It’s a New Day…

A few years ago, I had a rather heated discussion with someone about whether or not a good God allowed bad things to happen.

I believe He does. If He doesn’t, then He’s pretty small. I need to believe that the Creator of the Universe loves me enough to teach me things – sometimes the hard way because of my own stubborn pride – and that He has the power to stop or change my circumstances at any moment.

We forget this when we think about our marriages. We tell our little girls that “God has a husband out there for you,” and we start praying for this man with her, instead of remembering the Truth in 1 Corinthians 7, where marriage is encouraged for those who burn with passion, but heads up, if you DO marry, you’ll have a lot more trouble than those who don’t…

And we turn our pursuit of obedience to the Word into something to “make our lives work,” almost prosperity gospel-style, where obedience is designed to bring riches – or marital bliss.

I love World Challenge and how Gary Wilkerson talks about living in the pit today.  It’s a great piece of perspective as we consider WHY we would do The Respect Dare Challenge.

We’ll get started this week, working our way through The Respect Dare book together. There may be a few bloggers joining us on the journey, but before we even begin, I want us to think about our motives.  Don’t forget the warning in James 4:3 – and I dare you this morning to begin by questioning your own motives about why you want to learn to respect your husband. Double dog dare you to comment, share or subscribe to the blog and join us on this journey. 🙂

Are you obeying the Word to bring glory to God? Or are your motives to make your life work? Not saying that both might not be achieved, but where’s YOUR heart this day? WHY are YOU on this journey?  I confess, years ago, I was in the wrong place.


Love to you,



titus 2 women leadership

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22 thoughts on “It’s a New Day…

  1. Came back to read this as I got an email about Jim posting… As a re-read my posts, it makes me happy. Here I am, a few days short of 6 months after these posts, and I am happy to say that God definalty answers prayer. My husband is not fully back on track with The Lord, but he speaks of God now in positive ways, he wants our daughter to attend a christian school, he has expressed a desire to attend a mass ( he is catholic raised. I am still praying and in The Word every day at least a little bit.. Praise God for his blessings and answered prayers

  2. “I need to believe that the Creator of the Universe loves me enough to teach me things”

    Nina, I’ve not really heard this question answered in this sensible way.

    Here’s what I believe: God does allow bad things to happen to us, and there are times when we simply aren’t allowed to understand. Our part in those times (and in all other times) is simply to trust God, even though everything is telling us that we can’t trust Him. We need to always maintain our faith (our trust in His goodness and love for us), no matter how things may look. (Think about Brother Job, of Joseph when sold into slavery, or of David when he was running from Saul.) And it’s not always easy to do this; sometimes it’s very difficult. But that is what we need to do.

    One of the techniques of the enemy is to make us think that God is against us, to see if we will quit trusting in Him and believing in His love for us. We absolutely must continue to believe in God in those times!

    It’s easy to believe that God loves us when everything is going great. It’s not so easy to believe that God loves us when everything is falling apart around us.

  3. “If God is good… Why…???
    Oh No! Another one of THOSE Q’s!
    How about – “If He’s a God of Grace,
    why do I feel like He’s punishing me?

    I used to run from Q’s like this. They hit too close to home. Not long ago, I hit “TheWall” and couldn’t find a way around it.

    I began writing down some Q’s like this in my journal and taking them to God. He proved to be Relentlessly Faithful when we seek Him honestly. About 6 months ago, I started blogging in addition to journaling.

    •Law/Love •Grace/Discipline
    •Anger/Forgiveness •Good/Evil
    How do we to there from here?

    One morning, my contemplative journaling came to this answer:

  4. I ask God for help and then I cringe at what he asks of me. Past marital baggage has trained me to protect myself and not be vulnerable. Trust and obey, I need help to bring down my guard and love my husband how he needs to be loved. What God wants me to do hasn’t changed, I have been too slow to respond. In prayer one day I remembered your book. It is time. As a side note: I started the morning reading and journaling in James 4-then read your post where you quoted from James 4. James 4:17 Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.

  5. I wanted to do the The Respect Dare the first time because I wanted to connect with other Christian sisters and approached it like a Bible study. That changed rapidly, and I became committed to surrendering my willful nature to God’s will in my marriage. And it hurt. It was hard. I hated it. And then it was healing. And it was still hard but good hard. Like doing hard work and being righteously tired. And I loved it.

    Then I did it again, to be better because I wanted more of that relationship with God and with my husband. I wanted more and better not because I deserve it but because God is good and wants it for us.

    I am personally expanding my TRD lessons to my friends and family. Learning to shared and live a respectful life.

    One thing I learned, and my husband learned, is that our relationship is a safe place and therefore we got lazy. We could disrespect each other, we could do many things because we knew it was safe – no one was leaving, no one was going to get physically hurt. But hearts hurt and when we started to seek tenderness in the safety we really started to grow.

