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The Respect Dare, Day 13 – Say "Yes" to Your Man

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She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.  Proverbs 31:27

We are on Day 13 of The Respect Dare.  If you have gotten behind, don’t worry!  Just take one dare each day.  You will finish a few days after I do – that is not a problem at all. 🙂

WHAT IS THE BREAD OF IDLENESS FOR YOU?

Yikes!

For me – there are some things that definitely qualify as “the bread of idleness.”  I am not great at “moderation.”  I personally  am much better at ALL or NOTHING.

  • tv – I actually try not to watch it at all anymore!
  • Facebook – I can definitely waste a TON of time there, I have to be careful with that.
  • fiction books – If I start reading a good book, I will sit there for hours reading and won’t put it down.
  • the phone – I try to spend very little time on the phone myself.

This is where it gets tricky.  If I am not careful, I can get so involved in MINISTRY that I neglect my husband, children and home.  Emails from hurting women, comments on my blog, writing just one more post, or working on a book – is that book even God’s will?  I am not totally sure yet!

I have to consciously pry myself away from blogging, emails and ministry and carefully balance my time to be sure I take care of my chores, my children and my husband.  Otherwise, I would happily sit all day at the computer.  I LOVE ministering to women. I believe God wants me to do this ministry.  But I have to be VERY careful to keep the proper balance or I could easily allow ministry to take over my life.  I must be sure to keep my husband as my primary ministry and then my children – then others.

Is ministry the “bread of idleness?”  Ummm…. not really.  But if I am allowing ministering to others outside of my husband and children to take my energy away from them – I have a big problem.

  • I MUST BE SURE I AM FIRST SAYING “YES” TO MINISTERING TO AND HELPING MY HUSBAND IN THE WAYS HE NEEDS ME.
  • THEN I MUST BE SURE I AM SAYING “YES” TO MINISTERING TO AND HELPING MY CHILDREN IN THE WAYS THEY NEED ME.
  • AND I MUST BE SURE I AM CARING PROPERLY FOR OUR HOME.
  • THEN I CAN FOCUS ON MINISTRY TO OTHERS.

WHEN MY HUSBAND ASKS ME TO DO SOMETHING

My goal is to try to say, “YES!”

If it is important to him, I want to make it important to me, too.

  • Is there an area of the house that your husband has asked you to organize that maybe you have been neglecting?
  • Is there some chore that your husband has asked you to do for him – and you have been putting it off?
  • Is your home in order?
  • Are there activities that are consuming too much of your time and depriving your husband and children from having enough of your time and attention?
  • Is there something your husband wants  you to give up?  A job?  A hobby?  A volunteer position?  A ministry position?  Maybe even a friendship?  Is it possible that God might be trying to lead you through your husband about this issue?  Please prayerfully seek God’s will and to honor Him and your husband’s leadership.
  • Does your husband know that he is your primary human priority – second only to God?  If he feels that other activities are taking you away from him, please listen and hear his heart and ask him to help you decide what things you can take off of your plate so that you can be more available to him and your family.

(If you have serious problems, physical abuse, infidelity, drug/alcohol addictions, uncontrolled mental disorders going on in your marriage – that goes beyond the scope of this blog-  please find experienced, godly, qualified help ASAP!)

Lord,

Help us to truly see what Your priorities are for us in our family and in this season of our life.  Help me to get rid of things that are not of much eternal value that are keeping me from spending the time I need to spend with You, and my husband and my children.  Give my husband wisdom to see the things that need to go and help me to have the strength and courage to honor his leadership in these decisions.  Let me truly become my husband’s helpmeet.  Let me orient my life first towards You – but then towards him and let me be a blessing to him each day.  Show me how I can best help him in ways that are meaningful to his masculine needs. Help me to protect my time with You, my marriage and my family time and help me to say no to things that are not Your best for us.

In the Name and power of Christ,

Amen!

HOW TO SAY NO:

When someone asks you to do something if you know you can’t fit it in, simply say, “I can’t.”  (Laura Doyle The Surrendered Wife)  If they keep pressuring you, keep repeating, “I am so sorry, but I just can’t.”  DO NOT give them reasons why!  They will shoot those reasons down if you do.  Just say “I can’t.”  They will eventually accept your answer!

If you are not sure if you should say yes or no, say, “Let me check with my husband first and get back with you.”

If your husband says, “no.”  You have your answer.  You can tell him if it is something that is really important to you.  But it is VERY easy to overcommit ourselves to activities that aren’t truly that important.  And sadly, when we are too busy, we miss the things that are MOST important – our time with God, our husbands and children.

Let’s be VERY protective of our time with God and our husbands and children.  Let’s be willing to say no to lesser things.

BEING A TRUE HELPMEET:

Ask your husband once a week, once a day – “What can I do for you today?”  “How can I make your life easier today?”

