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25 Ways to Respect Myself

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For a godly woman, respect goes in every direction:

  • respect for God (the highest level of respect)
  • respect for our new self in Christ as stewards of the life with which God has gifted us
  • respect for others (men, women, and children)
  • respect for my husband in particular
  • respect for God-given authority (bosses, teachers, pastors, government officials, etc…)

Some of us respect ourselves but not others. Some respect others but not ourselves. When we are missing respect in one of these directions, things get dysfunctional. Let’s get respect going in every way! 🙂

What does it mean to respect myself?

  1. I acknowledge that I am made in God’s image and have immeasurable worth because God created me and because Jesus loves me and died for me.
  2. I respect my body by acknowledging that I am fearfully and wonderfully made and being thankful for my body, taking good care of it – not hating or abusing it. I live my life to honor God – it is all about Him now, not about me.
  3. I respect my sexuality and my body by dressing modestly and not revealing anything that would be inappropriate in public and by enjoying my sexuality in proper context with my husband.
  4. I respect my life and spiritual, emotional, and physical health by seeking to walk in God’s ways and His wisdom knowing that sin would destroy me on every level.
  5. I am thankful for the gifts, talents, and abilities God has given me and I seek to be a good steward of them all.
  6. I love myself in a godly way, not a selfish way, because I know that God loves me. I receive God’s love for me gladly.
  7. I can receive the love of other people including my husband.
  8. I know that my perspective, desires, needs, feelings, and concerns are often important and I am able to share these respectfully when appropriate at home, church, in my extended family, and at work but I do not have to have my way – I am careful not to exalt self or cater to my pride.
  9. I receive that God’s Word and His promises apply to me, too, not just to others.
  10. I take good care of my body, mind, soul, nutritional needs, and health. I seek to do what is best for myself in all of these areas.
  11. I have healthy boundaries emotionally and spiritually and am able to say, “no,” when this would please Christ as my Lord.
  12. I take responsibility for my own spiritual growth and my own emotions.
  13. I do not take on responsibilities that belong to others and to God.
  14. I do not abuse myself spiritually, mentally, in my thoughts, verbally, emotionally, or physically and I seek not to sin against myself.
  15. I do not subject myself to abuse by others. I know when I need to remove myself from a very toxic situation.
  16. I seek God’s wisdom about how to live my life and I seek to avoid foolish decisions.
  17. I am careful not to put myself in tempting situations. I guard my heart.
  18. I am careful not to have any addictions to anything except for Jesus.
  19. I have a healthy understanding of who I am vs. who God is.
  20. I seek to be a godly steward of my finances and to make wise decisions in God’s sight. I try to avoid debt and manage my finances well.
  21. I am able to stand up for myself if necessary while still being respectful of others, including my husband.
  22. I don’t allow anyone or anything to steal the treasures I have in Christ.
  23. I acknowledge the importance of my influence authority in marriage and what a critical role I play in portraying the gospel to others.
  24. I honor and cherish God’s design of femininity for me.
  25. I acknowledge that I – primarily – set the emotional temperature for my marriage, family, and home as the wife and mom. I know I need to take good care of myself so that I can take good care of everyone else.

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What are some other ways you show godly respect for yourself? Ladies and gentlemen are welcome to respond.

FOR THOSE WHO BRISTLE AT THE CONCEPT OF “SELF-RESPECT” – a bit of explanation:

We are all made in the image of God (Genesis 2). We all have innate worth because God made us – kind of like any painting by Picasso would have incredible worth because Picasso painted it.

We all have the old sinful self. There is no good in that old sinful self. We can’t earn heaven. We can’t earn God’s love. The only hope for it is for it to be crucified with Christ on the cross and buried with Him. When I talk about “respecting self” I am not talking about exalting our sinful self. I am not talking about pride or entitlement.

Then we have a new self in Christ when we come to Him and receive Him as both Savior and LORD of all in our lives. We are a “new creation.” Jesus takes away our sin, removes it as far as the east is from the west. He completely pays our sin debt of trillions and trillions of dollars to God on our behalf (this is an analogy, of course – no amount of actual money could ever pay for our sin or explain the cost Christ experienced in dying for us). He gives us a new heart, mind, and Spirit from Him. He gave all of His life for us. Now we give all of ourselves to Him. And He begins to fill us with His Spirit and transform us more and more in every day life to be more like Himself.

