Hate Patriarchy?

In honor of what God has done by finding a publishing outlet larger than Greater Impact Ministries, I went to Amazon.com today to check out The RESPECT Dare and discovered it had received its first “1” review rating:

Hmmm . . . I try not to give negative reviews, but I would not recommend this book. Personally, I’m not into books that support patriarchy and this is exactly what this book is about. It’s written to wives and it instructs them to respect their husbands. While there is nothing wrong with respecting your husband, I think that this type of book can be a slippery slope for some people especially if they are vulnerable enough to grab a book like this off the shelves. I wouldn’t have selected to read a book like this if I just walked into a bookstore and was able to choose anything I wanted to read so I can’t really say that I found the content or format to be too interesting. In fact, it actually made me feel a little sad. To me, marriage is about friendship and support and I don’t think that job should fall solely to the wife as this book suggests.

I added the bold, because I think that marks the heart of what those who take issue with The RESPECT Dare find problematic. For the last seven years, we have been ministering to women in damaged marriages – women, who for the most part, have one key thing in common: They take issue with the issue of authority. They hate the thought of submission and respect as it feels like “giving something up.” I happen to understand this, because I used to be one of them. They also, for the most part, don’t know what to do to change things.

Are you one? You will probably hate The RESPECT Dare.

I was telling a dear friend of mine last week that I used to deeply despise the concept of submitting to God, and to my husband.

What I didn’t know then and wouldn’t even consider for the longest time was that it wasn’t what I thought it was.

072512_1124_ICantDoThis1.jpgFor decades, I placed the secular culture’s view of submission onto the concept, instead of learning what God meant by it. Even though I loved God and wanted to know Him more, I wasted years of potential intimacy with Him, because I refused to even entertain the possibility that there was something I might not know. Fed by the feminist movement’s ideology and the misled arm of Christianity that sees church abuse in every imperfection, I balked at the notion of submitting to God in this area.

What I didn’t realize was this was not discernment on my part, but rather disobedience. I saw only the good aspects of the feminist movement, instead of seeing the whole picture – and being mature enough to also see the bad. And honestly, it was only when I gave birth to boys that I could really start seeing the negative influences. I haven’t discounted the good, either, but I do see more of the whole picture – can you?

I also viewed the Bible through the lens of my own woundedness and background – I thought I was seeing the texts in the proper contexts of the time they were written in, but instead, I was using that as an excuse to remove the power from the Scriptures. God’s Word is timeless, it’s a living document that connects to me right now – and it told me that if I loved God, I was to respect and submit to God and my husband, and if I did, if I obeyed, that God would dwell with me.

John 14:23 says, Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.

I love how Mary Kassain talks about complementarianism:

Who we are as male and female is ultimately not about us. It’s about testifying to the story of Jesus. We do not get to dictate what manhood and womanhood are all about. Our Creator does. That’s the basis of complementarianism.

A complementarian is a person who believes that God created male and female to reflect complementary truths about Jesus.

If you hear someone tell you that complementarity means you have to get married, have dozens of babies, be a stay-at-home housewife, clean toilets, completely forego a career, chuck your brain, tolerate abuse, watch “Leave it to Beaver” re-runs, bury your gifts, deny your personality, and bobble-head nod “yes” to everything men say, don’t believe her. That’s a straw (wo)man misrepresentation. It’s not complementarianism.

I should know. I’m a complementarian. And I helped coin the term.

(You can learn more about this on the TrueWoman blog. Our Creator has made a large generalization about what men and women are about. Within that, there are many small nuances – that’s why we can’t ever get 100% absolutes on anything. I feel called to speak to this large generalized average, instead of focusing on the smaller segments that are outside of that. Please do not judge me for not speaking to homosexual Christians, pornography addicts, abused wives, or other segments – even though I will write about these things occasionally. Try to understand I feel called to speak to the “average” woman who does not understand respect and submission in her marriage. I trust God will take care of those who already get this. I trust He will also take care of those in different demographics outside the topic He’s given me to discuss. The absence of my attention doesn’t mean I’m anti-anything, it means rather I am doing what I have been asked to do – to do someone else’s work would be stepping into their calling.)