Then try to do it! 🙂

Not expecting a big response from him – but out of reverence and love for Jesus, with a true servant’s heart, just to bless your husband.

Maybe he’ll ask you to

  • make him his favorite meal
  • relax with him and watch tv with him
  • take his dry cleaning to the cleaner’s and bring it back
  • make some time to be intimate with him
  • take a nap so you can be at your best for him later
  • tidy up the hall closet
  • have the house in order when he comes home and the kids under control
  • have the kids go to bed by a certain time

Whatever it is – seek to have a willing spirit to do what he asks.

CAUTION:

If your husband is asking you to clearly sin or condone sin, please do not say yes to him!  If what he is asking you would cause you physical harm – you may have to say “I can’t.”  If you believe that he may be seriously emotionally abusive – please seek a godly, Christian, experienced counselor.  There is no way for me to address severe issues here – I am not a counselor or pastor.  Those things go beyond the scope of my blog.  They are not out of the reach of God, however!

Check out Nina Roesner’s blog for books that may help if you are a victim of abuse.

RELATED POSTS

Is Your Ministry For Christ Destroying Your Marriage?

FYI:

I am going to be very busy this coming week – I hope you can be understanding as I will get to comments and emails as soon as I am able to, but it may be a longer wait than usual.  Thank you! 🙂

0 thoughts on “The Respect Dare, Day 13 – Say "Yes" to Your Man

  1. I want to serve my husband and say yes to him but I believe I am an enabler. If he asks about his favorite meal to be cooked, it’s done! If he wants me to mow the yard, it’s done! If he needs me to get something from the store, it’s done! If he needs me to get feed for his cows, its done! I can do all those things and am glad to. However, what about the things that are his jobs and responsibilities? Am I to do them or am I to respectfully tell him those are his responsibilities and not to mention, most of them I am physically unable to do. Isn’t it a sin to do things for him that only enable him to be irresponsible? I want to submit to his leadership( which he has reminded me of at times and then I do it because it feels wrong to not do all that he asks of me and I fear his verbal abuse and anger) but need guidance in where it is right to say no. It’s such a fine line and do hard to navigate through.

    1. Ashley,

      It is wonderful to meet you! 🙂

      Do you have a relationship with Christ? Your first priority in life is going to be to please and submit to Him.

      Here are some posts about biblical submission., Biblical Submission Does Not Mean the Husband is Always Right, Doormats Don’t Glorify God Either.

      If he asks you to do something you physically cannot do without major risk of injury, what happens if you say, “I am so sorry, I just can’t do that. I would if I could.”

      Are you safe in your relationship?

      Each couple has their own unique blend of what the husband’s responsibilities and wife’s responsibilities are. There is not a specific set of rules. Ephesians 5:22-33 is God’s design for marriage. The husband is to love his wife as Christ loves the church and gave Himself up for her. He is also not to be harsh with her (I Peter 3:7). He is to love with a I Corinthians 13:4-8 love, just like the wife is to love her husband that way. He is to be filled with God’s Spirit and demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit not the sinful nature just like wives are Galatians 5:19-22.

      What happens if you don’t do what he says?

      What do you say to him when you don’t do what he says.

      What particularly do you think you should not do?

      I would be glad to hash through some of these things with you.

      I am going to have a very crazy week the next week – much more working and being away than normal. But I will answer as soon as I am able to! 🙂

      Much love to you!

  2. Maybe I need an article that covers what submission is and isn’t and what a doormat is and any other resources to help. I want to be confident that when I say yes or no, I am not disobeying God.

    1. There are also some posts at the top of my home page about what husbands say is disrespectful to them and what is respectful to them. That may be helpful, too. 🙂

      If your husband clearly asks you to sin or condone sin – I believe you would have to resist him in order to obey God. The authority structure of God is found in I Cor 11:3. God>>Jesus>>Husband>>Wife.

      If he disobeys God, that doesn’t mean you must follow him into clear sin. Your obedience to God comes first if you have to choose between God and your husband. If he asks you to abort your baby, or lie on your taxes, or have a threesome, or watch porn with him, or not worship Christ as Lord – then you could not cooperate with him.

      Does that help?

  3. Regarding what you said about a book and not knowing if it was God’s will – I don’t know if this will help or not, but I did think a couple of times recently that you should write a book. 🙂

    1. Bridget,
      Thank you so much! If I do, it has to be totally God, His message, His power, His timing, His people, His making the way. May He greatly increase and I decrease. Please pray that God might open the doors He wants me to walk through. I want to do anything He desires me to. You are so encouraging!

