Dare #12 of The Respect Dare… Submission without becoming a Doormat

Showing Grace

Wasted home-cooked meal on the counter. Over night.

Some people just don’t get it.

I confess I’ve been one of them.

And I can RIGHT NOW relate to the woman in Dare 12. She’s got 101 things to do, she’s exhausted, she asked for help, and delivery was mediocre. Mind you, when I do my work, I give gobs of grace to myself when I leave out something, forget to put something away, or discover a mistake I’ve made.

Other people?

Not so much.

But I LOVE THIS DARE. I love it not because I can related to over-booked, over-committed, that’s-where-we-are-now woman, at the moment, but because of what’s missing.  And because she got MORE than mediocre help. She got a blessing – but she didn’t know it at the time.

I didn’t either, even when I wrote it!

Did you catch the Blessing?

She’s fuming… he walks in (and as we’ve talked previously about the incredible power of  “repair attempts” and sincere apologies in marriage relationships !!! Sorry!) and the Holy Spirit guides her. The husband dishes a beautiful relationship repair attempt – and she receives it.

She doesn’t resist.

She is as feminine as any woman every could hope to be in that moment.

At the guidance of the Holy Spirit, she is open and she receives her husband’s movement toward her. Some would say that this moment is even a lovely example of submission.  Others might only call it polite.

Senior Woman Receiving Tulip Bouquet

Repair Attempts

But the research also shows that repair attempts un-noticed or not received, damage the relationship.

She received.

And God guided her into it, using His Word.

How beautiful is that?

I love this. 🙂

Have you ever stomped all over someone’s attempt to make up with you? Or right things? Have you demanded they do it “just so” or it doesn’t count?

Do you resist your own attempts with yourself at dishing grace?


Stop resisting.

Young Woman Standing with Arms Stretched Out


This dare just reminds me of what it is like to be clay in the Master Potter’s hands… pliable.


Gently led.

Easy to coach.



Receptive to His Truth.

Receptive to His Great Love.


I’m reading a book by Dr. Larry Crabb right now.  He’s a big deal in the field of psychology.  He’s also a Christian.  I’m not done digesting the book yet, but I will tell you I’m in agreement with his view on being created to “help.” And the longer I’m married, the more I’m allowing God to redefine how I view my role as “help” to my husband.

I’m trying to unpack what he says about submission – it’s different than anything I’ve ever read before, and I probably won’t do it justice here.  What’s interesting, is that in literally ALL of the discussions I’ve ever heard about Sarah submitting to Abraham, it’s within the context of her not ratting him out when he gave her over to Pharaoh’s harem, like that’s where the submission took place.

Dr. Crabb talks about the “submit in all things” from Ephesians 5:35 in Fully Alive: A Biblical Vision of Gender that Frees Men and Women to Live Beyond Stereotypes (Baker Books, 2013)

The pleasure she (Sarah) mentioned referred to sexual pleasure resulting in the joy of becoming a mother. By saying “again,” she implied that she hadn’t enjoyed sex with her hundred-year-old “master” for some time. And now, two old people would make love? A hundred-year-old-man would successfully perform and a ninety-year-old woman would get pregnant? This must be some kind of joke.

… In her earlier years, we’re told, Sarah was a physically beautiful woman. In his earlier years, I imagine Abraham enjoyed an active sex life with his beautiful wife. But now? 

See what happened. The man of faith made his move, I suspect three months later. The woman of imperishable beauty opened herself to receive her husband’s God-honoring movement. Sarah submitted to God’s purpose, as a woman fully alive in her femininity. And Peter says, “Wives, be like Sarah.”

He then goes on to talk about different situations where wives have asked him if they should join their husbands in sinful activities.  One such example involves a wife whose husband wants the wife to have sex with another man. Crabb said he told her, “Of course, Submit in everything.  Tell him no, gently and quietly.”

Another Take

I have a pastor friend, who eloquently defines submission as being “sub-missional,” as in (the way I understood it), being completely aligned under the mission God’s given your family, completely aligned and submitting to the authority of God. If we are to be about God’s business, we’re not about our own, or our brother’s. 🙂

I like that.

And I’ve spoken with a number of FamilyLife Ministries couples over the years – the wives are an active part of the family. They aren’t puppets for a domineering husband, contrary to what some like to believe Evangelicals are about. And I’ve heard their husbands talk about how much they rely on their wife’s help, insight, wisdom, etc., in many things.

I think of how Abigail dealt with her husband, as well.

And God blessed her.

Today I have more questions than I have answers – I hope you are okay with that. I also hope you don’t miss the beautiful moment in Dare 12 where a wife received her husband, where she accepted him fully, openly, and allowed God to bless them both as a result.

I pray today that we all have more moments like those in our marriages, regardless of what gender we are. 🙂

I’m glad you are on the journey with me. 🙂

And if you are parenting tweens, teens, or twenty-somethings, you should totally follow Debbie. Like us on Facebook or follow on Twitter as @NinaRoesner.  Come join the discussions!

Love to you,


Read the fictional book about 6 wives who also wrestle with the notion of submitting!  Dare to Respect is changing hearts one marriage at a time.










Want to get respect right with parenting?  Read Debbie’s book, With All Due Respect.










Meet Nina Roesner of The Respect Dare, Debbie Hitchcock of With All Due Respect, Tammy Oberg De La Garza of Dare to Respect, and all the phenomenal women of Greater Impact Ministries at Boot Camp, where you will …


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