Baby, can I EVER so relate to the many women who bristle at the concept of respecting their husband!
So many of us grew up during the feminist movement and have spent years trying to live up to impossible standards of perfection in all the roles we played. What about respect for us?
We were told we could "have it all," but most of us are left feeling like we need to, "be it all," or "do it all," for everyone, all the time. The impossible demands leave us emotionally and spiritually empty and lost as women, uncertain how to attain the so-called ideal. Some of us somehow figure it out. Some of us choose to flounder in marriages where we are alone, frustrated, or just wanting greater intimacy. The remaining 20-30% of us choose divorce, filing for two out of three separations, compared to men.
What's a modern day wife to do? If we turn to the Bible, we see that men are commanded to love their wives, and wives are commanded to respect their husbands. Ephesians 5:33b reads, "And the wife must respect her husband." We don't come by respect naturally, that's why God is so specific with us. The same applies to husbands, but with love, instead. Love is a woman's language, it comes more naturally to us. Respect is a man's language, and most wives struggle with speaking it.
The other issue we have to contend with is that marriages are to be a reflection of Christ's relationship with the church. There's more at stake here than most of us realize. Read Ephesians 5:31-33: "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This is a profound mystery--but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband." If we remember that we are created to be a reflection of God, that He created us in His image(Genesis 1:26-27), then we have to face the fact that our marriages are to reflect His character to the world as well.
Wouldn't you like your marriage to reflect Christ and the church better? When we ask ourselves, "When are we most like Christ?" isn't it true that we are most often like Christ when we are loving those who don't deserve it, don't understand us, or don't appreciate us? When we really LOVE at this level, it is truly through the power of the Holy Spirit - and in this way, we give a positive and powerful reflection of God to the world.
We know that men are wired to interact with the world around them differently than women. Researchers have found that men’s brains are physiologically different than women’s brains. Men are beings where honor and respect matter greatly, and they will often do things out of a deep sense of duty, even with the knowledge that it could be tremendously difficult or cost them their lives.
Remember 9/11? Three hundred and forty-three firefighters set their jaws and squared their shoulders and began the one-hundred story climb up the World Trade Center to their deaths. What goes through a man’s mind that he actively chooses to walk into danger like that? As women, we may never fully appreciate nor understand this unique wiring, unless we learn to communicate and connect with the unique individual God created within our own man. Without this understanding, we are destined to live a life lonely and bereft of the intimacy for which we yearn in our marriages.
The Respect Dare® is a book about what works. After listening to literally thousands of stories of struggles overcome and successes won from women in the Daughters of Sarah program, we have a great deal of evidence. There exists a connection between the relationship a wife has with her God, her husband, and her strengths. This book is a glimpse into the lives of these women and what they have done to turn their marriages around or take them to the next level of relational intimacy. All the stories are based on true events. Their stories and the way their connection with God develops will impact you.
If you are looking for a way to improve the quality of your relationship with your husband and your God, The Respect Dare® will help you do that!
Love to you,