Lessons learned
    – Christ is my strength and my goal
    – serving is loving just as Jesus loved
    – remembering the past is not permission to resent today
    – serving and loving my husband is the same as serving and loving Jesus
    ThxTam

  4. This exercise was good for me and my husband. While I pointed out things I admired he too pointed out the things he admired about me. It was awesome. He wrote them all down on a list and then said the things we love about each other are all fruits of the spirit. It was such an awesome time. He even said he’s save the list so when times get rough we can remind each other of the traits we love. I was thankful for this!

  5. I am headed out of town today for work. Right before I left, I put little sticky notes all over the house for my hubby to find. They each said something that I admired about him. 🙂 It was fun to do, but I also need to remember not to feel disappointed if he doesn’t mention them when I talk to him on the phone. No expectations!

    1. Bridget,
      I am really proud of you! Great idea!

      Now – you are exactly right – expect nothing in return. Do this to honor God and to bless your husband – not to get appreciation or to get compliments in return. 🙂

  6. Im Reading old entries and my hubby is now saying thank you instead of discrediting my compliments. Thank u for ur encouragement. Your blog is pointing me to Christ and my BIG plank in my eye. It has been a lifeline to me

  7. I have just finished reading love and respect and it says in there that women sometimes have too much discernment, I just wondered why or how that would be possible?

  8. QUESTIONS:

    1. How does your husband expect you to treat him – based on your past behavior – with kindness or contempt?
    God expects me to treat him with respect, and fear him in a godly way. To talk to him kindly and to trust him fully My past behavior has been 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?
    Probably not, No,yes,yes
    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.) I need to do this

    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?
    with respect
    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? Oh my no I am not but Im trying.

  9. I love this! I complimented my husband last night. He said you are acting like I just bought you a Coach purse or something. You are being really strange today. I wasn’t offended at all. I know that I need to change my behavior and treat him like a king.

    1. Brooke,

      Ha! That is so cute about that you were acting like he just bought you a Coach purse! I’m excited about what you are learning and how you are seeking to bless your husband. Thanks for sharing!

My grandmother is on hospice and won't be with us much longer (11-30-16). I will get to comments when I am able to but I need to be with family right now. Thanks for understanding.

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