"A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value." Proverbs 31:10-11
Sweet wives, I am sharing for us today because I think we are more guilty of doing the "one-up" on our husbands than they are of doing it on us. This post could really be titled "Don't One-Up Your Spouse". However, I want to encourage and challenge we wives.
This suggestion of not one-upping your husband may seem silly and inconsequential, but the root of "one-upping" is usually pride, disrespect or jealousy. So, as we yield our hearts to the Lord in our marriages, not one-upping our husbands can bear bountiful, beautiful fruit because it springs forth from humility. Let's talk about it today.
What is one-upping? Well, here is what http://www.dictionary.com/ says:
"having gained an advantage in some way that betokens success, especially over rivals"
"Having gained an advantage...especially over rivals." Just that definition makes me cringe! Do I want to gain an advantage over my husband? No, not at all. I am his helpmate. Walking together with my husband as the leader is my desire. Is my husband my rival? No. We are bonded together in Christ in the most sacred earthly union and we are to cleave to one another.
So, how can we not one-up?
When your husband has an idea, let it be. Don't try to improve it or add on to it. Just let it be. We women are good at tweaking our husband's ideas. He doesn't need our tweaking. If he has an idea for a date night for the two of you or for a family outing, thank him for his thought, tell him it is a wonderful idea and appreciate his heart behind it. Be sure to tell him at the end how much you enjoyed the time together and his choice of activity.
If your husband is sharing a personal success in conversation with others, sincerely build him up and show your respect for him. Don't start talking about one of your endeavors or a recent success you have had. Rather, share how proud you are of him and how thankful to the Lord you are for your husband's achievement. Rejoice with him and let him have the spotlight.
There are many ways we one-up our spouses; these are just two. One-ups can be loud and boisterous. They can also be subtle and seemingly sweet. One-ups can be private or public. Either way, one-ups tear down. We want to build our house. The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down. Proverbs 14:1
The condition of our hearts before the Lord, as with all things, is the issue. If our hearts are postured in humility, love and wanting the best for the other person, we will not one-up in any fashion. Because your heart was responsive and you humbled yourself before the LORD...I have heard you, declares the LORD. 2 Kings 22:19
We are to be our husband's helpmate, not his rival. We are to build him up, not tear him down. The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him." Genesis 2:18
In his book Sacred Influence, Gary Thomas says this:
Avoiding the trap of one-upping our husband may seem like a small detail in marriage, but respect, admiration and submission are the fruitful root of avoiding the one-up trap. Our husbands are moved by our respect and godly submission.
When our husbands are moved, they lead and they grow. As Christian wives, our heart's desire for our husband is that he would always grow in the Lord and lead us with integrity and confidence. I like what Linda Dillow says below. Interchange the word "change" to "grow".
Building up and encouraging our husbands contributes to our becoming worth-far-more-than-rubies wives! Let's be mindful of not one-upping our husbands. Rather, let's move them by our honor, respect and admiration.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Phil. 2:3