When I talk about “respecting self,” I am talking about acknowledging Christ above all else as KING and LORD and that He alone is my source of truth. It is about right thinking about our new selves in Christ. I am talking about getting rid of any lies of the enemy and sinful or worldly thinking and about building our understanding of God, ourselves, and others humbly on Christ and His Truth from the Bible.

He renews our minds with His Word. He restores our souls with His presence. He causes every fear to flee in the face of His love for us. As we cooperate with Him in faith and allow Him total access to our hearts and minds, He begins to cause us to love the things He loves and to hate the things He hates. He begins to make earthly things “grow strangely dim” and heavenly things seem so much more brilliant and attractive. All that He has is ours. He withholds nothing from us. We are one with Him.

I want each of us to be able to receive all that Christ has already died to provide for us and to live in His presence, love, grace, truth, holiness, victory, and power every moment of every day!

MORE HELP FOR THOSE WHO ARE STRUGGLING WITH THIS:

Please check out RadiantandRedeemed’s comments on this post. She leads many ladies through prayers and an explanation of being set free from spiritual bondage over these issues.

Check out Nina Roesner’s e-course about becoming a woman of strength and dignity.

 

RELATED:

I know Nina Rosener has been writing on this subject, as well. I haven’t read her posts because I didn’t want to copy what she had to say – but you can check out her blog for more ideas on how we can respect ourselves.

Women, Trade Self-Worth for Awe and Wonder from www.desiringgod.org

Doormats Don’t Glorify God Either

The Pendulum Effect

Biblical Submission Is Not Passivity

Isn’t It Demeaning to Me if I  Respect My Husband?

My Identity in Christ 

Respect for Our Husbands

Humility by Andrew Murray (free download)

Absolute Surrender by Andrew Murray (free download)

8 thoughts on “25 Ways to Respect Myself

  1. Dear Becca and the many, many others who struggle with this; grace and peace to you to be strengthened in your spirit to receive the truth from God
    And my biggest pride though I couldn’t realize it – was not having needs, asking for anything, and never being demanding like those other people. I tried very hard to be self-sufficient. I thought that was a good thing. But there is a way that seems wise to man that in the end leads to death. That is what my thinking was. I guess I do not see how dying to self and putting yourself on the cross of Christ is a bad thing…

    Any self-effort to improve or love God or be good on our own is tainted by this old self. I agreed with that whole paragraph.
    But that is not all there is to us as new creations in Christ. And everyone, saved or not – has a spirit. We are all image bearers of God. There is dignity to all of our lives from conception to death, no matter the state of our physical/mental/spiritual well being. We are broken image bearers – but still image bearers. And there is a sacredness and a dignity to human life, including YOU because of that. I agree. I am only worthy because Christ paid his life for me. Other than that I am good for nothing but being burned in eternal fire.
    Most of us in the West have received a gospel that is Non-Good News. We believe Jesus died for us (He probably hated it and felt like He had to), and that He saved us just enough to get us into heaven and dump us at the very outer rim, near the huge walled perimeter, while He moved on to important people and things. Now everything is up to us to make the Kingdom happen and to grow by ourselves (we have been trained to think – or we misinterpreted what was taught). I disagree with this… Only the Spirit can change us. All of our self-effort will do nothing.

