I frequently hear from women who do The Respect Dare book. It encourages me to hear how their marriages are better, how more connected to God they are, and how much more peace they have in their lives.
Once in a while, however, I hear from someone and it rattles my cage.
A while back, a woman wrote to me about doing The Respect Dare book. Having completed all the assignments, she found herself stuck on the last one, where she was to talk about what she had learned as a result of completing the dares.
Her husband was still beating her, although less frequently.
And the last time he assaulted her, it was less severe.
She could actually get out of bed the next day without too much trouble.
His words continued to lack gentleness and kindness, although he did say “thank you,” to her once, which was unusual.
He continued to criticize her at every turn, although for some reason, she felt the emotional injuries a little less.
At the end of her description of her struggles with this cruel man, she concluded that she felt led to model Christ to him, because he had no others in his life who knew Him.
She literally said to me, “I am led to be a martyr in my own home. I married poorly, but Christ’s light is shining in me, and I lay down my life for His glory. My husband is precious to Him, as am I. I choose to endure these things that my husband might be saved.”
Had she written me earlier in her journey, I would have encouraged her to find safety.
And I speak with women nearly weekly who feel called to separate, and I support them.
But every once in a while, someone like this gal lets me know she’s staying, enduring, and actively choosing suffering, because she feels led.
And I support her, too.
Who am I to judge someone else’s relationship with God and what He’s telling them to do?
I will tell you their stories help keep my own life and complaints in perspective. It’s tough to feel sorry for yourself when others are enduring physical and verbal abuse.
Two passages from Proverbs 24 come to mind today:
11 Deliver those who are being taken away to death,
And those who are staggering to slaughter, Oh hold them back.
29 Do not say, “Thus I shall do to him as he has done to me;
I will render to the man according to his work.”
“Father, forgive them, they know not what they do…” said by Jesus as He prayed for those who crucified Him.
What’s mind-blowing is that the woman who wrote to me doesn’t have it as bad as some.
Each day, NOW, in this time period, every 3 seconds, a Christian is martyred for his or her faith.
Check the Voice of the Martyrs Website for a free copy of a book that will put whatever you are dealing with into a different perspective.
Dare you today to view your own circumstances through the lens of Christ and the Holy Spirit, paying attention to whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, praiseworthy, and excellent (instead of being contentious with those you live and work with) and pray for those who do you harm.
They don’t know any better.
Double dog dare you to read the entire Proverbs 24 passage and see what He has to say to you right now.
Triple dog dare you to watch this video, maybe even a few others, and get a perspective adjustment:
Thankful to be on the journey with you. J
Hope to see you at Horizons Church in Newtown tomorrow – check our Facebook page for more details.