Today when I signed into Facebook, I had received a message from Nina Roesner, author of "The Respect Dare". She was asking if I would write a testimonial for inclusion for the next release of her book. After stumbling all over myself trying to compose a coherent response of profound gratitude, I asked how long my testimonial should be.
Right. When I could write a book about the effects of her book on my marriage, she wants me to write 4 to 6 sentences. So, today's post is a shortened version of the long version that needs to be minimized before the end of August. You got all that, right?
Do you agree that sometimes, when God commands us to do things, it isn't "that easy"? Not because we don't want to but because we don't know how to. I can name a few times in particular where I want to sit down with Him and get a specific list. I mean, I don't need much more than "thou shalt not commit murder" or "thou shalt not steal" to know specifically what is expected of me.
But there are some scriptures where I need a bit of clarification. "Honor thy father and thy mother" is one of them but "wives must respect their husbands" is definitely number two.
How, specifically, am I supposed to "respect" my husband? Apparently, I needed to start by learning that "respect" is not something that is earned - especially when God commands us to just do it.
Besides that, it took me over forty years to discover that "respect" is not a feeling. Respect is an action. Like love and faith are actions. So how does respect act? How does it behave? What does it do? What should I do? What does it sound like? What is the vocabulary of respect? What should I say? What shouldn't I say? And, after all of that, this: If every command that God gives is for my benefit, what (exactly) does respecting my husband do for me? Just curious.
"The Respect Dare" contains 40 lessons with at least 40 scriptures with at least 40 questions and 40 specific dares for 40 days of practicing respect for your husband. Every chapter is a building block to the next.
Every chapter can be done over and over again as I mature and grow, as he matures and grows, as our circumstances change or as our faith grows. Every chapter can apply to strengthening our unity, regardless of how close we get to achieving the oneness we seek.
So, honestly, 40 days to accomplish the 40 dares is a fast track for me. I tried to do the e-course, using the online book, with other women and the class moved much faster than I could keep up. I concede. It is well suited for the younger, more energetic and quick minds of the young marrieds. I found that a more leisurely approach to the book in a solitary study is best suited to my old age.
To be honest, that is what I will do for the remainder of my life: continue to study and take the dares throughout my marriage. When you get to be my age you finally realize that redundancy is life's best teacher, God's best classroom. And I think that the challenges in "The Respect Dare" will continue to unlock the hidden treasures in Ephesians 5:33b.
Oh - and about that book that I could write about the effect of "The Respect Dare" on my life? Well, that's what this blog is for.
So, you understand my problem? Now I'm supposed to summarize this post, along with all the other posts in this blog, the messages in the cards I've designed and the ones in my head, along with all of the Words to the Wives that come with the cards and all of the consequential changes in my marriage that I've not been noting - into 4 to 6 sentences that will convince prospective students that they really, really need to read Nina's book.
I could use your prayers on this.