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 challenges us to consider how we love our husbands sacrificially and to pray about what God tells us about sacrificial love. I have often thought I don’t have the ability to love sacrificially. (Then again, does anyone besides God?)
My work on this Dare reminds me of two things: I am self-centered, and I don’t do a good job of loving my husband. And what does it mean to love sacrificially anyway? Is it a one-time sacrifice? Is it a sacrifice every single day? The story in the chapter relates to laundry (and I’ve done the same thing as the woman in the story does). I used to dislike doing my husband’s laundry. It definitely felt like a sacrifice. His clothes added two loads of laundry to my week, and laundry is a chore I’ve never enjoyed.
But….over the past couple years, as our marriage has grown stronger, it has felt like less of a sacrifice. I’ll put our clothes in the washer and see his underwear and mine together, the things we wear that only we see on each other. The tub fills with water and the suds wash through our clothes—no longer his clothes and mine but laundry in a collective sense. I’ve come to see this as a metaphor for our marriage. God is the water and the cleansing soap. What is put into the tub separately becomes a collective entity that is purified by God.
Just writing that out feels a bit ridiculous, but I am amazed nonetheless. The task that used to feel like a sacrifice has now been infused with meaning and a subtle joy. Although I still don’t like doing laundry, it no longer feels like a sacrifice to do my husband’s laundry. Doing his laundry, together with mine, feels good and right. Our underwear swirling around in the tub and tossing in the dryer is a symbol of our one-flesh relationship.
Once a task has been transformed into one of love and joy, is it still sacrificial? I now find meaning in doing my husband’s laundry with mine, so I don’t know that it still “counts” as a sacrifice.
Still, it makes me realize that it is possible for something that feels to become a source of joy. What I’ve seen as my inability to love sacrificially is really a lack of perspective and action. Perhaps….if I just do the things I don’t want to anyway, knowing that they serve God and my husband even when I don’t understand it or like it, those things will lead to joy and purpose.
Read these other bloggers to learn about their experiences with the Respect Dare:
The Respect Dare Blog (author Nina Roesner)