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 says that by the end of the day, I am to do three things. I attempted them in the order given in the book, but I am going to write about them in reverse. I’m a bit intrigued by my reaction to this Dare. It’s hard—but not in the soul-wrenching, sob-inducing way a few of these Dares have been. In fact, I have no tears, only puzzlement.

#3 – Ask God to help me remember to live for Him alone.

I was able to knock out this one pretty easily. I’ve been spending a lot more time in prayer lately. (Side note: I’ve discovered that my prayers end up sounding kind of like business letters: “Dear God, I am praying to thank you for the blessings of the day. I would like to inquire about a matter of concern to a friend. Thank you for your attention to this prayer. Sincerely, Chris”) And I agree with what #3 asks. I know this is something I need to work on. In fact, I’ve been led to pray about it for several days now.

#2 – Give a gift to my husband to remind him of his manhood and my admiration for him.

As for #2, I won’t be able to complete it today—but I will complete it, and I know exactly what I’m going to do. I have a plan to acquire this gift while I’m on vacation with my family. I can’t say here what it will involve because my husband might read this and the surprise will be spoiled.  But it will be fun, and he will appreciate it.

But here’s where some of my puzzlement creeps in. There’s something that doesn’t make sense to me. I am supposed to be living my life for God and not for earthly recognition, even from my husband—but in telling him he’s my knight in shining armor and even giving a gift to symbolize it, isn’t that enabling him to do the very thing I am supposed to not do? I really don’t get it. I mean, it’s a sweet thing to do. And I guess it will give him a visible reminder of what I’m trying to do. And it’s good for me to give him this gift. But I’m just not convinced it’s the right thing to do.

Shouldn’t we all be living for God? Why am I not being asked to find a way to encourage him to live his life for Him? Now, I’m surprised at myself that I’m not looking at this as a fairness issue, as I did with some of the earlier dares. I really just don’t get it. If I’m supposed to respect my husband out of submission to God, how can I support my husband in his submission to God? Isn’t that ultimately where this process should lead—to two spouses, one flesh, both submitting to God?

I will do this part of the Dare, because I will enjoy doing it—but if I had a different kind of husband than the one I do, I think this could send a message that everything’s about him and not about Him.

#3 – Write a letter to myself with a reminder to serve in order to please God and not people.

This is the one that I’m just not able to do. I’m just not ready to write it. I can’t write the letter until I know it, deep in my bones and heart, that I am capable of this. How can I persuade someone (even myself) of something I don’t fully believe is possible yet?

I know that my relationship with God is more important than my relationship with people. But knowing that in my mind doesn’t make my heart able to value His recognition more than the recognition of others.

I am looking back at Dare 18: Holding On and seeing the same thing here as I experienced there. This Dare is asking me to let go of who I am—patterns of interaction and fundamental ways I respond to everything. I’m just not there yet.

I have a whole list of things I need to work on in myself, issues rooted in the intersection of my life experiences and my personality. Valuing the recognition of others is on this list.

Deeper than that, however, is my struggle to put my whole trust in God. I don’t trust easily. The idea of trusting God alone terrifies me, even though I’ve been blessed by His care for me. I look back at our financial struggles over the past few years. There have been a few times when I thought we were at rock bottom—and every single time, God provided. Every single time. Many times, we would face something so hard, and I would find myself saying, “I don’t know how, but God has always taken care of us.”

God has always taken care of us. So why can’t I do this? Why can’t I truly let go and let God? Why can’t I let God be the only one I seek?

I am closer to this than I was a few months ago. Even though I say the thought terrifies me, my body doesn’t feel the way it does when it’s terrified. So maybe my heart is moving more than I know.

Read these other bloggers to learn about their experiences with the Respect Dare:

Unbroken Woman

My Beloved Is Mine!

Broken But Not Forgotten


The Respect Dare Blog (author Nina Roesner)

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