Tuesday, May 27, 2008

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

I checked in on Lizzie this morning and her post made me smile as I remembered a lesson I learned what seems a lifetime ago.

Way back before we were married, my husband and I were shopping for groceries to make dinner for his folks. He picked up a pack of chicken at the market that started to drip. I corrected his carrying procedure and went about mopping him off. He graciously waited until we were out of the store to firmly but lovingly tell me that he was not marrying me to be his mother and that my behavior emasculated him. While his correction embarrassed me, I so wanted to please him that I became keenly aware of how I spoke and acted. It turns out that rebuke has been one of the best things for our marriage.

For sure I slip back into my old ways at times, but over the years I've been purposefully cultivating the habit of seeing the strengths in my husband and praising him for them. Sure there are things in which he's not skilled and he makes mistakes, but it is not necessary, and surely not kind, to bring those up. The practice of using encouraging words both in and out of his presence builds confidence and security that are re-bar rods in the cement of our marriage.

The following scriptures come to mind:

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." Phil. 4:8

"Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear." Eph. 4:29


"I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." Eph. 4:1-3


Don't get me wrong, I have not arrived. Humility, gentleness, and patience are difficult because they require laying down my pride. But,as they say, practice makes perfect--and not me, my husband! He looks better and better in my eyes the more I focus on his strengths rather than his weaknesses. Every time I choose to lay down my own selfishness and high opinion of myself our relationship is strengthened and our marriage better reflects the love of Christ.

3 comments:

A Dusty Frame said...

Thanks for sharing:)

Such a necessary but hard lesson;0!!!

Lizzie

Sara said...

This area is such a concern for me also - I struggle with it so much, and with the excuse that I'm being "helpful." I've finally come to a realization that it isn't helpful and that I need to surrender EVERY thing I do and say to my husband to God, and ask for His direction with every step.

eureka said...

Amen!

Plus, it works. :)