“The Respect Dare,” by Nina Roesner, was a transformative book for me. In fact, it was one of the best books that God used in my life fairly early into my journey. I was actually so sad when the 40 days of assignments were over. I loved the structure and the daily bite-sized approach to growing and learning. Many women, especially women in situations like mine, saw great improvement in their marriages when they did “The Respect Dare.”
But some women found that as they tried to show their husbands more respect, their husbands became more harsh, critical, and demeaning. They began to feel even more like “doormats” than ever. I have seen the same thing with some wives here. What is going on?
Nina realized something important:
Women need a firm spiritual foundation before they can properly apply respect in marriage.
They need to know who they are in Christ. They need to understand healthy boundaries in a godly way, not a selfish way. They need to be able to act with dignity and godly strength (as Proverbs 31 describes) and be spiritually more whole and healed. Then they can use the incredibly powerful position of “wife” and “influential authority” in beautiful, healthy, healing ways in their marriages. They need to have tools to handle things rightly when they are sinned against in marriage.
Then God led Nina to develop a new approach in the BECOMING A WOMAN OF STRENGTH AND DIGNITY eCourse.
I am so excited about what God has been doing in Nina’s online classes to transform wives and marriages. It is not about Nina. It is not about the forum facilitators. Her goal is to disciple women so they have a strong spiritual foundation and so that they look to the Bible and the Holy Spirit for wisdom and power to accomplish God’s will and His glory in their lives. That is definitely my goal, too, for all of us!
She walks women through the baby steps so many of us need, regardless of our personalities or marital dynamics (and it is even a huge blessing for our single sisters, too), to develop a healthy relationship with Christ first and a healthy relationship with self. Then she gives the tools that can help women develop healthier relationships in their marriages.
A bit from Nina about this eCourse:
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.
- A unique and proven discipleship method that leaves over 95% of our class members with a deeper connection with God
- Biblical truth to build your relationship with yourself & others in a way that gives you a gentle, but strong & dignified (not prideful) sense of who you are
- Proven tools of interaction with yourself and others that create mutual respect and the potential for great love & joy
The eCourse does have a nominal cost per month. I would consider it to be a very worthwhile investment. Especially if you are really struggling and need a bit more personalized, structured, spiritual and marriage mentoring. It is an 11 week online class. After you go through these sessions, you are invited to join the private forum with trained facilitating wives who help guide discussions.
WHY AM I PROMOTING THIS eCOURSE?
Nina did not ask me to do this. I am not making any kind of monetary profit from promoting her materials. I know that when some wives read about respect, sometimes they mishear things in dangerous ways. Some think they have to disrespect themselves in order to respect their husbands. Or they have to idolize their husbands and bow to them as if they are perfect gods and women need to act like slaves. That is not true at all!
I believe that this eCourse may be a huge blessing if:
- You have read my posts, my book, or The Respect Dare, and things are getting worse or you feel really confused about how to move forward with the Lord or in your marriage, this course may be perfect for you.
- You struggle with what it means to respect yourself – or to think rightly and biblically about yourself.
- You get confused about healthy boundaries and how to implement them with love and respect, this course is a fantastic tool.
- You are dealing with a particularly difficult husband.
- You are interested in a private forum that offers support to women. Nina has a wonderful team of trained women who are helping with this. That is something I just can’t offer myself.
I want all women to have all of the resources they need to thrive spiritually and to heal in Christ. Then when they are hearing Him clearly and filled with His Spirit, I know He will give them the wisdom they need to handle some really tough situations.
This is a hard journey for me as I sometimes lose site of my goal, but God is not finished with me yet.
Five years ago this January I found myself in tears over the condition of my marriage. I was a believer who thought God owed her a perfect marriage and Christian family because she was obedient to his commands. He did not give me that, thankfully. In frustration and some anger I asked God to send me someone who understood my loneliness.
I did “The Respect Dare” by phone. I learned some things, but any changes my husband noticed only made him more suspicious of what I was trying to get from him. Nina suggested the “Strength and Dignity” course because of his resistance.
Before joining this class and doing the “Daughter’s of Sarah” course, I blamed my husband for everything. In my studies, God made some direct blows to show my part in this messy equation. That was humbling but the beginning of breaking my pride and misunderstanding of what marriage really is. Now, in humility, I can accept God’s correction and find myself enabled more often to love and accept my husband as God made him.
Sometimes I respond with grace, sometimes I kick and scream my way to surrender and sometimes I just can’t figure out what I am suppose to do, so I reach out to other women on the course site and return to His Word. My desire to love my husband like God does allows me to rely on the Holy Spirit’s enablement to do what God says to show respect. It is hard to do right and it seems I am meeting stronger resistance, but through prayer, study, support and sometimes tears, God is changing my motives, my heart, and my love for my husband.
It is also teaching me that the goal of my journey is to find God as my sole source for all my needs and release my husband from wrong expectations. I no longer want a perfect marriage and accolades from people. I am on a learning curve to find that Christ fulfills my every need and I am the healthy helper God intended for the man he created. I am pressing on, but I have not arrived.
I started this journey very discouraged and with the mindset that my husband is never going to change and our marriage will always be this way. BUT that I need to learn to survive this and survive it well… with strength of character and with my dignity. I went to a 4 day retreat, Deflating Defensiveness (led by Nina).
These are the changes I’ve incorporated in my marriage from the retreat:
- I don’t get pulled into arguing, defending myself, or reasoning with him (That stuff doesn’t work, plus it leaves me frustrated).
- He still goads me to but I go silent rather than get pulled into this crazy cycle.
- I’m picking my battles so to speak
- I give in to him on small things. Because he gets his way on those things, I’m seeing he is more apt to listen to me on the bigger stuff.
- I am not a doormat, in fact, just the opposite. I feel more empowered and dignified.
- I speak my point of view concisely, slowly, and gently, then I STOP.
- When he comes back with arguments, I don’t respond, neither do I justify myself nor do I own his insults.
- As a result of my “sanctified indifference” I’m seeing more respect from him; he seems then to want to please me.
This is not perfect every time but I have my sanity and my dignity. I feel strong. I am no longer striving but am at peace. He hasn’t changed, but I have, and as a result, our marriage is changing.
Since I joined the Strength and Dignity eCourse:
I am now starting to see more change in his behavior toward me. I think that as he is getting the respect he needs and sees I’m becoming a “safe place,” he is becoming more respectful, caring, and wants to please me. Of course, we have hiccups now and then, but I continue to trust God to give me the self-control to remain gentle and respectful with him. The unconditional respect is the toughest when he is not being kind. This is definitely a refining process and a spiritual one that at times does not seem to even be about marriage, but about the woman God desires me to become.
Here’s the link to find out more about Nina’s Strength and Dignity eCourse.
If you decide to take it, I’d love to hear what you think!
** This class is not designed for those who are being battered. If you are in danger, please contact your local domestic violence resources.
- If you would like to do “The Respect Dare,” let me also let you know that I have companion posts for each day’s dares “Join the Peaceful Wife for ‘The Respect Dare.’“
- Nina Roesner also has a book, coauthored by Debbie Hitchcock, whom I also love – “With All Due Respect.” This book is a parenting book about how to model respect and act with respect toward our children who are teens and tweens. It is a fantastic resource for moms!
- My posts about respecting yourself (thinking rightly about yourself in Christ)
- My Identity in Christ
- How to Have a Relationship with Christ