What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the words “respect” and “your husband” in the same sentence? Yeah. I thought so.
But this is not a book about submission. And quiet oddly, I could readily argue that this is not even a book about respecting your husband.
This is a book about realizing and respecting the woman God has called you to be - despite your past and present challenges. By looking deeper into your self and what makes you who you are (how you think, how you grew up, your dreams, your relationship with God) The Respect Dare challenges and helps you to become a woman of Godly character who loves, supports, and respects her husband. Because you cannot truly love or respect your husband without first loving and respecting your Savior.
I will admit – I felt a bit silly to start reading this book: The Geek and I have an awesome marraige at the moment. A few normal lumps now and again, but overall, I believe we are truly blessed in our marital relationship thus far (almost 9 years, if you’re interested).
But, about 3 chapters in, the initial ”I-don’t-need-a-self-help-book” skepticism wore off, and I began to really see this was more than a book about respecting my husband. It was a book about respecting my Savior. It was a book about growing my relationship with God and assessing my motives in all aspects of my marriage, my motherhood, and my life. By looking at my true intentions and motives, I realized that while I can easily say “yeah, I do respect my husband” – the real truth is that I could do a whole lot better at understand what the word “respect” actually means and what it looks like on a daily and non-self-serving basis.
I have been challenged to watch my actions and words. Words to him…and words to other wives about him. Rather than only picking out the bad and unwanted actions I see in my husband, I am trying to choose words of encouragement and support. Not that a wife cannot disagree with her husband. Not that by reading this book I now see The Geek as being perfect (hardly, he is human and so am I).
…But, it is just that, so often, I find myself drawn to point out that which displeases me in him or about him, rather than that which is Godly and amazing. And I so often find myself upset when something he does (or doesn’t do) doesn’t live up to my expectations or illusions of what a husband should do. So I am challegnged to look more for the times when he does things I would have never expected but am so wordlessly thankful for. All the things I take for granted and never say thank you for.
The Respect Dare isn’t lite “self-help” reading. If you go into it thinking this, you’ll miss the point. Even with a good marriage I found I am not always treating my husband with the respect and love he needs and desires. This book has challenged me to deepen my relationship with God, assess myself, and ultimately enjoy being a wife – even in the times (and there have a few been times!) when I am not quiet sure what I was thinking. I am trying to intentionally respect The Geek daily. Does he notice? I don’t know. I hope so. Maybe some days I do better than others (for sure!). But I do know one thing – I have certainly begun to change the way I think about and approach the respect issue within my marriage.
Yes, this was a review copy of the book. No, I was not paid to say nice things about it. That’s not how I roll. I’m real. All my thoughts and the personal realizations and reflections I have shared are real. Do with them what you will.