You knew this was coming, didn’t you? Have you felt the shove yet, out of your comfort zone? This respect thing sure doesn’t come naturally, especially to us twenty-first century American women. It’s not easy, but going counter-culture here has so many rewards! Try it & see.
As I look ahead to the culture our children will be marrying into, I must write down these thoughts & insights God has shown me over the years. All around us there are hurting homes, troubled marriages, strife & discord. Even in Christian homes! Why is that? What are we doing wrong? Should we continue to do what everyone else is doing; to swim up a losing stream? That just ain’t smart. What do I need to do to change our home? How do I, even now, prepare our daughter & sons for a strong marriage in the face of a culture that is shredding marriages apart around them? Chances are great that my future daughters-in-law will not come from intact homes. How can I help them learn how to love my sons in a non-threatening way? That’s a big part of what these assignments are all about.
We are strangers in this land & looking stranger all the time, but just remember, as the dark gets darker, so the light shines brighter! Shine those lights, ladies!! That’s what we’re here for. Don’t look at me like I have four heads as I suggest these things – try them & see what happens. Ask God to help us understand this whole respect thing so we can love our men the way He designed.
Okay, so here’s the third challenge: Find out what his top four priorities are & think about new steps you can take to help him achieve his goals. Be his cheerleader! This assignment will look very different for each woman. For you, it might mean getting up earlier to help him get to work on time unrattled – fix him breakfast, iron his clothes, help him gather his stuff. It could mean mowing the lawn for him so he has time to play with the children. I’m not asking if you feel like it, I’m telling you it’s what you need to do as his wife. And I’m not saying it’ll be easy. It may be something huge like giving up the job you’ve had for years. Is that his priority for your family or yours (see dare #2)? Are you willing to give up even perhaps your standard of living for this? Just a thought. Ask him what his four big rocks are on his “rock list” (see yesterday’s post) & spend some time today thinking how you can help him accomplish those priorities. Remember that God loves a cheerful giver. :]
Do not listen to our culture who would tell you you’re a doormat for doing these things! You are not. This is not some cult-ish assignment. It is your calling if you are married. Period. Some Scripture to reflect upon…
Genesis 2:18 – “Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.”
1 Corinthians 7:34 – “But a married man has to think about his earthly responsibilities and how to please his wife. His interests are divided. In the same way, a woman who is no longer married or has never been married can be devoted to the Lord and holy in body and in spirit. But a married woman has to think about her earthly responsibilities and how to please her husband.”
Romans 12:2 – “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”
1 Corinthians 3:18, 19 – “Stop deceiving yourselves. If you think you are wise by this world’s standards, you need to become a fool to be truly wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God. As the Scriptures say, “He traps the wise in the snare of their own cleverness.”
Colossians 2:8,9 – “Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ. For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body.”
1 Peter 2:9 – “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”
Ephesians 3:14-21 – “When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.”
Hebrews 12:12,13 – “So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees. Mark out a straight path for your feet. Then those who follow you, though they are weak and lame, will not stumble and fall but will become strong.”
2 Corinthians 9:7 – “You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.”
Matthew 5:13-16 – “You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless. You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”