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The Respect Dare, Day 11 – Focus on the Good

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Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.  Philippians 4:8

In Day 11’s Respect Dare, Nina Roesner talks about an important concept in human interaction:  “Whatever we pay attention to grows.”

  • If I pay attention to the negative things I don’t like, I will notice more and more of them in that person.
  • If I pay attention to the positive things I do like, I will see the good things grow and grow.

I love the way the wife in The Respect Dare handled the situation with her husband not doing what he had promised to do.    Have you ever had a situation where your husband didn’t follow through on something he had promised he was going to do – but you were able to talk with him in a positive, respectful, pleasant way about it – and then he helped you?  You are welcome to share!

How can I apply Philippians 4:8 to my life and marriage – and, even to my thoughts about my husband?

SOME THINGS HAVE TO GO BECAUSE THEY DON’T APPEAR ON THIS LIST:

  • whatever is false – I must carefully examine each thought and determine if it is of God and if it  may pass through the Philippians 4:8 filter or not.  If something is not true according to God’s Word, I must reject that thought about myself, my husband, my life, my marriage…
  • whatever is sinful –  I can’t allow myself the “luxury” of marinating in resentment, unforgiveness, hatred, contempt, bitterness, self-righteousness, condemnation, a judgmental spirit, jealousy, lust, idolatry (putting my husband, myself, my feelings, etc. before Christ)
  • whatever is wrong – Even just thinking about doing wrong or wanting to do wrong is self-defeating and is providing for the flesh and sinful nature.  Thinking about the wrong I want to do, or the wrong I believe my husband is doing or might do does not honor God.  There are times I must respectfully confront sin – but obsessing over my husband’s past, present or possible future sin is sinful for me.
  • whatever is impure – Dwelling on pornography, romantic novels, romantic movies, love songs that glorify impurity, lust, fornication, adultery, etc… does not honor Christ and it opens up a huge door for me to invite in discontentment and idolatry and unrealistic expectations.  Agreeing to participate in watching porn, going to a strip club, having a threesome – would be thinking on and participating in things that are impure.  Sin begins in our minds.  First we have to think about it.  Then we progress from thinking to talking or from thinking to doing.  As God’s people, God calls us to live holy lives without a trace of impurity or sexual immorality.
  • whatever is nasty – Focusing my mind on other people’s sin defiles me, too.  This is one reason I have a really hard time even watching the news.  Hearing about murder, rape, robberies, kidnappings and all the evil that people are involved in around my city and the state – these are not the kinds of things my Lord desires me to meditate on.
  • whatever is detestable – If God hates it, it’s my job to hate it, too, and to make no room for it in my heart, mind and life.  I have to know the Word well to do this.  Then I can take each thought captive and reject anything that offends God.
  • whatever is a failure – focusing on my husband’s sins and failures, or my own sins and failures, will paralyze us both.
  • whatever is offensive – giving a lot of attention to what my husband does wrong will make the wrong seem to grow!

TIME TO BEGIN SOME NEW HABITS – please write down or type out your answers to these questions about how God wants you to think about your husband and marriage:

  • whatever is true – What are some truths about your husband and your marriage that are rock solid?
  • whatever is noble – What is something gallant and chivalrous that your husband has done for you – maybe when you were dating, or first married, or maybe recently?
  • whatever is right – What is right about your husband?  What is right about your marriage?
  • whatever is pure – Think about the holiness of your one flesh relationship in your marriage – what  a gift sex is from our loving Lord.  How is married sex pure, beautiful and glorious?
  • whatever is lovely – What is becoming in your husband’s physical appearance?
  • whatever is admirable – What strengths does your husband have that you respect and admire?  What are you proud of him about?
  • whatever is excellent – What achievements has your husband accomplished in his work, as a husband, as a father, as a believer in Christ, as a homeowner, as an athlete?
  • whatever is praiseworthy – What qualities does your husband have that deserve your praise, attention, admiration and appreciation?

DARE:

Pray and ask God to help you see everything in life, especially your husband, through God’s eyes.

Think of 3 things you really, genuinely admire about your husband and tell him, message him or email him about them today.

ie:

Hey, Honey,

I was just thinking about how proud I am of you.  I want to thank you for

  • being such a great provider for our family
  • spending time with me and our children and doing fun things together – You are an amazing husband and father
  • being a man of integrity

I am so honored to be your wife!

with all my admiration,

Me

IF YOU NEED A FEW MORE IDEAS OF THINGS TO ADMIRE YOUR HUSBAND ABOUT:

  • his physique
  • his eyes
  • his smile
  • his laugh
  • his sense of humor
  • his faithfulness to your marriage vows
  • his being responsible with money
  • his working hard to keep the yard and cars looking great
  • his playfulness
  • his faith in Christ (if he is a believer)
  • his godly leadership (or the fact that God made him the leader – you can admire that)
  • his listening to you and connecting with you
  • his discipline
  • his work ethic
  • his talent
  • his creativity
  • his sexiness
  • his intelligence
  • his resourcefulness
  • his wisdom
  • his career aspirations
  • his dreams
  • his goals
  • his desires
  • his honesty
  • his solid work ethic
  • his responsibility
  • his trustworthiness

You are welcome to share your struggles and victories and your stories with us!  Thank you for being on this journey to become a godly wife with me. 🙂

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