Are You Depreciating?

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Are You Depreciating?

I’ve been driving a 1989 Buick for about eight years.  It’s been a very good car, but has recently been having some trouble, so we have gone to a few used car lots, trying to figure out if we should trade up to a newer car.  I learned a long time ago that it’s not wise to buy a brand new car because they depreciate so quickly once you drive them off the car lot.

Thinking upon depreciation, it got me to thinking about how we can depreciate in our husbands eyes if we aren’t careful.  Proverbs 31:10 tells us about the worth of a virtuous woman.  Obviously, this woman’s worth is more valuable as time goes by, but how many of us get lax in what we are doing, and could honestly say that we are ‘depreciating’?  Webster’s New World Dictionary defines ‘depreciate’ as: “to lessen in value, to belittle.”

One way that I think we can depreciate is through thinking that we can change our husband.  In times of conversation, he may just be wanting to vent his frustrations from the day.  He isn’t looking for any advice; he just wants a listening ear.  But, what do we do?  We try to ‘fix’ him.  We tell him what he should have said, or should have done.  If he tells us what he did say, we may find ourselves saying, “Why did you say that?  Why didn’t you tell him….?”  What we don’t realize is that when we give our husband advice when he hasn’t asked for it, we are attempting to change him.  Eve did that, and look where it took her and Adam.  We are still suffering the consequences of how Eve desired to change her husband.

We depreciate in value when we are like the quarrelsome wife.  Sometimes we may even hear our husband say, “You never agree with anything I say or do!”  You may wonder what caused such an outburst like that from him.  After all, you were only trying to help!  What we don’t realize is that our constant attempts to try to ‘fix’ him are really disguised criticisms (or belittling him).  When we criticize him, we are telling him that we don’t really accept him as he is.  Yet, in I Corinthians 13, we find that love protects.  Disguised criticism doesn’t protect, but rather, it attacks his manhood.  It also takes away that safe place where he can vent from time to time.  We are told in Matthew 7:1 that we shouldn’t criticize, yet many times, we find ourselves criticizing the person whom God has placed in authority over us.

One of the best gifts we can give someone is a listening ear.  There have been many instances of a husband having an affair because his wife would never listen to him, so he found someone else who would.

We depreciate when we constantly interrupt.  If our husband is trying to talk to us, and we keep interrupting him, we may miss out on learning new things about him.  We might be able to learn about his deep thoughts, feelings, desires, and his character.  We need to learn from our husband in quietness. (I Tim. 2:11)  Too often, we fail to truly listen, causing our husband to give up in trying to express himself. Most men get tired of competing for a chance to speak, so they eventually begin to just shut up.  They’ve been out working, fighting all kinds of battles during the day.  They aren’t about to battle it out with their wife for a chance to speak. 

Another way we can quickly depreciate is by failing to respect our husband.  Part of fulfilling that command is to admire him.  Men love to be admired!  Often, an affair starts because a woman starts to admire a man and he falls for it because his wife has stopped admiring him.  The sowing and reaping principle works well here.  When we are faithful to admire our husband, we help him to love himself.  That may cause him to begin to nourish his relationship with you, to treasure and protect you like he is commanded in Ephesians 5:28-29.  Actively look for ways to praise him.  One thing my husband does frequently for me is to open jars.  I get frustrated because I have no strength in my hands.  I am grateful for a strong husband who can help me get those stubborn lids opened!  After he opens it, I will gently stroke his arm, commenting on his strong muscles.  What man wouldn’t love to hear things like that?

When people begin to look at buying a used car, they will often check the ‘book value’ of that car.  What is your ‘book value’?  Does Father need to do a little refurbishing on you?

© 2004, Stacy R Miller

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