What I Am Worth

 

what a wife is worth doc

Had I known years ago, when we remodeled our bathrooms, what I know now, I would have invested in magnetic mirrors! My bathroom mirrors are my favorite places to stick encouraging quotes and inspirational messages. During my dark days of trauma, I started to run out of mirror space until my husband politely asked if I could please remove some of my quotable quotes that were encroaching on his mirror space with clear tape and various hues of colored paper.  The job would have been much simpler if I had the ease of posting things with cute magnets onto magnetic mirrors.

Since then, I have reserved space for only my most important messages and now my husband is joining me with his own collection of quotes and thoughts. The latest inspirational message he asked me to save for him was something that was shared in his group:  “What My Wife Is Worth,” by Forest Benedict. Earlier, I had seen this floating around online and I also loved the truth spoken in this piece.  I couldn’t find a printable copy of this message, so I created my own and am including it here for others to download:

What My Wife Is Worth

My husband acknowledges that he felt shame as he read through this list. He wants to do better. He believes the list will be a good reminder for him to keep working every day to win my heart.

My work is to believe that I am truly worth everything on this remarkable list. I need to live and act in a way that others can see that I know my true value. I can do this by maintaining my personal boundaries, practicing self-care, and having faith in my ability to forgive. I need to know that I am enough and that my worth is “innate and can’t be tarnished.” I think I will read this list and replace the words “she deserves” with “I deserve” and change other words, as needed, to make this a message for me. It would look something like this:

  • I am a woman of infinite worth. Because of this, I deserve my husband’s best efforts.
  • I deserve a husband who only has eyes for me. 
  • I deserve a husband in active recovery, not passively going with the flow.

I love the feeling I get when God’s truth pierces my heart. Words are powerful. I am already looking for mirror space so I can tape this up!

Update: I created a printable with the words changed so we can be reminded of our own worth! Here it is:

What I Am Worth

 

Boundaries and Self Worth

house construction

 

My support group recently watched a video that featured, along with some weird-looking zombies, the importance of creating boundaries.

The point of this video (see below) is that the way we see ourselves can determine how well we are able to enforce our personal boundaries. If you see yourself as a beautiful mansion that has been maintained well, you will want to put up a secure fence to keep your mansion house safe.

On the other hand, if you’ve abandoned your house and left it in disarray for a while, you might not feel the need for a strong fence or any fence at all to protect your house. I think living with an addict year after year can do a lot of damage to our personal houses that are built in our hearts. I have to admit, there have been times in my life when I felt like my house, (or me), was in a neglected state and in need of repair. When I viewed the abandoned house depicted in the video, I felt sad because I could relate to the feeling of being that kind of house.

Fortunately, I’m a good fixer-upper and I have spent periods of time here and there for house-cleaning, repairing, and sprucing up my house-self. I count this as a gift from God. I didn’t discover my husband’s addiction until decades into our marriage and I often wondered why God hid these secrets from me. I may never know the answers for sure, but I can now see this as a huge blessing because God gave me time to really work at fixing up my house. I didn’t end up with a mansion, but I feel my foundation has always been solid and my framework is sturdy and reliable. You see, I’ve never doubted that I am a daughter of God and that He loves me. My foundation is built on that testimony. The knowledge that I have divine worth, has helped me keep my house in good condition, but it has taken years of work to get to that point.

So, when it was time for me to create personal boundaries, I was blessed with some good building material from my fixer-upper house inside my heart. There was just enough left in my house to build my safety fence. In fact, some of my first attempts at fence-building probably ended up looking more like a brick wall with razor wire on the top instead of a boundary fence! I may have made a few ultimatums, but they worked for me until I figured out a better approach.

Betrayed wives are often counseled to create boundaries right away. I think an important step is missed in such counsel. I think betrayed wives must first learn to love themselves and discover their true value. I believe this comes from relying on God and believing that He values us as His children.  When we believe in our own self worth, we understand the need for protecting ourselves, the houses for our souls, from behaviors that show no respect for our true value.

In the end, loving yourself is not about tooting your own horn or conforming to the world’s view of self-esteem. It’s about being who you are—a unique child of God—and knowing that who you are is a good thing. When you understand your eternal worth and you live in a way consistent with your divine heritage, you will gain a lasting self-esteem that is better than anything the world can offer (Truth, Lies, and Your Self-Worth, By Mindy Raye Friedman, New Era, Jan. 2014).

A strong sense of our eternal worth is the best thing to keep the homes in our souls, our heart houses, beautiful and strong.  I once took a white board marker and wrote on my mirror, “You are a daughter of God.” I left that message on the mirror and daily repeated the words until I felt like I regained my sense of worth. Regardless of our circumstances, our mistakes, or our moments of faltering faith, we are daughters of God and we deserve houses that are safe.