Repost From Nina Roesner – Definately Worth Reading

[Note from Rock His World – I have been following Nina’s Respect Dare Challenge mostly through The Forgiven Wife & other bloggers I follow.  I started reading Nina’s page recently and have enjoyed it. (I will need to add it to my Blog List)  I found this today and I thought it was a very important and should be shared.  If you are in a rough part of you marriage, her article is a great source of wisdom. I hope you benefit from her wisdom.]

{I posted it in full, but if you would care to follow the comments on her page, Here is the Link}

Is Your Marriage Hard?

I received an email last week from a gal dealing with a very specific problem in her marriage. She asked me for advice.

I have a standard response for those types of emails… I always let them know up front that I’m not a counselor, and what they get from me might be worth exactly what they paid for it, which is nothing.

And then I prayed, and typed out a response.

It occurred to me that what I said to her might stand true for anyone, in any tough marriage situation, so I’m sharing it with you. But before I do, I want to remind you that starting in September, we’re going to walk through everything the Bible says about marriage. We’re going to discuss all of it. I have no idea how long it will take, but if you are doing The Respect Dare book alone or with a group of women (the latter is highly recommended), the discussion should be a nice complement to that. If it is your second or third time through the book, I REALLY covet your involvement – you’ll have a deep insight here that we value greatly.

At any rate, here’s some of what I told her, including a few edits to make it more generic:

You have a number of options, but regardless of which path you choose, I hope you’ll do the first two.  So here goes:

