Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Respect Dare

I settled on this book by Nina Roesner originally because I assumed it was associated with The Love Dare, from the movie Fireproof. As far as I can tell the two have nothing in common, except a desire to build strong Christian marriages. The "love dare" can be used for men or women, the respect dare is specifically for wives (not interchangeable).

The Respect Dare is based around the fact that scripturally wives are called to respect their husbands (eph 5:33). Elsewhere in scripture husbands are called to love their wives. I believe the reason the Bible calls husbands to love and wives to respect is that that is what their spouse MOST needs. More than respect a wife needs her husband's love, and more then love a husband needs his wife's respect. There have been a number of WONDERFUL books written on this topic, For Men Only and For Women Only (by the Fieldans) come first to mind, along with Created To Be His Help Meet (Debi Pearl). If the concept is a new one to you PLEASE look into the subject, as it is one that can radically transform your marriage.

The Respect Dare, unlike the above mentioned books, is not an indepth study on the husband/wife relationship. Instead, it goes straight to the heart of practical application. In a series of "dares" a wife is challenged to learn what it means to respect her husband on a day to day basis. Some of the dares are surprising, in that it is hard to see how exactly they tie in, but as each day is worked through it becomes clear that each dare is essential.

My first impression of the book was that it was similar to The Five Love Languages in that it is more benificial to couples who have been married for longer than my husband and I have. My second impression was that the first might not have been entirely accurate.

Many of the dares include a woman asking for feedback from her husband, and then quietly listening to his answer without being offended or justifying. While it can be challenging to request feedback and not respond when fault is found, these  can be some of the most educational dares. They really challenge a wife to consider carefully what effect her absent-minded words and actions have on her husband.

This book is a good one for ANY couple. Yes, some of the dares assume that the couple isn't newly wed, but many of them are good either way. If this book can encourage a young bride to understand the nature of respect and apply it to her life for the long haul, it could have an incredible effect on a marriage. And for those who already have years of marriage behind them? This could be the first step toward a wonderful new beginning for their marriage.

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