The Respect Dare by Nina Roesner

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I’m interrupting my blogging hiatus to bring you a new book review . . .

When Jonathan and I were engaged, his parents loaned us their copy of the Love & Respect conference on CD and we listened to it on our forever-long road trip between Indiana and Minnesota. The concept, in it’s simplest terms, is that women need to feel loved and men need to feel respected. The truth resounded with us so much that we decided to incorporate it into our traditional wedding vows, each of us adding a line at the beginning . . .

“I promise to treat you lovingly as we serve God together . . . I promise to treat you with respect as we serve God together.”

Though I probably don’t think about it as often as I should, I’ve been amazed at the difference respecting my husband makes in our relationship. So when I had the opportunity to review The Respect Dare by Nina Roesner, I thought it would be a good refresher. The subtitle, 40 Days to a Deeper Connection with God and Your Husband sounded great, like the women’s answer to The Love Dare.

For the most part, it was. Though I wasn’t able to read through and complete the dares one day at a time, I read through each dare, considering how I might answer the questions and how the challenges could make a difference in my marriage. I found a wealth of wisdom about being a good listener, making my husband’s interests my own, and stating the facts rather than speaking out of emotion. A few of the dares also challenged me to deepen my relationship with the Lord by making time for Him and trusting Him with life’s details.

Some of the dares, though, just seemed out of place—several were more focused on the wife described in Proverbs 31. While that’s also good information, it’s not what I was expecting. And many of the illustrations didn’t line up either. For example, Dare 19—Seventeen Frying Pans—was more about running an orderly home than it was about respect. While you could draw a connection between the two, Roesner failed to do so. Despite the subtitle, the book seemed torn between two purposes: highlighting the successes of her Daughters of Sarah program (which I’m sure is wonderful) and actually helping women to respect God and their husbands like the cover suggests.

That said, I still felt the content of this book was solid, and I’d recommend it for women who are ready to change their marriages by changing their attitudes. The dares are great for women in all stages of marriage—newlyweds and those who have been married for decades. And though I found it helpful to read on my own, I think it would be even better as a small group study. Reading through the book with other women would provide a safe place for discussion, wisdom-sharing, and accountability.

**I received a free electronic copy of this book from booksneeze.com in exchange for my honest review. My opinion of this book is my own and was not influenced by the publisher or the author.

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What Your Husband Isn’t Telling You by David Murrow

David Murrow, who also wrote the bestselling book, Why Men Hate Going to Church, wrote What Your Husband Isn’t Telling You to help women understand what makes our men tick. He even spends some time explaining why they often won’t tell us themselves.

For the most part, I found the content of this book helpful. Murrow covers every aspect of men’s lives, at least briefly—the book is divided into sections about body, soul, and spirit. I gained new insight into my husband’s heart and now have a better understanding of why certain things are important to him—and why other things aren’t.

Some sections seemed a little over the top, so I asked my husband if he’d be willing to listen to what Murrow said and give me feedback. I could tell it made him a bit uncomfortable, but he complied, and we actually had some really good conversations.

One of the sections was about men holding the roles of “provider” and “protector.” Murrow spent several chapters explaining why men have taken on these roles and illustrating how they can play out in day-to-day life. My husband thought some of the information in this section was a little extreme, and we both agreed that some of it was probably over-simplified for the sake of making a point.

The other section I struggled with was on the topic of men being visual. No wife wants to hear that her man notices other women, so I was a little resistant at first. And some of his examples! In one story, he talked about following an attractive woman around the grocery store. Because I couldn’t imagine my own husband doing such a thing, I talked to him about it. We came to the conclusion that many of the ideas Murrow presented in the chapter were accurate, but the grocery store example was an extreme case. It may be true for some men, but not necessarily all.

If you want to have a better understanding of your husband, I recommend this book. Just keep in mind that Murrow over-simplifies and provides some extreme examples—most likely in order to help women recognize their own husbands within a broader spectrum.

And if your husband would be willing to talk about some of the things discussed, I recommend having those conversations, even if they’re uncomfortable. The conversations I had with my husband were, by far, my most valuable takeaway.

*I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my review. My opinion of this book is my own and was not influenced by the publisher or the author.

So There’s This Guy . . .

I think he’s pretty awesome. And he’s had a really good couple of weeks.

He got a new car . . .

It was about time. We officially dubbed his ’97 Intrepid a beater a few months ago. Everything was either broken or leaking. So we gave it to his parents and got this ’04 Ion Coupe instead. (We now own two cars that are now longer in production. I have an ’06 G6).

And then he went to the company shareholders’ meeting and came home with some pretty awesome awards. This one is my favorite:

And then he had a birthday. But since I don’t think I got any pictures of that day (bad wife, I know), here’s another picture of him just because.

And today, he’s hunting with some of his family. (Can I just say I am so glad this is the last hunting weekend? This is the third weekend in a row without him and I’m ready for life to go back to normal.) Hopefully he at least sees something. The last few weekends have not gone so well.

I am so blessed to have such an amazing best friend and husband. I’m not sure what I’d do without him. (Well, I watch a LOT of Gilmore Girls when he’s hunting . . . )

Date Night at Lake Harriet

I love Date Night. Since I started working full-time, Jonathan and I have set Friday nights aside as a chance to spend some quality time together after the stress and busyness of the week. I always look forward to it. To save money for our vacation next month, we decided to have picnic dinners at the Lake Harriet Band Shell, where they have outdoor concerts just about every night of the week all summer. And Friday concerts are usually followed by a movie.

So last night was our second concert of the season. And our first movie in the park. And let me tell you—I have a thing for watching movies outside. I’m not sure why. Maybe it stems from my happy memories of visiting the drive-in on our summer camping trips when I was growing up?

On my way home from work, I picked up potato salad and a rotisserie chicken (Byerly’s has them for $5 every Friday and I’d been talking about doing this for months), and dark chocolate almond cookies and strawberry lemonade from Trader Joe’s (best store ever!), and headed home to surprise Jonathan with a dinner he didn’t have to tag along to get.

Boy was I surprised when I got home and found he was already there and had bought me flowers.

And sparkling lemonade from Trader Joe’s. And a rotisserie chicken from Byerly’s.  So now we have enough chicken for an army (anyone got any recipes?).

Last night’s band was The Willie August Project, a group that plays “melodic modern jazz.” Jazz is not typically my favorite, but I enjoyed listening while I skimmed through old issues of Real Simple.

The movie was the main event for me. It was 80’s night, so we got to see Top Gun, a movie I had never watched until I saw it a few months ago on a local TV station (we don’t have cable) that plays old movies. But I didn’t mind watching it again. There’s just something about 80s movies.

I really love Date Night : )