From a precious wife – thank you for allowing me to share this! MANY, MANY wives will relate!
I just completed day 20 this week, I am about six weeks behind, but I am taking the Respect Dare at my own pace in hopes that I will glean more from it and really work carefully at applying the principles in my own heart. May God’s Spirit guide me and lead me daintily and tenderly through the remaining 20 dares.
I feel good to have gotten half way through Nina’s book. I was a wife whom from the beginning didn’t know if I had it in me to complete the dares, yet alone work on becoming a respectful wife.
Dare 20 was a hard dare for me. I thought I was getting it, I wrote down four things that I wanted to do to show my hubby sacrificial love, and then I did some of those things.
- One of those things was to clean his bathroom (the downstairs bathroom that only he uses and calls “his throne room” jokingly). I braved this task and did it cheerfully and didn’t mind it. I had fun killing about six different spiders and cleaning the yucky “needed to be cleaned for the past two months!!!” bathroom.
I did it without expecting anything in return and knowing that it needed to be done.
- The second thing (I forget what it was now), but I did it, cheerfully and willingly.
- The third thing I wanted to do to show hubby love was to make him a big breakfast. My hubby likes eggs and sausage, biscuits and gravy, the works! The desire to make him this breakfast came from a heart that had wanted to make him a big breakfast since his birthday in May or since our anniversary in June. I gave him a raincheck and wanted to make it for him. So I bought the needed groceries.
Hubby came home late from a baseball game that he went to with his work. He got home around 1:00 a.m. He woke up at 8:30 and didn’t fall back to sleep. I tried to be very quiet and to let him sleep.
Once he came downstairs, I started making breakfast. I was discouraged since I couldn’t get our digital music player to play in the kitchen. I asked him for help but he didn’t know how to help me. So I ended up making the breakfast and sang some songs to worship God and to make my own joyful noise.
So as I am making this breakfast my hubs is sitting down at the kitchen booth table. He is tired, drained, and is trying to communicate to me about the game. I was trying hard to listen to him and to finish things up.
Well I got everything made and served up. And then came the sitting down at the table.
And out came the junk (the sinful motives and attitude) that I didn’t know would come out.
Before we prayed, I complained.
- I complained about the music player that I HAD WANTED him to fix so I COULD listen to music to get ME (or try to get us) in a better mood since I knew it would be a hard day to talking with hubby since he was out of it (ON top of working two 12 hour days previously during the week of overtime, which God so graciously allowed).
- Then I complained that my husband didn’t appreciate me.
AND THE HEART OF THE MATTER WAS, I was complaining because I expected him to be SO APPRECIATIVE of the sacrificial act of love I was doing for him.
We had a talk. I told him about my desire to be affirmed by words and appreciated. I told him my desire to be cherished and appreciated. BUT THE FACT WAS….
That I guess I was stewing some of the time I was preparing the food, because I wanted so much to be appreciated while I was cooking.
Just one comment.
I expected my husband to react in a certain way, the way I thought he should. I wanted so much to make it perfect, but I was the one who made it hard.
I know hubs would have said thank you, but I didn’t give him time to say anything. I just jumped in, criticized him about the lack of fixing the music player, and then was drowned in my desire and need for appreciation.
SO I ended up asking for forgiveness. He prayed for our food.
Then I got overly emotional. I could only pray to God. Help me Jesus. I just wanted to please God. I just wanted to feel appreciated.
Hubby said it would have been better that I hadn’t cooked the big breakfast if I was going to EXPECT HIM TO REACT IN a CERTAIN way at a CERTAIN point of time.
So I was overcome by tears. Tears that knew I had sinned. Tears of my deep emotions and desire to be loved, cherished, appreciated, adored, but also tears of repentance. I completely understood what my husband was saying.
- I was being disrespectful by my expectations.
- Wanting his words of affirmation when I thought he should give them.
- Not waiting on hubby’s response time.
- Wanting hubby’s approval more than God’s approval.
I did serve hubby with love. But it wasn’t a sacrificial perfect love like Jesus’. I wanted recognition, admiration, praise, and compliments at the right time, but Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross didn’t come with recognition, admiration, praise, and compliments. It came without any rewards. It came with humility and obedience. It came with a desire to please God and not man.
That is where I failed. That is why I am writing this.
To encourage those who have stories similiar to mine. To proclaim that Jesus forgave me of my selfish, changing motives for praise and recognition, and to give Him the glory for beginning to change my mindset.
Thanks April for allowing me to share.
I believe that every wife has multiple moments like this on the journey to becoming a respectful, godly wife.
This is probably going to sound really strange. But – I am thankful that sometimes our husbands DON’T give us the affirmation and recognition we desire, especially at first.
WHY would I say that?
- When we don’t get what we really want – our husbands’ appreciation, their verbal affirmation – it forces us to see our true motives. Seeing our true motives is very necessary for us to really die to self, take every thought captive for Christ and for God to refine our faith. These are opportunities for God to skim the “dross” off the top of the melted gold in our hearts to make us more and more pure.
THIS IS A PAINFUL PART of the journey. To be sure!!!!
It is wonderful when our husbands do affirm us, encourage us, thank us and appreciate us. I’m glad when they do these things.
BUT – our motives have GOT to be to please and honor Christ alone. It is only when we are truly finding our contentment, purpose, identity, acceptance, fulfillment and joy in Jesus alone that we can be the godly wives Jesus commands us to be. And we can only do that by the power of His Spirit. There is nothing good in us on our own. It is all about Christ and His power every step of the way.
EXPECTATIONS – The Respect Dare Day 1
The Respect Dare, Day 20 – Loving Our Husbands with Sacrificial Love
Expectations – Part 1 (Part 1 of a 4 part series I did earlier in the year on expectations.)