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The Respect Dare, Day 24 – Intimacy with God

praying

They may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior. I Peter 3:1-2

SO I CAN’T TALK????

This passage is written for wives whose husbands are “disobedient to the Word.” God KNOWS men so very well. He knows that “words are for women” as marriage counselor Bob Grant likes to say. He knows that words mean little to men. Action, attitude, body language, non-verbal communication, facial expressions, tone of voice – THESE are the things that speak volumes to men.

This passage is not saying “Never ever utter a word to your husband about anything.”

The idea is – in your witnessing to your husband about Christ – do not use words.

WOMEN LOVE WORDS

Women, by nature, are VERY VERBAL! We have a huge verbal center in the brain that is highly connected to the huge emotional center in our brain. When we want things done, we use words! And we long for words from our men, too. Words of love. Words are very powerful to us.

Problem is… men are not made like women! Men have a smaller emotional center and it is not that connected to the verbal center for them. In fact, their emotional center is much more connected to the spinal cord. That is so that men are ready to fight or take action if necessary when things go badly. ie: war, dangerous jobs, protecting their families, etc.

When our husbands aren’t close to God – by our estimation – what is our biggest natural instinct?

We want to TELL him about God, explain spiritual things to him, try to argue him closer to God, try to verbally force him to become a more godly man… etc. That is what I used to do.

Words do not bring men closer to God. Our many words about the Bible, spiritual things, church, sin, and all the “godly leadership” things we think our men should be doing REPEL them from us and from God.

Read that again, please. Seriously. Because most of us DO NOT understand this. We assume our men think just like we do. And we think, “the answer to this problem is to EXPLAIN it all to him again until he admits I am right – until he understands and does what I know God wants him to do.”

Here is something I wish I knew 20 years ago. MEN DO NOT THINK LIKE WE DO! The sooner we can understand how God designed them to think and process emotions and spiritual things – and the sooner we accept God’s design and His wisdom – the sooner we can step out of the way and let God do the talking – and the sooner our men will begin to hear God’s voice. Then it is up to God and our husband how things turn out.

God is giving us a treasure here. He is giving us precious instructions that will allow us to be His partners as He works in our husbands to draw them nearer to Him! This is the way that God gives wives to influence husbands – living out their faith in God by showing respect for their husbands and by living in the power of God’s Spirit. That and prayer.

Repeat after me. This is something that took me a LONG, LONG time to get through my head.

I am not the Holy Spirit.

I am not the Holy Spirit.

I am not the Holy Spirit.

I tried to be the Holy Spirit to my husband (and many other people) for many years – and I was baffled that they did not become convicted of their sins and repent and change!

Turns out – I am just a little sinful human. I am not deity. I can’t change people. I can’t convict people. I can’t even change myself until God opens my eyes and His Spirit works in me.

TIME WITH GOD

So, the most powerful thing I can do if I want to influence my husband to draw near to God and become more and more the man God wants him to be – is to draw near to God myself and become more and more the woman God wants ME to be.

My motive must be to know God and honor Him – not to change my husband.

Here are a few suggestions about spending time with God and how to have an increasingly intimate relationship with Him:

  • Make time with God your BIGGEST priority. This will require removing other things from your schedule. It is totally worth it. There is nothing more important on this earth than our relationship with Jesus.
  • Limit distractions. If you have young children, this can be very difficult. But maybe choose a time during their nap time or a time when you are up before anyone else, or at work on your lunch break, or 10 minutes in your car before work. Or – maybe the children, if they are older, can listen while you read the word, or they could listen to the Bible being read in another room on an app like Bible.Is. Or you can have a mandatory “quiet time” in the house for Bible study for older children where they read their Bibles and have their time with God in another room if possible. Ask God to help you find solutions if this is a big challenge!
  • Humble yourself – begin by praising God. See how holy, high and lifted up He is, and how lowly and sinful we are. Acknowledge that He is wise, we are not.
  • Have a listening spirit – ask God to make you sensitive to all that He wants to say to you through the scripture and your quiet time and all throughout the day.
  • Repent of any known sin – Ask God to reveal to you anything that offends His holiness so that you can repent and turn to Him and do things His way. Refuse to cherish any sin in your heart – even grudges, bitterness, unforgiveness, resentment, pride, self-righteousness (looking down on others as “less than” ourselves), a critical spirit, being controlling of others, idolatry (anything that is more important to us than Jesus), gossip, ungodly motives, unkind attitudes, greed, selfishness, unbelief, worry, etc.)
  • Lay any fears or concerns at His feet and don’t pick up the emotional/spiritual weight again. Trust Him to handle those situations. This will involved exercising some potentially very weak faith and trust muscles.
  • Ask God to fill you with His Spirit. (If you have not received Jesus as your Savior and the LORD of your life and you have not committed yourself to living totally for Him for the rest of your life – please leave a comment Β and we can talk about how you can have an intimate relationship with Jesus now and how you can know you will be with Him in heaven after you die! This is the most important decision of your life. Choosing to know Jesus = eternal life and paradise. Choosing to reject Jesus = eternal separation from Him in hell – according to Jesus and God’s Word. I do not want that for ANYONE!!!!!! Trusting Jesus is so very sweet. I pray you will give your life to Him today if you haven’t done that already.)
  • Read a chapter or two – or more – depending on how much time you have and how God leads you. Ask God to speak to you through His Word. Concentrate on the words. Re-read the chapter a time or two if you want to. What is God saying? Is there something you need to stop or repent of? Is there a command He wants you to obey? (We are no longer under the Law of the Old Testament – there are some laws that are helpful to us – and some that no longer apply because we are not living in the sacrificial system. Jesus Christ was the ultimate sacrifice – but the Old Testament does contain great godly wisdom. Any command in the New Testament we do need to obey.)
  • Replace any lies of this world with the truth of God’s Word in your heart.
  • Take every thought captive for Christ all day long. Write down what you are saying to yourself. Compare it to scripture. Reject anything that is not the truth of God’s Word!
  • Meditate on scripture and memorize verses.
  • Build your entire life on Jesus Christ, His Wisdom, His power, His Truth, His Word, His will and His Glory.
  • Be willing to obey Him no matter the cost.
  • Then, listen to praise music throughout the day whenever possible and sing praises in your heart to God always.

