Top 10 Ways to Disrespect Yourself…

The Respect Dare journey can be a difficult to do, depending on several factors:

  • The extent to which you respect yourself (have healthy boundaries with other people)
  • How much you wrap your identity up in what God says, as opposed to what people say (if we are constantly seeking approval, or conversely, watching eagerly for oppression, instead of simply doing what the Word suggests)
  • How much dying to self you’ve already done (if you are new at this, the 40 day journey may be more painful for you than someone who is more mature)
  • How deeply you buy the lie that serving others, particularly your family, makes you a doormat or second-class citizen.
  • How focused you are on yourself, as opposed to being other-focused
  • How prideful you are, as opposed to being humble and healthfully okay with your mistakes. During the journey, I am learning that God’s commandment to love God and love others as we love ourselves is both a directive and a prophetic statement. The extent to which I love/respect myself is the extent to which I will behave likewise with others, and the same level to which I am capable of loving/respecting God. I don’t know if your experience is similar, and I don’t know which came first or last, but I am becoming stronger as my love and respect for God grows. I see my ability to give sacrificially increasing with the increasing knowledge and experience of the Father. Coincidentally, my ability to have a healthy respect for myself is increasing.

This list is comprised of mistakes I’ve made and are common ones we hear about when talking about The Respect Dare book with other wives. I’ve found they are Biblical, as well, although I didn’t dig up the references.

10. Say, “yes” to every request made of you, so you don’t disappoint anyone. The older I get, the more I appreciate REST. I need rest to function mentally, physically and emotionally. The temple of the Holy Spirit needs sleep, exercise and wholesome fuel daily, otherwise it doesn’t function properly. Getting too busy is one of the enemy’s best tricks for us – we short change literally everyone when we do this. Have margin in your life so you are prepared for emergencies.

9. Feel guilty when you say, “no,” even when you know God doesn’t want you doing it. A wise friend of mine was bold enough to say to me, “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.” God may have a blessing planned for someone else – who am I to steal it, just because I can? Choose what God tells you to do, when He tells you to do it.

8. Worry about what other people think such that you lie about who or how you really are. Failing to use your gifts makes us a shell of a person. Saying we are “fine” when we are not steals an opportunity to be transparent with someone, which keeps us from using something in our life the way God intended it.

7. Not share a similar struggle with a friend who is hurting for fear or embarrassment. Keeping our “stuff” to ourselves just keeps God from touching the heart of someone else.

6. Wear clothing or behave wildly to garner inappropriate attention. Strength and dignity is not something screamed from mountain tops or shouted in the street. It is controlled, concise and confident. Getting attention from others that’s inappropriate eventually stains our soul.

5. Be afraid of conflict or disagreement. Not speaking the Truth in a gentle but firm way harms those who cannot speak for themselves. Think Gosnell. Think sex-trade. Who speaks for the children if we do not? And in relationships, often God’s best is fettered out when both people, having differing opinions, have respectful dialogue. Conflict is not sinful, unless you are just a disagreeable person in general.

4. Failing to take care of our own physical, emotional, relational and spiritual needs because of fear of someone else’s opinion. If God wired you to paint or dance and you do not, you are missing the blessing of His creation. If “momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!” Eat right, work out, rest. Do things that fill you up, regardless of whether anyone else wants to do them with you.

3. Trying to make everyone around you happy. You can’t. You aren’t meant to. And sometimes, you will upset someone. Empathize, apologize, ask for forgiveness and then move on. And offer grace when others tick you off, too. We should be charitable and have hearts of service, but trying to make others happy? Not possible. Lies.

2. Taking responsibility for everything and everyone because “no one else will.” You CAN be a doormat if you sign up for that on your own. Instead of teaching your family to treat you like the maid, how about teaching them to pitch in? How about coaching them instead of expecting them to “just know” what needs to be done? Seriously, men, teenagers and children do not read minds. And sometimes, it’s okay to let people fail, because just like us, they will pick the hard road to learning something. So stop enabling.

1. Wrapping our identity up in other people’s opinions, trying to purchase love, affection or approval, instead of relying on God’s opinion of us. Getting to know God and doing what He asks us to do should be our #1 most important thing in an average day. If we get that right, the rest falls into place. And if it doesn’t, that’s okay, we did enough. Live life for the Audience of One – it’s abundant there. People are sinful, even if they know Him. Expecting the humans in this world to behave like Jesus is setting ourselves up for disappointment.

