"When I learned that God, in the Bible, described wives with the exact same word as he used for the Holy Spirit, I started to understand what God intended for his daughters who chose marriage. When I realized that God has given us all a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline—and not one of timidity (1 Timothy 1:7)—I started experiencing the privilege of being a wife, as opposed to the drudgery of being one." ~Nina Roesner
In The Respect Dare: 40 Days to a Deeper Connection with God and Your Husband, Nina Roesner challenges wives to take forty days to focus on their most important relationships: with God and with their husbands. Through Scriptures, stories of other wives, and practical examples, Nina shows women how they can have a better marriage. Each chapter is short and easy to read, yet leaves the reader with a lot of food for thought—and one concrete thing they can do to deepen their relationship with their husband and with God.
The idea for this book came from the movie Fireproof. In that movie, a young couple is ready to call it quits on their marriage. Then the man's dad challenges him to do one thing every day to show love to his wife—for the next forty days. The man does this, even when it's tough and he doesn't feel like it, and saves his marriage. The movie and the book The Love Dare have since touched millions of other marriages. And while the love dare can be done for either a husband or a wife, Nina points out that men and women are motivated by different needs. Women crave love; men crave respect. So Nina wrote The Respect Dare to help women show their husbands the respect they crave.
Some of the "dares" seem like small things, yet many convicted me. In the first chapters, Nina encourages some self-reflection and journaling in preparation to start the dares. Most of the dares focus on attitude—thinking before speaking, giving your husband the benefit of the doubt instead of assuming the worst about him, and not complaining about your husband to others. Yet all these small things add up to show your husband that you love and respect him.
Each chapter begins with a Scripture verse, continues with a meditation or a story, and concludes with a "Bottom Line." Nina then includes journal questions for women to focus more deeply upon the things discussed in the questions. Several chapters include prayers. Nina encourages women to work through The Respect Dare with a group of girlfriends who can support and encourage them. And throughout the book, Nina reminds women that the only person they can change is themselves—yet by being everything that God wants us to be, and by being happy in our marriage, we can have a positive influence on our husbands and their relationship with us and with God.
I'm still working through The Respect Dare, but it's the sort of book I would put on my shelf to read again once a year. Nina writes from years of ministry experience with the Daughters of Sarah courses. She is the executive director of Greater Impact Ministires, a wife, mom, and speaker. You can find out more about her and the respect dare at her blog.
This book was provided for review courtesy of the publisher; all opinions expressed are my own.