  4. Eating the bread of idleness has been a major stumbling block for me. Like you April I have spent too much time either watching tv or on the computer. I’ve always laughed it off that I’m domestically challenged. I can’t seem to get organised. And tasks like menu planning and doing the grocery shopping seem to take a month. I know that sounds dumb when you gotta eat every day, but then I would just cop out and get take away food instead. MAJOR problem for me.

    What does DH say is important to him?
    – get the washing done and put away each week
    – plan a fortnightly menu and then do a weekly shop to keep the fridge and pantry well stocked.
    – keep the shopping in labeled jars or containers with dates and menu information on them. Not in the packets they came in.

    Doesn’t sound like much, but I’ve struggled to get this consistently right for years. I do want it to be different. I don’t believe in myself enough that I can change. My home is not now, nor has it ever been in order.
    So he resents me taking time for myself in anything. Including going to church.
    Then I resent him for trying to stop me from engaging in the one thing that is giving me a chance to break the cycle of this toxic mess that’s become my life. A relationship with Jesus Christ.
    This week I used an old coffee jar to reconstitute some dried figs that I then used to cook a vegetarian meal I found in a cook book. He was so thrilled because I reused the jar like he’s always asking me to do instead of just throwing it out. Also because I took time to cook a healthy meal and put extra effort into the preparation. I’m really trying my best but I am afraid that I can’t keep it up consistently.
    Can I quote your prayer now? It’s just right.
    “Lord,
    Help us to truly see what Your priorities are for us in our family and in this season of our life. Help me to get rid of things that are not of much eternal value that are keeping me from spending the time I need to spend with You, and my husband and my children. Give my husband wisdom to see the things that need to go and help me to have the strength and courage to honor his leadership in these decisions. Let me truly become my husband’s helpmeet. Let me orient my life first towards You – but then towards him and let me be a blessing to him each day. Show me how I can best help him in ways that are meaningful to his masculine needs. Help me to protect my time with You, my marriage and my family time and help me to say no to things that are not Your best for us.
    In the Name and power of Christ,
    Amen!”
    I am so grateful to you and Nina for The Respect Dare Journey.
    Much love Tam

    1. Tam,

      I love love love seeing you work through these issues and watching God at work. BEAUTIFUL!

      You know what helps me a lot – listening to David Platt’s sermons or worship music on Youtube while I do chores. That way, I am learning more and expanding my faith and growing closer to God or praising Him AND getting the chores done. That helps me look forward to chores as a time to be intimate with Christ.

      I LOVE that you cooked for your husband and that you did things that are important to him.

      It is VERY motivating when our husbands respond with gratitude. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t. Ultimately we do this for Christ – but is sure does make the process a lot more fun when we see their appreciation!!! 🙂

      Sending you the biggest hug. 🙂

      1. What a great idea listening to sermons while doing chores! I often listen to praise & worship during the day, but I never thought of YouTube sermons. That’s excellent. I can definitely do that.
        Much love Tam

    2. I also struggle with keeping my home in order and menu planning… but one thing I’ve found that is really helpful is http://www.flylady.net – she has some fantastic suggestions for building routines, forming habits to make all this run smoother. Check it out and see what you think!
      Lorraine

  5. Hi April,

    I have been following your blog for a little while now (I think about a month or so) and I just wanted to let you know what a great blessing it is to me. I was convicted of my disrespect of my husband by the Lord, and after reading through Ephesians 5, I did a Google search about respecting my husband and your blog came up. You have already helped me IMMENSELY, just to help change my thought patterns from the toxic, overly feminist and worldly viewpoint to a Biblical one.

    I’ve been a Christian for a fairly long time (about 16 years) but because I grew up in a home that wasn’t Christian, I struggled for years between doing things God’s way and the world’s way (which I had been raised in). God’s way is so much better than the world’s way, and I wish I’d started doing things His way in my marriage a long time ago! 🙂

    I have a question for you, however. You’ve said a few times in your blogs that as wives, we should keep our homes in order. I agree, but this is something I have ALWAYS struggled with. Do you have any suggestions on how I could improve this? I’ve struggled with depression almost my whole life and I believe that, along with some things that went on in my childhood, affects the way I keep the house. I want to please my husband in this area, but sometimes I don’t even know where to start. I know HOW to clean; my struggle is more related to preventing procrastination, not being too overwhelmed to start, and more than that, actually KEEPING UP with it. I do pretty well for a while, but eventually it slips through my fingers again and I need to start again from Point A. 😛

    Again, thank you SO much for doing this blog. It is such an immense help to those of us who are working on our relationships with the Lord and our husbands. 🙂

    God bless you.

  6. Well God would like me to be intentional about my prayer time and reading my devotional as soon as I get out of bed. This means I need to go to bed at night and get up earlier. Then do the 365 bible plan during the day. (Which is so awesome on you version by Nicky and Pippa Gumble).

    I have a male friend and i know God wants me to focus on him and not the friend. 🙂

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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