Those are my top ten – What would you add to the list? Why?

titus 2 women leadership

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

27 thoughts on “Top 10 Ways to Disrespect Yourself…

  1. The lists are all great!!! I totally love the blog… Very encouraging and so uplifting! Thanks Nina… 🙂

  2. I have been saddened too by seeing the struggles and choices of my divorced friends. Some of them have been going through man after man for economic reasons, without protecting their children from all the men in their lives. What a terrible, terrible place to be in…it has really made me understand why education and the ability to support oneself and one’s children ARE an important part of self-respect, not necessarily a “dis” of a godly woman’s vital role as wife and mother.

  3. Some rambling thoughts…three ideas I would add: 1)This goes with #4-but a little more deeper: When you prostitute yourself for financial or emotional security. This is another way women disrespect themselves. What makes me think of this…is the huge hook-up culture in the college scene, sugar daddy web sites, the proliferation of pornography (imagine how the industry would be dramatically decreased if just the women did not exploit themselves in this way). And sadly several divorced women that I know that are not ready for commitment, don’t have the finances to make it on their own, will hook up with strangers. They will shack up, and play “house” for economic security for themselves and their children with no intent of commitment to the man.
    2) This next idea I would add but not sure where it fits..perhaps in the stewardship of belongings. I’ll give you the “why” first…my 13 year old wants to be reminded often why cleaning his room and bathroom is necessary. The best reason I can come up with is: because it’s a way of learning to respect yourself. Caring for your person (s) and belongings in a godly way is respecting yourself. When we neglect them, it reflects disrespect and ingratitude. Based on Romans 1:21 ingratitude can lead to futile thoughts and then foolish hearts can be darkened as a result of not exercising gratitude. I suppose gratitude can make or break the wayward wife too. An ambivalent wife can open herself up to emotional and or physical affairs when she does not count her blessings (practice gratitude) nor maintain healthy boundaries.
    3) We disrespect ourselves when we don’t say what we mean. When we neglect to make our word our bond we disrespect ourselves. Wedding vows come to mind. Making vows and oaths…making our “yes” “yes” and our “no” “no” is serious business.

    • These are awesome! Absolutely! Love it! Thank you! Stellar wisdom – So glad you are here, Lisa!
      Love to you,

    • +1 Lisa 🙂 This is what i saw of women, when trying to rebound from a divorce. I literally lost hope that there were ANY good women out there that were single. (althought that outlook has drastically changed, thanks be to God)

  4. #2 Definitely where I fail the most. And then get upset that I have failed. :/ Work in progress on that one.

    • We understand! “Failure” is that other guy’s calling card, isn’t it? Meh. Prayers for you. Glad you are here!
      Love to you,

  5. Being too hard on yourself and trying to punish yourself because of some sin or mistake. This is not healthy, good nor is it helpful. I am learning this is not the role I am to take on. I am not the judge! My role can only be one of repentance and forgiveness then getting back up, turning away from it and learning from it. Lord, I’m asking you for continued healing in this area of my life and anyone else struggling with this. In Jesus name I pray, amen. Thank you, Lord.

    • Agreed! Thanks Michelle. Wise words indeed. We just need to confess, and then obey in His strength. There’s always forgiveness, not that we should take it for granted, but rather that we remember there’s no condemnation. Repentance always involves behavior change. I second your prayer! 🙂
      Love to you,

      • Nina, your comment made me think of a passage that my pastor/hubby has been mulling over quite a bit lately (consequently, that means we’ve discussed it a few times lately! II Corinthians 5:17 – 18 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:”

        This passage doesn’t say we will someday be reconciled or are in the process of eventually being reconciled. It says that our identity right in this moment is one who has been reconciled. The trick is learning to live into that identity!

        • I know, right? I have trouble remembering where I put my keys, much less remembering I’m not a slave to those old unhealthy thoughts. Good grief. Thankfully, He is busy in the business of redemption. I have many moments that need redeeming, unfortunately! 🙂

    • 🙂 Any good you see would be my Jesus showing… 🙂 I’m just trying to stay out of His way.
      Glad you are here!
      Love to you,

  6. Would you expand on this? For example, wife is tired, had an extra busy day, but hubby wants to go see a movie/would like a big dinner/etc. If we are to submit and respect our husbands, how do the concepts work? Aren’t I supposed to put his needs before mine?

    • And the answer is…

      It depends. 🙂

      There are about a hundred different scenarios in this answer, ranging from the wife going the extra mile or the husband laying down his desires, to them working out a mutually beneficial solution for both.

      Here’s the bottom line: God knows what is in His will for any given interaction. Our job is to get to know Him such that we know what to do – and if it doesn’t go well (according to our definition) then we can still rest in the knowledge that we obeyed and He has a plan.

