Dare #4 Are you sabotaging your marriage?

Dare #4 Are you sabotaging your marriage?

You know you can set it up to succeed or fail, right? I know it takes two, yes, but when we’re thinking about our part, we need to pay attention to HOW we think about where our marriage is headed.

Are we worrying about how it might fail? Often?

Are we negative, focusing on what is wrong?

Or are we optimistic, even in difficulty, and working towards what we want?

There’s a proverb that says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”


We’re specific about how the vision statement is written because it propels us forward, helps us get “unstuck” from the past, if you will.  I know from tons of personal experience with something as difficult to manage as weight, that when I focus on what I don’t want, I end up doing exactly that. When I instead focus on where I’m headed, I achieve that instead. I literally fight the weight battle mentally by looking toward where I want to be (and I have a 10lb range, btw) instead of thinking, “OH NO!” when it’s in the wrong spot. I get the info, then I reprogram my thoughts to think, “Here’s what’s soon to be true about me!”

Seems like a necessary thing after the holidays. 🙂 Every year. So maybe that’s something I should pay attention to… 🙂


It’s a thing – called a “self-fulfilling prophecy.” You can check some science here.  We have a saying at our house, that “Whatever we pay attention to GROWS.”

whatever we pay attention to grows kids

And in the RESPECT DARE we pay attention to the right things.

Sometimes we’re so emotional we can’t even figure out what those are, but sometimes we get it right – with His help – and in focusing on those right things, we’re able to grow ourselves, and often our kids, and our marriages into something that glorifies God.

Lots of times there’s bumps. Conflict. Trauma. How we respond to those things matters – keep forward looking, and it helps. Dwell on what’s not the goal, well, we create that, too.

Our gloom creates doom. :/ Know what I mean?

I really believe that it is in this mindset that we allow Him to create joy out of any circumstance.

And if you want to check out Backyardmissionary’s post about the vision assignment, you can do so here. 🙂

And I love how this teen went from letting someone else’s negative opinion of her define her to NOT. Thanks to one of our Strength & Dignity class members for sharing this with me!

I think these things matter tremendously because our daughters (and our sons) are watching – and what they see is what they’ll DO, not what they hear us proselytize.

What about you? How are you doing with the “self-fulfilling prophecy?” Do you create doom or joy in your relationships?  Would love to hear from you on this! If you are “Doing the DARE” with us, feel free to share your vision here! 🙂

Just to keep in line with the transparency goals here, I’m going to confess that I’m really struggling with a thing right now. I’m not ready to talk about it yet, but I could use some prayer. I appreciate you so much – am thankful that I won’t get judged for asking, and that you’ll be patient with me while I muddle through it. I’m actually practicing my own vision statement with even more intention during this time. Had to remind myself of the rules! 🙂 They’re based in Truth, and proven through science, so I am trusting and doing… even when it is hard. 

Can’t wait to hear from you today!

Love to you,


P.S. I know a few of you were seriously bummed about missing the discount for the eCourse. We’ll have another group rate in March, but if you can’t wait, I put up a coupon on the sidebar to help with that if you just have to get in NOW-style. Also, Boot Camp – September 7-12, 2016. Discount through Valentine’s Day. More info HERE. 🙂 Seriously, if you lead women’s studies, and you want to do marriage ministry that makes a crazy wild lasting difference, you need to join us. Pray about it, but there’s nothing like it out there. I recently discovered that many of the same elements in Celebrate Recovery and AA (two proven programs) are in Daughters of Sarah. There’s a touch of them in RD, too, especially if you do the videos and the small group experience. The training method is unlike anything else you’ve probably done. Okay, I’ll stop now.

I get excited. 🙂 The women that keep coming back do so because they LOVE what they see God doing, too. We just want to support them. Okay, I said I’d stop…! 🙂


titus 2 women leadership

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

5 thoughts on “Dare #4 Are you sabotaging your marriage?

  1. Hello Nina,
    I joined your Strength & Dignity eCourse a few days ago, and I have been trying to find some way to contact you to ask you a question about it. I finally found a blog post that would let me write a comment! (I sent an email too, but perhaps it was lost).

    You said that the course is based on the assumption that I am married to a Christian man. My husband is a non-believer who is also a serious marijuana addict. He is very often abusive, dishonest, and neglectful. And I myself made the situation worse for many years by trying to be a perfect, respectful, submissive wife. Doing so only made him respect me even less and treat me even worse.

    I have been seeking God with all my heart and praying so much about my situation because, quite frankly, I am penniless and without education, and with 4 children to support I really have no way of leaving. I feel strongly that God has been telling me I need to stand up for myself and speak the truth in love, to stop being afraid of my husband and cowing in his presence. So when I saw your strength & dignity course, I thought it was just what I needed.

    However, as my husband is not a believer, perhaps it is not right for me? Judging from what I have told you about my situation, do you think I should still try the course? Thank you.

