The Respect Dare, Day 31 – “Watch Me!”

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Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.  Proverbs 21:9

YIKES!

I don’t think that any of us want to be labelled a “quarrelsome wife”  – but I have to admit that I sure was one at times in those first 15 years of our marriage.

I was quick to anger, quick to speak and slow to listen, unfortunately. 🙁

I was so task-oriented, that I didn’t just slow down and enjoy my husband or savor the journey.  Now I know, that is NOT at all how I want to live my one chance at life!

HOW MEN BOND

Do you know that men enjoy having peace in their lives?  Sometimes quiet is just the thing they need to recharge their souls.   Men do not usually emotionally bond with words or by talking face-to-face like women tend to do.

One of the ways men like to bond most is to do “shoulder to shoulder” activities (Shaunti Feldhahn “For Women Only” and Dr. Emerson Eggerichs’ “Love and Respect”).   They often like to bond just by being together doing stuff.

Try just sitting quietly in the same room or out in the garage or in the driveway a few feet away from your guy as he works on a project sometime this week.  Don’t try to initiate conversation.  Just enjoy being with him.  Get him something if he asks for it.  Or surprise him with a cold glass of tea and a snack.  Sit on a stool or in a chair and just savor being with him, enjoying watching him work.  Smile at him if he looks at you.  Know that you are feeding his soul and nourishing your marriage.

RESPECT DARE #31

1. What can you do to be more relationship focused and to enjoy your husband more?

2. Think about what your husband loves to do – maybe he has invited you to go and you have always turned him down.  Do something he enjoys with him this week if at all possible.  Fishing, basketball, watch him work on a project, help him with a project (if he suggests it), go with him to a game or race.

3. How can you show your husband that you are “his number one fan” as Nina Roesner suggests in The Respect Dare?

4. How are you doing with not being a nagging, quarrelsome, contentious wife?  What do you believe God would have you to do about this if you have room for improvement?

SHARE:

You are welcome to share your ideas of things to do with your husband, or how to show your husband you are on his team.   How do you plan to turn down the negativity, arguing, complaining, nagging, criticism and negativity.

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.

————————————–

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.

The Respect Dare, Day 16 – A Sink Full of Dishes

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Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.  Ephesians 4:29

THE DISHES IN THE SINK

Unfortunately, I have a story to share about how I did NOT use words to bless and benefit and build up my husband.  Well, I have many stories, but I am going to share one that I definitely regret.  It is a good example of what NOT to do!

One day, I came home from working as a pharmacist for 10 hours around 7:15pm – it must have been about 12-13 years ago.   I walked into the house and smelled something wonderful wafting into the hallway from the kitchen.   Greg generously had cooked a big supper for us.  This was before we had any children.  I walked into the kitchen grateful that supper was ready.

Then I saw the sink.

It seemed like almost every pot and pan we owned was in the sink needing to be washed.

Greg proudly told me that he had supper ready.  And when he saw me look at the sink, he said happily, “And look, I rinsed off the dishes for you!”  He clearly believed he had done well and had been thoughtful.

I snapped at him sarcastically, “Yeah, that’s just GREAT!  You get a C+.  You didn’t finish the job.  I still have to wash all of those dishes and I still have to dry them.”

I knew that I would not leave dishes for him to wash, and I was angry that he didn’t wash the dishes the way I would have.  See – I was clearly “right” and he was clearly “wrong.”  That was how I looked at it then.

His face fell.

  • I can’t remember if I thanked him for making supper for me.
  • I definitely didn’t thank him for rinsing the dishes.
  • I didn’t ask politely if he would please also wash the dishes after supper.
  • I just fumed.

Eventually, Greg helped me a lot less around the house after I treated him with such negativity and criticism when he was helping me with chores.

 

TODAY:

Now, my husband is folding and sorting and putting away laundry as I type this post.  I didn’t ask him to.  He is just doing it all on his own.  I just thanked him enthusiastically for all his help.

If my husband does laundry, dishes, helps with the children, mows the lawn, works on my car, works on the house, kills a big roach or spider, brings me something from the flea market, makes supper, rinses the dishes, clears the table, takes me out to eat, cuddles with me -ANYTHING – I THANK HIM and SMILE!

  • I politely, pleasantly, respectfully ask for what I want and need.
  • I allow my husband to decide to say yes or no.
  • I don’t try to force him to do things my way.
  • I refrain from criticism.
  • I express appreciation when he does help me.
  • I accept no graciously.
  • I also understand that his time table is slower than mine many times, so I don’t rush him if he says he is going to do something.
  • I just trust him and wait patiently.
  • If he doesn’t do something – I don’t make a big deal out of it.
  • I seek to have a servant’s heart and serve and love and respect seeking to please Christ alone.

I let him do things his way and do not demand that he must do things my way

If I realize I did or said something disrespectful – I immediately apologize and do not justify myself or explain myself.  I just say, “Oh!  I am so sorry.  That was disrespectful of me.”  Then I try to start over again with a respectful attitude.

THE DARE:

– Let’s use our words to bless, thank, appreciate, encourage, lift up, build up and praise our men sincerely.

– Let’s focus on what is done well more than on the negatives.

– When we do mess up, let’s apologize quickly for our disrespect without justifying ourselves and get back up and keep going.

– From Nina Roesner in The Respect Dare, “Let’s refuse to find fault in (anyone)… the rest of the day.”

RELATED:

How to Ask Your Husband for Things So He Will Want to Say Yes – Youtube video 13 minutes (my son helped me on this one!)

