Dare 1 of The RESPECT DARE…Expectations
My daughter and I attended a conference for young girls and their moms. Standing and worshiping together, we clapped hands, waved our arms, and sang our hearts out. We took notes and ate Chick-Fil-A sandwiches for lunch. We talked and laughed a lot. The main message of the conference dealt with Jesus Christ as our King, our Lord, our Savior, and the concept of purity.
Some time later, I had a realization as I was reading 1 Corinthians 7. Sitting at my kitchen table, Bible and notebook handy, I nearly spilled my coffee as I saw the words leap off the page. I read the passage again and again.
How had I missed this?
And I realized at that moment, that although I had not grown up going to church or reading the bible, like most women, my exposure to secular culture had imprinted the same message on my heart: romance is wonderful, dating is fabulous, and a man will sweep me off my feet and we’ll live happily ever after…white picket fence-style.
Many of the parenting books I read were also focused on having the right perception of boys, and praying for the man she might marry someday. I don’t disagree that those things are important. One of the best resources I’ve seen is Passport to Purity, as it is more about the tweener than the tweener’s potential future mate. However, I noticed there was something prolific in the purity conference messages and popular materials… Christian culture encourages young women to dream about marriage, spend a ton of time praying for the man she’ll court, marry, and have children with.
Even many of the songs from Christian artists are about falling in love with people. The message seems to be, “God has a man for you to marry. This man will care for you, protect you, and father your children.” What’s missing is, “You might not get married. You may struggle with being boy-crazy, or you might not.” Also, “You may not be able to get pregnant, and that doesn’t make you less of a woman.” Completely absent was, “Christians have trouble staying married, too.” And,
“Marriage is really hard.” What is missing from the message is the Truth Paul communicates later in 1 Corinthians 7 (ESV):
But if you do marry, you have not sinned, and if a betrothed woman marries, she has not sinned. Yet those who marry will have worldly troubles, and I would spare you that. 1 Corinthians 7:28
I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband. 1 Corinthians 7:32-34
The Truth is this – marriage and family are filled with extra difficulties – ones that can sometimes divide our interests.
Wives are the Blessing
I’ve also searched the Bible on marriage and found that it is good for a man to have a wife, a blessing, actually.
Numerous proverbs address this notion of blessing from a woman known to him as wife.
What isn’t mentioned?
How great a blessing it is for a woman to find a husband.
When I asked Google® about this, all the verses that it returned were about how blessed a man is for having a wife!
Misguided Aspirations for Marriage
From the very beginning, we see that it wasn’t good for man to be alone. We see the wife as someone who helps him. While this is a privileged experience, one should recognize this is a lifetime commitment. If we think a husband is going to make us happy, we’re setting ourselves up for a lifetime of frustration.
There is an answer, however, that not only “works” but is the reason we are alive.
We are here to glorify God.
Knowing that, we should pursue relationship with Him, wrap our identity up in Him. We should expect Him to be our comforter, provider, protector, confidante, friend, and lover of our souls. Yes, we need to work on all of our relationships, especially those closest to us… starting with our husbands.
But expecting our husband or children to fulfill us? Sorry, no. Biblically, there is no word on what a husband brings to a wife, but we know what we bring to him.
Hopefully, good, all the days of our lives.
And God will bless us, if we’ll but expect from Him the wonder we seek from fallible humans, especially the one we call, “Husband.”
Dare you to take inventory of your expectations in marriage…
Double dog dare you to comment below…
Glad you are on the journey with us. We have begun a weekly walk through of The Respect Dare. Grab your copy of the book, your coffee and snuggle up with us. Respond to the questions in the book, then come here for additional thoughts and dialogue. Hope you’ll subscribe to the blog and stick it out, remembering that perseverance grows mature faith. Several years ago, I was featured on a 3-part series with Dennis Rainey and Bob Lepine of FamilyLife Today, you might listen to those here – they’re great as a foundation.
One NEW resource for you to use as we walk through the Respect Dare is the novel, “Dare to Respect.” Tammy Oberg De La Garza wrote this book after her own life-changing journey through The Respect Dare and felt called by God to use her phenomenal talent of storytelling to accompany wives either before, during or after they’ve done the dares. Some of our small group leaders have used Tammy’s novel while going through each dare and have reported profound growth.
We’re interested in what you think, so please join us, share wildly (as a Titus 2 woman of influence) and comment.
Love to you,
Want more support in raising tweens and teens? Check out “With All Due Respect” by Debbie Hitchcock & Nina Roesner! Also follow Debbie’s blog to interact, ask questions and find more resources.
I’ve just been pondering my marriage expectations in the last couple of weeks with some godly women friends. I’m so glad to see this further confirmation from The Lord that I’m on the right track to an even better marriage. Thanks again, Nina for listening to His guidance. It’s sure helped along the journey!
Spot on, Nina. Thanks for this post. I too missed this chapter as a teen and young adult, even though I did attend church and Sunday school as a child and as a teen. Thankfully God can work good through all things and though I married when I probably shouldn’t have, I can still work to glorify Him through prayer, worship and each little choice during the day.
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