Are You A Doormat if You Submit? Respect Dare Four

I stood next to the toaster in my kitchen. It was 5am.

I was so angry I could spit.

I also knew I was wrong. Needed to apologize-style wrong. But all I could focus on was how my husband’s words had stung. Yes, my retort had not been filled with grace, but acid. Yes, my heart was as black as could be. I was angry and hurt. Mad at God. Mad at him.

And  yet His Spirit within me was greater in that moment than the one who is against me, and myself.

And I wrote the note. I apologized. I followed the 5 Step Reconciling Apology I teach in our workshops and classes. My heart was NOT in alignment with the words I was writing (kinda like the time I held my tongue and didn’t say all the really mean mean things I was thinking, or the time I wanted to kill him but didn’t – taming the flesh is hard business), but His Spirit guided the pen. And I put the note in his car.

Then I went off to pray.

“Teach me, Father. WHY AM I THE ONE WHO HAS TO APOLOGIZE FIRST ALWAYS??? Why is he allowed to hurt me and you are doing nothing about it?”

It wasn’t fair.

I felt the opposite of cherished. I felt unloved.

Woman Against Orange Wall

And I wondered if God was just. I wondered if I shouldn’t be levying judgment and justice.

And Genesis 3 came to mind. He needs your help, he is not complete without you, The Voice spoke to my heart.

Then, 1 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. 3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye'; and look, a plank is in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. (Matthew 7)

Isn’t that just like God? To parent US the way we’re supposed to parent our own kids? I often tell my kids when they say, “Why aren’t you doing something about my sister/brother’s behavior” I ask them, “Would you want me sharing your business with them? I’ll talk to you about you – and trust me that I AM dealing with your sibling, but that’s their story to share with you.”  Somewhat like the manager telling a worker, “I can’t talk to you about whether or not so-and-so is in discipline. I CAN tell you that we’re dealing with the problem.”

But for too long a time, I didn’t believe God was good. I thought that if He loved me, good things (as I defined them) would be happening. I thought I was being treated unfairly because He didn’t appear to be disciplining my brother (my husband) the way He was disciplining me. And He wouldn’t talk to me about it.

He has a way of focusing on just my behavior…

Maybe that’s where you are, too. Struggling against the Word of God (in two of the few places where God gives direction to wives) where we are told to SUBMIT and RESPECT… and maybe you haven’t realized yet that you are warring with the definitions the world has taught you…

At the time of this writing, it is winter.

Last week, the governor of Georgia apologized to the state.  He took personal responsibility for the way the snow removal was (wasn’t) handled. I had friends who were stranded on the freeway for over 9 hours. Trapped in their cars. Chick-Fil-A employees walked the on and off ramps to the highways delivering sandwiches and drinks.

It was an eventful week.

And this week, we are looking at the Vision in The Respect Dare. Pay careful attention to how you write yours. It matters. I won’t take your time here explaining ALL of the why, but it is important.

It is important that you consider this Vision carefully. If you have children, you are their primary disciple. And contrary to popular cultural beliefs and many emerging Christian ones, just because you are a woman, doesn’t mean you are a second class citizen in your home.

If you understand anything about the bible and Jesus Christ, you need to understand that He was absolutely the BEST thing to happen to women. You also need to know that God’s opinion of women shows up early in the book.

God made Adam incomplete. He made Eve to help and complete him. For centuries, women have struggled against the fears deeply ingrained within them, fears of trouble, abandonment, fears of danger, fears of survival, fears that God doesn’t really view women as equal heirs or as precious and as important to Him as men…and with the most common complaint from women being a man who is passive and disengaged – we need to seriously take our faith up a few notches.

We need to conquer this fear.

Fear of being treated unfairly, fear that we can’t really trust God, fear that He won’t take action, that He has no plan.

It’s what Daughters of Sarah is all about. Conquering FEAR. Growing Faith. (And can I just say that I could just about explode with excitement about having it available? We got the scripting done this weekend and hope to be in studio soon!)

Maybe we need to pay attention to a few firsts in the book – not in an effort of arrogance, but rather just to pursue understanding.

  • a woman was created as the first complete human being (by lack of defining her being called otherwise and being one to fulfill that need in Adam)
  • a woman was the first to give God a new name (Hagar)
  • a woman was the first person told about time of the Messiah (Mary)
  • a woman was the first human involved with Christ’s first miracle (when He created wine – and by the way, it was at her request)
  • a woman was the first to find the empty tomb (Mary Magdalene)
  • a woman was the first commissioned to spread the message of what had happened to Christ to the other disciples (Mary Magdalene)

There are others, but aren’t those enough? As we journey through the book, you’ll come face to face with the intensity with which you trust God. Do you believe His Word?

His ways are not our ways, but they are good, and right.

And all of scripture is destined to help us understand Him.

And like the governor of Atlanta, our husband takes the heat and is held accountable – IS RESPONSIBLE – for our families.  Check Genesis 3. And we can like that or lump it, but it doesn’t change the fact that God set it up that way. If you choose to grow and help your husband do likewise (which is different than controlling him, btw) you’ll end up with a marriage where both brother and sister are mature enough in Christ for this not to even be an issue. SERIOUSLY.

Dare you today to ask Him to help you have an accurate perception of who you are to Him. To help you move forward in growing your faith, even if you don’t fully understand how it all works.

