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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)

“I Can’t Ask for Things. I Shouldn’t Have Needs, Desires, or Emotions” – by Radiant

 

From a very dear friend and sister in Christ whom God has radically healed physically and spiritually in the past year and a half. For decades, Radiant could not receive love from God, herself or from anyone and was imprisoned physically, spiritually, and emotionally. How I praise God for what He is doing in her life! This sister’s issues were often the opposite of my issues – and help to provide a much needed different perspective from my own.

———-

About the post, “Being Vulnerable and Direct Feels Wrong!” – I totally thought like the wife who had objections to speaking in direct, vulnerable ways my whole life.

SOME RANDOM THOUGHTS:

This way of thinking makes us a victim and voiceless, then we freak out  on someone when they put that teeny straw on top of our huge anger that we aren’t allowed to admit, or have, or own, or do anything about. And it makes us jealous of wives who “have because they ask,” annoyed that they are so unapologetically “demanding” as we see it. My old way of thinking was about “righteously” refusing to have needs, emotions, demands.

It makes you really sick! Emotionally, physically and spiritually. To receive nothing good and only receive bad truly makes us toxic.

Why can’t we receive good? I think it’s this false humility stronghold that simultaneously says we don’t deserve anything good, while somehow at the same time being proud at how humble and un-needy we are. Then it’s about being a victim because no one understands how hard our life is. I felt I should have enough faith to be above struggles and emotions myself, even though I would never say anyone else should be. I was always the first one to comfort hurting people because I knew the pain of trying to go through things alone, and felt no one should ever have to do that (except me!). Part of it is the idea that “everyone else is more important than you, it’s in the Bible.” So being humble is not needing or asking or demanding. That’s for others.

If someone said good things about us, they are obviously lying or have a distorted perception or are just being nice, since the only thing that can be true is self-attack. That has been the only voice I have ever really believed – and I saw so much evidence to verify it – that it had to be true. And I was so used to that voice. I always thought that maybe if I criticized myself enough, then hopefully no one else would need to. While I was at it, I could feel extra guilty and not enjoy anything, and help God out with the punishments I knew I deserved. If someone did criticize me, I was a complete failure and had nowhere to stand, and collapsed inconsolably. There was no grace. No hope. Only trying again as hard as I could, knowing I would fail again.

People’s approval seems to be the only gauge of hope, but then we don’t receive it either. Nothing is ever enough.

So all time is spent trying not to need, trying to meet all others needs, trying not to mess up, attacking self with every mistake, guilt fear and failure. Trying to find life in dead works, which puts you under a curse. All this rule following and no joy or good results. Baseline – it is unbelief. Hebrew 4. No one can enter His rest if we hear the truth, but it is not mixed with faith.

My old way of thinking:

  • It’s saying Jesus saved me so I should be able to obey all of His commandments in my own strength.
  • It’s trying to please God without faith. Hebrew 11:6 says you can’t do that.
  • It’s trying to please God by obeying without believing anything He says, receiving anything but the most anemic salvation, (and believing Jesus did it reluctantly – that he had to), not receiving His love, grace, forgiveness, power, mercy. Having no idea all of the good qualities mentioned about Him could somehow be directed to include you, too. Imagining being on the very fringe of heaven, not included.
  • It’s also being totally blocked by anyone who disagrees or says, “no,” to you, but not ever being allowed to say, “no,” or your dislikes to them.
  • It’s remembering what caused someone to be upset at all, and making an inner vow to never mess up or cause a problem again. (These inner vows curse us, trying to save ourselves in our own strength).
  • It’s not believing anyone could ever enjoy your company or love you because you don’t feel it, so it can’t be true.
  • The biggest fears are being a burden, a failure, and demanding.
  • The only “truth” you hear are these accusing lies and and it somehow intertwines itself into the gospel to make it a non-gospel. You buy into it completely.

Idols, or strongholds, in this mindset are false humility and martyrdom.

Faith is scarce in this way of thinking. We believe Jesus did die to save us, and that we can be saved, but we don’t see His grace or promises or healing or forgiveness or that He truly desires us. And even then, we can grow in faith, be set free from quite a few things, and fall right back into this prison. Behind the false humility is immense pride – pride, saving ourselves, and being wise in our own eyes. Pride that we are following rules, astonishment when we can’t follow rules; that we weren’t successful since we should be. We are Christians! How can we fail God like this? So we attack and punish ourselves trying to help God with His disappointment in us. We try harder. Until we can’t try literally. Then we sink into depression and can’t be pulled out.
Faith is the ability to receive from God. So we cry out and try to serve and love Him and repent and feel guilty, but we don’t actually exchange that guilt for forgiveness.

  • We cry to him that we feel alone and unloved and abandoned but we don’t receive that He really is here with us and will never leave us.
  • We complain to him that we can’t do what he asks us to, and basically say He is mean and cruel for not helping us, but we won’t receive His help.
  • We don’t believe he will help so we don’t ask.
  • And when we do ask we are full of doubt and therefore don’t receive, and validate to ourselves that He doesn’t care.
  • We are proud that we don’t burden God or others.
  • We aren’t rude and don’t ask for stuff.
  • We are busy getting things done for God and praying for people and trying hard to follow our rules.

Until we fall apart. Then we are angry at God, ourselves and everyone around us except we can’t be angry, so this awful feeling stays general, unknowable and unfixable  and is more evidence of how God has abandoned us.

The mindset of false humility and not receiving and Jesus’ response:

He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you.”
John 13:6-10 ESV

RELATED:

Being Vulnerable and Direct Feels Wrong!

I Must Avoid Conflict at All Costs. That Is the Godly Thing to Do.

What Does God Say about Me?

My Identity and Security Are in Christ Alone!

Trying to Find Security in All the Wrong Places

Being a Trophy Wife is Not the Goal, My Dear Sisters! – by Radiant

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