I am THRILLED to be on this adventure with you as we begin a 40 day walk through The Respect Dare by Nina Roesner.!
If you don’t have a copy of the book yet, you can certainly get one – either version. If you can’t get the book, that is ok – we will still be learning and growing spiritually together as godly wives. I, for one, am very excited about all that God has done and is doing and all that He will do in my own life and marriage and in yours!
- I am not at liberty to quote The Respect Dare to repeat the exact dares.
What we will do is talk about our experience with the dares and I am going to be talking about general topics.
You are all very welcome and encouraged to share your struggles, what you are learning, what God is doing, any victories and prayer needs and we will walk through this together.
- I would suggest NOT reading ahead, but just doing each day’s dare in the morning if possible. That way you will have time to do whatever the dare is later in the day. Sometimes there are assignments that you will need to know about before you interact with your husband.
- I would definitely suggest praying each day and asking God to empower you to please Him , to teach you anything He wants to teach you and to make your heart receptive to His Words and His truth.
Expectations of my husband and marriage:
Well, we dive right in to the really thick stuff with this topic, don’t we?? I love it!
One of my readers shared a quote with me
“Expectations are premeditated resentment.”
That really stood out to me.
I don’t know if you are like I was – but I had TONS of expectations of my husband and our marriage going into this thing 19 years ago. I mean, it would have taken me pages to write it all down single-spaced. And the thing that really made it awful was that I believed all of my expectations were totally justifiable and reasonable and that my husband would automatically have the exact same expectations I did.
If you have been reading this blog for very long, you may remember that I had a 4 part series on expectations this past winter. There is practically no limit to how many expectations we can have of our husbands!
To love WITHOUT expectation is to love with “no strings attached.”
I think we have ALL been loved by someone WITH strings attached. You know the ones, “After ALL I’ve done for you!”
- If I love with strings attached – that means, “I love you if you do what I want.”
That is NOT the kind of love God desires us to have for others.
- His kind of love is “I love you because I am love.”
1. I would like for you to spend some time writing down the expectations you have for your marriage or your husband.
Here are some that might help get you started. (Some of these are expectations I had myself, some are not.) I expected my husband to:
- be home every night
- spend 4-5 hours/day with me emotionally, spiritually and verbally connecting
- want to go where I want to go on vacation
- agree with me
- be romantic by my definition every day
- help with certain chores without being asked
- do things on my timetable ( which usually means, right now)
- make me feel loved
- be responsible for my happiness. If I am not happy, it is his duty to fix my unhappiness.
- change for me and become who I want him to be
- acknowledge that I am always right
- initiate prayer with me and pray out loud with me daily
- give up watching tv and spending time on the computer to just talk face to face with me
- make me his first human priority after God
- be responsible with money
- always want sex when I want sex and never refuse me.
- be affectionate many times per day
- plan surprise trips for me multiple times per year
- be totally transparent and accountable about what he is doing, who he talks to and his online activity
- never sin against me
- hardly ever have a bad day
- not be depressed or upset
- not disappoint me
- not make mistakes
- lead me spiritually in the ways I think he should
- never sin even in his thoughts
- never hurt my feelings
- tell me he loves me every day
- write me long, beautiful, sincere love letters a few times per week
- give up his hobbies to be with me
- give to the church and the poor what I want to give
- accept that what I think is God’s will is clearly God’s will
- think, feel, process emotions and make decisions just like I do (to be exactly like me emotionally, mentally and spiritually)
- answer me within 30 seconds whenever I ask him a question or need him to make a decision
- have the same priorities I do
- need love just like I do – have the same needs I have
- appreciate anything I do for him the way I would appreciate it
- just know that he should take out the trash/do the dishes/help with the laundry and do it exactly the way I do it
- want a baby when I want a baby
- help with the baby and do exactly half of the “work”
- split the chores down the middle according to my definition
- be willing to listen to all my feelings, thoughts and emotions for hours
- act the way my Daddy acts
- go to the church I want to go to and go when I want to go
- drive the way I drive
- park the way I park
- take care of the children exactly like I take care of the children
- clean up after himself exactly like I do
- discipline the children exactly like I do
- be perfect – by my definition
I don’t know if you have realized this or not – but in my case – I really expected my husband to be… well… ME! And truthfully, I don’t think that Jesus Himself would live up to a lot of my expectations here.
