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The Respect Dare, Day 33 – Time to Stop the Rescuing!

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Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.  Hebrews 12:14

My timetable and my husband’s timetable are two entirely different things.  (Kind of reminds me of how my timetable and God’s timetable are often worlds apart.  I don’t think that is a coincidence.  I think God gives husbands that longer timetable for wives to learn to wait patiently on God and on their husbands.)

One of the things I used to do that really screamed disrespect to my husband was –

I would ask him to do something.  But then I would get impatient and go do it myself.

I have to admit, I still struggle with this one at times.  Especially if I have finished doing whatever it is I was busy doing, and he hasn’t done the thing I asked him to do yet.

BUT – it is still better for me to wait and let my husband do things in his time than for me to jump in and rescue him and do it myself.  If I asked him to do something, and he said he would do it – I need to wait and let him handle it.

It is easy to go from being a helpmeet and helper to our husbands – to rescuer and controller.

NOT GOOD!

It is easy for an assertive, formerly dominant, formerly controlling wife to think things like:

  • But if I don’t go wake up the kids now, if I wait on my husband to do it at this point, they are going to be late.
  • I know I gave him the finances, but if I don’t pay the water bill, the water is going to be shut off and we will have to pay a fee to get the water turned on again.
  • if I don’t rescue him when he is watching the baby for 2 hours, the baby won’t be fed properly and her diaper won’t be changed on time and she will probably get diaper rash!

CONSEQUENCES ARE A POWERFUL TEACHER

  • Maybe the kids get up too late to get ready for school and my husband has to sign the children in at school tardy.
  • Maybe seeing the family go without water for a few hours or a day and having to pay a fee will help my husband be more responsible with the bill paying.  (My husband never had to have consequences that severe to figure things out – but for some husbands, these kinds of consequences are what it takes for them to learn to be responsible.)
  • Maybe getting some experience with the baby without my constant instructions will help my husband learn to be a better Daddy and he will figure things out.  He is a pretty smart guy!

Nina Roesner says (in The Respect Dare), “One of the results of Adam’s sin in the garden is that men need to learn to take initiative from other men or from God.  Sometimes consequences are the only thing that can teach them.”  “We all have areas in our life where we are slow learners.”

Sometimes we as women are the same way!  We ignore our health, our diet, our exercise, our sleep – and then we end up with health issues as consequences.

PART OF BEING A GODLY WIFE IS LEARNING TO “STAY OUT OF GOD’S WAY WHEN HE IS TEACHING YOUR HUSBAND!”

DARE 33:

1. Do you tend to rescue other people?  (I sure did!!!!!)  How?

2. If you are rescuing your husband or children or others, how could you trust God more with them instead of trying to handle everything yourself?

3. Sometimes, a wife’s words or actions can get in the way of God working in a husband’s heart.   Is that going on right now in your marriage?

4. How might God want you to stop trying to be the Holy Spirit and get out of His way in a situation?

MY HUSBAND SHARED SOMETHING POWERFUL WITH ME YEARS INTO MY RESPECT/BIBLICAL SUBMISSION JOURNEY:

  • “April, when you stopped saying all the negative things, telling me what to do, criticizing me, lecturing me, etc… –  it was like someone turned off some loud static on the speaker where I can hear God’s voice.”
  • “When you began to say positive things about what I was doing right, and thanked me for what I did for you, and praised me for the things you genuinely respected about me – it was like someone added an amplifier to the speaker with God’s voice in my heart.”

SHARE:

What is God speaking to your heart today?

Are you guilty of rescuing your husband or older children instead of allowing God to teach them through natural consequences?

13 thoughts on “The Respect Dare, Day 33 – Time to Stop the Rescuing!

  1. April, this is one I really struggle with because my husband will really let things go. I mean I’ve been waiting for him to change a light bulb by our door entry for two months! I’m not sure that consequences affect him very much because he will typically say “well, what happened, happened”. With this said, I know God is at work in our marriage. He is a kind, gentle man that loves Christ above all things. I have seen how my negative, disrespectful and dominant attitude have caused him to retract and become even more passive, but I am grateful that the Lord is renewing my spirit and that He is teaching me so many things through His word and this blog. April, thank you for your faithfulness to God’s call. I am EXACTLY as you were 15 years ago, EXACTLY! Seeing that God has transformed you gives me hope. I want to respect my husband, I want to be an honorable wife in his eyes and God’s. I love him so much and have already seen his positive reaction to most things though I know he is very hurt inside. I know that it is a matter of the Lord transforming me and His Spirit taking over in me. It is simply about the Spirit growing in me and the fruit manifesting in my life. I want to bless him with that. Any suggestions on how to react/what to say when he lets things go a really, really long time?

    1. Saved by Grace,
      Ha! I can definitely relate!

      We bought an old house when our youngest child was 6 months old. Greg and his dad spent about 3 years renovating it. We have lived there 6 years now. THe first year and a half, they spend 6 days a week on the house. It was AWFUL! I was nursing our youngest 2-4 times through the night, sleeping in 30 minute increments for a year and a half. She was sick most of the time. I was sick most of the time. The house needed MASSIVE renovations. We spent 3 months deciding where the kitchen would be, whether or not we would have a dining room, where the master suite would be. It was MAJOR stuff.

      I asked my husband for shelves in the kids’ bedroom closets. It took 4 years for that to happen. There were just so many things to do – the shelves weren’t a big priority for him.