I also like how Mary talks about the concept of “patriarchy,” which seems to be the main issue for a group called the “egalitarians,” who believe there is gender equality in everything. I agree with that the genders are “equal,” and I also agree that there have been issues with forced subservience of women in societies, including churches. What I challenge, however, is that the teaching in the Bible that tells wives to submit and respect their husbands is only contextual and does not apply today because it makes us second class citizens. Not being part of the egalitarian movement, I can’t seem to find out if this perception is a foundational thought of the entire theology, or if it is a small group of extremists (like those in the complementarian camp who believe women should not even lead as worship leaders). I believe this is an incorrect thought, whether pervasive or not, and can be explained away by our very design, as discussed here. I do take issue with how some church cultures have removed a woman’s voice, made abuse acceptable, and tolerated unloving behavior from their men. These sins, however, do not negate that Christ Himself submitted to the Father’s will and not His own:

Luke 22:42 saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.”

So yes. There is patriarchy in the Bible. God is the authority of Christ. But denying this and saying it is all bad is like saying all home school moms are bad because some abuse their children. Or like saying The RESPECT Dare suggests the “job of friendship and support should fall solely to the wife” – which is not what the book suggests, but rather gives a wife a way to learn how to respect, and deeply impacts her relationship with God by obeying His Word – and yes, it is about her behavior, because it is written for her. If I were to compliment you today saying you looked nice, would you then take it to mean that I think you are stupid because I didn’t say that? It makes me sad that some people think that way, but they do. So no, there’s nothing in the book about what your husband is supposed to do.  Sorry about that.

It’s not a marriage book for both genders. “Don’t let your husband read it, or he might get the wrong idea,” is probably good advice, however.

Yes, it is a book for women – I could write a book for men, too, or a book for both genders (although the extremists in the complementarian camp – these people really do exist, and are wrong, in my opinion – would tell me I’m sinning by teaching to men) but I wasn’t led to do that. I did what I felt led to do and I felt led to write this for wives. If you find that fact demeaning, please take it up with God.

And know I have other pages on my blog written for men, so please resist the temptation to sin by judging me.

But know this and consider yourselves forewarned: if you choose to respect and submit to your husband, and obey God, I guess you’ll be viewed as a second class citizen and a doormat like I am by some.

Know this too: It probably won’t matter to you, because you’ll be living your life for the Audience of One, instead of trying to please others.

And I realize that those of you who vehemently disagree with me (and I used to be you) are going to insist I have no voice in my marriage, that I am “the worst thing that’s happened to women” (from another blogger). For others of you, the Spirit may be louder than the voices of the culture (secular or flawed Christian), and you’ll see the book for what it is – a very narrow experience to learn some possibilities and examples of how to do something God asks you to do: Respect your husband.

Strong, dignified women are not threatened by authority or patriarchy because they live their lives for God.

Dare you to listen to His voice today, regardless of what He tells you. Double-Dog-Dare you to get confirmation of His leading via His Word, the Bible, which I believe is a timeless, living document that radically applies to our lives in very personal ways today.

I’m a trainer. Not an author. I had no intentions on writing this book, but God told me to do it, and so I did. And today, you can get it just about anywhere. And we are celebrating today, going, “Look what God did!!!” Won’t you join us? 🙂 

IF YOU HAVE “DONE THE BOOK” already, we dare you today, as part of our celebration, to let us know what God did for you through it. 🙂

Just FYI: I also asked about putting “God” as the author, because the whole book was written in a brief span of about a month and I’m sure He inspired the content, as I had never written a book before. They said, “no,” so my name is on it, but know I don’t take credit for writing it. Also know that it funds our ministry. And that I don’t take any salary from Greater Impact for any of the training or speaking that I do. So if you want to question me, or be mad about the book and its content, okay, but know it really isn’t me you are upset with.

At any rate, God Himself has made The RESPECT Dare available everywhere – today’s the official “release” date! As for us, we are celebrating this work that God created and got to market (I literally have gobs of “coincidence” stories about how it all came to pass – did you know the guy who “just happened” to get dropped in my lap as my agent also “just happened” to be the head of the team that did the book we recommend to small groups for the men to do all the time… The LOVE Dare? 🙂

Crazy crazy stuff. But that’s the journey, isn’t it?

So glad we are on it together.

The badge below is not in the book in those exact words, but it is the main premise of everything we stand for.

To God be the glory!

Love to you,


titus 2 women leadership

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

22 thoughts on “Hate Patriarchy?

