UNLEASHING THE K.I.S.S. MARRIAGE- “I’m not Dancing That Dance Anymore”

If you read my blog on a regular basis, you are familiar with my consistent inspiration to “show respect to your husband.” Yet, there is a yellow caution line that we need to be aware of; and that warning line is about knowing the difference between respect and enabling. This is where the danger lies.  Women are natural nurturers and nurses.  Many women feel it is their responsibility to make sure everyone and everything in life runs according to her inner, visual blueprint of life.  Let me explain the difference:

Respect:  The bible tells us in Ephesians 5:33 “…and the wife must see to it that she deeply respects her husband-obeying, praising and honoring him.”

We can give people respect when we see and acknowledge their God given characteristics and potential to grow and become more like Christ.  We show them respect so that it will “call out” their inner values and help them to grow and over time be nurtured into something beautiful.

Enabling: When we see their consistent immoral, abusive or wrong behavior, but continue to cover for them, and allow them to “get away with it.”

I love football, so let me give you an example of how this might work on a football team. The coach is there to train and “pull out” all the best potential of his players; to encourage them, respect them, train them and give them all the tools to help them become the very best players in the country.  Let’s say there is one particular player that has incredible potential, and the coach shows him tremendous respect by spending extra time with him and giving him extra advice.  As gifted as this player might be, he continues to stay out late at night drinking, breaking the rules and showing up late for practice time and time again. The coach tried showing him respect and giving him all the tools he needed to become one of the best players, but the player continues to ignore the coach’s instructions and warnings. If the coach continues to allow this player to break the rules and not adhere to the coach’s warnings; the coach would be enabling this player’s bad behavior.

That’s also how it works in a marriage.  Your husband may be the most wonderful man on planet earth, but if he is abusive, an alcoholic, addicted to pornography or any other behaviors that are hurting you and your family, and you are allowing it to continue without any consequences; you are enabling his bad behavior.

This is not an easy topic. What do you do if your husband is, to the rest of the world, a moral, upstanding Christian man, serving his church and community; yet behind closed doors he is an alcoholic or abusive?  It is not your responsibility to cover for him and protect him. You have to make a bold choice to “NOT DANCE THAT DANCE ANYMORE!” You are not responsible for his behavior; you are responsible for your own soul. You will not stand before God one day and have to account for his behavior; you are accountable only to yours.  Find help for you! Find the kinds of assistance that will help you to become strong enough to know when it stops begin respect and starts the pattern of enabling. We are all needy people, and want to believe in the people we love. For so many years I thought that if I loved people enough they would change; but sometimes “love is not enough.” Sometimes it takes a loving, harsh NO to stop the dance, and begin a long journey of healing-for both of you.

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3 Responses to “UNLEASHING THE K.I.S.S. MARRIAGE- “I’m not Dancing That Dance Anymore””

  1. EXCELLENT post, Heidi. I just wrote the first post in a short series on forgiveness and was thinking about how to address this issue. I certainly couldn’t have said it better.

  2. I just found your blog via Right to the Heart of Women. I read the devotional you wrote about the chickens & the eagle. I just had to send you a note and say thank you. I was so encouraged today by that devotion! Unfortunately, I have found myself acting like the chickens even though I want to soar like the eagle. Thanks for giving me a new perspective!!! Blessings!

    • Thank you Diane and Myra for your comments. I loved writing this article because it is so easy for me to visualize being the chicken, but I so desire to be the eagle. It all sounds easy until the storm comes, and then we need each other to hang on.

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