If You Can’t Say Something Nice… Dare Seven of The Respect Dare

Having children is called a blessing in the Bible.

It can also ruin your marriage.

And not surprisingly, research actually supports this – marital satisfaction declines after children are born, and increases when they are all gone.

For me, having kids ages 18, 15, and 12 right now has proven as emotionally exhausting as it was physically exhausting when they were 6, 3, and newborn.

And I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Best. Job. Ever.

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We have an ongoing battle with negativity in this life that dares to suck the encouragement out of us and our family members.

It’s easy to get caught up in that cycle, then start criticizing, generating mutual defensiveness, then everyone is stonewalling, and dabbling with contempt. Our words are creating the reality in which we live… is our cup half full, half empty or the wrong size?

And the words we choose either get everyone on the same page, or they create division and distance in our families. I’m still working all these things out on a daily basis, sometimes badly.

And sometimes in opposition to others.

But we have to wage this war, whether it is helping our child see the wrongness of condemnation and judgment, or being able to see our own. The girl in today’s story got it about half right – but it was a step in the right direction. She stopped bashing her husband in public, but judged the women she was with.  We could have seen discernment instead if her heart had been softer toward them, maybe… if she’d been more mature, I think. And instead of levying judgment against them, she would have focused on her own behavior instead of theirs as much, and been more loving.

I wonder if the story encourages women to judge other women?

While that wasn’t my intent when it was written, I wondered about that when I read it today.

Obviously that isn’t helpful, either, as we need to accept people where they are in their own walk, and just journey next to them.

What do you think? How are you doing in the “husband-bashing” department? Why does that matter? Are you judging your girlfriends? What do YOU think about the woman in the story?

This week I’ll be writing about Matthew 18 interventions – you know, where we actively pursue conflict with someone.  I had a few questions about that of late, and feel led to be specific. Please subscribe to stay tuned – we won’t give out your email to anyone, ever. We DO believe that wives are called to confront their husband’s sin, even if it simply their repetitive harsh behavior. We also know God wants us to overlook an insult and turn the other cheek at times.  We’ll learn more about this in the next few days.

And 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 for your church. 2014 is nearly full, but 2015 might be an option. I’m also active on Twitter as @NinaRoesner.  Come join the discussions!

Love to you,


titus 2 women leadership