And know that I’ve been in that place of wanting justice – it’s ugly. Let it go. Know that if you are being abused, God doesn’t want  you to suffer in that spot, either. Know you are being sinned against – and He will reveal to you what to do, but you need to trust Him.

Focus instead on the Vision and plan He has for you. If you are married, part of that includes helping and completing your husband. But if you check Proverbs 31, you’ll see there’s a ton of other opportunities for women. The sky is the limit.

And stop trying to be your husband and kids’ Holy Spirit.  He’s got that one.

If you are parenting little people, you should totally follow Leah and Debbie if you have tweens, teens, or twenty-somethings. Like us on Facebook so you can know when Daughters of Sarah becomes available in video format this year, or schedule one of our weekend retreats. 2014 is nearly full, but 2015 might be an option. I’m also active on Twitter as @NinaRoesner.  Come join the discussions! :) You can follow via the Twitter and subscribe to the blog via the sidebar to the right.

What do you think about all this? Glad you are on the journey!

Love to you,

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Comments

  1. Marie says

    I agree with much of what you wrote but I’m confused as to why you refer to Genesis 3 when you say our husbands will take the heat? Are you referring to Genesis 3:16? If so, I can’t see how that applies. Gen 3:16 is telling Eve what will happen as the result of the fall. Increased pain in childbirth, yet will still desire her husband(will still seek relationship in spite of pregnancy pain). Then God TOLD EVE and he will rule over her(will lean towards tyranny and domination). This is descriptive of what would happen not what should happen. Husband was never commanded to rule his wife ever. The only command for a husband to rule his wife was made by a pagan king who issued such a proclamation. This is the king who married Esther. He made this proclamation when Queen Vashti declined to show her beauty to a room full of drunken men. This was not a command from God.

    Head in the new testament does imply leadership but that leadership should not be confused with rule. Ruling and leading are not the same. Husbands are to strive to love/lead using Christ as their example however they must remember they are not Christ(sinless) but they can learn from His example. In a similar way, elders lead/shepherd a congregation but they do not rule it. In fact men must demonstrate Christlike leadership abilities at home in order to be eligible to become an elder. They are never to lord or rule over the congregation but rather humbly lead and guide it. They must be good examples to the congregation. They must know the scriptures to ensure that GODS RULES are being followed. Not mans rules.

    Consider: Mark 10:42-45
    42 And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are CONSIDERED rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 43 But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant,[a] 44 and whoever would be first among you must be slave[b] of all. 45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
    Genesis 3:16 (he shall over rule you) is misused often. God is telling Eve what would happen, as a result of the fall, to women he is not commanding husbands to enforce a punishment against their wives. If he were he would have spoken to the man. Important to note and many miss this, the only thing cursed in the Genesis account is the serpent and the ground. I didn’t originally catch this until it was pointed out to me and I went back and studied some more and realized that only the ground and the serpent were cursed.
    Thank you for your article it does contain lots of useful information.

    • Nina Roesner says

      Marie –

      So glad you are here! I don’t disagree with you. At all. My point is related to accountability, which many scholars believe is evidenced by who God spoke to first…who was held as responsible…which was the man. I don’t believe God cursed either of them, as that is not in the text. Consequences for both, tho.

      :)

      Glad you are here!
      Love to you,
      -Nina

  2. tiff says

    Nina,

    It is so hard to not get stuck in the mode of thinking things are unfair. I try to remember that everything is in God’s time.. In the moment it is hard.. but I have been working hard on this very issue (among others). The more I pray for ME to change and the more time I spend with God, the more progress I see in my husband’s walk. I’ve shared before, but I will again for those who haven’t heard it..
    Several months ago while lying awake with worry one night I was praying and praying hard! Around 2am I HEARD a voice.. not just in my head, but with my ears.. I know it was God. He told me that my husband WILL NOT change until I do..
    Patience is hard for me, but I try to remember that night and the voice as well as the verse (can’t quote it) that states a husband can be saved by the faith of his wife. God has been good and while it wasn’t perfect or pretty, my husband IS changing for the better! I keep praying for me to change and for him to find that personal relationship with God that I have found. There are a few specific things too, but the point of them all is that I change and keep my walk (lest I forget, {from Issaiha}), and that my hubby will grow in Christ..

  3. Marnie says

    I have been really struggling with this very issue for the past week or so, so this is sooo on point for me! I finally had it last Friday and blew up at my husband – not cool! Especially when it was his birthday! But I felt like I was just fooling myself that I can make this work and was ready to give up on the whole thing! Working through the Respect dare online and thought I was really trying and making progress, and then last Friday I felt like I was back to square one! Perseverance! Will keep trying and soooo need to learn to trust God and stop the fear cycle!!! Thank you Nina for this message right now when desperately I needed it!

    • Nina Roesner says

      So glad you are here, Marnie!! Please know any good you see if Him. ;) and check in on Wednesday – you will like what you see!

      Love and prayers to you,
      ~Nina

    • Nina Roesner says

      Gary Chapman’s book, The Five Languages of Apology does a good job of explaining the different points – we combine them and teach an abbreviated (but too long to explain here)method that encompasses all 5 languages. His website also has a neat assessment you can take or give to your husband: http://www.5lovelanguages.com/profile/apology/

      Glad you are here! :)
      Love to you,
      ~Nina

      • Dawn says

        Thank you so much. I think that will be helpful. I have enjoyed following your posts and am learning a lot from them. Thank you for taking the time to write them and share them with others.

What do YOU think about these things today?