In the spirit of Proverbs, which has contrasting perspectives, we’re doing the same with the list from earlier this week about “Disrespecting Ourselves.”
I’m sure there are more – please feel free to add to them in the comment section!
Ways to Respect Ourselves…
10. Spend time with God daily so He can encourage and guide you, thus giving you confidence in who you are and Whose you are. When we get this, we can do anything. Relationship with Him is the most important thing.
9. Ask Him what we should do in situations throughout the day – then do whatever He wants. Then we know that even if things go badly, we did what was right, thus avoiding creating guilt. Know this sometimes can mean choosing to overlook an insult, lovingly speak up sometimes or engage in conflict respectfully.
8. Recognize that guilt, shame, discouragement and condemnation are from that other guy. Refuse them. There are times to serve those who do not deserve it by overlooking an insult, times to confront sin against us, and times to gently correct disrespectful behavior towards us. Our heart has to be in the right place, of compassion and love, not revenge and retribution.
7. Let our “yes” be “yes” and our “no” be “no.” Stop being wishy washy about decisions, replaying options after one is made, causing stress. Feel free to say, “no” to things that are not what He wants you to do, refusing to feel bad about those who might be disappointed (be empathetic, but don’t own their sorrow). Follow the guidelines He has set up for you, and He will work His plan for you in His timing, which is perfect. And know that saying, “no” to ungodly behavior for yourself as a woman matters. Engage as a woman of dignity with everyone. The “sexual revolution” is not freedom for women, but enslavement to lies. In marriage, there’s so much freedom here (as long as it is not diminishing to either of you and doesn’t involve anyone else in image form or real), but outside of marriage, NO.
6. Take every thought captive, conforming it to His authority, asking Him to help you have a pure heart and mind. Know that sometimes that means not taking things personally, even if we have hurt feelings. Asking a question, saying, “It’s my perception that you just said/want me to/think I am… is that true?” and then work through the dialogue. Refuse to entertain thoughts that look like desperate attempts to control – don’t manipulate men with your body even if “nothing happens” for personal gain, financial, emotional, professionally or otherwise.
5. Be honoring to God in what we watch, listen to, where we go, and what we do, knowing He is right there with us all the time. Know that whatever we pay attention to grows, if most of our thoughts are revolving around worldly things, then we are useful to that other guy, instead of God.
4. Be in the world, but not of it, choosing carefully who we count as my tight friends, acquaintances, and associates, knowing that most relationships are for mentoring ourselves or others, and that our besties need to be friends who sharpen us.
3. Choose the practice of incessant gratitude throughout each day, regardless of what God has allowed to cross our paths. In doing so, we become stronger, and have greater comfort, joy, and peace. We can then be “HOT” – Honest, Open, Transparent, bravely so, such that we can use whatever He’s allowed into our lives to be a blessing to others.
2. Honor our bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit by eating right, exercising, resting, and dressing and behaving modestly to garner appropriate attention to our words, our hearts and our intellect, instead of our bodies, from others. If we put in good fuel and get rest, and feed our mind spiritually by studying His Word, we can then be more useful as ambassadors. When we are paid attention because of how we look, that is an external manipulation – we want appropriate attention because of what is in our hearts, not because of how shocking, wealthy, or immodest we are.
1. Consider deeply only God’s opinion, allowing others’ opinions to be heard and empathized with great compassion, but seeing His Truth first and most. This means being wise to that other guy and avoids giving in to unbecoming behavior or thoughts to purchase affections or attention. When we wrap up our identity in others’ opinions, we cave to peer pressure and make poor choices.
What about you? How have you respected the temple in your relationships?