  1. I think the thing I love most about this book is that it drives you back to God. It helps you look at the roots of the problems and give them to God, not just teach you to jump through hoops. I’ve gone through it 3 times now, and I wish that I could say I got it figured out now but the truth is I don’t. But I do feel like it has been a tool that God has used in my journey to better understanding what true submission and respect are, and to seeing the lies that I have believed and the ugliness of my own self without God. While it feels like a slow process at times, I do believe that my eyes are being opened more and more to truth. And really having your heart turned towards God is more the point than perfection anyway. So thank you for writing this book and making yourself vulnerable to those who dislike you for it.

    • God wrote it, Anita! 🙂 I’m a trainer/speaker person… and I stand back in awe at what He is doing in our lives through it. 🙂 Love to you, so very glad you are here! 🙂

    • Anita, I really like what you said, “And really having your heart turned towards God is more the point….”

      I really like Psalm 27:4

      Psalm 27:4
      New King James Version (NKJV)
      An Exuberant Declaration of Faith
      A Psalm of David.

      4 One thing I have desired of the Lord,
      That will I seek:
      That I may dwell in the house of the Lord
      All the days of my life,
      To behold the beauty of the Lord,
      And to inquire in His temple.

  2. Oh boy have I experienced the “anti” comments; I posted a status about respect and received several comments like “but what about the man” etc. What about the man?? I wasn’t talkin to the man! The assume because I’m “for” women’s respect that I’m “anti” man’s love. That’s like if someone says “I like purple” that I assume they DON’T like red! Crazy…

    ALSO…look at today’s culture where women don’t want to give respect unless their man earns it, how’s that workin out so far?? Haha

  3. Nina,
    Thank God for you and your obedience to Our Lord and for all the wisdom God is giving you continually.

    Thank God for all the Godly women that are being encouraged
    and helped through what God is doing through your book.

    I have read a lot of Godly Christian novels and
    tears come to my eyes when I continually see Godly reconciliation
    happening time and time again.

    And I see this Godly reconciliation happening through your book in a big, big way.

    Nina and all you very Godly women are such an inspiration to us men.

  4. A guy friend wrote this on my Facebook wall the other day:
    “When I see you with [your husband] ….. I am taught what the Gospel is all about…… Pure Love….”

    Long before I learned to love God – to respect God – I divorced three husbands – three! Do you see the common denominator in those failures? Yup. Me. I had little to no regard for the God I claimed to believe in and, by transference, no respect for the men I married.

    I am so grateful that God showed me the power in His Word and for inspiring a write to expound on His words. Because I read and “took” the Respect Dare”, I have a much deeper appreciation, affection and adoration for God than I ever dreamed possible. And I can now hold my husband in highest regard to my greatest pleasure. All the naysayers have no idea what they’re missing.

    Thanks, Nina – for your faith, love and prayers. What you have produced is a blessing. Congratulations on the launch!

    • Sharon, I know exactly what you mean! This my 3rd marriage and “the world” would put me in a statistic that will have me divorced again. I fully believe that if I had humbled myself to this teaching, if it had been available to me in this form, then I would be in a different place. I am humbled that God has allowed the blessing of a Godly leader in my life, I choose to continue to learn respect for my Knight and for my God. I pray every day for the ladies who will pick up this book and choose to stay and respect instead of the “easy way out” of divorce. Thank you for sharing here.

  5. Nina, Thank you so much for your commitment. For me, your blogs, your dares and the observations made in your book are all a breath of fresh air. I have tried the “Proverb’s 31” approach, attended women’s bible studies, but they lacked the need to submit to your spouse, as unto the Lord, approach. I have a troubled marriage, we have not called it quite and I will NOT give up. I realize that it begins with ME submitting, not waiting for my man to be perfect. God ordained marriage, He created man and woman, He designed them both for relationship and that relationship should honor him, not ourselves. I have tried, a few times over the past year, to get friends to commit to this study, or at least the challenges, but guess what? It has been very difficult to get that commitment, why? I believe, just like, water we all take the route of least resistance, and don’t like dares, so we pick something that gives us more control, or gives us of a guarantee of results. What is the point in going through a study investing all the effort and still ending up in insanity? “Doing the same thing over and over and ending up with the same or in some cases, worse results” I trust, with sincere intentions, pure devotion to the Lord, humility, true repentance, and hard work, God will resurrect my marriage and prove that this so called “Patriarchy” thing is the right way. I admit for me “Independence is a curse, inter-dependence is a gift” better yet, a three strand cord is a blessing and guard. Bless you and all the women that buy the book, read it, apply it, and multiply it by sharing it with others. I dare them!

