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!
Surprise! I’ve learned that I have anxiety related to lack of control. Duh. I learned that back in the early days of the Respect Dare process. The surprise is that I’m actually making some progress in my behavior related to this.
The exercise in this chapter asked me to make a list of things my husband does that frustrate me and to then write down how I respond to each of those things. First, I noticed that my list was shorter than it would have been a few months ago. There were some habits/preferences that I started to write down and then chose not to, recognizing that I’ve let go of the frustration that those things used to elicit. Second, for several of my responses, I began to write down what I used to do—and then realized that I now have a slightly different approach.
My big take-away here is that maybe this process is making a difference. I went into the Respect Dare wanting to be more respectful with my husband but also knowing that my real challenge is in submitting to God. I’m thrilled to see something in writing that shows me that I’m making actual progress. So, yay, me!
The big picture of this Dare is to be a safe place for my husband when he needs one. I recognized that this had happened last week. My husband has been really frustrated with some things at our church. Last week he said that he wants us to think about going to a different one. Years ago, if he’d said that, I would have responded with all the reasons we couldn’t make a change and it would have become a big fight. Instead, I simply listened to him share something that had been hard for him to even think about to himself. I responded with a few questions but decided to actually think about it a while before offering an opinion. We didn’t talk about it again all week, but this morning we went to church together. I sat next to him in the pew, thoughtfully considering the concerns he had expressed to me. On the way home, I was able to share some observations and my own concerns. Instead of the fight that would have developed over this a few years ago, we were in agreement about not only what our concerns are about our current church, but we also decided on some characteristics we want to see in whatever church we choose. It felt like we were on the same team instead of on opposing sides.
I actually experienced the value of closing my mouth for a time. And my husband got to experience what it is like to have a wife he can share his heart with and who will work with him rather than against him.
That’s progress, right?
Read these other bloggers to learn about their experiences with the Respect Dare:
The Respect Dare Blog (author Nina Roesner)