  1. Make sure you have time nearly every day where you are doing what you need to do to fill yourself up. If you love horses, take up riding. If you love dogs, go do a training class with yours. Work out. Go running. If you like swimming, get to the pool daily. Refresh. Read fiction. Do pottery, take a class, whatever, but invest in yourself – and maybe even try to be gone at least once a week in the evenings when he’s home. Why? Two reasons: 1) Because the absolute LAST thing you need to do is be perceived as “clingy” by him, but most importantly, 2) God wired you to experience life and have gifts of your own… and you simply must take care of yourself.  Don’t become selfish, but make a worthwhile investment.  Even if it’s just 10-20 minutes a day or a few times a week. You don’t want to communicate that you don’t need him, but you want to have a life outside of his affirmations, if that makes any sense. The last thing you need is having your identity determined by another human. Having your own interests, no matter how small, along with spending time with God daily (that’s a given), is step in that direction. If you are afraid or feel like you just can’t do this, you may be in an abusive situation.  That is different.
  2. Find 2-3 girlfriends that have been married longer than you, that have endured tough marriage situations like affairs, illnesses, bankruptcy, etc.  Swear them to secrecy, then meet with them once a week or over the phone or whatever – they are going to be your support group. Your main activity with them is to talk about God’s Word and PRAY together. This is not the gripe group. Whatever you pay attention to grows, so be sure you choose wisely.
  3. You have to be tight with God to know what He wants you to do. So make that happen before doing either (or NONE) of the options after this one. I am fallible, so is your pastor, so are your girlfriends.  Only God knows what you should do, so you HAVE to be plugged into Him deeply daily. And if your time with Him is scarce, or you feel far from Him, invest about 21 days making Him first before you ask Him what He wants you to do. Making Him first means:
    1. Get up early enough to spend time with him first thing in the morning. You’ll read Proverbs for the date (ie, today’s the 23rd, you’ll read Proverbs 23). You’ll read 5 Psalms also, accordingly (5 x 23 = 115 so you’ll read 111-115). And then maybe start a book in the New Testament and the Old Testament. So 45 minutes a day READING. This is awesome if you don’t have a life consumed by little kids (know that if you do, I think God honors any effort during special seasons of life – so yeah, that 3.5 minutes you grabbed yesterday in the bathroom totally counts – point is, “do your best,” and “keep trying,” and “don’t stop!”)
    2. Listen to nudging from Him. Take notes on what is revealed to you daily.
    3. Then get your grateful on in prayer. Start thanking Him for everything He gives you. Everything you have. Be specific. Thank Him for struggles and difficulties, too, not just the stuff that you like. Don’t ask for anything until you have given thanks. You don’t have to like it or understand it, but if it’s happening, choose to be grateful for it.
    4. Confess your screw-ups that you are aware of. Tell Him you want to do better and ask for His help in that.
    5. Then simply ask Him to heal you and your marriage, and pray for your kids and your husband and others who are struggling.
    6. Doing this well takes about an hour to an hour and a half daily. After about 3 weeks of this, ask Him what you should do.
    7. Expect an answer.
  4. Here, as I see it (again, might be wrong), are your options after the above:
    1. Act as if nothing is happening and let God work out your husband’s sin with your husband.  You can try to woo him back to you, which may or may not “work” but if your motivation is to be the wife God wants you to be, you’ll still grow regardless. This means you work on yourself, but not owning his destructive behaviors, but also not actively trying to change them.  You also don’t lie to him – so when he hurts you, you cry and make a gentle comment about what has hurt you, and then you leave the room. But you DO NOT act ANGRY.  This means you do The Respect Dare and follow as you are led in Proverbs and elsewhere, without regard to your husband’s behavior.  You focus on being more winsome, feminine, respectful, submissive, demure, mysterious, enchanting, etc., and take care of yourself well. You become the woman that builds him up, encourages him, speaks life into his soul, and you take your wounds to your girlfriends and not him for the first year-2 years. He’s not mature enough to handle them – he just wants the fun and isn’t mature enough as a man to handle anything else.  This might “work,” it might not.  Either way, you’ll be obeying God. And you guard your heart, because your husband cannot be trusted with it. (And I’m so so sorry for this)
    2. After doing all the above consistently for at least 3 months or longer, you “take action” if he is sinning against you still, with no signs of improvement or repentance. And if you feel led by God to do so…If he’s not beginning to get torn by the sin in his life, you let him know at this point, in a calm moment (which should be your modus operandi, anyway) that you have a problem Matthew 18-style, and gently, calmly let him know how his sin affects you and that you know he is a better man than this, and that you are encouraging him to change his ways.
    3. If he continues in his sin, or tells you he is not going to change, have a trusted male friend or relative of his be present with you while you discuss the issue again with him.
      Be sure to have a heart of being helpful – this is your brother, caught in sin, who needs to be restored gently. A meeting with a counselor would also suffice.
    4. If he continues in his destructive behavior even after this, schedule a meeting with a couple of elders or the pastor of your church – men he respects. Talk to them individually first, and then schedule a meeting for them to talk to your husband. Again, have your heart in the right place, or none of this has any impact.
    5. And do none of the above if God tells you very specifically to “overlook the insult” or “turn the other cheek.” No one can advise you on what to do, if anything, nor the timing of it, except God. So pray pray pray and know the Father – and He will direct your paths.

So what do you think? What has gotten YOU through difficult times? Where are you now? Anything you need to do?

I would love to hear your thoughts on this today. As an aside, the blog from last week that got so much attention, the one from “Scott” who was addicted to pornography – turns out his wife followed the above – and she’s done The Respect Dare. He came home after meeting with the elders, knelt at her knees, and told her he was sorry. He told her he wanted what she had. She led him to Christ. Forever, they and their marriage has been changed. But most importantly, she did what God wanted HER to do, in the moments of any given day. And following the Bible’s teaching to wives not only gave her the strength she needed, but connected her to God – and she bravely did what He wanted her to do with amazing results this side of heaven. She walked the fine line of respecting herself and her husband, all the while, obeying God. She’s not the only one, either.

I am positively, but deeply burdened to help other women grab hold of hope like this in their marriages. I hope you’ll join us! :)

And be sure to subscribe and share the blog to bring some girlfriends with you – we’ll start our journey through the Word on marriage the first week in September! J

Love to you,


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