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The Respect Dare, Day 18 – A Guest Post from Nina Roesner!!!!!!!

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Pic from www.ninaroesner.wordpress.com

Ladies,

I am so excited about today’s post!  Nina Roesner, the author of The Respect Dare, has very graciously written this one just for each of you.  I am thrilled to be able to share her words that – to me – are such a powerful expression of the main themes of my life and of my blog.  These are the treasures God has given to us as wives – the path to real peace, joy and godly power, the most amazing way to bless our husbands and families and the message that He longs for us to teach to the women coming behind us.

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The story in Dare 18 really happened.

Well, actually they all did. It’s just that some of them happened to me. This is one of them.

In reading back over it last week, I wondered what I could add that would be of benefit. I had no idea. Given I’ve spent the last two days in the hospital with my 15 year old son’s surgery, I really didn’t have an ounce of brain power to come up with anything good on my own. So I felt bad about that for about 38 seconds, then did what He knew I would do…and I finally asked Him what He wanted me to say today.

First, I want to thank Peaceful Wife for baring her heart and soul to help you. Like me, she takes some heat for living her life imperfectly before others. The most immature of her readers (immature in terms of where they are in the journey of faith – how well they know Him) attack her, having little compassion for a perspective other than their own.  We are all struggling with doing that to others in various parts of our lives. Often this lack of love shows up in our marriages or our relationship with ourselves.

And that’s what I want to talk about today.  Dare 18 provides a brief glimpse into a moment where I wish I lived 100% of the time.

And I want to reveal something that most people miss when they read the book – they miss a moment with an imperfect but strong woman who knows who she is in Christ, a woman who is no one’s doormat.

(okay, I’ll be 100% honest – there are still two people in this world with whom I do not have this figured out yet – but no, I’m not married to them)

But in that moment where I did get it right, pay attention to what I did.  And what I didn’t do.

There are several “extremes” within the women that we minister to.  First, there’s the domineering, controlling type.  The ones afraid of having a man exert any power over them. This might not be the norm in your world, but in mine, this seems to be a good sized percentage of women. And you should know I used to be one of them – corporate career girl, confident, had it pretty together (or so I liked to think), and a bit bossy at times. Unfortunately, I lacked wisdom. If I had an opinion, I shared it – because to not speak up (about everything) would be acting like a doormat…or so I believed.

So yes, I was lacking in wisdom. And I’m still growing.

When I first learned about respect and Ephesians 5:33, it made me angry.

I didn’t understand.

I fought God.

And then I did research.

And like a pendulum, swung all the way over to the doormat extreme.  You know her, the woman that is a shadow of a person. Invisible. I actually read teaching from others who said that my life should revolve around my husband and his dreams and aspirations. That God created me to help him achieve his dreams – and I wasn’t to have any of my own. I was to equip my children as well – even if it all meant losing my identity as the woman God had made me to be in the first place. I wasn’t a willing servant, even though I actually spent a good deal of time eagerly serving my family. I still do, actually, but all the talk about being my husband’s crown by being his 1950’s house wife (all while working part-time and home schooling, mind you) eventually brought me to a place of depletion.

I had been taught that “submission” means he bosses me around while I am “never disagreeing.” The experience left my husband confused because I went from being a competent woman to a person who couldn’t make a decision. It left me feeling like I had no voice. I allowed others to take advantage of me in my home in the name of “service,” and “being a good submissive wife.”

Not surprisingly, my children started behaving as though they had a sense of entitlement and I was their maid. Nasty little side effect.

What’s missing from the majority of teaching currently available is the balance that comes from what lies in the middle of the two extremes above. And how the bible doesn’t really contradict itself, but rather is useful for Him to provide specific direction in the everyday moments.

And that’s what I did in Dare 18.

  • I told the truth about how I didn’t feel loved.
  • But I didn’t do it in a disrespectful (to myself or my husband) way.

And it was a moment born out of God’s leadership and wisdom’s teaching from the Holy Spirit.

There are times when “love covers a multitude of sins” in marriage. Like knowing when to tell the kids, “Dad’s having a rough week at work, cut him some slack.”

There are also times when “iron sharpens iron” in marriage. Like knowing when to say, “The kids need to respect me more, and I’d like your help with that. I don’t know if you are even aware of this, and I’m sure you don’t mean to do it, but when you cut me off and disagree before you even hear what I’m saying, it gives our kids the impression you might not be a respectful person and that you might not respect me. Can you please listen and ask questions first instead?”

There are a few lies out there – that “submission” means not voicing a contrary opinion, not confronting your husband’s sin against you, or having a good marriage means the wife never states a different viewpoint from her husband.  That’s utter hogwash.

Another lie is that “submission” is a part of the bible that doesn’t apply to women now.  You can read gobs about why it matters here, but understand that lie is also complete hogwash.  We are to have a voice – but don’t subscribe to those who think you need to shove your opinion down other’s throats to be heard. And know this doesn’t just apply to marriage, but literally every other relationship, work environment, family, or otherwise. Being heard has a lot to do with treating yourself with respect so you teach others how to treat you. The fear of other’s opinions, having made them our God, will cause us to sin and not tell the truth or not be gently, compassionately bold. And be open to continuing to grow in this area your whole life.  There is no arrival.

Understand as well that there are several examples in the bible where people questioned authority, and even so, 1 Peter is still all about how we are to submit to authority.

Consider…

  • Sarah telling Abraham to get rid of Hagar – and God tells him to listen to her.
  • Abigail and David – she totally went behind her husband’s back to save her people and find favor with David. Smart girl.
  • Nathan and David – Nathan gave David (who was King) a serious chastisement for the killing of Uriah.
  • Esther and Xerxes – she breaks the law to get his attention, risking her life – and wins.
  • Jesus asks God to “take this cup” from Him.