Won’t I Lose My Voice in My Marriage if I Respect My Husband and Biblically Submit to Him?  Youtube video – 10 minutes

How to See God do BIG Things in Your Marriage – Youtube video 6 minutes

The Respect Dare, Day 9 – Overlooking Insults

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A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult.  Proverbs 12:16

Nina Roesner has a great story to share in Dare 9 of The Respect Dare.  I hope you get to read it!

Many times, when people insult us, there is a lot of pain, hurt, anger and mess going on underneath the surface in that person’s life.  Often, if we can extend grace, we may just be able to salvage the relationship or avoid a big fight.  Taking every insult personally and trying to repay that person back with an even bigger insult does not honor Christ.  And it doesn’t bring people closer to us or closer to God.

IN THE PHARMACY

I have been working in retail pharmacy since I was a pharmacy student in 1992.  I can definitely attest to the fact that when you work with the public, you are going to be insulted sooner or later.  It doesn’t matter how kind, compassionate, competent and caring you are.

I have learned that insults usually come from something difficult that is going on in that person’s life:

  • he is in a lot of pain
  • she is a drug addict, and I won’t let her have her narcotics early
  • he has very low blood sugar and needs to eat something quickly
  • she has unrealistic expectations about what pharmacists are legally allowed to do and is unfamiliar with all the laws and policies I am required to follow
  • he has a dying wife at home on hospice and he is taking out his frustrations and anger and feeling of being out of control on me
  • she has been up for 5 nights with a sick baby
  • he has a lot of anger in him all the time and is just ready to dump rage on anyone he happens to come across
  • she has a mental illness and has not taken her medication properly and isn’t thinking clearly
  • he has a family emergency going on
  • she has had a really bad day
  • he has early dementia and his personality is changing
  • she is in perimenopause and her hormones are out of control
  • he is running very late to pick up his son from daycare
  • her mom talks to her this way all the time, so it seems “normal”

Sometimes, in the pharmacy, I know the back-story and that helps me to respond appropriately with grace, compassion and understanding.  Sometimes I still have to be firm and not give in when someone wants me to do something illegal.  Sometimes I don’t know the back-story – but now I am able to deduce that I am missing information when someone blows up at me and I am usually able to not take the insult personally.

In retail pharmacy, we are trained to

  • strive to give the best customer service even when patients get very upset.
  • listen so that the person feels heard before we try to swoop in and “fix” things.
  • respond with concern to a patient’s complaint and to do whatever we can to make things right.

Isn’t that what we need to do in marriage and other relationships, too?

IN MARRIAGE

I have learned that certain situations make it much more likely for someone to blurt out an insult.  When a person is:

  • hungry
  • exhausted
  • hormonal
  • sick
  • in pain
  • overwhelmed with stress
  • trying to rush too much and running late
  • out of fellowship with God
  • cherishing sin in his/her heart
  • having conflict with someone else
  • worried or afraid
  • feeling misunderstood
  • feeling disrespected or unloved

WITH HUSBANDS

Many times, if a husband suddenly snaps at his wife – I suggest a wife ask something like Dr. Emerson Eggerichs suggests in Love and Respect “Honey, that felt unloving, did I come across disrespectfully just now?”

If a husband seems fine and all the sudden gets really angry or shuts down – MANY TIMES, he is feeling disrespected by something his wife just did or said.

But sometimes he might be having stress at work or some other issue going on.  It may have nothing to do with you at all.

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.  Proverbs 15:1

RESPONDING TO INSULTS

If we respond with more insults – that is going to be a huge fight.

I have found more success with:

  • listening
  • asking gentle questions
  • waiting for the person to calm down
  • asking the person to please treat me with respect so that we can work together (with a particularly hateful patient in the pharmacy – that actually worked wonders.  She and I were great friends after went out into the waiting area and sat beside her.  I calmly and politely called her out on her very disrespectful attitude towards me and I respectfully asked her to treat me with respect so that I could help her.)
  • asking with concern, “Is something bothering you?”
  • asking respectfully, “What can I do to help?”
  • depending on the situation, sometimes humor can diffuse the anger and the insult

There are times we must address the insult.

When I am in the pharmacy and a drug addict hands me a forged prescription, I have to refuse to fill it.  There WILL be conflict.  I try to keep it as low key and respectful as possible.  I try to maintain a pleasant tone of voice.  But I cannot cave in that situation just because the person is upset.  In fact,  I have to call the police if someone is attempting to get a prescription illegally.

IN MARRIAGE

Sometimes what seems like an insult, may actually be constructive criticism that we would be wise to listen to.

Sometimes we must gently but firmly respond and engage in the issue.

Sometimes, it is wise just to let the insult go.

God does not say “Never be angry.”  But He does say

  • “In your anger do not sin.  Do not let the sun go down on your anger.”  Ephesians 4:26
  • “For a man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life God desires.”  James 2:20

If I am to be angry, may it only be about the things that make God angry.

THE DARE FROM NINA

  • “While being slow to anger, slow to speak and quick to listen – actively choose to extend grace to your husband…. Actively choose not to take something personally.”  – The Respect Dare
  • Search the Bible or online in a Bible reference about God’s anger

The Respect Dare, Day 6 – A Servant’s Heart

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Do everything without complaining or arguing.  Philippians 2:14

I really love today’s challenge in The Respect Dare.  Nina Roesner asks us to continue to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry – and she asks us to do “one act of kindness or a chore for your husband that you know is important to him.”