    The Word is God-breathed – and we need to breathe in His Word for us personally every day and actually absorb it Ok, I have tons of index cards. I can quote tons of scripture. I have some that I look at every day. I am currently doing two Bible studies. I do not know how much more watering I can do@@@@ . We are not watering it with Living water, but with the poison of evil lies we tell ourselves. We have hard, rocky, unbelieving hearts in a Church full of unbelief and worldliness. Of course we are not growing. We are starving and rotting. We have not taken every thought captive for Christ. We have allowed the Enemy to infiltrate every area of our thinking and feelings, and therefore every part of our mind, heart and body – but not our spirit – because that is the Lord’s once we are saved. Our spirit and His Spirit in us long for Him! There is a war within us that isn’t content until we have freedom and life and peace and joy and most of all Christ!
    No, our Jesus is STILL anointed to set the captives free, to bring good news to the poor, to bind up the brokenhearted, and to open the prisons of those who are bound. (Isa 61) Where the Lord is there is freedom! If Jesus has set you free, you are free indeed! But – you have to receive it by faith. True faith requires action. You have to walk out of that prison. You have to come into the light once those shackles are off. You have to breathe His healing Presence in. Breathe in His love and forgiveness and all He has done for you. Receive it. Breathe out the lies and hurts and bitterness and unbelief and feeling abandoned and voicelessness and not counting as a real person and all of the vows you have made yourself to protect yourself since you were little. You have to exchange the lie for the truth. Confess your brokenness, pain, these lies you have been believing, how you have made Jesus small and you and your problems and limitations and weakness big. Confess that you have thought of God as cruel -that He made you wrong and isn’t able to or won’t save you or set you free. Confess that you felt abandoned by God at a crushing time in your life. That you thought God was mad at you, or that you may have been mad at God though you could never admit it. That when everything crumbled to pieces in your life, and God didnt fix it, you tried to step in and save yourself and your marriage and your kids. You may need to write out a list of things to confess to God to get it unjumbled in your head. Your list may look different but we all have a list.
    I have done this many times. I have handed my list over. What I do doesn’t work, so now I wait…wait for things to be fixed that cannot be fixed until possibly heaven. I have tried with one Bible study ( and still do) to imagine handing over my loved ones and situations and opening my hands… I have written things down and burned them up…
    So that still leaves me with no one to hold me close and to have that oneness with…. I guess I will not experience that until I go into the throne of Holy of Holies in Heaven. Until then I will keep praying and reading and memorizing. It is all I can do.

  2. Jennifer,

    YES! These things are already completed history in God’s sight for those who have come to Christ or will come to Christ in the future. From our perspective, we must learn to embrace these things as having happened for us. Did I miscommunicate this somewhere? 🙂 Thank you!!!!

    1. It’s probably my “filter”, as you say at times! 🙂 But, for me, when I read “We are to die to ourselves or we are to be alive to God”, it sounds like something I need to do. Other times you will say to someone that they need to dig the sin out. While I agree that we need to “put to death the deeds of the flesh”, I think most Christians don’t have a firm grounding in the fact that we truly have been crucified with Christ, our old man has been buried with Him, we have been raised to new life in Him, and God says as a fact that we are dead to sin (whether we believe it or see the fruit of that in our lives right now or not). Therefore, I think most Christians will probably hear “we are to die to ourselves” and believe it’s something that they need to do, not something that’s already been done. Or they will go about trying to eradicate sin in their lives by performing better or reading lists (and then trying to follow said list) of how to overcome a sin – versus simply believing what God has done for us on the cross and what is now true about us because of His work.

      I hope that makes sense! Love you so much!! Your ability to humbly communicate with your readers is a gift — a RARE gift in this blogging world. Christ shines through you, April!!! 🙂

      1. Jennifer,

        I will need to be sure to make this more clear – that the work is already finished. Jesus did ALL of the work. It is done.

        The reason I use present tense at times, is because Paul uses present tense and Jesus uses present tense at times – I think because maybe it helps us to think about things in our day to day lives.

        Jesus talked about “if anyone wants to be my disciple, he must take up his cross and follow Me.” It is in present tense, even though, the crucifixion of our sinful nature with Christ on the cross was accomplished 2000 years ago.

        Paul also talks about “counting yourself dead to sin” in the present tense in Romans 6:11 right after he talks about that we have been crucified in Christ and we are dead to sin.

        Jesus did the work. That is past.

        But there is also the act of our embracing His work on our behalf and our receiving it – that is in the present every moment of our lives as believers.

        That is my line of thought, at least. Does that make sense?

        If I can make this more clear, I definitely want to do that!

  3. For those of you who have been stuck for a long time; there is more to your struggle than just you trying to get truth in your brain. More than you just saying the right words or prayers or cramming enough bible verses in your head.
    This is a supernatural battle. There are very real, very evil forces and curses and entities at work to keep you captive. They have been at work in complex ways since the fall, building and morphing and affecting our culture, politics, Christian churches, denominations, the economy, drugs, food, money, marriages, how we think of kids – it touches every aspect of life.They were at work in your parents, and theirs and every other set of parents in your history.
    These powers and demons have done a great job in the States staying hidden behind dollars and science and evolution and abortion and chemicals and wars and weapons and cancer and policies and theology and doctrine and pop-psychology and music and political correctness and entertainment and media and processed food and how we care for land/animals – all the way down to what is in baby formula and what is taught to preschoolers and kindergarten kids.