    • 🙂 Girl, you know we stand in prayer with you.

      Someone close to me recently apologized to her husband for expecting him to love her back because she had worked so hard on respect for so long – and then she said, “But just so you know, I’ll be doing some things on my own with my friends. I need love in my life or I’m going to waste away as a person. I will continue to meet your needs, but because you have told me you ‘are the way you are’ and can’t change to meet the needs I have, I’m going elsewhere to satisfy them.”

      He asked if she was going to have an affair, and she (shocked!) said, “It’s not my intention to do that, but please know I am dying without love. I want to feel loved by you, really. But at any rate, that’s how this needs to go for me. I’ll still be here, and I’ll still take care of your needs, but God has shown me that I can’t get mine taken care of by you, and I need to release you from that.” And so then she left. He started being nicer to her and been more reliable, which was a major issue for them. And he’s kept it up for several weeks now, which has never happened before. God gave her this advice, and she’s feeling better about herself now that she is spending time with her friends. They are doing a Bible study – not hitting the bars, too! 🙂 I am not saying this is the way to solve everything, but it is certainly Biblical to take care of the Temple of the Holy Spirit.

      Hang in there, lovely. Know you are prayed for, know He will give you the specific directions to fit with your situation, in His timing.

  6. Saw this up from stellar blogger Carla Anne Coroy on Amazon today:

    “I read the book without doing the dares. Then I read the book and tried the dares. Then I led a group and we did the dares together. Now I lead more and more women who are either doing the Respect Dare or leading it. I LOVE this book.

    For those who are concerned that this book is going to make you subservient to your men, make you feel like a doormat, or send you back to the dark ages – this book is NOTHING like that! You will not find a book that has such a beautiful view of women, of mutual submission and true love.

    This book changes marriages. It changes wives. It changes men. It changes families.

    You should not just read this book, but do every single dare. Even if it takes you longer than the 40 days, it’s worth every ounce of effort you put in.”

    You should check out her blog at http://www.carlaanne.com/ it’s legit and helps you deal with your life when your husband is either traveling all the time, or emotionally checked out. 🙂 Single parenting benefits, too. 🙂
    She has a great heart and a wise perspective.

  7. I have been waiting for this book since I found it a few months ago. I had taken a glimpse inside via Amazon. I received it yesterday and read Mark Gungor’s wise words. Clearly, to me, it is not a book that thwarts friendship, yet one that supports accountability. Please be encouraged to keep following the lead of the Lord on this topic and any future ones. I plan to go to Amazon with my own review.

    • Thanks so much, EagarlyWaitingsinceIfoundit – I appreciate your words of encouragement. 🙂 Mark Gungor is brilliant. and you are right – accountability. 🙂

  8. Congrats on your new book today! I pray that God will bring me new hope, peace and love to my husband and most of all to show him the RESPECT he so deserves and to fulfill my love for HIM, my Lord and Savior. To be be open and listen to what GOD is placing on my heart!
    Thank you and God Bless your trainings/teachings that you share through HIM with us!

  9. I’ve loved all the stuff you’ve written here, so I’m sure I would love your book too. How exciting that it has come out, I can’t wait to read it!

  10. I’m really excited because starting Sunday, I am going through the Dare again and having several women of different ages joining me! I’m excited to go through this new version and share the experience with others. “The Respect Dare” really saved my marriage. My husband and I were at a very low point and I knew something needed to change. Not only did this book bring me closer to God but it helped me to really UNDERSTAND what it means to respect my husband. It doesn’t come from the head. It has to come from the heart!

    • Stephanie! So awesome! Let me know if you need the leader guide – email me at nina.roesner(at)greaterimpact.org and I’ll send you the pdf. Keep us posted! 🙂

  11. Congratulations on the book coming out today! I pray God might use it to bring healing, hope, joy, peace, purpose and fulfillment in Him to MANY wives and marriages! Praying for God’s power, His wisdom, His blessings and His leadership for you!

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