WHERE DOES A COMPLAINING SPIRIT COME FROM?

For me, it is when I think I am getting “less than I deserve.”  And it comes from a sense of entitlement, “I should have what I want.”

The truth is that we are all wretched sinners with hearts that are entirely bent on evil apart from Christ.  What I deserve is separation from God and punishment in hell. 🙁    But God lavishes His grace on me – not because I deserve it or can ever earn it (I can’t!) – but because He wants to.

When I focus on what is wrong in my life, that 20% that is not what I want, or maybe it is only 0.05% – but when I focus on what is wrong, I am not living in a spirit of gratitude and joy.  I am focusing on myself in a selfish way.  And I am tarnishing the image of Christ.

Why are we to do everything without arguing or complaining?  

“So that you may shine like stars in the universe as you hold forth the Word of Life.”  Phil 2:14.

It is God’s will for me to live humbly and to be content with Christ, food for today and clothes on my back.  If I have those 3 things – God instructs me to be content.

A complaining spirit also says arrogantly to God, “You are holding out on me.  You are not giving me what is best.  I question your intentions and motives towards me and I distrust You.”

Check out the story of God’s people during the Exodus from Egypt.  How did God respond to them when they grumbled?  God hates it when His people whine, complain and grumble against Him.  It is by faith we please God – not by complaining.

CAUTION – IT IS IMPORTANT TO SAY WHAT YOU NEED/WANT and HOW YOU FEEL – usually once.  Especially if you have strong views about something.  I am not saying to be quiet and never have an opinion or a voice.

But I want us to learn DISCRETION and WISDOM so that we understand what is important information to share, vs. what is complaining.

If I am hot – there is no need to complain about that.  Everyone knows it is hot outside.

If I am about to suffer from heat exhaustion or heat stroke – I need to tell my husband that I need to get to water and get inside quickly because I am not ok.

See the difference?

WHERE DOES AN ARGUMENTATIVE/CONTENTIOUS SPIRIT COME FROM?

Why did I fight and argue with my husband?  For me, it was because I believed I was RIGHT about whatever the little issue was.

I had PRIDE PRIDE PRIDE through the roof.  I seriously believed I was always right.  And therefore, my husband was always wrong.  I did not trust God.  I trusted myself.  I said I trusted God.  But that is not how I lived.  Honestly, I believed I knew better than anyone else.  And, if you look at how I lived, I believed I knew better than God – because I was not obeying His Word for me as a wife.

I fight and argue because:

  • I want my way.
  • I think I am right.
  • I want control over my husband and my circumstances – and, truthfully – I want to be sovereign instead of God.
  • I am afraid of what would happen if I wasn’t in control.  I don’t trust God.
  • I am rebelling against God’s Word.
  • I am selfish.
  • my sinful nature is in control, not God’s Spirit of peace and unity.
  • I am stubborn.
  • I am carnal and worldly.
  • “Being right” is more important to me than the unity of my marriage.
  • “Being right” is more important to me than meeting my husband’s need for respect.
  • I am making the little issue and “being right” more important to me than my obedience to God, my intimacy with Christ and the strength of my marriage.

God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.  James 4:6

God detests pride.  I MUST humble myself like a little child before God in order for Him to work in my life and for me to become a godly woman and wife.

QUESTIONS:

1. What could you do for your husband today that would be very meaningful to him?

2. What expectations do you need to drop so that you can do this with a cheerful, joyful heart – expecting nothing in return and not storing up resentment in your heart?

3. What does today’s verse at the top teach us about the kind of women God desires us to be?

4. Commit to sharing important information and feelings with your husband in a brief, concise, unemotional way.  How could you share your heart, desires and needs with him without blaming him, making him the bad guy or raking him over the coals?

5. How can you be responsible for your own feelings and emotions and allow your husband to be responsible for his feelings and emotions?

6. How can you tell the difference between sharing your needs and your perspective vs. complaining or arguing?

RELATED POSTS:

A Challenge – Do Not Argue or Complain for 1 day or 1 week

Handling Adversity with Joy and without Complaining

Healthy Boundaries and Control

Sharing VS. Complaining

The Respect Dare, Day 6 – A Servant's Heart

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Do everything without complaining or arguing.  Philippians 2:14

I really love today’s challenge in The Respect Dare.  Nina Roesner asks us to continue to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry – and she asks us to do “one act of kindness or a chore for your husband that you know is important to him.”

WHERE DOES A COMPLAINING SPIRIT COME FROM?

For me, it is when I think I am getting “less than I deserve.”  And it comes from a sense of entitlement, “I should have what I want.”

The truth is that we are all wretched sinners with hearts that are entirely bent on evil apart from Christ.  What I deserve is separation from God and punishment in hell. 🙁    But God lavishes His grace on me – not because I deserve it or can ever earn it (I can’t!) – but because He wants to.

When I focus on what is wrong in my life, that 20% that is not what I want, or maybe it is only 0.05% – but when I focus on what is wrong, I am not living in a spirit of gratitude and joy.  I am focusing on myself in a selfish way.  And I am tarnishing the image of Christ.

Why are we to do everything without arguing or complaining?  

“So that you may shine like stars in the universe as you hold forth the Word of Life.”  Phil 2:14.

It is God’s will for me to live humbly and to be content with Christ, food for today and clothes on my back.  If I have those 3 things – God instructs me to be content.

