Tuesday, November 22, 2011

R-E-S-P-E-C-T That is what He Needs from Me


For several reasons I was irritated with Jon yesterday morning! On my drive to work I shared with the Lord about all the things that Jon does that bother me. I also tried telling the Lord about what I thought Jon should be doing instead. Not once was I thankful for the husband that God has given me.

This morning, after I got to work, I noticed the title of today’s Proverbs 31 devotional, “R-E-S-P-E-C-T … That is what He Needs from Me”.

Seriously Lord!? Of all the days, this is not what I want to read about this morning. I am frustrated and I was looking for words of comfort not correction. After a while, I finally read the devotional and became extremely convicted by the Lord. God showed me that my actions/thoughts did not honor Him or Jon.

This past weekend at the Marriage Retreat Jon told me that the number one thing he needs from me is respect. Even after the retreat God tried teaching me about this in Sunday school, but was I even paying attention? Obviously not! Not even 48 hours after coming home from the Marriage Retreat and I am already choosing to focus on the negative instead of focusing on the man that God has made Jon to be.

The Lord has really gotten my attention today and my criticisms of Jon need to stop. Maybe I didn’t quite understand what God was telling me at the Marriage Retreat, but I am thankful that He has taken more time to teach me about how I can better love my husband.

Jon's not perfect, but I want to begin to focus on what he is and not what he lacks in my eyes. In addition, I need to learn to keep my mouth shut. If I don't have anything nice to say, I don't need to say anything at all.

Is there an area of your life/heart that does not honor the Lord? Will you listen to God's leading or continue to do it how you think it should be done?

. . . . . . . . . .
R-E-S-P-E-C-T … That is what He Needs from Me
November 22, 2011
Renee Swope

“However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” Ephesians 5:33 (NIV 1984)

I have a confession to make: when my husband J.J. and I got married over 18 years ago, I took out the words “honor and obey” from my wedding vows. That line about submitting to my husband wasn’t in there either. Instead, I vowed to “submit my ideas and dreams” to my J.J. and trust God’s leadership in our marriage.

Yes, I had some serious issues going into marriage. As a young Christian, I was afraid of the “S” word, and wanted to make sure God and my witnesses didn’t catch me in a lie.

Like many women, I was terrified if I submitted to my husband I’d become a doormat and lose myself somewhere in the middle of letting my husband lead.

Regretfully, I remember the time J.J. told me it was easier to let me lead because it wasn’t worth the argument to him.

You’d think that’s what I wanted – to get my way – but it wasn’t because my husband became apathetic. Eventually I lost respect for my husband, and it was mostly my fault. I wanted him to lead, but when he tried I’d often criticize how he led. It was a mess!

I had been praying God would change J.J. and make him more decisive, more confident, more protective and well, just more what I wanted him to be. One day, God strongly impressed on my heart that my criticism wasn’t getting me any closer to my desired result. In fact, my frustration with J.J. only contributed to his own doubt as a man trying to follow God and lead His family.

The Holy Spirit also showed me I was fueling Satan’s flaming darts of condemnation aimed at my husband’s heart; joining efforts with the one who wanted to take out my husband as the leader of our home. Through prayer, I realized my husband needed me to be his greatest cheerleader and his biggest supporter verbally, emotionally and spiritually.

God challenged me to keep my mouth closed when J.J. did something I didn’t like or led in a way I didn’t want to follow. He encouraged me to tell my husband when I saw things I appreciated and use the power of my words to build up and not tear down my man.

I started doing what God showed me. I looked for and found things in my husband that I’d never noticed. I got intentional about noticing things I respected and letting God take care of things I didn’t. I made many choices to honor him in big and small ways. And you know what? I discovered so many things about my husband that were worthy of respect.

We’ve been through so much together over the years. I have learned to follow God as I trusted many of my husband’s decisions that scared me: job changes I didn’t want him to make; financial investments that seemed too risky; parenting issues that were hard. It hasn’t been easy, but I am thankful my husband has become the leader of our family. And I’ve become more comfortable following his leadership than I ever thought I’d be!

Dear Lord, I want to respect my husband and build him up with my words. Help me to measure my thoughts carefully and come to You with my complaints. I want to become my husband’s biggest cheerleader and watch You do Your thing in His life. I know this is possible as I depend on You to live Your life through me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

1 comment:

mrsmarkdave said...

Wow! Thanks for posting this. I could've written that devotional. (Except for the wise parts, probably)
I think the fact that women shy away from "submission" is because we are brought up being taught that it's the same as being a doormat. But, it's not. We just don't understand it, so we think it's something that it isn't.
Last night, Dave accidentally broke something while making a repair in our house. He had to run to Lowes to get a replacement, and I was so annoyed with him. And I let him know it.
Oh how I regret that this morning. I should've just been thankful that it was a $5 piece and that it was replaceable and that he was able to make the repair rather than having to call a professional. I did apologize to him when he got home, but I still wish I would've thought before I was "quick to become angry" and opened my big, fat mouth.
I think I'm going to have to print this and read it everyday.


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