Today’s dare is a continuation of #3 – where we continue to torture ourselves with dig into self-evaluation.
If you have done The RESPECT DARE book, you know the self-assessment about being a Biblical wife. There’s a ton of opportunity to really think through what kind of wife we are – and in that look at ourselves, we have our first glance at realizing we are blessed.
Might not feel that way, but it is true, nonetheless.
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
One of the reasons I love our training method is that it’s been around for years. Organizations like Alcoholics Anonymous and Celebrate Recovery use something similar. What’s crazy-good is that they all start with self-reflection … a bit of “navel gazing” if you will.
And honest looks at ourselves always render us humble.
Bereft in the depravity of our spirit without Jesus Christ.
In that moment, our pride is squashed, and we realize a number of really important things…
- We’re not in control
- We can’t do anything to change
- We’re responsible for more of the mess in our lives than we thought
- And all that’s awesome – because God loves a contrite and humble person – we’re not taking up space on His throne
So when we realize we have made a contribution to the mess, we are “poor in spirit” and in that, the Kingdom of Heaven is ours.
Tremendous freedom comes from letting go of control – and that only happens when we realize we really need God’s help to change.
(If you are struggling with that, you might be a narcissist. Seriously. It’s a thing – check out this post if you are at all concerned, or in denial, or dealing with one – as in “did you marry one?”)
In Daughters of Sarah, we have these really neat “character cards” as part of the journey. Today, we’re keeping with Dare 3 and doing a “character assessment.” If you missed the boundaries assessment, you really need to go back and check it out – too many marriages are being destroyed because neither person respects their own or other people’s boundaries. If you want more discussion about Dare 3 from the RESPECT DARE book, be sure to see a friend of mine’s take on things and check this blog post out, too. She’s a boss – you won’t want to miss it. 🙂
At any rate, here’s the character assessment for part 2 of the
torture helpful navel gazing:
These are Biblically-based markers of Christ-like character (in addition to the ones from last week that also hit upon boundaries). Place an “x” next to the items that are an opportunity for improvement for you in your life and your marriage:
- I say what I mean, mean what I say, and keep my commitments.
- I’m aware of my limitations and work with others to balance competing priorities.
- I don’t make promises unless I can keep them.
- I apologize and own my part in problems, then do my best to make things right.
- I share only that which is fully mine to share. I do not gossip about other people, even in a “they need prayer” kind of way.
- If my husband shares something with me, I do not share it with others without his permission.
- I stop others who try to gossip around me.
- If I know what is right to do in a situation, I do it.
- I have tangible evidence that I practice what I say I value most (fruit).
- I give the benefit of the doubt, choosing to think the best, instead of ascribing negative motives to other people’s behaviors.
- I can ask for what I need without judging myself, even when I’m met with a negative response.
- I can hear what other people need without judging them or myself.
- I don’t negate, dismiss, or demean others who have ideas outside of mine.
- I am respectful of other people’s opinions and find them interesting and intriguing, even when I think I might disagree.
- I am comfortable with “not having to be right” and open to the ideas, influences, and solutions of others.
- I spend more time pointing out what is positive than I do with what is negative.
- It is easy for me to see the good in situations.
- I am satisfied with what is good and not unsatisfied if it could be made better.
- I am not considered a “disagreeable” or “oppositional” person.
- I build the confidence and skills of those around me by helping them see their strengths
- People around me feel that their contributions are “good enough.”
- I feel I am “good enough” and my contributions, skills, and abilities, are also.
- I am aware of areas where I struggle and pursue growing in those areas while being gentle with myself.
- I receive compliments, encouragement, and affection from others easily.
- I give compliments, encouragement, and affection to others easily.
- I can be objective and see what is true in a situation, even if it is a hard truth.
- I tell the truth and do so gently when it is a truth that can hurt.
- I speak into others’ lives when I am invited, instead of inviting myself.
So combine the assessment from The RESPECT DARE book, the boundaries one from last week, and this one. Pick your top 2 from each list that need work. Next week we’ll start working on the Vision aspect. Know that if you don’t use the ones from the book, you are running the risk of swinging too far to the “domineering wife” side of the pendulum, so be sure you get that aspect as well. Westerners tend to go from one extreme to the other, failing to find “healthy” in the middle – it’s only by dealing with ALL aspects of boundaries, respect, character, and discipleship (in the RD assessment) that we can land at “healthy.”
In healthy relationships, there is a respect of self and a respect of others. We are healthy enough to both give and receive love, affection, affirmation, respect, and view ourselves and others as precious to God. Instead of shaming ourselves or others, or levying blame instead of taking responsibility, we receive conviction and grace from God, and we have enough of His grace within us to extend it to others.
Yesterday in church, we read through some parables in Matthew 13, two of which dealt with the Kingdom of God – and how the growth of the Kingdom starts small, like a mustard seed, then turns into something so big birds can build nests in it. That’s how our faith is supposed to grow within us. If we choose to follow Christ and then don’t grow, we’ve missed a ton of opportunities to experience God and be part of what He’s doing.
So like it or not, we need to keep moving forward. 🙂 Love well. Respect. Obey.
What about you? How comfortable are you with the self-assessment? Do you feel shame, do you blame, or just feel convicted?
Next week we’ll keep moving forward and set some goals with our assessments. I’m looking forward to that! 🙂
Love to you,
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