A complaining spirit also says arrogantly to God, “You are holding out on me.  You are not giving me what is best.  I question your intentions and motives towards me and I distrust You.”

Check out the story of God’s people during the Exodus from Egypt.  How did God respond to them when they grumbled?  God hates it when His people whine, complain and grumble against Him.  It is by faith we please God – not by complaining.

CAUTION – IT IS IMPORTANT TO SAY WHAT YOU NEED/WANT and HOW YOU FEEL – usually once.  Especially if you have strong views about something.  I am not saying to be quiet and never have an opinion or a voice.

But I want us to learn DISCRETION and WISDOM so that we understand what is important information to share, vs. what is complaining.

If I am hot – there is no need to complain about that.  Everyone knows it is hot outside.

If I am about to suffer from heat exhaustion or heat stroke – I need to tell my husband that I need to get to water and get inside quickly because I am not ok.

See the difference?

WHERE DOES AN ARGUMENTATIVE/CONTENTIOUS SPIRIT COME FROM?

Why did I fight and argue with my husband?  For me, it was because I believed I was RIGHT about whatever the little issue was.

I had PRIDE PRIDE PRIDE through the roof.  I seriously believed I was always right.  And therefore, my husband was always wrong.  I did not trust God.  I trusted myself.  I said I trusted God.  But that is not how I lived.  Honestly, I believed I knew better than anyone else.  And, if you look at how I lived, I believed I knew better than God – because I was not obeying His Word for me as a wife.

I fight and argue because:

  • I want my way.
  • I think I am right.
  • I want control over my husband and my circumstances – and, truthfully – I want to be sovereign instead of God.
  • I am afraid of what would happen if I wasn’t in control.  I don’t trust God.
  • I am rebelling against God’s Word.
  • I am selfish.
  • my sinful nature is in control, not God’s Spirit of peace and unity.
  • I am stubborn.
  • I am carnal and worldly.
  • “Being right” is more important to me than the unity of my marriage.
  • “Being right” is more important to me than meeting my husband’s need for respect.
  • I am making the little issue and “being right” more important to me than my obedience to God, my intimacy with Christ and the strength of my marriage.

God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.  James 4:6

God detests pride.  I MUST humble myself like a little child before God in order for Him to work in my life and for me to become a godly woman and wife.

QUESTIONS:

1. What could you do for your husband today that would be very meaningful to him?

2. What expectations do you need to drop so that you can do this with a cheerful, joyful heart – expecting nothing in return and not storing up resentment in your heart?

3. What does today’s verse at the top teach us about the kind of women God desires us to be?

4. Commit to sharing important information and feelings with your husband in a brief, concise, unemotional way.  How could you share your heart, desires and needs with him without blaming him, making him the bad guy or raking him over the coals?

5. How can you be responsible for your own feelings and emotions and allow your husband to be responsible for his feelings and emotions?

6. How can you tell the difference between sharing your needs and your perspective vs. complaining or arguing?

RELATED POSTS:

A Challenge – Do Not Argue or Complain for 1 day or 1 week

Handling Adversity with Joy and without Complaining

Healthy Boundaries and Control

Sharing VS. Complaining

The Respect Dare, Day 3 – My Godly Wife Report Card

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The Respect Dare, Day 3 – Nina Roesner poses some questions to wives to assess how they are doing in a number of areas of their lives.  They are GREAT questions!!!

She asks some probing questions about how we are doing as disciples of Christ, as household managers,  as communicators, and as confident and assured women.

To get the most out of The Respect Dare – I would strongly suggest

  • only doing ONE dare each day.
  • it’s ok if you have to skip days sometimes if necessary.
  • write down your answers on paper and really think about your answers to her questions.

You are welcome to share any of your answers to The Respect Dare questions or any thoughts about the questions on my post today.

What is God most speaking to your heart?

Is there something He would like to change in you?

What feelings are you having?

What concerns do you have?

What would happen if God helped you to grow a lot in some of these weaker areas in the next 3 months – what would that mean for your relationship with Christ and your husband?

I HAVE MY OWN TEST TO SHARE WITH YOU TODAY:

Here is a great test to see where you are as as a godly wife and woman in God’s eyes.

** Caution!!!**

This may be painful.  Whenever there are things God wants to convict us about – it is definitely painful.  I am not asking questions to bring guilt or worldly sorrow that leads to death.   My prayer is that if God shows you something that He desires to change in your life, that you might be open to His Spirit working in you.  The pain can be intense at first, but then if you have godly sorrow over your sin, that leads to humility, true repentance and then the ABUNDANT LIFE of Christ and spiritual riches and treasures beyond your wildest imagination!

In Christ, you can truly be set free from your sinful nature and from specific sins and live in the power of His Spirit with His supernatural love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control flooding through your soul and bursting out of your life every day.  That is the life I want for you and that is the life God wants for you.  Thankfully, He shows us the way to get there!

