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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- I am thankful for the gifts, talents, and abilities God has given me and I seek to be a good steward of them all.
- 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.
- I can receive the love of other people including my husband.
- 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.
- I receive that God’s Word and His promises apply to me, too, not just to others.
- 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.
- I have healthy boundaries emotionally and spiritually and am able to say, “no,” when this would please Christ as my Lord.
- I take responsibility for my own spiritual growth and my own emotions.
- I do not take on responsibilities that belong to others and to God.
- I do not abuse myself spiritually, mentally, in my thoughts, verbally, emotionally, or physically and I seek not to sin against myself.
- I do not subject myself to abuse by others. I know when I need to remove myself from a very toxic situation.
- I seek God’s wisdom about how to live my life and I seek to avoid foolish decisions.
- I am careful not to put myself in tempting situations. I guard my heart.
- I am careful not to have any addictions to anything except for Jesus.
- I have a healthy understanding of who I am vs. who God is.
- 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.
- I am able to stand up for myself if necessary while still being respectful of others, including my husband.
- I don’t allow anyone or anything to steal the treasures I have in Christ.
- I acknowledge the importance of my influence authority in marriage and what a critical role I play in portraying the gospel to others.
- I honor and cherish God’s design of femininity for me.
- 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.
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 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.
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.
Humility by Andrew Murray (free download)
Absolute Surrender by Andrew Murray (free download)