The bottom line is simply this:  We are here to learn to love God and others as we love ourselves. Only the Father can teach us how to do these three well. If we will stay plugged into Him by daily reading, listening, obeying, and praying, we will know what to do in the minutia of the moments of our day.

Know too, that there are other examples of strength and dignity in The Respect Dare.

Don’t miss them.

Don’t buy the lie that The Respect Dare makes you a doormat.

Wise women of strength and dignity are not threatened by authority.

Dare you to continue growing and figuring out that sweet spot in the middle of His will.

And know we are so glad you are on the journey! Your sons and daughters will thank you.

Love to you,

~Nina

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To Buy a Copy of Nina’s Book, click here.

15 thoughts on “The Respect Dare, Day 18 – A Guest Post from Nina Roesner!!!!!!!

  1. Thanks Nina for such an awesome reminder of our real mission as wives and thanks April for sharing it with us on your blog. You ladies are really great role models for those of us trying to get it right. Bless you both!

  2. It has been a week of learning on this subject in my world. My Knight has been out of town since Sunday. It seems that every time we talked he asked questions that (felt to me!) like he didn’t trust my ability to “do” life without him coming home every day. On top of that, God has given him 2 GIANT opportunities to share in ministry during his time away.

    While I have held it together, doing nothing of importance, hidden in this little part of my world … so said the lies of satan.

    Thanks Nina for reminding me that it is okay to bear my heart to God – for He will remind me of the unique calling I have to mother 9 beautiful blessings. To bear my heart to my Knight – for he will remind me that he would have never left if he didn’t trust me.

    ~katy

  3. I just love that He continues to communicate with all His children – we are just on the journey of learning how to listen well, and obey, even when it is hard. 🙂 Love that you all are here, too. 🙂

  4. I have often admired domineering and controlling women. They seemed forceful and nobody gets in their way. My own method of being controlling was different, more passive aggressive than dominant. When I began to develop some confidence I thought that being heard and making my opinion known meant that I had self respect. I thought it was good.
    What never entered my mind was listening. When I read Ephesians 5:33, I read the first part like a command. He Must Love Me. God says so. The second was like a side thought. Oh and I should respect him too, well I already do that so I’m okay and my husband is not. So there I was standing up for myself, demanding to be loved because I felt that I was better and stronger than before. I was baffled when DH got angrier and more aggressive. So I tried standing up for myself even more. So did he.

    Today I understand that I did not know how to speak the truth in love. I can’t expect him to hear my pain if in nearly 18 years together I had never listened to him or respected him. I thought I respected him by allowing him to be a gentleman and by feeling good when he adored me. I didn’t see that by expecting him to always meet my needs, I became his idol and he became mine.

    Now to change the pattern my weapons are silence and prayer. If I don’t speak up its because I’m practicing wisdom. If I bite my tongue on something hurtful I’m focusing on Jesus forgiveness. One day I can speak up again, but it won’t be to spew out the hateful things my sinful nature wants to raise. By the Grace of God I hope that it will be loving and Spirit filled. But I’m not up to that bit yet.

    Nina your Respect Dare Journey is really difficult. I’m so embarrassed by how badly I treated a man who only ever wanted for me to be happy.
    His attempts to be heard and respected were interpreted as threatening, critical and I attempted to challenge that. Ugh. I wouldn’t want to be married to me.

    Praying for more wisdom.

    Thank you April and Nina I am learning Gods wisdom slowly.

    ThxTam

    1. Tam,

      I relate to you so much!!! I spent a lot more time the first 14+ years of our marriage focusing on the commands God gave to my husband and then would breeze over the respect thing, “Oh, yeah. I do that. Check.”
      But I had no idea how much was involved!!!!

      I love this: Now to change the pattern my weapons are silence and prayer. If I don’t speak up its because I’m practicing wisdom. If I bite my tongue on something hurtful I’m focusing on Jesus forgiveness. One day I can speak up again, but it won’t be to spew out the hateful things my sinful nature wants to raise. By the Grace of God I hope that it will be loving and Spirit filled. But I’m not up to that bit yet.

      And I love that God has opened your eyes. He is doing something so beautiful in you!!! 🙂

      Thank you for sharing!

    2. Tam,
      Thank you for sharing this. I’ve been there. 🙂
      I appreciate the difficulty – there were times I thought “impossible,” actually.
      But it’s not my journey, it’s His – or our journey with Him, in the context of marriage. Don’t be embarrassed. Apologize to God and your husband, then move on and don’t let that other guy get you down. 🙂 We’re all slow learners, but His mercies are new every morning.
      Love to you,
      ~Nina

  5. I do love that the book is titled The Respect Dare rather than The Submission Dare. I’ve traveled that extreme helpmeet road only to end up with sour fruit at the end.

    This is a telling quote, “The fear of other’s opinions, having made them our God, will cause us to sin and not tell the truth or not be gently, compassionately bold.”

    Sometimes the focus on submission creates a dynamic where the husband becomes the idol, and the wife the worshiper. And we all know that husbands make really cruddy Gods. And a lot of us are in this nasty cycle because we turned our husbands into functional saviors to begin with, so repackaging the marriage into the same dynamic with a different exterior doesn’t do a bit of good!

    1. Shannon,

      YES! It is CRITICAL that we are 100% submitted to Christ as Lord and not make our husbands an idol. I actually have a post about ways we make our husbands idols if you are interested. We MUST do this in God’s power! If we do it in our own strength, we will either be controlling and disrespectful or give up our personality and voice and become “doormats” NOTHING we do in our own strength or wisdom is worth anything at all in God’s kingdom.

My grandmother is on hospice and won't be with us much longer (11-30-16). I will get to comments when I am able to but I need to be with family right now. Thanks for understanding.

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