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 just over the halfway point in the Respect Dare, so I thought I’d take a look at how I’ve been doing. I had a lot of reservations about this process going into it.
This has been incredibly hard—but in ways that have provoked reflection and growth. I have stretched, and sometimes it has hurt. A lot. I’ve been in tears with well over half the Dares so far. Sometimes I just get a little teary-eyed, but some of these have had me sobbing in near-despair.
I haven’t been able to complete all the Dares. I’ve done most of them, but a few have had me right at the edge of a cliff, and I’m not jumping off. No way. I’ve never been one to think about spiritual warfare, but I’ve found that when I’ve been making the most progress in this process, the following days are full of the little things that add up to become big annoyances. After progress, I’ve experienced the greatest doubt in every area of my life. And when I’ve asked for prayers, I’ve experienced great peace and blessings.
I am growing in this process. In my first post about the Respect Dare, I listed the reasons I had for tackling this process:
- 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.
How are these things going?
- I am not where God wants me to be, but I find that I am thinking about God more throughout my day. I’m definitely spending more time with Him.
- The spiritual connection between my husband and me? Meh. Not much progress on that front. We talk more about faith and about prayer than ever before, but we aren’t doing those things together. There are several things about living our faith where I want his spiritual leadership—not because he’s the husband, but because they are things that make me uncomfortable and I need him to be the one to start.
- I do trust my husband in new ways—both in the bedroom and outside it.
- My husband has been reading and studying more. He is growing. I don’t know that he is growing into what anyone would define as leadership, but he is growing.
So, I think generally I’m heading in the direction I’d hoped I would go.
In my second post about the Respect Dare, I stated the following:
I will always be who I am. I want to be a kinder and more respectful version of me. My husband deserves my best from me, and this will help. It will help us grow, together, spiritually, and that is an area that has been stagnant for some time. . . . Although my marriage may not look like anyone else’s, I expect that it will look better on the other side of the dare than it does now. And that, my friends, is what growth is.
Our marriage is looking better—to the point that even our kids have commented on it a few times. I have felt kinder and more respectful—not just to my husband, either. He doesn’t have my best yet, but he has better than he did.
A few days ago, I asked him if he was seeing any changes. He thought for a minute, and then said, “Well, yeah, when you rebuke me, you use nicer words.”
I think he meant this as a compliment, but . . . ouch. I guess I still have a ways to go.
Read these other bloggers to learn about their experiences with the Respect Dare:
The Respect Dare Blog (author Nina Roesner)