The Unbroken Woman blog is hosting The Respect Dare. Starting July 10, participants will be using Nina Roesner’s The Respect Dare: 40 Days to a Deeper Connection with God and Your Husband as a guide, posting about their journey. And I will be doing it with you!
This Dare asks that we consider our achievements, God’s involvement in those achievements, how we responded to the challenges, and what God wants us to know about ourselves and about God.
Naturally, the achievement I had in mind was sex—specifically, altering the patterns of how I sexually interacted with my husband in order to stop having such a sad marriage.
As I worked through this Dare, I realized how much I’d learned throughout the process of sexual change.
- Despite my stubbornness, God will put me right where I need to be. Just mindlessly clicking through a news site on the internet while my husband was at church without me (I refused to go that morning), I clicked on a link that took me to a page that had a link to a forum discussion thread that had a title that was crafted in a way to pique my interest—and that thread opened my eyes to how my husband had been hurting. On a particular day, at a particular time, reading a particular news site, with a particular thread highlighted…all things came together. I wasn’t at church, where I’m pretty sure God wanted me to be. But He came to where I was, on the living room couch, and grabbed me anyway.
- I can act with intention and can break reactive patterns, no matter how deeply rooted those patterns are in my heart, mind, and body. In other words, I actually can change. Honestly, I had no idea it was possible. It’s hard, but I can become aware of what I’m doing and break the habit.
- Even when something is hard, if it’s the right thing to do and I keep at it—and invite God into the process—I will not only accomplish what I’m doing, I will surpass it. It may take time, but it will happen.
- Learning about myself is hard, messy, distressing, embarrassing, and frequently scary. It is also freeing.
- Slow progress is still progress. Looking at how I’ve changed since yesterday shows me nothing; looking at how I’ve changed since last month or last year shows me how far along I am.
- God is eternal and patient.
- I have a place in God’s design.
Now, I step back and look at my list and can see….sex is just the tip of the iceberg. It was the visible part of my change. Deep beneath, where it was too dark for me to see all the time, was so much more. The learning I’ve done about myself and about God are the base of the iceberg. They are the foundation for the sexual changes. While I was working on the part that I could see, God was working on what was below the surface.
And now, taking one step further back, I look at my marriage and can start to see that God has a plan for my husband and me. I don’t yet know what this plan is. I don’t know that submitting to my husband is where this is headed, but I do know that I am already starting to break some of the reactive and disrespectful patterns I have with him. In the meantime, while I’m working on that, which is visible, God is working below the surface to help me submit to Him. And that has been my problem all along. When God achieves that with my stubborn and selfish spirit, the accomplishment will be all His, not mine at all.
Read these other bloggers to learn about their experiences with the Respect Dare:
The Respect Dare Blog (author Nina Roesner)
Image courtesy of Iamnee / FreeDigitalPhotos.net