I personally had to get to the place where I decided – I am not going ANYWHERE geographically/emotionally/spiritually until God or my husband (under God’s leadership) lead me. I am just going to wait. I am not running ahead anymore. I am going to wait on God until I am 80 years old if that is what it takes. I want His will. If He wants me to do something, He will show me what I need to do. And if He wants me to wait for the next 40+ years and that is His will – awesome. That is what I will do.

I also had to get to the place where I decided – I am throwing out ALL of the “wisdom” of the world. I am questioning everything I have learned about life, God, godly femininity, masculinity, marriage, family, being a Christian, etc… and all I want is Jesus and His truth. I do not care if I am the only one on the planet obeying Him and seeking to do things His way. I am willing to obey Him even if it is weird, even if I am ridiculed. I want Jesus. I want ALL of Him. I want His whole will and nothing but His will. I don’t want the world anymore.

DARE 24:

Desire Him more than anything or anyone else on earth. If you do NOT have that fire in your heart for Him like this – pray and BEG God for it! Long to know the presence of God. Let that be the greatest desire of your life today and every day.

Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. John 17:3

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15 thoughts on “The Respect Dare, Day 24 – Intimacy with God

  1. Plz pray for my marriage. I’ve tried to b his HS and ur right it did the exact opposite. My husband has forgiven me for many past hurts but also says in the same sentence that he doesn’t feel close to me and has a hard time being around me. Which brings me to believe he’s hurt and dealing with resentment I’m praying God will soften his heart towards me. Any other ideas how I could be praying and also what to say- or not to say when we pray together. ?? Thank u

  2. My husband has this phrase he uses with me…”Hon, I want to listen to everything you have to say…but my brain is full.” And I stop. I get it. He’s not like me. He’s a man. And that’s okay. So thankful our Father does not get tired of our talking, even when our men do!

    1. Elaine,

      I think that is probably true for a lot of men – I love the way your husband describes it his “brain is full.” I’m so glad that he can tell you that and I am even more glad that you can accept his listening limitations graciously. Great job! And – I am DEFINITELY thankful that God’s brain doesn’t get full! πŸ™‚

      Great insights!!!!! Thank you!

  3. OMG! In order for me to work harder within self, and our marriage, I know I’ve been spoken to gently in the spirit, to Silence myself. This is so so so challenging and so testing, that I don’t know how long, I can cope this journey. Internally, I weep, in my Silence, I weep, and I hurt, in my daily steps, and weep, yet I have to Humble within, Humble self, and still weep. My God! Am I hearing the right Spirit, even though when I am told to apologies to my husband, right or wrong… πŸ™ In order to keep the Peace, or bring the Peace between us, I have to apologies, right or wrong.

    Will! If I’m in the wrong, I know I must apologise; when not in the wrong, I still have to apologies… πŸ™ Gosh! I’m just hanging in there, but I know have to return to the Living Word, turn to our Daddy, and weep unto Him, and talk to Him… Our Father, Who art in Heaven…

    1. Gabe,

      It is wonderful to hear from you!

      If you have been disrespectful/controlling or lecturing/preaching/nagging/criticizing – that does need to be silenced. It is VERY HARD! It is only possible by God’s Spirit working in you. πŸ™‚

      Only apologize when you have sinned. You are not responsible to apologize when you have not sinned. πŸ™‚ You are only responsible for yourself.

      Would you like to talk some more?

      Much love to you!

  4. Yay! Day 24 and I finally found something in the Respect Dare that I did right! Too funny πŸ™‚
    Since I came to Christ almost 2 years ago, I’ve certainly blundered through my marriage with all types of disrespect and resentment but one thing I figured out early was that talking to my husband about God would severely repel him. So I haven’t.
    I didn’t constantly talk about what I’ve been reading or try to convince him that he should follow God. I don’t talk about his sin and try to convict him that he should repent. I understand that I need to be demonstrating my faith not Bible Bashing with it.
    “Action, attitude, body language, non-verbal communication, facial expressions, tone of voice” these are all areas where I have definitely fallen short. So there is still much need to continue a heart check on myself. at first I was just gritting my teeth and bearing it in silence. April you always say “you can’t fake this, men always know when it’s not sincere” that’s really true. I do still fall into the trap of feeling like I can’t speak my mind. But this Respect Dare Journey is teaching me to put my faith and silence in Christ and not my own strength.
    Ok I’ll be honest I’m not the Holy Spirit either.
    But I do want to love God with all my heart.

    Love Tam

    1. Tam,

      I am so glad that God showed you those things early on! WOOHOO!!!

      This whole heart change thing is terrifying sometimes, but so exciting and breath-takingly beautiful! I love what God is doing in you. Eventually, God will change your heart and mind and you will hardly even think the negative things anymore.

      Much love!

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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