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!
These Dares are sneaky. Every time I have one that allows me to celebrate how well I’ve been doing, I’m a bit nervous about the next one being a real challenge. Dare 25 addressed an area where I’ve already seen a lot of growth, so I was surprised when I could relate to the story in this chapter and wasn’t immediately challenged. My sons are both Eagle Scouts. I’ve been through the motherly hand-wringing as I worried about them going to camp with the older boys.
But then I got to this sentence: “Living in peace often means trusting our husbands’ judgment and God’s sovereignty instead of paying more attention to our fears.”
And that right there is the problem. I’ve been learning to trust my husband, and when he’s himself, I do trust him now. It has been a long crawl to get there. But his out-of-control blood pressure (he has another medical test in the coming week) affects his mood, making him sometimes irritable and unpredictable. At these times, his judgment is based on emotion and there is sometimes yelling. I learned in Dare 2 and had it reaffirmed in several other Dares that I can’t stand yelling.
As I wrote in my journal and answered the questions, I realized that the real issue isn’t that I don’t trust my husband.
The real issue is that I don’t seem to trust God.
I often think I trust God. I say I trust God. Many times I find it easy to trust God—but only when I understand what’s going on. I still seem to have a wall around my heart that can’t let Him all the way in and give it all to Him, even when I don’t understand.
What is the secret to finally tearing down this wall? As I worked through this Dare, I felt completely stuck. What business do I have writing a Christian blog when I worry that I don’t even trust God? I asked God to help me get unstuck. And I knew that He would. Is that trust?
And then I remembered. I’ve already figured out the secret. I wrote about it a few months ago when I wrote about trusting my husband.
Here’s what I wrote then, relating to sex and trust:
I always thought that trust was a necessary condition of saying yes and being a sexually generous wife, but it turned out that the intimacy that developed from generosity created the condition in which trust could grow.
I go on to say that the way to learn to trust is to act in trust, even before you feel the trust.
And I look back at our financial problems . . . and all the times I said, “I don’t know how it will happen, but it will work out. God always takes care of us.” I would be worried about having the power turned off, and the day before the bill was due, I would get an unexpected refund or reimbursement check—just enough to take care of us. Or I would find a gift card to the grocery store left in my mailbox at work Or a friend would leave chocolate chip banana bread on my desk. Those kinds of things—small things just enough to get us by—happened every single time we thought we hit the bottom.
I had stopped worrying about how we would be cared for; I simply knew that we would be. I acted in trust, even when I didn’t understand. I trusted in God to provide for us. And He always did.
As I allow my eyes to open to what I’ve done and felt and not just to what the logic of my mind tells me, I can see that I do know how to trust God. I’ve done it before. Maybe the wall I thought was around my heart is really all in my mind.
It all boils down to one thing.
Read these other bloggers to learn about their experiences with the Respect Dare:
The Respect Dare Blog (author Nina Roesner)