      Now, we still have 3 of the original bathrooms that need to be gutted down to the studs and totally redone. And the laundry room. And you know what? I don’t care!

      I moved into this house a very impatient woman.

      Now, I have so much patience – and it is thanks to having to wait A LOT for a long time.

      Here’s the thing about husbands:
      – sometimes they don’t have the same priorities we do – that is not always wrong. It is just different.
      – you can ask your man what he prefers for you to do if something is taking a long time. Some men appreciate friendly reminders, some do not.
      – their time table can be MUCH, MUCH, MUCH longer than ours.

      Something I keep in mind is that this house could be destroyed by lightning, a tornado or fire or something later today. There are not a lot of things that are actual “emergencies” or things that will ultimately matter that much in light of eternity as far as house projects go.

      Yes, if the toilet is backing up and sewage is filling the house – that needs to be a pretty quick priority. But a lot of things aren’t that big of a deal.

      Your description of your husband sounds like he is one amazing man.

      In the grand scheme of things, a lightbulb needing to be changed is a VERY SMALL issue. About as small as they come. OF course, if someone falls on your porch because it is dark – well, that would be a safety issue.

      What I do is very nonchalantly say something like, “Oh Honey, if you get a chance, I’d love to have that lightbulb on the porch changed soon, thanks!” And then I drop it.

      I would only probably do that maybe once every month or so.

      Another thing you can try, get the lightbulb and put it by the front door where it will be a good reminder.

      What do you think?

      Much love to you!

      1. Thanks for the reminder April. I know you are right. God is using this to teach me much patience, since the light bulb is a very small example of this (We also have been going through the very lengthy, though not as long as you, house renovation thing).

        I tend to want to do all the little things right away, and you know what? That leads to massive to do lists and the perfect scenario to leave God’s priorities for later. In full disclosure, this is what I do…I see most things as urgent because I know I, I, I, I, (did I mention I?) could and would get them done quickly and efficiently. Not only do I get on my husband for not reacting the same way, but I tend to put my Godly priorities on the back burner to give these tasks priority. And I do all this so that I could feel like I’m in control of something!! Idols anyone?? Uggghh!! Lord, please forgive me and strengthen me to have your peace about the passing things of this world, to be kind to my husband in all situations and to put YOU first!!!

        Thank you for pointing out that this is a way the Lord is using for me to grow in patience! I know it is true! Opening up to that perspective actually gives way to a huge amount of gratitude to God for what He is doing in my life. 🙂

        April, would it be ok if I emailed you sometime?
        Thanks for your encouragement! Blessings.

        1. SavedByGrace,

          You know what I had to realize? I had to realize that the lightbulbs being changed, the kitchen being done, the old wallpaper being gone, the huge mess and all the dust and disorganization – those things were not sins. If my husband didn’t do them as quickly as I liked – he was not sinning. God would not grade him on that in heaven, most likely.

          But my bad attitude WAS a sin -and God would hold me accountable for that. Now, I try to focus on what is important to God and my own sin and obedience to Him instead of the details of the house being perfect.

  2. I have recently found your blog, and it ‘s given me a lot to think and pray about. I am an impatient, control freak, a kind and sweet one, but still a control freak. I honestly think that my husband and I operate on totally different timescales, there is a kind of glacial slowness to him that at times makes me want to tear my hair out!!! However I have tried being controlling for thirty years,and I know it doesn’t work, so God help me, I am going to work on this ……..

    1. Susannahc61,
      It is wonderful to meet you!!!! 🙂

      One thing God showed me was that in all of my attempts to be in control -it was all an illusion. I actually didn’t control most things. Certainly not my husband. The only thing I did control by trying to control him was making him want to be far away from me.

      Laura Doyle made a statement in The Surrendered Wife that has stuck with me “You can have control or intimacy – but not both.” If you try to have control (which you don’t actually ever have) – you pay for it in intimacy on every level.

      I can’t wait to see all that God has in store for you! 🙂

      This requires a total change and renovation of the heart by God’s Spirit. It is only in His power that we can be the godly wives He desires us to be.

      You may want to look up “idol” and “idolatry” on my home page – there are some really helpful posts on this VERY important topic. Control – for many of us, and definitely for me – was an idol that I cherished more than my intimacy with Christ. I just didn’t realize it for decades.

  3. I have found the trick is to stay out of the way because God is ALWAYS teaching!! I used to be like that little dog on Bugs Bunny, jumping all around, “look what he’s doing – i should jump in, aren’t You going to do SOMETHING about THAT, youwantmetojumpinnow?????”

    9.9 times out of 10, God was quite capable of handling it Himself — imagine that 🙂

    … just too humbling!

  4. He he this dare has made me chuckle. In my family I’m the one who has the unfinished projects and light bulbs that I said I would change but just haven’t got to yet. DH gets frustrated and challenges me to finish what I start.
    He’s so right too. Time to go fix the dishwasher I took apart . . .
    Oh no wait its nearly midnight I’ll leave it till tomorrow. . .
    After work . . .
    And after dinner . . .
    maybe DH and the kids should help with the dishes after that. . .
    Uh oh I’ve missed the point again. Sorry. ;-(

    Lord,
    I pray that we all see you as the place to seek refuge. Thank you for giving us homes with electricity, light bulbs, dishwashers and computers. Thank you for blessing us with husbands and families and I pray that we learn to serve them well and glorify you as we go.
    In Jesus name Amen

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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