    • Shanyn,

      I can totally relate! I too got lazy and complacent in my marriage. (husband also, but he’s on his own journey with The Father, and we are NOT close to same points yet). The perceived safety of the marriage is a myth. While we are still married and trying to work things out, the disrespect and lack of love we BOTH showed has taken a HUGE toll on what was once a relationship everyone we know admired.
      Part the prayer I have is that one day these same people will look upon us and see the light of God and know that it was only through Him that this mnarriage survived. If my extended family come closer to God again through my awful trials then its worth it.

  6. Great question. That’s something I’m grappling with and I hope this time it is for the right reasons that I begin this respect dare. I do know that I’ve learned only Jesus can satisfy and love me best.

  7. Great points! My initial thoughts are, yes, I want to make my life/marriage better by “making Respect work” in my marriage, but I am beginning to see (needing to see!) that it really should be about obeying God’s Word because he wants me to and I want His will to be done in my life. When there is a greater purpose like this (to please God and give Him the glory) it’s almost “easier”. Like, I know I’m not doing it for me or someone else but for GOD and that’s huge….He’s Huge!!….and knows way more about my situation that I do!

    Thank you!

    • Sabrina,
      It is easier for me too when I think about it as obedience to God. The world teaches us that Respect must be earned, but the Bible tells us to give it freely to our husbands. Many times in the past I know I have been disrespectful simply because he “didn’t deserve it”.. Well that is a sin against God, and with sin come comsequences.. For women, the consequence of NOT giving respect is that we don;t get the LOVE we desire and need. Just last night I felt unloved and lashed out with disrespect.. NOT OK. I humbled myself and apologized to my husband. Despite this, last night was tense and we spoke very little. So today, I left him a note again saying sorry and revealed to him how God immediately corrected me with a book I am reading called “The 4 Agreements”. And this morning all seemed back on the track we have been on.. not great, but moving in the right direction!

  8. Dear lost..
    Unless your relationship is truely abusive and dangerous I do not belive that God EVER wants us to divorce. I know I am being tested and tempted to walk, but if I did I would be giving up on my commitment I made to God, my husband, and our families.

  9. I began the Respect Dare about a year ago. At the time, I really wanted both, and I truly believe my motives were to achieve both. For some time, my relationship with God and with my husband began to strengthen and improve. Then, somewhere along the way, I got off track. Now I don’t know. I want to hear God’s voice again, but I struggle to recognize a sign anywhere. Sometimes I wonder if God wants me to do something else entirely. Maybe God doesn’t want this marriage? How do we know when God is talking and/or we are just being tested or tempted?

    • First of all, God is not a God of confusion. He will tell you clearly. Sometimes through a “sign”, sometimes through someone else, sometimes through plain communication with you, sometimes through a different method. There are times our own agenda gets in the way of letting us hear him well, and sometimes the enemy is clouding what we know to be true and causing us to doubt. Be on guard. Also, God doesn’t go against his own Word, so, as Tiffanie said, “unless your relationship is truely abusive and dangerous” I, too, don’t believe He would want you out of this marriage. By faith, jump back on the track you were on (or at least head in that direction) and hang on tight as he teaches you through this tough time.

    • We are always in the midst of possible temptation. 🙂 And to discern God’s voice, we need to keep our heads filled with His Word, the Bible, and ASK Him to let us know what we should do, what His will is. He will reveal things to us through circumstances, usually multiple “coincidences,” and we can always seek confirmation within His Word. He never contradicts His Word. And the enemy seeks to destroy and will use confusion and lies to facilitate this. He’s very good at what he does, as he knows human behavior. When I get “off track” I fast from the things of this world – the music, the television, the secular influences online, and I dive more deeply into the Word. God is always speaking, it’s just we stop listening, so we need to reset ourselves by making our focus on Him more important than anything else in our life.
      Glad you are here, sister. Don’t quit. He loves you and is waiting.

    • He never contradicts Himself. And His Word is always true.

      Ask Him to draw Him back to you – then prepare for troubles. And you’ll begin to see.

      Love to you, Hang in there,

  10. James 4:3
    New International Version (NIV)

    3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

    My prayer and yes, it has a selfish motive too, is that my husband come back to God. I know that THIS prayer is the ONLY ONE that will have the hope of fulfilling my desires that my marriage be healed and that my husband return to a place of love and compassion for me. I do not believe that God wants me to divorce, or it would have happened months ago. He is teaching me some ver valuable lessons on this path. When I last HEARD the voice of God he told me that nothing would change in my husband until I learned to change those things in me that needed refinement. So while I pray for me that the lessons sink in and that the changes be permanent and that I NEVER stay from God again, I pray that my husbands finds what I have found in Christ.

    • 🙂 Check today’s post on hope, expectations, and motives. 🙂
      Glad you are struggling with these things! 🙂 SO glad you are here!
      Love to you,

        • Nearly crazy sounding, right? But so good – I find more hope in the middle of them when I remember to ask, “What do you want me to learn, Father?” instead of whining first! 🙂 And the reason David is one of my favorite biblical characters is his skill at whining. 🙂
          Love to you,

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