IN THE Atlantic, of all places, an Evangelical Christian writer describes how feminism nearly ruined her marriage and how she came to discover a radical solution: Respect for her husband. I can already hear the Internet-wide tantrums that will result from this piece. Nina Roesner writes:
I grew up as a product of second-wave feminism, having learned from the media that men were oppressive, foolish, and incompetent. Perhaps as a result, I spent nearly the first decade of my own marriage “fighting for my rights” with my husband. I criticized him and bossed him around. It wasn’t that he was such a bad guy, but rather I was trained to spot potential oppression and domination by the male gender. I took personally his lack of attention to detail around the home or with the baby. I made a practice of letting him know his failings on a regular basis, expecting his behavior to change.
My methods made him feel defensive, and damaged our relationship. I soon found myself in a marriage with a man who stopped sharing his thoughts and feelings with me…..
t the risk of sounding anachronistic, subservient, and a traitor to my gender, I actually suggest to wives that they respect their husbands to improve their marriages. Our non-profit, Greater Impact Ministries, teaches a course to married women and I’ve written a book, The Respect Dare, that teaches women how to connect with God and their husbands on a deeper level, by learning to communicate respect. Many of the suggestions are fairly simple. We suggest women not criticize their husbands, but rather show appreciation on a daily basis, and pay attention to the things he does well. We teach them how to disagree without being competitive or arousing defensiveness. We encourage them to engage in life balance to reduce their own levels of stress, which in turn impacts all of their relationships. We encourage them to invest in themselves and friendships, also. We encourage them to be bold, brave, and find God’s purposes for their lives – and pursue them. In doing these things, they find all of their relationships improving–not just their relationships with their husbands.