Baby, can I EVER so relate to the many women who bristle at the concept of respecting their husband!
So many of us grew up during the feminist movement and have spent years trying to live up to impossible standards of perfection in all the roles we played. What about respect for us?
We were told we could "have it all," but most of us are left feeling like we need to, "be it all," or "do it all," for everyone, all the time. The impossible demands leave us emotionally and spiritually empty and lost as women, uncertain how to attain the so-called ideal. Some of us somehow figure it out. Some of us choose to flounder in marriages where we are alone, frustrated, or left with longings for greater intimacy. The remaining 20-30% of us choose divorce, filing for two out of three separations, compared to men.
What's a modern day wife to do? If we turn to the Bible, we see that men are commanded to love their wives, and wives are commanded to respect their husbands. Ephesians 5:33b reads, "And the wife must respect her husband." We don't come by respect naturally, that's why God is so specific with us. The same applies to husbands, but with love, instead. Love is a woman's language, it comes more naturally to us. Respect is a man's language, and most wives struggle with speaking it.
Much of what we’re going to address will be in learning how to have healthy, God-honoring boundaries.
Yes, I said, “BOUNDARIES.”
Doesn’t that fly in the face of submission? No. We don’t believe it does. We believe in BOTH. We think the Bible clearly says “both.” We even believe Jesus did both.
Here’s why “boundaries” are a topic of great importance:
By not having boundaries, or using them incorrectly, we essentially destroy the opportunity for others to easily respect us.
We make it harder for them to treat us well.
We make it easy for them to treat us like a doormat.
When we get upset and emotionally vomit all over someone, they lose respect for us then, too.
In the eCourse, we’ll be teaching you how to set boundaries that build relationships. If you want more from your marriage and want to stop feeling like a doormat, please join us in the Strength & Dignity eCourse. If you do this eCourse alongside the Respect Dare book, (it's optional within the class as to when you do the book), you’ll also improve your marriage in a dramatic way. Do more than protect yourself – birth JOY into your marriage by fully honoring and obeying God.
The other issue we have to contend with is that marriages are to be a reflection of Christ's relationship with the church. There's more at stake here than most of us realize. Read Ephesians 5:31-33: "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This is a profound mystery--but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband." If we remember that we are created to be a reflection of God, that He created us in His image(Genesis 1:26-27), then we have to face the fact that our marriages are to reflect His character to the world.
Wouldn't you like your marriage to reflect Christ and the church better? When we ask ourselves, "When are we most like Christ?" isn't it true that we are most often like Christ when we are loving those who don't deserve it, don't understand us, or don't appreciate us? When we really LOVE at this level, it is truly through the power of the Holy Spirit - and in this way, we give a positive and powerful reflection of God to the world.
We know that men are wired to interact with the world around them differently than women. Researchers have found that men’s brains are physiologically different than women’s brains. Men are beings where honor and respect matter greatly, and they will often do things out of a deep sense of duty, even with the knowledge that it could be tremendously difficult or cost them their lives.
Remember 9/11? Three hundred and forty-three firefighters set their jaws and squared their shoulders and began the one-hundred story climb up the World Trade Center to their deaths. What goes through a man’s mind that he actively chooses to walk into danger like that? As women, we will never fully appreciate nor understand this unique wiring, unless we learn to communicate and connect with the unique individual God created within our own man. Without this understanding, we are destined to live a life lonely and bereft of the intimacy for which we yearn in our marriages.
The Respect Dare® is a book about what works. After listening to literally thousands of stories of struggles overcome and successes won from women in the Daughters of Sarah program, we have a great deal of evidence. There exists a connection between the relationship a wife has with her God, her husband, and her strengths. This book is a glimpse into the lives of these women and what they have done to turn their marriages around or take them to the next level of relational intimacy. All the stories are based on true events. Their stories and the way their connection with God develops will impact you.
BUT… for any of this to help, we have to respect ourselves!!
For some women, there is uncertainty in how to follow God’s Biblical plan for marriage and to respect and submit to our husbands without being doormats and opening ourselves up to being controlled or even abused.
The words, “respect,” and “submit” can cause us to recoil or even want to bolt.
It’s okay. I hear you. I’m with you, and I understand. But please, stick with me for a moment.
Maybe you have done The Respect Dare but unlike many of the men whose wives “do the dares” – your husband didn’t respond. OR he did, by taking you for granted instead of responding with greater love.
Or maybe you are afraid to learn about respect and submission because you are concerned that your already controlling or verbally aggressive or unloving husband will respond by taking advantage of you or that his verbal dismissals, discounting, and disrespect of you and/or your kids will get worse.
Maybe you think those Bible verses don’t apply to you…maybe you think you need to build up your own self-esteem before you try them, but you’ve felt so discouraged for so long that you don’t know what to do.
We can help.
We have been at this since 2005. We have studied the research and seen the outcomes.
We have found a way to help you not only save your marriage if it is possible to do so, but regardless of what happens, help you develop the skills, esteem, and relationship with God to be confident in His plan for you AND be seen as a person of worth by yourself and others around you.
And it’s all Biblical.
Yes, it does include respect and submission.
The truth is, if the words ‘respect’ and ‘submission’ scare you, even anger you, you’re in the right place. We want to help you understand them in a new way that takes your fear, which is never from the Lord, and replaces it with quiet confidence in HIM.
And you’ll get to understand how to act as a woman of strength and dignity when interacting with a man who won’t change and is consistently difficult to deal with.
The smallest thing you’ll get out of this class is greater respect for yourself and others and from yourself and others.
You might be worried you could be in an abusive marriage and confused about how to handle it. We know God hates divorce but we also know that He calls us to live a life worthy of the Gospel. Maybe our husbands can treat us in a way that feels harsh and unloving, undignified. Maybe we respond in kind, convinced that this is the way we must stand our ground as women.
Maybe we see men as enemies of women in general and we feel obligated to fight a war against men on behalf of all women everywhere now and in the future.
The messages of the culture, psychology and even the church are swirling in our heads, filling us with confusion and ultimately fear, shame and despair. We have no idea what to do.