I was pretty shocked to find out he wasn’t me. I thought that meant he had to be WRONG for many years in our marriage. I was also very shocked to find out how NOT perfect I am!
Oh, for the chance to start our marriage over and understand that my husband is not only not me, he is a man, he is not a woman. Men are VERY different from women!!!! They do NOT think, feel, process and make decisions just like we do. That was a really important piece of information that I sure wish I had understood on May 28, 1994.
Note – There are some expectations we will need to keep. Things like:
- I should be safe with my husband. I should not have to be afraid for my safety or my children’s safety.
- He should not cheat on me or break our marriage covenant. If he does, that is not okay. I don’t have permission to respond in sinful ways to him, but I may need to prayerfully consider separation until he is willing to repent and rebuild trust.
- If he has a really serious problem (major unrepentant sin, significant addiction, demon possession, or serious uncontrolled mental health issue) – I may need to reach out for appropriate help outside of the marriage.
- I can respect myself, the Lord, and my husband at the same time.
- I can’t cooperate with him in sin or condone sin.
2. Now, we are going to lay these expectations of our husbands down at the feet of Jesus. We are going to let go of them. Please do NOT share your expectation list with your husband.
Another way of saying that we aren’t going to hold our expectations over our husbands anymore is this:
I accept my husband as he is right now. I am not going to try to change him. I am not God. Only God can change people. From this moment on, I will accept my husband for the man that he is.
3. I would like you to write down some expectations you have for yourself to grow spiritually in the next few months.
Here are some examples of ways you might hope to grow in your walk with Christ:
I want to learn to
- stop arguing and complaining
- have a thankful heart
- stop criticizing my husband and being negative
- use my words to build my husband up, encourage and affirm him
- do good to my husband, not evil, all the days of my life
- see my sin the way God and deeply mourn over it with godly sorrow that leads to true repentance
- be full of God’s joy
- forgive others – especially my husband
- tear down any idols in my heart and soul
- repent of all the bitterness and resentment that is poisoning me
- let go of trying to control others
- trust God
- understand more about God’s sovereignty
- live by faith
- have a gentle and peaceful spirit
- not worry or be afraid anymore
- surrender completely to Jesus as Lord
- die to self
- embrace godly femininity – God’s definition of femininity and what is beautiful
- experience God’s supernatural peace
- bless my husband
- understand what is disrespectful to my husband so I can stop those things that hurt him
- apologize to my husband for my disrespect
- forgive myself
- experience God’s grace and mercy
- be willing to give up everything to follow Jesus (contentment in Christ alone)
- live for His will and His glory alone – as a living sacrifice
- see with God’s eyes
4. Ask God to change YOU! 🙂
You are responsible for you. You are not responsible for your husband. Allow God full and total access to the darkest corners of your soul and allow Him to change anything in you that He desires to.
Humble yourself before God – seeking His wisdom, His will and His glory!
My power is not in focusing on what my husband should do or could do to be a better husband.
My power is in focusing on what God wants to do in MY heart!
What are some expectations you have had of your husband?
What would you like to see God do in your heart?
PS – A CAUTION ABOUT ROMANTIC MOVIES/BOOKS/MUSIC:
I personally had to stop watching romantic movies/tv shows, stop reading romantic novels (even the Christian ones – because I would start to feel resentful that my marriage wasn’t like the one in the book, and I try not to listen to love songs.
Those romantic things set up HUGE expectations in our hearts that are not healthy for our marriages in my view. They are not realistic. And if something triggers discontent in me – I want to look to the root cause of the discontentment and tear it out of my life if at all possible.
It is much easier to be content with what we have when we are not filling our hearts with fantasy about what “should be.”