When I was a little girl, I thought I had six choices for who and what I could be when I grew up. My mom had gotten me a little book, My School Years. For each grade, there was a place to write the names of my teacher and friends, activities I was involved in, and my signature. For kindergarten through 6th grade, the last piece of Chris trivia was a checklist of what I wanted to be when I grew up.
With only six choices for each gender (plus a blank line for anyone with creativity, which did not include me), I alternated between nurse and teacher for a few years. In 4th and 5th grade, I strove to be an airline hostess or a model. At no point did I want to be a secretary, and mother was just going to happen anyway. It wasn’t an actual goal, right? It never occurred to me that I wouldn’t work or have a career. Ever.
From an early age, I was a feminist. Most feminists wouldn’t consider me one because I don’t agree with the usual stances on abortion and diminishing the contributions of males in our society. As I approach 50, I get even further away from feminism in some respects. At the same time, I’ve seen enough to strengthen my resolve to address the difficulties that many of my sisters face.
When I married, I refused to have the word “obey” or “submit” in our wedding vows. The thought of women submitting to their husbands made me chuckle. What kind of woman lets her husband boss her around? Grow a spine, lady.
I have learned a lot about myself since I began my journey of sexual change. I’ve learned a great deal about marriage in general and ours in particular. I’ve learned a lot about what God calls me to do as a wife. For most of my marriage, I have been disrespectful of my husband—and not just in private. L As I began to tend to my marriage, I have worked hard on being respectful of my husband. I’m not where I want to be yet, but I’ve come so far. I know I need to go just a bit further. I need to follow my husband’s leadership. I don’t like it, not one little bit—but my prayers have led me to know that this is what my next step is, just as I know that I can do it.
- It is Biblical, and I want to do better at living as God calls me to.
- I want to improve the spiritual connection between my husband and me. Physically and emotionally we’ve made a lot of progress. We haven’t grown spiritually as a couple at all.
- I’m ready to trust my husband in new ways.
- I want to challenge my husband to grow. Throughout my journey, I’ve been the one doing most of the growing. For the most part, he’s been the very happy recipient of my efforts. It’s time for him to lead us forward. I want to do my part in creating an environment that provides space for his leadership. He has suppressed this part of himself at home for so long because of his shrewish wife (yes, that would be me); I want to invite him to be the husband God has called him to be.
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!
Yes, I am dragging you along on my whole messy journey. Some of what I write about my growth in my marriage is from a vantage point of having gotten through it and reflected on it already. This will be really hard for me. I’m stubborn. I’m still part feminist. I’m still resistant to the idea. I had looked at Roesner’s book a couple months ago and thought that I’d get to it, maybe, some day, far far in the future. One of the biggest lessons on my journey of transformation has been that putting something off makes it harder, not easier. I can tell myself I’m just working my way up to it, but really, I’m just the Queen of Procrastination. I may not make a complete conversion by the end of 40 days, but my husband and my marriage deserve me to try.
I will post about my journey with the Respect Dare—maybe not every day, but a couple times a week. Women, you’ll be invited to post about your own journey on the The Unbroken Woman. (And guess what? There’s a drawing for a prize!) I hope you’ll also post about your journey here so I can see how you’re doing.
Men, while you won’t get to post at The Unbroken Woman ‘s Respect Dare page, I invite you to join us in the journey in a different way. Please, post in the comments on my blog posts about what the topic of that day means to you in your own marriage. Maybe encourage your wife to join us. And I ask that you pray for the wives who are taking the Respect Dare.
Are you ready? Will you join me? I triple dog dare you!
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