Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Proverbs 31: Respected Husband

Proverbs 31:23, "Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land."

What is it that causes her husband to be one who is respected?

I've been thinking about this for so long, probably too long! And, so one night when I cannot sleep, I ask God to show me. Here are the thoughts He brought to mind:

How is my husband one who is respected?

* By God's grace: how can anything truly good be said of any of us really if not for God's grace!?

* He is a man of integrity: It strikes me that this is not fully about the reputation of his wife, though we are certainly getting to that. A man who is respected must be a man of integrity to be able to keep the respect he is shown.

* My attitude about my husband reflects on him: Like so many situations, how we come across in our sphere of influence is going to influence how others perceive a certain situation.

I am instantly reminded of when I was working at Glen Eyrie, I really liked our current computer system - but we were looking at building a new program that would do more to help us. I remember hearing in a meeting that how I (my name was mentioned specifically) felt about the new program and my attitude about it was going to directly influence how many other staff members felt about it. Wow! Talk about motivation to be careful, yet honest.

I haven't forgotten this visual or the truth behind it and the same is true here. My attitude about my husband and the way I speak to and about him will shape others' view of him including our children.

* The way I present myself reflects on him: If a man has a wife with a "reputation" - how is he ultimately going to be respected? Do the choices I make show respect to my husband?

Put yourself in a very practical situation: you are with your husband at his work Christmas party. How are you speaking to/about him? How are you treating him? Are you dressed appropriately?

Remember that how I come across does reflect on my husband, for better or for worse.

* The way I conduct business reflects on my husband: As women, we are frequently the ones out in town doing business for our families. We do the shopping, run to doctors appointments and go the local library. At all these places, we may not have friendships - but we do have acquaintances if we frequent the place - therefore, we do have some sort of relationship.

The way that I treat my children, carry out my business, respond to challenges and even treat those I come into contact with is a reflection on me. And, I represent two very important people: first, my Heavenly Father. Is the way I am acting and carrying out my business representing Him well and with respect? Secondly and in the same way, I am representing my husband - the head of our family.

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In a lot of these cases, I realize that as women, we have opportunity to shape what others believe about our husbands - think about these situations:

- Do the choices I make show respect to him? Am I a wise steward of the money that he is working hard to provide for our family? How do I spend my time? Is our home a place that is welcoming to him? Are my choices supporting his goals?

- Am I teaching my children to respect their Dad?

- Am I conducting my business ethically?

- Mom friends:
you have other mom friends and get together with them for a play date, they may have never met your husband, what will they think about his character based on what you say or your attitude?

- Consulting him: Imagine this - someone calls your home offering you a service or a trial of something - have you ever said you need to check with your husband? Sometimes, I wonder if people these days aren't a little taken aback when I say this in any situation. But, that shows respect to him and sometimes it really does take unnecessary pressure off of me.

- Around church: Am I known for going around and telling juicy morsels or for coming to worship? How does that reflect on my husband?

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Before, we craft - let's go back to the verse for a minute. It mentions the city gate. This was where the community leaders met to conduct their business and make important decisions. I sort of see it like City Hall or the Mayor's Council of our day.

And, I don't think this means our husbands have to be on City Council or in the town square to be respected. God has given them a place of influence right where He has placed them.

Just like the way he conducts his business and represents God and himself, so too - the way I treat him, speak about him and represent him will add to his respect in our family, church and community.

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Ok, friends - I've had this post in the works for MONTHS! I keep getting stumped on how to flesh this out in a craft. I had thought about making some sort of card that could go in my husbands wallet with thoughts like this on it:

R: reflect beautifully

E: edify

S: support

P: praise

E: encourage

C: compliment

T: trust

I've struggled to come up with exactly how to make this so it is meaningful. Ideas?

10 comments:

Ruth said...

Monica,
Your RESPECT defined, would make a beautiful cross stitch or pen and ink calligraphy plaque. Thank you for sharing your ideas with us! You are a blessing.

Susan said...

How about a mini-scrapbook of the various elements of respect using you and your kids in the different parts. Just an idea...otherwise I enjoyed your post. Before I was married I heard a wife belittle her husband (who was even sitting beside her) in a fellowship group. She made fun of something he couldn't do. I decided then that I would make every effort to 'respect' my husband. One of the ways aligns with one of your points. When I am with friends, or in a bible study, or even coworkers I don't say anything about my husband unless it lifts him up, edifies him, or shows him respect. I have been able to stick to this even after all these years.

LynnMarie said...

I'm sure you will come up with something wonderfully crafty - you have the best ideas! The post itself is wonderful and I have written short notes to my husband at times of stress for him, that he will find in his work brief case or in his phone case telling him how proud of I am him and how he is hold up under the stress. I want him to know to that I respect him and support him, not showing it to others.

Bevy said...

Amen! To every word you shared here - amen...this is a such a heart-topic for me.

You have no idea how many times the struggle is there to not join in... and yet how empowering it is to give the honor and respect to my husband (in my heart)- when he has no idea - when I can just walk away and not add my "two cents" to the circle of conversation happening - out there.

Lee said...

I love the mini scrapbook idea. Both as a reminder to you and to him. I agree that what we really need to be careful about how we speak to our husbands and how we speak about them as well. Very good post.

Sandi S. said...

Hello Monica - I know you don't know me - and I have only recently found your blog - but since I found it - have bookmarked it to read each day. I too have a love of my husband, home and crafting so your blog is a great blessing to me. While I'm afraid I don't have any special idea for you for your project - I just wanted to say what a beautiful entry today's is and I plan to save it to read over and over. I try to show my husband love and respect every single day and this will be a wonderful reminder.

God Bless and thanks for a great blog.
Sandi S (Maryland)

Anonymous said...

I love your acronymn. I wrote it down to try to focus on. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Read your blog often, have never left a comment. Just wanted to let you know that this post helped me - I am the wife of an unsaved husband - I have been serving God for 12 and 1/2 years, and Proverbs 31 is one I visit often in regards to the respect issue - your insight was helpful - thank you!! No ideas for the craft - sorry ;)

Ami said...

I really enjoyed contemplating crafts for this. I'm in such a busy mothering stage (similar to you) that I'm definitely concerned with trying to love my husband and care for him above the kids, and you know that's so hard to do!

This verse really encourages an attitude and I agree it's hard to think of a craft. I think something that reminds me to check my attitude would be more beneficial than something I could make for him. I think a little box that reminds me to respect him and spread that respect around, filled with a stash of notes of compliments, encouragement, prayer, love, and humor all ready to be stuck in his lunch, luggage, computer bag or whatever. If they're ready to go, maybe I would actually leave him notes regularly!

Praying for him encourages respect, too. I printed off a monthly prayer calendar for my husband with correlating Bible verses and I have that hanging in my kitchen cabinet.

One more thing that is fun and would put his co-workers in a good mood would be sending goodies to work with him occassionally. That is if your husband likes that, of course, because not everyone does!

Ami

Elise said...

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this post, Monica!!! I remember when I was working, before I got married, and hearing the women belittle their husbands and being so shocked. Of course, now, I struggle with my attitude lately. I definitely need to keep in mind how I not only reflect on my self, but my husband, and Jesus as well. Much to think about and ponder. As far as a craft, maybe something like Ruth said, a stitchery or if you are feeling particularly saucy, a wood burning kit something or other. Like getting a wood plaque and a wood burning tool and doing the RESPECT thing. Nice and manly!!
Elise