Please get out a piece of paper and mark a tally for any of these items on Part 1 that apply in your heart about your marriage on a daily or weekly basis:

PART 1

  1.  I think about divorce sometimes, or fantasize about leaving my husband.  I think marrying this man was a mistake.
  2.  I imagine being with a better man, thinking that my problems would be solved if I just had a great husband.
  3. I drown my disappointment and pain in alcohol/drugs/workaholism/perfectionism/control/spending money/addictions.
  4. I set my heart on things that I just KNOW will make me happy.  If I could just have X, I would be content and everything would be great.
  5. I have a lot of anger, resentment, unforgiveness and bitterness towards my husband and maybe towards other people, too.  I hold grudges.
  6. I want to forgive sometimes, but it just seems impossible to really forgive.  I have been hurt too much.
  7. I talk about my husband in a negative way to other people.  I feel like I am trapped and powerless to do anything to change my situation – and I just have to get the weight of all of this off of my chest by venting to my friends, family and coworkers.  Then they’ll see how wrong my husband is and they will understand why I have to act the way I do.
  8. I encourage other wives to talk negatively about their husbands.
  9. I am primarily concerned with my rights, my desires, my wants and getting my way.  If I don’t get what I want, I am going to explain why I should get what I want until my husband until he gives me what I want.  I am pretty insistent on doing things my way.
  10. If I am provoked, I will scream, cuss, throw things, call names or say hateful things to my husband and maybe even to other people in my life.  If people would just treat me right, I would be able to be more respectful.
  11. I compare my husband to other men a lot, and I compare my life to the lives of others and feel like I have gotten a rotten deal in life.  I deserve so much more than this.
  12. I look at porn or flirt with other men or message/email/text/call/visit with other men.  I like the attention other men give me.  My husband never compliments me anymore.  I need some male attention.  Flirting never hurt anyone.  I know I would never have an affair, so it’s no big deal.
  13. I like to dress to turn other men’s heads.
  14. I like to use sarcasm and am pretty skilled at making my husband the target of my jokes and criticism.
  15. I often point out the things my husband does wrong to others.
  16. I complain when I don’t like something.
  17. I have a lot of regrets about how I treat people.
  18. I want things to be perfect, and tend to focus on things that aren’t right in others and in our home so I can fix them and make things as perfect as possible.
  19. I tell God that my husband needs to change and needs to change NOW.  He is impossible to live with.  He’s unloving and unplugged or, he’s unloving and mean.
  20. My husband is not a good spiritual leader.  I tell him all the things he needs to do to be more godly, but he won’t listen to me.  Nothing seems to change.
  21. If I want something, I am going to do whatever it takes to have it.
  22. I withhold myself sexually from my husband to teach him a lesson many times, to show him he can’t treat me the way he does.
  23. I only give myself sexually to my husband when I am in the mood or if I want something from him.
  24. I believe that I am always right and my husband is always wrong.  If he would just do what I say, everything would be fine!
  25. When I am hormonal, I feel totally out of control and I think, say and do the most awful things.
  26. If my husband doesn’t like my best friend, I continue to visit and talk with her as much as I want to.  After all, she and I have been BFFs longer than my husband and I have been married.
  27. I expect my husband to make me happy and be responsible for my emotions.  If I am upset, it is his job to fix it.
  28. My mind is always swirling with worry and fear about the future and how I am going to make things work out right.
  29. I only have peace for a few moments, and then my mind uncontrollably keeps playing the same “videos” over and over again of things people have done to hurt me or things that I am worried and afraid about.  I feel very anxious a lot of times.
  30. I expect to be treated like the heroine in a romantic movie or like a Disney princess by my husband.  I wish he would be as romantic as the men in romance novels and movies.
  31. If I don’t make things work out right, everything will be a disaster.
  32. I am very concerned about what my parents and my husband’s parents, our siblings and friends think.  I try to make everyone around me happy. It is exhausting!  I hate for other people to be upset with me.
  33. If I don’t tell my husband what to do and how to do it, everything will fall apart!

Please start a new section or column and make a tally mark beside all of these items in Part 2 that generally apply on a frequent (weekly or daily) basis in your life:

