Hello. My name is Debbie Chavez, and I’m a list-aholic. Yes, I admit it. I love being super- organized, and I love “accomplishing” a lot every day. It makes me feel good about myself. In fact, my compulsion to accomplish tons of stuff everyday is so bad…..if I do something that was not on my list, I actually add it onto my list so that I can scratch it out!
There is nothing wrong with completing many tasks each day, and there is certainly nothing wrong with being organized, but when we become a slave to our lists, we have a problem. How about you? Are you a list-acholic? Here’s what I’ve been noticing lately. When I become a slave to my to-do list, I am not a very peaceful wife. I become a driven person, and I’m not flexible enough to respond to new situations or needs in my family. Perhaps we need to meditate on the story of Mary and Martha in Luke 10:40-42. Martha was busy bustling about with tasks, while Mary sat peacefully at the feet of Jesus. Jesus gently rebuked Martha in verse 42 saying, “Martha, Martha…you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed, or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better…”
So, maybe you and I should stop being neurotic about our lists! I am still making a list each day, but unless something on that list is absolutely critical, I’m allowing myself to skip some of the items in order to respond to my husband or children if I can see that they could use my help or encouragement. I believe this adjustment makes me more like the 1 Peter 3 wife. She is described as having a gentle, quiet spirit. I don’t think she could be quiet and peaceful if she was running around like a chicken with her head cut off! She obviously wasn’t a slave to a long to-do-list. The question is: Do you need to re-evaluate your lists?
I’m a fairly confident, secure woman….most of the time. But there are still moments where that awful insecurity shows up. How about you? For me, it often relates to the way I look. Am I really attractive enough to keep my husband’s interest? Sometimes, I’m insecure in terms of whether friends or even relatives really like me. Ugh. I hate feeling so insecure!
So, how do we become more secure? Well, for me, it means turning to God for my “value”. I need to remember the only audience that really matters is an audience of one. God is the one with whom I will spend eternity. He is the one who created me to be in relationship with Him. He is really the only one I need to please, and what he says about me is really all that matters.
Meditate on these Scriptures and if you’re anything like me, you will feel a warm blanket of security envelop you.
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you; He will quiet you with his love; He will rejoice over you with singing.
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
In order for you and I to become confident, dignified wives who refuse to put up with disrespect or abuse, we must begin to see ourselves the way God sees us. Emotionally-bruising words may have been spoken to you as a child and those hurtful words can easily become your identity. Perhaps you made some major mistakes as a teen or young woman, and you started calling yourself a loser or hopeless or unlovable.
God wants you to listen for His voice above all the other voices we hear both externally and internally. In John 10:27, Jesus says “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” Jesus wants to speak to you! He wants to let you know how He sees you and how much he delights in you. Here are 2 things that can help you truly comprehend how God sees you:
1) Meditate on Zephaniah 3:17 “The Lord your God is with you. He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you. He will quiet you with his love. He will rejoice over you with singing.”
2) Be still and ask God to whisper a word to your spirit about how he sees you. Have faith that He WILL speak to you. Be receptive, and listen. He loves you!
We’ve all heard of self-talk, but allow me to introduce a different kind of internal narrative that can be just as negative as your self-talk. It is the internal talk about your spouse!
The things you say, whether out loud or in your head, greatly influence the way you feel and act. In fact, Proverbs 18:21 says “the tongue has the power of life and death”. In other words, when your inner spouse-talk is constantly pointing out your husband’s flaws or rehearsing the past ways he’s let you down…your words reinforce a negative attitude and behavior toward your husband. If not corrected, this negative attitude and behavior on your part can eventually lead to prolonged bitterness, depression, and even the death of your marriage.
Ladies, we must do what the Bible says in 2 Corinthians 10:5…”take every thought captive”. Start noticing the things you are saying in your head about your husband. If a negative thought enters your mind, don’t give it room! Instead, look for something positive to say about your husband. He DOES have some positive qualities. Make sure you spend time engaging in positive inner spouse-talk more than the negative kind!
We’re all going to encounter some tough times in our marriage. We’re all going to experience heartbreak and challenge in our lives in general. The question is this. Why are some people able to bounce back from adversity relatively quickly, and why do others seem to remain stuck?
At the risk of you hating me 🙂 …I’ll be honest and let you know that I tend to be very resilient. After an initial period of shock and grief, I’m usually able to quickly pick myself up, dust myself off and move forward. After pondering this ability with God, allow me share a 3 word insight that might help you become more resilient too.
I trust God. Period. Three little words that mean everything! I have decided to believe that God is in control and that His ways are perfect. I have decided to believe that God can and will bring something good out of my hardship. This is what we learn at the end of Joseph’s painful story in Genesis, where Joseph proclaims in Genesis 50:20, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good…” I also take heart from Romans 8:28, where God says “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
I can bounce back because I trust God and because He says He will never leave me nor forsake me. Do you truly trust God? It’s a decision you get to make, and it makes all the difference.
Proverbs 12:4 says “A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones.” Hmmm. Which kind of wife are you? Which kind of wife am I?
A crown sparkles and reflects light in a beautiful way. Are we a lovely reflection for our husbands in all we say and do? Think about it. The way you pray for your husband, the way you encourage him and help him, the way you take care of his home, the way you conduct yourself in public, even the way you respectfully confront any wrong behavior…all these things become like a crown to him. A crown is seen by others and causes others to treat that person with respect, honor, and admiration.
In contrast, a wife who demeans her husband, complains about her husband, doesn’t take care of herself or her home, enables sinful behavior by refusing to confront, and withholds physical affection….she becomes like rot in his bones. A person with rotten bones becomes stooped over and can’t carry his load anymore. He is crippled.
Let’s be the kind of wives who don’t cripple our men, but who so esteem them and help them that they become even mightier men of God. Then we will indeed become beautiful crowns! 🙂
Our words are SO powerful! If you frequently tell your husband how he’s falling short, he will likely close down emotionally and search for an escape door. He may turn to alcohol, porn, excessive recreational pursuits, or even other women.
However, if you choose to tell him about the good things you see in him, he will begin to grow in confidence. I believe this is why God instructs wives in Ephesians 5:33, “the wife must respect her husband“. Your respect and admiration means everything to your man. If you intentionally take note of his talents as well as the effort he puts forth, and then tell him you are proud of him, his feelings of inadequacy will fall away. He will start believing he can be successful in what he tries. He will gain courage to try tackling even bigger things.
If you notice his positive character qualities (and every man has at least one!), and tell him how much you respect him for those qualities, he will be built up on the inside. He will likely begin believing that he can become a man who makes a difference in his family and for God. A wife’s words of respect and encouragement can propel her husband forward to be an even greater man than he would ever have been without her!