Ephesians 5:33b: And the wife should respect her husband.
Respect is his primary need, his deepest desire.

I Put My Followers First

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Happiness In Marriage

One of the reasons that I write this blog is to share with others what I have learned about happiness in marriage.

I am not a professional (of any sort) and most definitely am not schooled in marriage counseling or social work.  What I am is an "older woman" with a whole lot of experience in marriage - good, bad and ugly.  I can relate to many of the common troubles that women face in marriage today.

As I've mentioned before (Confession of Culpability), I am divorced from three men.  There were various reasons for those marriages breaking down.  I found a list on the internet of common reasons for divorce.  I eliminated a couple of them to accurately reflect the issues that I've encountered in my own marriages.  This is my list:
  • Lack of commitment to the marriage
  • Lack of communication between spouses
  • Infidelity
  • Alcohol Addiction
  • Substance Abuse
  • Physical Abuse
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Emotional Abuse
  • Inability to manage or resolve conflict
  • Personality Differences or ‘irreconcilable differences’
  • Differences in personal and career goals
  • Financial problems
  • Different expectations about household tasks
  • Different expectations about having or rearing children
  • Interference from parents or in-laws
  • Lack of maturity
  • Intellectual Incompatibility
  • Sexual Incompatibility
  • Falling out of love
  • Religious conversion or religious beliefs
  • Cultural and lifestyle differences
  • Inability to deal with each other’s petty idiosyncrasies
  • Mental Instability or Mental Illness
  • Criminal behavior 
Why am I making this confession today?  Because I don't want you or any other woman to make the same mistakes I did.  I would like you to discover, before it is too late, God's design to happiness in marriage.

It was appalling to think that I failed in marriage because of what I did not do.  After all, "he" was the problem in every case.  But I did have a problem. I did not follow the admonition found in Ephesians 5:33b where it says that wives should always respect their husbands.  Truly I may not have recognized any hope or help in that passage if I were in the death throes of a miserable marriage.

When I was introduced to that scripture I was in a new marriage - that I did not want to fail - so I began to investigate.  I prayed about it and received firm confirmation that I needed to learn how to respect my husband or I would fail at marriage again.

I should note that in some ways I was not pleased with that answer (respect or fail) but I could not deny what I had heard.  It became clear that that I had never respected my former husbands.  Never.  I'm a stubborn and independent woman.   My failure to respect my husband was my refusal to accept God's Word for my marriage.  His Word does not return void.  By my failure to obey His Word, I brought a void into the marriage.

I began to study and experiment with expressions of respect rather than love.  The first big discovery was that there is a big difference in how those "feelings" are communicated.  I was excited to learn that I could make an incredible impact on the health and vitality of my marriage - just by conscious use of respect language.  Most of my discoveries were serendipitous until I stumbled upon "The Respect Dare" by Nina Roesner.

In a nutshell, "The Respect Dare is a forty day devotional guide that will take away the mystery that is keeping you from speaking the language of respect with your husband."

If you are a regular reader you have probably noticed that I personally endorse this book - look in the left hand margin. I receive no monetary compensation for that endorsement.  I am motivated by my desire for others to share in what I've found.  (Oh, and because women who respect their husbands are more likely to buy my cards.)

But - here's the reason I'm writing today.  You don't have to buy the book and then struggle to complete the dares alone.  
"After The Respect Dare came out in spring of 2009, we received an email from a woman who was struggling in her marriage. And she was struggling to complete the dares. Our hearts went out to her and we so desperately wanted to do something to help her as she obeyed God, did hard things, and moved forward in learning to respect her husband and why that matters.
One of our Greater Impact team members suggested we create an e-course and walk along side these women as they go through the dares. We thought we'd give it a try.
We were literally blown away by what happened." (Greater Impact Ministries)
If you "are a wife that wants your marriage to work, wants it to be a fulfilling experience...but something went wrong along the way, and now there's struggle and pain" - I encourage you to enroll in The Respect Dare e-course beginning later this month.   I promise you that your $35 investment will net eternal dividends - as well as a copy of "The Respect Dare eBook.

Registration is still open for the fall E-Course.  
As of this morning, the class is around half full!

I agree with Nina - the idea is "radically different than most everything out there, but it's been proven to work."  There is much more to see, to discover and to try.  Visit the website and browse around a bit.  I pray that you will find encouragement there.

Nina Roesner


Cyndi said...

I agree completely with your post! "The Respect Dare" is a great resource for women to discover how to respect husbands. Thank you!

BTW, I LOVE your cards! ;)

Michelle said...

I love that respect is the focus. I've heard of this challenge before, and I think it's a great concept. Respect is something that is so easily lost and forgotten these days, but it's so easy to do. What does it ever hurt us to treat everyone with respect, no matter our personal opinions or frustrations? And ahhh no, I don't always succeed. But it's an admirable goal.

Can I get an Amen?