  2. “I think these things matter tremendously because our daughters (and our sons) are watching – and what they see is what they’ll DO, not what they hear us proselytize.” . . . . . ―Oh my, how totally true!!! . . . . Lips and tongues lie. But actions never do. No matter what words are spoken, actions betray the truth of everyone’s heart. It doesn’t matter what I am saying if I am not doing, precious kids will just absorb the doing part. The ‘difference’ = What you say you’ll do –(minus) what you actually do. Or in my world as an attorney: Jesus Christ said ‘by their fruits ye shall know them,’ not by their disclaimers! I say this to myself: Don’t tell me about your zealous dreams, your firm convictions, your profound love―show me! (―that is what those who are watching know!)

    “How are you doing with the “self-fulfilling prophecy/ Do you create doom or joy in your relationships?” . . . . . I definitely have an issue with pessimism and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy; it reproduces itself by crippling my willingness to act. If we look at the Christian church in the 16th; 17th; 18th; 19th centuries, the Christian resolution to find the world ugly and bad (―totally evil, full of hell-bound sinners) has made the world ugly and bad. . . . . Today, I think most of us don’t fear that we are not enough; what most of us really fear is our own capabilities. Most of us have a fear of success. ―Why? I don’t know but maybe it is because we don’t think that we deserve to be successful in anything??? (―being evil, rotten, sinners with no good of our own???) This is why people recklessly spend their money or don’t work as hard as they could or do things that they know are wrong. They are hindering their own success on purpose, because they don’t think they deserve it. They cut their own legs out from underneath them on purpose. They are self-sabotaging. My counselor is forever encouraging and inviting me to simply try being compassionate with myself and see if the results help me grow closer to Christ. . . . Just do your own controlled experiment: Next time you do something not consistent with Christ’s love, try balancing truth and grace by being compassionate and tender toward yourself, just like God’s heart is tender toward us in our frailties. I am trying and finding the results of compassion way more effective and pleasing to our heavenly Father. I have and can tell you plainly that being compassionate has nothing to do with enabling sin. Just the opposite!

    God’s love is always the answer and God’s love is so incredibly full of compassion. I invite and encourage everyone to do your own word study. Look at every place in the Bible you find compassionate, charitable, tender, etc. Notice that compassion is linked with responsiveness, understanding, et.al. —And I fully understand that many people confuse self-indulgence with self-compassion. . . .but self-compassion is just σπλαγχνίζομαι (compassion) that includes yourself (re: violates no exegetical logic!)

    We were asked about our “vision”: My vision/ goal is God Himself —not joy, —not peace, —not even blessing, —just God!

    • Rebecca,
      I really agree with you about self compassion (versus self flagellation) and I think there’s a lot of truth to the self-fulfilling prophecy. My experience is that those who really try to walk out their faith in Christ err much more often on the side of not accepting grace rather then looking to excuse sin. Brene Brown has a great course on ridding ourselves of shame and being compassionate without ourselves called The Daring Way based on her book Daring Greatly. I found it enormously helpful in letting go of my past. 🙂

      • Hello Sandi,

        Yes!, Brené’s TEDxHouston talk on The Power of Vulnerability, is awesome, so I bet her course and her book (The Daring Way) are equally wonderful. . . . . I will have to check them out.

        “I found it enormously helpful in letting go of my past.” . . . . . . That is wonderful, Sandi. . . .I have not fully let go of my past and that is why I am in counseling. I know for me, if I cannot speak of my brokenness, my brokenness will speak for me. The problem is that we all tend to spend a great deal of energy in attempting to avoid the truth. We construct an image of ourselves that seeks to shield us from a confrontation with our ghosts. My counselor is always saying “And above all else, know you are deeply and beautifully loved!” Now, I know what she means but all day long in my real job, I am a tax attorney for the IRS, people do not love us they falt-out hate and despise us (―I mean they really hate us!). . . . . But, it is very important not to shame, blame or “should” ourselves, that only creates addictions which fuels even more guilt. I really believe this: Sinful behaviors are derivative of relational longings. . .like children needing to remain attached to parents who have failed them kind of thing. So all these nasty pathologies (―related to husbands/ and us wives) are relationally transmitted diseases and this is what is responsible for the iniquity of the mothers/fathers being visited on the children. . . .internalized parental behaviors ensuring a relational “dis-connection”. Somehow, when we really relate in trauma, we achieve transcendence (―we become a relational vehicle of redemption for others in God’s Kingdom.) We access our own pain, brokenness and grief in a way that heals. . . .NOT so that we will despair, but so that we will be free of the despair that already is within us. The despair that we all have had or now have. . . . . Because, honestly, life is really hard and very unfair. It is cruel and heartless, painful, trying, disappointing, unapologetic, and frequently downright just awful. ―But that’s not important. What’s important is that through it all I learn how much I really need my Heavenly Father (―Who I really, really need). So, I listen to God with a broken heart. He is not only the doctor who mends it, but also the Father who wipes away the tears.

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