PART 2

  1. I am able to respond gently with love and respect even when my husband is unloving or unkind to me.
  2. I have joy and peace in Christ no matter what my husband does or does not do.
  3. It is really important to me to spend significant amounts of time in prayer and in God’s Word every day.  I can’t make it without that time!
  4. I have my heart completely set on Jesus – I want HIM, His will and His glory more than anything else in my life by a long shot.
  5. I rarely lose my temper with my husband.
  6. I understand how to treat my husband with respect and seek to show him unconditional respect out of reverence for God and His Word.
  7. I set an atmosphere of peace in our home.  Our home is emotionally and spiritually an oasis and sanctuary for my husband and family.
  8. I do not raise my voice at my husband or roll my eyes or sigh when I disagree with him.  I know I am responsible to God for my response to my husband no matter what my husband has done to me.
  9. I appreciate my husband and am thankful for him on a daily basis.
  10. I practice gratitude towards God daily for the countless number of blessings He has given me.
  11. If my husband has concerns, I listen to him carefully and try to cooperate with his wisdom.
  12. I view suffering as an opportunity to grow in my faith and to draw nearer to Christ and shine for Him.
  13. When my husband is having a bad day, I try to think of something I can do to cheer him up, surprise him or take some stress off of his shoulders.  Or, I know when I need to leave him alone and give him the gift of space and quiet so he can think and process.  I am gracious about this gift.  I don’t resent him needing some time to himself.
  14. I like serving my husband.  It’s an honor.  I’m glad to do it.
  15. My goal is to please Christ, and after that, to please my husband – the opinions of other people don’t really matter much to me compared to seeking praise from God.  If other family or friends or coworkers disapprove of me or my husband or are upset with me, I am able to seek to love them and treat them with respect but I am not devastated if I don’t have others’ approval.
  16. I see the good in other people, including my husband, and use my words to praise, encourage and affirm others.
  17. I am thankful for the chance to make our house a home and to take care of it.  It is a way I show love and respect for my husband and family.
  18. I don’t freak out about small things, but am able to roll with the punches and be flexible when unexpected problems crop up.
  19. I don’t get upset if my husband leaves a mess sometimes.  I’m so glad he’s in my life and we get to live together.
  20. If I want something, I ask for what I want politely and respectfully with a pleasant tone of voice and a smile.
  21. If I don’t get what I want, I am gracious and accepting of “no” and “wait.”  I am more concerned with God’s will than my will.
  22. If things go wrong, I am generally able to respond with grace, peace and joy and keep things in proper perspective.
  23. I am careful not to develop close friendships with other men. I guard and protect my heart and my marriage.
  24. If my husband responds to me harshly, I answer gently.
  25. I understand that Hollywood and romantic novels do not portray real life.  I avoid those things if they create a spirit of discontentment in my heart.
  26. I speak highly of my husband to other people.
  27. I very rarely argue with or complain to my husband.
  28. I have faith in my husband.  I know I can trust him. (Or, I am working to rebuild lost trust and I want to learn to trust him again.)
  29. I have faith that God will lead me through my husband, even if my husband sometimes makes mistakes.
  30. I trust God to speak to my husband and grow him spiritually without me having to verbally prod him or lecture my husband about spiritual things.  If my husband is far from God right now, I don’t talk about spiritual things, the Bible or church.  I allow my glowing joy in Christ, my spirit of willing cooperation with my husband’s leadership and my genuine respect for the good in my husband to draw him to Christ.  I trust God to open my husband’s spiritual eyes.  I know that only God can change people and waken them to His truth.
  31. I trust most of my husband’s decisions and cooperate with him often.
  32. I try to have a spirit of saying, “yes!” to things that are important to my husband.
  33. I give myself freely and joyfully to my husband sexually.  I don’t withhold myself.
  34. I am trustworthy.
  35. I am responsible with money, time, our children, my husband’s feelings, our home and the resources God has given to us.
  36. I consciously work to do good to my husband no matter what happens.
  37. I watch my words, my tone of voice, my facial expressions and my actions to be sure that I bless my husband and don’t become nasty, hateful, unkind or negative.
  38. I trust God in His sovereignty to work everything out ultimately for my good (by His definition) and for His glory, so I don’t freak out when bad things happen.  I know that God is in control and I can’t lose.  I might have to suffer or go through pain, but as long as I have God’s Spirit, I know I will be ok.
  39. I don’t worry about the future.  I take my needs and concerns to God and my husband and I leave the weight of the problems there and trust God and my husband to figure things out.  I say what I want and what I believe is best.  I share my perspective with God and my husband.  Then I rest in God’s love and peace, trusting His wisdom.  And I rest in my husband’s love – trusting God to lead me through him.

This test comes from Galatians 5:19-23.  It reveals whether my sinful nature or God’s Spirit is in control of my life. 

  • Part 1 shows what I am like when my sinful nature has control. 
  • Part 2 is what I am like when God’s Spirit has control.

How did you do on the quiz?

If you checked ANY of the items in Part 1 –  WOW!  Do I relate to you!

I could have probably only checked items in Part 1 for the first 15 years of my marriage.  That is because my sinful nature was in very firmly in control back then.  I had no idea how to have a Spirit-filled life.  I thought I was living as a strong Christian.  Unfortunately, a lot of the fruit of my life did not support my belief that I was living in God’s power and walking in obedience to Him.

If I have ANY checks in Part 1, those are areas where God wants to work and radically change my heart and mind.  He wants me to die to my old sinful self, nail it to the cross, and live in the new self that Christ gives me.

Don’t worry – we will walk this road together. 

God is about to do some amazing things in your life if you are willing to trust Him! 

It’s about to get good. 🙂

If you only checked items in Part 2 – you probably know most of what I am going to share already.  Obviously, God is very much at work in your life and His Spirit is in control.  That is AWESOME!  I pray that God might continue to work in you to make you more and more like Christ.

God desires us ALL to be wives who live only in the Part 2 area every day.  We can’t do this on our own.

But if we trust God, seek Him above all else and allow Him to empower us – He can and will transform each of us into the godly women of His dreams!

This is a process.  The process of sanctification.  The process of God transforming us into the image of Christ.  It is not instantaneous.  That’s ok.  Just be open to God and willing to do things His way each baby step of the way.  Get up when you stumble.  Repent and turn back to Him humbly.  Seek and desire Jesus above everything.  He will do the changing.

A Wife Battles Pride

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Here is an email from a wife that I think many other wives will relate to!  Thank you to this wife for sharing your heart!  This is part of how this journey looks as God shows us our sin and we hash through these issues, seeking to learn all we can and to humble ourselves and allow God to change us.  She read some of my posts about how I used to act towards my husband:
One  (post I read) was your incident with the A/C guy and “cleaning the garage”. WOW, did THAT speak to my heart. I praise God for putting you in my life. It’s like we speak the same language (pride). If God changed you I BELIEVE He can change me. You give me hope and encouragement.

I got mad at my hubby AGAIN today. Yes, the root was pride. It took a while for God to expose it, I just kept hanging on TO WHAT I THOUGHT WAS TRUE. I kept hearing, “Do you want to be right or be happy?”. “I want to be right!” was my response.

