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!

I’m struggling with this one. (Yeah, yeah, that seems to be a pattern with me. I know.)

I have a hard time processing the story in this chapter. The situation set as our example is a woman whose husband neglected bill paying, which resulted in his wife and children being without electricity for a few days in the winter.

Now, I agree that when we make bad choices, we benefit from having consequences that help us learn to do better. But I just don’t get how this is a good example. This wasn’t just a matter of him experiencing consequences; his family did. I don’t understand how it is okay for a woman to let her children suffer from their father’s bad decision when she has a choice. I simply cannot accept that. If he doesn’t pay the bills yet she is aware of them, why can’t that be a responsibility that she holds?

And while I understand that this is perhaps an example of a woman trusting God, I don’t understand how it is about a woman trusting her husband. If he says he will do something and then doesn’t—multiple times, and in a way that physically affects his family, then hasn’t he shown himself to be untrustworthy in this area? And what is the line between a woman living the consequences of her husband’s choices in this area and living the consequences of his choice to abuse her? Is she to just take it, trusting God to teach her husband not to beat her?

I just can’t swallow this. It feels wrong in the core of my being. I cannot see this as submitting to a husband’s leadership or even submitting to God; I see it as being a doormat.

Unfortunately, that story made it really hard for me to get through the rest of the chapter—which addresses something I know I need to work on and pray about.

In today’s Dare, I am to stay out of God’s way while He is teaching my husband. My Dare is to pray about either staying out of His way and praying for my husband or growing in an area where I am frequently rescued instead of having consequences.

I would say that both of these are incredibly difficult in my life. My husband and I have a pattern of not bringing out the best in each other. We don’t spend enough time praying for or with each other, and we don’t try to stay out of God’s way in teaching the other. In several areas of our shared life, we both seem to have found it easier to simply stop trying. Rather than become angry or resentful, we’ve simply lowered our expectations for ourselves and each other. We’ve both let us down in these areas many, many times.

So, in my usual resistant way, I am saying both of these prayers. Responsibility isn’t our strong suit, and we both have a  lot of maturing to do. When something that is my husband’s responsibility is undone, I feel resentful. I frequently end up doing it, which adds to my resentment. So, I could work on trying to let some of that go . . . But I honestly don’t know how. And when I am fulfilling my various household responsibilities and am faced with something my husband has left undone–sometimes something I needed him to do in order for me to do what I need to do–I just don’t know how I am supposed to respond. If the hoses in the washing machine don’t get replaced (my husband’s responsibility) and I do laundry (my responsibility), if we then have water in the basement, is the cleaning a consequence for him because he didn’t check the hoses or for me because I did laundry without making sure the hoses were checked?

While the requirements for this Dare are absolutely something I need to work, I simply cannot shake the example used to begin the chapter.

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)

5 Thoughts on “Dare 33: Trust and Consequences

  1. trixie1466 on August 11, 2013 at 4:04 pm said:

    FW, the thing is it doesn’t help to nag and if you do it yourself he will keep on doing it. It is in a man’ s nature to provide. If he doesn’t follow through with things he will see the consequence of his own actions. If you do it for him he won’t have to face it. If you nag him he will get busy defending himself against you. How can he argue with his own conscience? Goes back to trusting God, not your dh.

    • I know that–but it’s hard to let go of some fear.

      I’m happy to say I’ve stopped nagging my husband, which has changed they dynamic between us–but I need to spend some time working through the idea that it’s a man’s nature to provide. I am still working on trusting God, and I know these things are tangled up with each other.

  2. trixie1466 on August 11, 2013 at 6:51 pm said:

    I can totally sympathize. I am working hard these days trying to give up idols in my life and control is one that keeps recurring. I know it’s because I’m not trusting God the way I should. It’s not a conscious thing at all. I’ve been forgiven for a lot and He’s shown me over and over that He loves me and He is always trustworthy. So why do I still doubt? I just don’t know:(

  3. I think a normal man would feel horrible if his wife and kids had no heat in the winter. I can’t think of a better consequence since providing and protecting are so important to a man regardless of his spiritual maturity. In the case of your washer, I can see you gently telling your husband that you can’t do the wash anymore. Maybe going to a laundromat with the kids and spending hours that can’t be spent cooking, cleaning etc. Letting the basement flood, if you knew that would happen, would be kind of premeditated and probably not as blessed. I’m just assuming the woman with no heat wasn’t aware that was coming. I don’t know. I don’t think it would be abusive to have no heat for a couple days. She could go to a friends house etc. I think it’s so important, yet so hard, to duck out of the way and let God get to our husbands and children. We can come up with so many excuses to intervene. I’m not following along in the book even though i could and should but I assume the way we show respect during these times is not to nag all the way to the final warning from the power company and then not to say I told you so afterwards or belittle and berate. We just let God work on him, sometimes at our expense too. But theoretically whatever consequence we choose to bear with him will teach him the lesson. Maybe even both of us. I know you know this. I do too and still struggle right along with you. Still want to control. Suggest strongly. Do it myself. But I hope to keep growing up there too :). Love your honesty. So many of us are struggling right along with you.

    • God never said it would be easy, but there is comfort in struggling together, i guess.

      I only wish the washing machine hose example were a hypothetical one. It fascinates me how God gives me opportunities to practice the lessons He’s trying to teach me.

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