respect

"That's how I feel when you don't listen..."

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Daily, hourly, almost minute by minute, sometimes, we moms feel like we're communicating with a brick wall. And sometimes even before you make a request of your child, you hesitate and may consider, "I wonder how many times I'll have to say it before he/she does it". Then there are the times when your child has completely selective hearing. They may have heard a word or three that you said, but as far as swallowing all of the information? Nah.

These times are frustrating, exhausting, and at times, chaotic.

You sometimes question if you're a good enough parent...or if your child will ever be a good, respectful listener. You wonder if your 5 year old will ever just jump up happily and without question, do as you request. It really is a constant battle, a constant chore to retrain, remind, and redirect your child to stay on course. To complete the task at hand and do so with their best effort.

And then sometimes, during these frustrating child-training times, if I'm up for listening, I'll hear God whisper to me "that's how I feel when you aren't listening".

Ahem. Yes. God, you're right. There have been countless times, sometimes hourly and also, minute by minute that you deal with my half-hearted listening, my stubbornness, my tantrums, and my complete lack of paying attention.

I sometimes delay a blessing you have for me, sometimes missing out altogether, I'm sure. And, most of the time, I'm sure I "out do" my children in the area of obedience to you. I can spend entire days without giving you so much as a thought and yet be drowning in my own self-pity wondering if anyone out there even cares.

Some days I'm sure I "out-perform" my kids when there's something hard you have me go through and I may do so kicking and screaming, forgetting that you're in control.

Yes, my kids exhaust me when they remain stubborn, disobedient, and disrespectful. God never tires, but I know He is displeased with me when I act like the children I tend to be frustrated by. The next time your kids don't listen to your request, be merciful and graceful and remember how many times you've done the same with your Heavenly Father. It really humbles you. It really is a reminder that we are all wicked, selfish, and stubborn. From young to old.

And yet, He still loves us.

Without words

Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over *WITHOUT WORDS by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. I Peter 3:1-2 The majority of you may read that verse and think 'this doesn't apply to me', 'my husband does have a relationship with God already', 'I don't believe in the Bible', or 'I'm single'.

But what if we took this verse a step further...what if it really does apply to all of us in our various situations.

Yes, I'm aware that specifically this verse is speaking to women who are Christ-followers who have husbands who aren't. But let's take out the two words that make this verse pretty incredible: without words. Now let's consider how many times we as women use our words to tear down, to belittle, to discourage, and that most awful of words: nag.

Whether you follow Gods Word or not, the Bible has lots to say about a nagging or quarrelsome wife/woman.

Proverbs 27:15-16 ESV

A continual dripping on a rainy day and a quarrelsome wife are alike; to restrain her is to restrain the wind or to grasp oil in one's right hand.

Proverbs 21:9 ESV

It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.

Proverbs 27:15 ESV

A continual dripping on a rainy day and a quarrelsome wife are alike;

And just for added emphasis...one more...

Proverbs 21:19 ESV

It is better to live in a desert land than with a quarrelsome and fretful woman.

Yikes. A woman who uses her words to nag, belittle, and argue is compared to a dripping rain, an unrestrained wind, and the receiver, in this case, the husband, is encouraged to move to the desert or live on the corner of his houses rooftop than to be in the presence of such a woman.

So I say to all of us wives, the Bible is clear, nagging and belittling your man doesn't work. Chances are, he won't just jump for joy to do what you say, and chances are that you have driven a wedge in your relationship and have made your man feel disrespected.

We all know that men thrive on respect. We all know that some men don't deserve respect in our opinion. But in most circumstances we are to love our husbands by showing them respect. They respond to that. They love it and they eat it all up as if you offered them a Thanksgiving buffet. So the next time your husband isn't getting the message, and your words aren't pushing him to action (which I guarantee, they aren't) put on that gentle and quiet spirit and win your husband over without words.

Make him his favorite meal, set up a personal movie night for him, maybe a romantic night in of passion and fun is to be had and then if you have a request, and with your sweetest, most respectful tone, ask your husband and respect his answer.

Your relationship will soar if you use less words and show him love thru respect and action.

And for the single ladies, and any woman reading this...let this lesson spill over into all of our relationships. Neighbors, friends, families, and people who show you hate and contempt. I encourage you all to show love without words. And if you must use words, speak life and love and leave the nagging behind.

Nobody wants to be compared to a dripping rain....

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