You see, that’s one of my big problems. I think I’m right all the time. Being like that makes it IMPOSSIBLE to have peace with others.  (From Peacefulwife – that was me, too!) You’re in a dark room BUT insist that you see clearly and everyone else is unable to see. Now that God is showing me how deceived I’ve been (in my own pride and need to be right), I realize the battle is within.  It’s like I’ve been conning myself all these years, the flesh, you know?

You will know the truth and the truth will set you free. The truth about me is a very freeing thing, but sometimes this flesh doesn’t want me to see or know the truth. It convinces me I am the victim and I DESERVE better. Or, it makes me think that “if only he saw it my way” everything would be good. He’s wrong, and when I show him how wrong he is then we can be okay again.

I get hung up on his role…..this is a very bad habit of mine. Thinking how he ought to be as a husband.

I kinda know I’m being disrespectful, but I’m so blinded by my own desires I can’t see straight.

It took the Holy Spirit about 20 min or more to finally convict me of why I was so upset.  It’s weird because I see God CHANGING ME FOR GOOD, but He just keeps digging deeper, showing MORE AND MORE sin.  God will not settle for second best. He wants the very best for me and He will keep chipping away….burning off that dross so I will reflect Jesus.

Why do we have SO MANY LAYERS OF PRIDE????

I talked it out with my husband (sadly we were both yelling at FIRST). Then I apologized and admitted my struggle. I shared where it was coming from, but I also confessed that I have a problem wanting HIM TO MEET MY NEED. I want him to value me (like Christ tells us a husband to). I just let it all hang out 🙁   My hubby was so sweet and kind, just listening.  I gave him a big hug and told him I knew we both loved God and that we are going through a LOT, the house being under construction, my mother in-law moving into our home and his work being unsteady. There are so many uncertainties in our life right now. God/Jesus really is our Rock and we have been standing on Him and it IS NOT HOPELESS. We might fail, but God is there lifting us up and changing us.

April, I used to get so DISCOURAGED and believe it was hopeless. I just wanted to throw in the towel. We are in 8 and 6’s on the drama scale. God keeps them to a 2, but every once in a while the heat turns up and it feels like a 10. I find myself falling on my face, needing His grace….

I also read your blog about not complaining…OKAY that is a HUGE problem for me. It kinda comes and goes?

I will try for 2 weeks to not complain, even to God. With the Chronic Fatigue and stuff, I will need to use discretion on when to say something? Because even there, not everyone wants to hear I’m tired or hurting. So, God can help me with that too.

A Wife’s Confessions

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This wife is so adorable!  I love the way she articulates this struggle.  I think she expresses so well this universal struggle we as women have with learning to respect our husbands and submit to them as the Bible describes.  Of course, first we must respect Jesus and submit completely to Him.  It really is ALL about Him and our relationship with Him.  The marriage stuff is just the “lab” where we learn to put the theory into practice. 🙂  A HUGE thank you to this sister of mine for being willing to share her journey:
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The whole daily take up your cross can be easy thing to forget, but an important part of our staying connected and humble before Him.

I did an EXTENSIVE study on Rom 7 (why is it I do the things I do not want to do?). John Gill talks about a civil war going on inside of us.

How true this is!!!! The flesh does NOT want to be humble. It does not want to submit to my husband. I was reading in the Amp version of 1Peter 3 that wives should DEPEND ON their husbands.

Okay, icky secret: I don’t want to depend on my hubby. I actually hate it???

So, how many layers of pride must be peeled off to get me to a comfortable place of dependence? YIKES!!!

I catch myself getting impatient with my husband

  • cuz he walks too slow
  • he wants to hug me and I push him away.
  • He rubs my belly (when I’m sitting and the fat is spilling over), so I get mad cuz I’m so vain.

Why he doesn’t give up on me is a miracle!!!

Just a little while ago I got upset cuz he spilled some purified water. I’m feeling really dizzy, I don’t know why, so I think I’m a lil scared. I’m like this crazed person that HATES waste.

Anyway, it just reveals my inability to trust God. I value a few drops of distilled water over my super kind husband.
So what if he doesn’t validate me. Ugh, that’s something that really hangs me up. Being validated. How do you get past that?

At Wed. nite study we did 1Peter 3, to the wives and then we got to the part about the husbands. I tried to not listen too closely or I knew my flesh would want to use it as a “see, what you’re supposed to do” thing. But then our pastor said that husbands should not get embittered to their wives. This happens cuz some husbands never say no. Then it turns out bad and he has to take the responsibility, so he gets bitter with her.

My pastor said that a godly husband needs to know when to say, “No.”

YIKES, I’m sure my husband has learned to say no, cuz I would ALWAYS want my way thinking I am MORE right.

I struggle when he says no, and sometimes I’m right but I’m learning to let it go.

Pray I will not waver in my trust in God. That I will not doubt His goodness and plan even if it doesn’t look good from my perspective.

My flesh NEVER wants to trust God in the things I can’t fix. The things that seem so wrong. Yet He has given me patience and worked things out. I really need to trust Him more.

HERE IS PART OF MY RESPONSE TO SOME OF HER QUESTIONS:
Let’s see – how many layers of pride?  Umm… in my case, it was dump truck loads every day for weeks and weeks and weeks.  And then more layers revealed for a long time after that.  Pretty nasty stuff – and my heart is so deceitful that I may not even see it in myself even though everyone else can see it plain as day.
 