      I know, maybe not what you wanted to hear, but it’s true. In an ideal situation, we create an environment in our home such that our husbands are free to hear from God without our interference (often what looks like control or doormat behavior, the two extremes) and we can healthfully communicate our needs/wants without fear, and both people respect and serve the other. This looks different in every marriage, given the different people involved, and the different place on the journey both people are at. “Submission” comes into play when we can’t agree, we intentionally place ourselves under our husband’s leadership, having communicated (respectfully) our opinion on the matter.

      Glad you are here!
      Love to you,

    • Lynette, I certainly don’t presume to speak for Nina, God, or your marriage. But you asked and here’s my free thoughts, and that’s about what they are worth.
      The concepts of Respect are far beyond the reaches of a single blog post, especially one on respecting yourself. Have you done the 40 days of The Respect Dare? How long have you followed this blog? It’s here and in the book and in the course, but it takes time. My small group met this morning and one member commented a similar thing – how do you do it ALL? And I said you don’t – you work on areas as you go. So while Respect is an important concept, it is also a journey – one which we are all on each and every day.
      Secondly, Nina posed some really great points above the post. They included being willing to die to yourself, the lies you believe about being a doormat, and who are you most focused on. I encourage you to read those again. They are hard pills to swallow when our culture is so vastly different from the model that God gives us that truly works.
      Now both of those things being said, the question still remains that you too want to be respected by your husband when you put in a hard day. The best thing I can suggest is to communicate with him – respectfully. He cannot read your mind about anything – and having expectations that you don’t voice will only lead to hurt feelings. So, leave the expectations out of it. If you have a hard day, he can’t just know that, so tell him. Tell him what happened – the straight facts. Men get caught up in too much emotional speak and don’t know what to do, so just tell events. And then clearly communicate what you want from him. Do you want advice? Men can feel respected when their wives need them to fix something. Do you want to take a bubble bath? Ask him if he could help you with some specific chores to make that happen.
      The two you brought up: he wants to see a movie or have a big dinner. Ask him what makes him want to see a movie tonight? (Why is kind of a challenging word so sometimes just changing the question to a What can make a huge difference in his response). You don’t just blanket HAVE to do whatever he wants but hear him out. Maybe he knew this would be a tough day and he to him, this is relaxing. Maybe you haven’t been on a date in a while because it wasn’t in the budget or you can’t find a sitter so he traded some babysitting with some friends and found out there are discount tickets on Wednesdays. Those actions show a lot of love, so maybe your love-tank being full would be enough to get you over the hump of your bad day. And what about the big dinner? Maybe you could cook it together? Maybe suggest saving it for the weekend, or if your budget allows, letting someone else do the cooking by going out or getting takeout.
      Just because he wants something that you don’t want or don’t like the idea of because you are tired, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t hear out what made him have these ideas. He may have been very focused on loving you through these actions. It would be a shame to squash that out by not taking a minute to at least hear him out and be respectful.
      Do you HAVE to just do whatever he wants in the name of submission and respect? No, but that’s part of the journey. It’s learning that sometimes an adjustment of our plans or expectations isn’t so bad if we are truly focused on respecting our husbands. It’s not an all-or-nothing works-based marriage model. It’s a step in the direction of respect, even when you don’t feel like.
      I hope this helps you. This is an amazing journey and transformative to marriages. I hope you will read more and learn more so that you don’t feel like your needs are not important.
      Many prayers for you.

    • Lynette – hubby and I just had an encounter similar to this. I’m in the midst of a very busy season in my life and hubby sent me a text in which he suggested a dessert date. I knew I would be LOUSY company if I said yes but I knew he was offering to take me out because I’m very much a “quality time” person. Luckily, the suggestion was in text format so I had a moment to think. I responded something like this:

      “It is so sweet of you to offer to take me out. Truthfully, I’m exhausted and I fear I wouldn’t be much fun to be around. Can we just grab sodas and choose a tv show to watch together at home where I can relax and get comfy?”

      Long story short, his response was very sweet and understanding. He assured me that my idea was fine because his goal was to make me feel loved. With my husband (and I’m certain it’s true of other men as well) I’ve learned that it’s important to emphasize just what I’m saying “no” to. Simply saying “no” to his idea might have left him thinking that I was saying “no” to him. I know it seems like a picky thing, but when I’m careful to make it clear that I’m saying no to the activity/setting/restaurant/etc. it tends to end with both of us feeling like the other really heard and understood.

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