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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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21 thoughts on “The Respect Dare, Day 11 – Focus on the Good

  1. My husband enjoys learning about whatever he is doing. He started working in a supermarket deli in the fall of 1990. He did so for 7 years. He was such a sponge. He has learned so much about meats and cheeses. He took a deli D.A.T.E. test and scored in the top 10% in the nation. He has such a passion for food and feeding people so it didn’t surprise me. We always enjoyed having people over so we could feed them. We even fed 60 people all of the meals for a church camp weekend. We loved it. We eventually started our own deli. We have been feeding people from there for nearly 16 years. We feed them food but we also feed their hearts. We have employees with checkered pasts who we have given the chance to be built up. We have customers that come to us when they are down because they know they will get some love. We have even had customers send in their friends when tragedies occur because they know they will get the love and nourishment to refuel. My husband loves our children so much. He has made sacrifices for them because he always wants the best for them. I love the way he always wants to help others.

    My husband has always provided for our family. He would work overtime. He worked 80 hour weeks and would come home and still do home improvement projects. He would still play with the kids. We ate meals together as a family. Tired isn’t a word in my husband’s vocabulary. There was still time to help other people move, paint, tow a car, whatever needed doing. He has such a sense of humor to lighten event the tense moments.

    1. Lesley,

      Wow! What an amazing man you have. :). I am so glad you shared your story. I know God uses him to bless many people. Thank you for a beautiful example of focusing on the good. Love it!

  2. Thank you for shearing this I just use done of your ideas here and send my lovely boyfriend a text…

    My boyfriend is a great man and a father he’s very hard working and a good provider for our family, he work with a lots of children giving back to the community loving personality, caring funny. He has bring in the police force for 12years nothing but great reviews being part of his life is a blessing and I’m so bless to have such an amazing man thank you lord.. After read this it tells me I need to step up as his lady to tell him how proud I’m of him and complement him more because he totally deserve it.. Thank you lady(my sisters)

    1. Nyillah,

      Great job! I am proud of you for focusing on his strengths. Just remember – send him the respectful admiring text – and then don’t expect him to respond. Be ok even if he says nothing. Do this to bless him, not for him to send something back to you. 🙂 I learned that one the HARD way!

  3. What a Blessing for the Dare of the day, Our Pastor’s sermon last night was on this very topic. How we all to often focus on the negative in the chosen one (aka our husband/wife). He said if just once a day we could let the chosen one know something good what a difference it would make in a marriage. And what truth is behind that statement. With God for us, who could be against us !

  4. I sent my husband a txt thanking him for being a gd husband n a father to our 6months old girl.
    guess what he replied; your making me shy..lol

  5. May I add something to things to avoid? Married women posting “hunky” men pictures on facebook and then making drooling comments. Or posting pictures of musicians and stating “I am going to see my man, boyfriend etc. tonight in concert.” I see this all the time on facebook and I find it not only disrespectful to their husbands but also breeding discontent. I have to stop myself from commenting every time.
    I think if a husband has gained weight, lost hair etc. wives can find something about their husbands to focus on and find appealing. My husband since being out of work awhile has gained a big belly but I still think he is the sexiest man alive. He has a great chest and arm and leg muscles that I love, not to mention his handsome face. I could honestly compare him to ANY of those hunky pictures and still find him 10x more attractive. If I focused on his weight gain I doubt I would see him that way.

  6. Hie April,

    Thank you so much for all this! I am still continuing with the journey… Day 12 today. Thought i would share with you my progress. Actually its about yesterday’s dare. You said i should message my husband appreciating 3 things i greatly admire about him. So i sent him a text message towards the end of the day & told him that i am proud of him, thanked him for being an amazing husband & amazing father to our son, thanked him for spending time with us, thanked him for being such a great provider to our family, thanked him for being such a good man (he has a good heart, is considerate & generous). I told him that i am so honoured to be his wife and i love him very very much!

    AND HE REPLIED! Normally my husband replies an hour or so later because he has a busy job and i understand. But yesterday he replied a minute later & said ” thanx. i am proud to have you as my wife. Actually i am BLESSED.” 😀
    And when we got home he held me in his arms and told me he loved me so much!

    I am still smiling now. I am glad my husband considers me a “blessing”. Thank you April!

  7. Although I am not a wife (yet…) The Respect Dare & your blog has been such a blessing to my life & my relationship. I am finding that I am beginning to understand my future husband more than I ever have & I am ready to be more of a giver in our relationship. I just answered every one of your questions pertaining to my future spouse & I have gained so much more of an appreciation for him & God’s work being done through him. God is both changing me & my perspective. Although its been tough, I am thankful that God is working in me. I am also thankful that God is working through you to bring us this wonderful resource 🙂

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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