This wife’s icky secret is EVERY wife’s icky secret, as far as I can tell.  We want control!  We are daughters of Eve and we think we know best.  That awful pride entangles us and we want to elevate ourselves and our wisdom above our husbands’ authority and above God’s Word and above God Himself and be in charge of the universe ourselves.  We want sovereignty!  
But what we need is to humble ourselves and learn to trust God to lead us through our imperfect husbands.  It is our greatest test of faith as women, in my view!
Being validated – AH!  Yes.  We love that!
 
Well – for me, accepting that I would NOT be validated was part of learning to tear out my idol of “feeling loved.”  
 
I had to learn that I am not learning respect and biblical submission to control my husband or change him or to make him love me more so that I can feel loved.  That is REALLY important!
 

When I want validation – it is a signal to me now that I need to look to Christ alone for approval and for worth.  I am doing this for GOD – not for my husband, not to have control.

 

It is actually a blessing sometimes NOT to get validation – otherwise, it is easy to think you are controlling him with your respect and submission and turn that into an idol or a form of manipulation.  

 

She Who Has Been Forgiven Much, Loves Much

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This week we have seen that ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) – that women and men are equally sinful and equally in desperate need of the grace, mercy and forgiveness of Jesus Christ.

We took a look at how I thought I was such a “good person” or “good Christian” for so many years – and then how God revealed to me the depths of my own sin and depravity in December of 2008 when I read the book Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs.

If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,”[a]you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. 10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. 11 For he who said, “You shall not commit adultery,”[b] also said, “You shall not murder.”[c] If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker.  James 8:2-11

I have broken many of God’s commands – too many times to even count.  I am a law-breaker.

Today – we look at Jesus’ incredible mercy, grace and forgiveness that He offers freely to all who put their faith completely in Him as both Savior AND Lord.  And we look at the only proper response to Him.

LUKE 7 – A parable of Jesus:

41 “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii,[c] and the other fifty.42 Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?

43 Simon (the pharisee) replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.”

“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.

44 Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”

FROM PEACEFULWIFE :

I used to think that this parable of Jesus meant that I would never be able to love Him as much as, say, a murderer, a thief, an adulterer – you know – a REALLY AWFUL sinner.  I figured that those kinds of people would be able to love Jesus a lot once they repented and turned to Him because they had been horrible sinners.  But I would never be able to love Him that deeply because I was “not a really awful sinner.”

Then God showed me the depths of my sin (yesterday’s post).

Suddenly, I saw that I, April Cassidy, am a wretched sinner.  Not just a bit of a sinner – but a wretched sinner.  I realized that there is no human on earth who has more sin than I do in the sight of my holy God.  I realized for the first time the MASSIVE sin debt I owed to God.  I didn’t just owe Him a few thousand bucks.  I owed Him billions.  Me.  And I had no way to repay Him.

I wanted to run away and live in a cave for the rest of my life.

  • For the first time, I realized just how spiritually impoverished I was.  For the first time I realized that there truly was NO GOOD in me at all.  Jesus calls this being “poor in spirit” – and He blesses this posture of humility in the beatitudes.
  • For the first time, I realized just how much Jesus paid for on my behalf on the cross – how much I deserved that punishment and God’s wrath on my wickedness.
  • For the first time, I saw the depths of the grace, love, mercy and forgiveness of Christ.
  • For the first time, I realized that I had been forgiven MUCH.

Then I began to love Jesus MUCH.

MY RESPONSE

I became willing to:

  • fall on my face in the deepest mourning and weeping over my sin – repent and turn to Christ
  • give up anything for Jesus – anything He calls sin – I want it GONE.
  • surrender my life to Jesus daily, being His servant, His slave – I owe Him EVERYTHING!  How could I do anything less than sacrifice all that I am, all that I have and all that I might ever be?  He is so worthy!
  • throw out everything my culture had taught me that was against the Word of God, even if it meant I looked crazy to the world.  I didn’t care.
  • seek to please Jesus and honor Him no matter the cost.
  • grant Him total access to my heart and my life, holding nothing back.
  • die to myself, nail my sinful nature to the cross (as often as it takes) – then give up my wisdom, my understanding, my culture, my political correctness, my feminist and worldly mindset, my materialism, my selfishness, my pride, my desires, my plans, my hopes, my rights and my dreams
  • live for Christ – pick up my cross and embrace His wisdom, His understanding, His desires, His plans, His Word, His will, His dreams and seek His glory alone.
  • make Jesus truly LORD of my life and keep Him as THE FOCUS and PURPOSE of my life.
  • seek His face, desire to know Him more, have the deepest hunger to read His Word, hear His voice and be in His presence.
  • praise Him in my heart all day long every day.
  • develop a thankful, grateful heart for all He has done for me.
  • give up seeking the approval of other people.
  • give up every idol – my pride, my desire for control, my feelings of being loved – and to see my idols as poison.
  • wait on God – as long as it takes – but I refused to run ahead and try to take control anymore.  I decided I would wait right where I was until I was 80 years old if I had to – but I was not going to run ahead of God or my husband’s leadership any more.
  • become a sincere disciple of Christ with total devotion to Him.
  • face my deepest fears and take a leap of faith, trusting Christ Jesus to be strong enough and wise enough to lead me.
  • trash my understanding of godliness, Christianity, femininity, masculinity, marriage, family, God, Jesus, God’s Word and build completely from scratch on the foundation of Christ and His Word alone.  Even if I was the only one who chose this path.  Nothing mattered anymore but Jesus, knowing and loving Him, serving Him, pleasing Him and bringing Him glory and praise.
  • find my contentment completely in Christ alone – no matter what my circumstances may be.