My Proverbs 31 devotion that is running today, which is also on Crosswalk, is about giving our husbands the gifts they most desire – love, respect and admiration. (At the end of this post, you can find out how you can enter to win one of two powerful audio sessions for women, recorded at one of Rick Johnsons speaking sessions, the author of The Man Whisperer.)
Now I know what some of you may be thinking…. “But my husband does not deserve my respect and admiration, much less my love!” …. “If you knew what he did last week, you would understand why I dont respect him” ….. “He never fulfills my needs, so why should I bother fulfilling his” …. and so on.
We all know that there is no such thing as the perfect husband. And at times, husbands are guilty of doing things that undermine their credibility and make it hard to respect them, their decisions or their actions. Unfortunately this happens in most marriages, because, well, we are all sinners, saved only by grace. But ladies, if we are honest with ourselves, we will have to admit that we are not perfect either. 🙂
But after a lot of prayer and studying what Gods Word has to say about marriage, I have come to understand and accept that respect is something that God calls a wife to give to her husband, unconditionally, regardless of whether or not she thinks he deserves it. (note: there is no excuse or justification for any husband to inflict physical, emotional, or mental abuse on his wife – if you are in a situation such as this, please consider contacting a local support agency or Christian counselor).
In my devotion today, I referred to the book The Man Whisperer.
As I read through each chapter, I caught little glimpses of myself, my husband and our marriage. I began to recognize how drastically God made men from women, how different our needs are, and also how He uniquely made us to complement each other as well.
I began to ponder the fact that when I agreed “to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, for as long as we both shall live”, I made a commitment not only to my husband, but to my God, and that I needed to stop expecting my husband to meet all of my standards, and love him with the same love that brought us together.
For most women, if asked to name three things they want to change about their husbands, they could probably rattle off their list within seconds (myself included!). Maybe those desires for change are as simple as wishing he would pick up his socks and take out the trash more, or maybe those desires are to see changes in behavior problems, or breaking free from addictions.
Regardless of the simplicity or seriousness of the things we dont like about our husbands, many women resort to insults as a tool to try to motivate them to change, thinking that will cause them to change their behavior. But unfortunately, all it really does, is tear down the relationship.
I came across a quote recently that said, “The most damaging problems are not solved by correcting behavior. They must be solved by a change of character, a change of morality, a change of heart.” This reiterates the fact that all the disrespect in the world cant change a mans heart, but with God, ALL things are possible.
Your husband needs to be respected for who he is, not for what he does. Without respect, he simply cannot thrive, or survive, because respect is too great a need for a man to only receive based on performance.
Proverbs 14:1 says “The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish tears it down with her own hands.”
Ladies, lets remember this one important truth – if our emotions control our words, our words will control our marriage, instead of our love. Instead of waiting to feel like your husband deserves your respect, go ahead and start showing him that respect, while praying for him daily, and then watch for evidence of what God is doing in him, in your marriage relationship, and also, in your own heart.
We have an important choice to make every day. We can build up the men in our lives, or tear them down, while knowing that as we are tearing down the man, we are simultaneously tearing down the house, and maybe even the family, as a result.
Sometimes respect is the absolute hardest gift to give. Things have happened. Feelings have been hurt. Trust has been betrayed. Fears have become reality. But ALL things are possible with God. I have seen God work in my marriage, and He is eager to do the same for you.
So…. I want to invite you to embark on a two week encouragement journey with me, if you are up for it!
For the next 14 days, I will post a new challenge for the day, to help you become a husband encourager, a wife who respects her man, and a woman who trusts that the Lord desires for her to be happy with the man that God paired her up with.
Believe me when I say, I will be working through this challenge right along with you, and I hope we can encourage each other with our comments, transparency, and friendship.
If you have a true desire to intentionally respect your husband, and you desire in your heart to work towards having a stronger marriage through depending on Gods Word and promises, then simply post a comment that says “I’m in!”. What better time to pledge to love on our husbands and improve our marriages, than Valentines Day – the holiday for love!
There are two awesome audio CD’s up for grabs:
Power Tools for Women: Positive Tools for Influencing Your man
Speaking Your Man’s Language: Ten Keys to Successful Communication with Your Man
Entering to win is easy – simply click on my Facebook tab on the left sidebar of this screen, and friend-request me! If you are already my friend, just leave a comment on my Facebook post for today. If you do not have a Facebook page, you can look me up on Twitter and click to follow me, or just post a comment here that you have neither of these, but still want to enter to win!!
Easy enough huh? From all the great new friends that I meet this week, I will put all the names in a hat and draw out the names of two winners.
Winner will be announced on Monday! Good luck!
PS Come back tomorrow to kick off the first encouragement challenge!