    You are deeply affected by these things – that make up your worldview. And you are very likely ensnared by generational sin, generational curses and vows and curses you have made yourself. I sure was!!

    It is very possible to read scripture, go to church, try really hard to fix things, want God in your life – and have all of the truth you are hearing be darkness to you. The Spirit is the only one who can open our eyes to the Truth. No amount of our own effort can do it, or the right words from someone else.

    I am fasting and praying for each of you who are stuck today. We will pray for deliverance. But you need to ask God to search your heart. What is the core issue. Where are you stuck? When did you get stuck? Is there a lie you are believing about God at the center? (He abandoned me). Or yourself (I am unfixable) (If I try hard enough, study the bible enough, pray enough – I can fix myself). Ask God – God – where am I stuck? Where do I need grace?

    I think the issue may be – most of us have never seen a Christian walking in freedom in real life!!! When we do – it seems so strange at first. We try to put them in one slot that we understand -but they don’t fit that. So we try to put them in another – it doesn’t make sense. Because we have grown up as Christians, we know the word. We think we are full of faith and truth – BUT we have been deceived.
    Yes we have heard and read the Bible. Yes we have been to church. Yes we have prayed and cried and been prayed for. We may even be saved. We may have trusted God for what felt like big things in the past. God may have healed us from something or helped us through a crisis or 2 in the past.
    But – what about right now? Today?
    If we are not immediately confessing sin, pride, unbelief, negativity, etc as soon as we hear truth – and lining up more with truth every time we hear it – even the light we have is like darkness.

    Matthew 6:23-24

    22″The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. 23″But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! 24″No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.

    In our materialistic culture – we have turned Christianity into – I get what I want and put a little veneer of Christ on it. A little topcoat of Christ over the American Dream is what is often labeled Christianity. We just don’t realize that is what we have believed. We think we have the real thing.

    We think (not in these words -but this is how we live) – if I pray, read the Bible, go to church, try to grow, do some good stuff for Jesus and others, even mission trips, even go into the ministry, or overseas – then God has to bless me. He has to make me healthy. He has to give me a good husband. That husband has to make me happy and lead me the way I think we should go. We need a nice house, at least 3 bedrooms and children when we want them. We need 2 cars that don’t break down too often. We need a good job, good friends, relaxing downtime every night, a date night every week, coffee every morning, 8 hours of sleep every night, 2 vacations a year, a good education, great jobs – fulfillment, happiness. And we think if we just had more of about 6 more of these things than we currently have – we would make it and not need anything else and really be “normal” and not have all of these awful struggles.

    What is our savior in this way of thinking? Where is my hope? Where is the power source?

    Is this how the Christians in Iran have hope when they are being slaughtered? The Christians hiding in North Korea or in prisons starving and being tortured? Is that what they think they need?

    No. And if it is not good news for them, as my pastor says, it is not good news for us as North American Christians. Others around the world may have deep physical poverty, but here in the good old USA we have deep deep deep Spiritual Poverty. And we don’t know it.

    The problem is – we may have dedicated our lives to Christ – or in my case – rededicated my life to Christ every Sunday!! (What – I messed up again this week? I was in so much shock! Somehow I was supposed to get through a week. A day. An hour -myself – without messing up!) And then we start trying to live for Him in our own strength because that is all we know to do. We try to keep His standards, His law, do His work in our own understanding, our own power -and asking for and receiving nothing from Him to do it with.

    Putting ourselves under the law like this puts us under a curse. “Cursed is everyone who does not keep the entire law.” And even if we were somehow able to “not mess up.” Could we delight in Jesus and praise Him and love Him perfectly and live in total submission and unity in His Presence uninterrupted with Christ and the Father and the Spirit at all times ourselves? No – the whole thing is absolutely impossible for us.

    Whew lets take a breath and get lunch!!

    This is a total paradigm shift.

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