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A Challenge for You, Ladies! :)

screaming woman

Let’s allow God to help us

turn this loud, obnoxious, angry, destructive tongue of ours

into an instrument of healing and blessing.

As women, we have HUGE verbal skills.  This is where we often hurt our husbands and children the most – with our words.  It is time to learn to use our words for good.

Here is a command of God in scripture for us that I believe is very critical for us to follow if we are to represent Christ well in the world and in our marriages.

Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the Word of Life.

Philippians 2:14-16.


When God first showed me my MOUNTAIN of pride, disrespect, idolatry of being in control and rebellion against His Word – that I had been blind to for 15+ years… I was mortified.

I didn’t want to be around anyone – because I suddenly realized that at that point almost every word out of my mouth was sin of some variety or another.  I didn’t want to talk to anyone.  I knew that all that would spew out of my mouth was criticism, disrespect, arguments, gossip, scolding, complaints, bitterness, unforgiveness, pride, control… UGH.

I was afraid to open my mouth!  I had never learned discretion.  I would always just say every thought I had that popped into my head without filtering it.


That first phase of this journey is sometimes called, The Silent Phase  or Quiet Phase.  I realized suddenly that I had been saying so many negative, hurtful things.  I didn’t want to use my words to destroy my husband or anyone any more.  That is when it hit me – OH NO!!!!!!

Apparently, I don’t say anything BUT negative, horrible things!

Here is a great post by Nina Roesner (author of The Respect Dare) about the usual progression and stages of this journey of becoming a more godly, respectful wife.

Don’t worry – IT DOES GET BETTER!  But that first month or first few months is REALLY DIFFICULT and PAINFUL as you learn discretion, dying to self, living completely submitted to Christ, and as you redefine your understanding of God, self, femininity, masculinity and marriage.  It’s a total reconstruction of your heart.  A renovation that deep takes time.  It is too much to absorb all at once!

The tongue has the power of life and death. Prov 18:21

Eventually, you do begin to learn to use your mouth for blessing as you allow Christ total freedom and access to remove every ungodly thing from your soul and to renew your heart and mind to love what He loves and hate what He hates.  But most women go a bit silent first as they try to figure out how to stop the negative stuff.


For those of you in the beginning of this journey – I would like to encourage you to take this challenge.  If you are very new at learning respect and learning to obey Christ – you may want to take this one day at a time.  If you have a little more experience under your belt, you may want to take this challenge for a week to start with, then maybe a month!

For today/this week – while asking God to fill me with His Spirit’s power to do this

– I am NOT going to argue with anyone about anything

– I am not going to complain about anything.

…EVEN WHEN I PRAY!  I am going to pray in a respectful way about the authority of my husband over me.  I am not going to argue with God or His Word, and I am not going to complain to God about my husband or question God’s sovereignty or wisdom. I will not grumble or murmur against Him.

I may:

– say what I want or don’t want in a kind and respectful way

– say what my emotions are (probably once) – sad, happy, afraid, scared, angry, upset, nervous, excited, etc.

– use wholesome speech to build others up

– say positive things

– say thankful things

– smile my beautiful smile at my friends, family and coworkers – especially at my husband.

– share important information (ie: if I am sick, if the kids are sick, if the house is on fire, if there is a problem that my husband needs to know about, if there is a need, if I am extremely sleep-deprived) – but I can share that respectfully, probably just once, and ask for any help I need in a polite, pleasant way.


I don’t need to say that it is hot outside.  That would be complaining.

But, if I am about to be overcome by heat exhaustion – or need water quickly to avoid heat exhaustion –  I can share my need.  I can’t expect my husband to read my mind.  I must tell him when I am not ok or there is a significant problem.  But I don’t have to share every little tiny thing that annoys me.

Does that make sense?


If you are controlling towards other people, too, not just your husband, you may find that you need to take a few emotional steps back from other people while you cling to Christ and allow Him to work in you.

I would not share all of what God is doing in you with everyone.  Those of the world are not going to understand and will likely argue with you or think you are crazy for talking about respecting your husband.  And if you talk about biblical submission, they may throw tomatoes at your head.

Even just quietly refusing to bash your man while everyone else bashes theirs will make you “weird.”

Here’s a post to help you with this – Don’t Expect Outside Support!


If you take this challenge – I want to hear how it goes!

– what surprises were there?

– what was the hardest part?

– how did your interactions with others change?

– did anyone treat you differently?

– how do you think this helps us shine for Christ?

I pray that God might be greatly exalted in your life and speech, that you might bless everyone around you with your words and use of your tongue!

71 thoughts on “A Challenge for You, Ladies! :)

  1. I am def on board! Awesome challenge. April, can u post a list or is there one avail. on ur site, of books that you’ve read that has helped u along ur journey?

    1. Darylgstewart,

      Yes, it is!

      God can empower us to live like this every day. He can transform us into the people He wants us to be – and the people we really want to be, too. We just can’t do it on our own! It’s a Holy Spirit thing all the way!

  2. I just started this journey of respect (and the timing couldn’t have been better!). Gonna to take this challenge today and I’m praying like crazy for strength. Can’t wait to share how God works!

  3. The Heartbeat of the Home,

    It is DEFINITELY much harder not to complain when you are sick, in pain, exhausted, pregnant, hormonal, have low blood sugar, or have medical issues – I DO UNDERSTAND THAT!

    I am so glad you are taking this challenge with me! Please let me know how it goes!

  4. Good afternoon Sister! My husband is preaching a message on the deadliness of the tongue (gossip within the church, in particular) this Sunday, so I asked him to consider reading your blog. He commented on the thoroughness and the fact that we (Christians) need to strive toward more Christ-likeness in the use of this powerful device bestowed on us by our Creator. I’m going to attempt your challenge as I admit my deficiency as a child of God. I thank you for your prayers as you help me, and other sisters in Christ, undergo this challenge. I appreciate the conviction. May you be richly blessed in your service to Him.

    1. There is a caveat. As soon as we try to do something God-honoring, Satan is ready to run interference. Think I’ll journal because this could take a while and I want to document the process.

  5. Hi April,
    I thought about doing the challenge privately without providing a comment to you, but I believe letting you know I will participate will provide a level of accountability that would be helpful to me. I want to grow in Christ in EVERY way. I am going for the week challenge. Thank you for the post and may God bless you and your family.

  6. Ok. Taking challenge starting today. U r right about being careful of who u share things with… My one friend who gets the respect thing is cheering me on and my other friend who has not been exposed to the love and respect concept thought I’m treating him “like A king”! No negative thoughts needed there! Thank u for ur godly challenge that’s written out in black and white!

  7. I am currently working through The Respect Dare, which led me here and I have been gobbling up your old posts like chocolates the last few days. How can I be married for 28 years and still have so much to learn?!?!? This post really struck a chord with me and I feel God calling me to camp on “Quiet” for a while. This will be a challenge… every report card and parent-teacher conference from my childhood included the comment “Lisa talks too much.” Ugh!!! Thank you for the challenge. My husband, family and friends thank you as well. I can’t wait to hear what they all have to say!

    1. Lisa,

      I am thrilled to meet you! 🙂

      I know – how I WISH I had known these things 19 years ago! Or earlier, even. That is why I also have a site for single women!

      I am glad you are finding encouragement and truth here. That is my prayer.

      Please definitely let me know how you are doing! Let me know if there is anything you want to hash through with me. 🙂

  8. This is such an amazing read! I am so glad I am not the only contentious wife in this world, though sometimes it feels like it. I’ve been on my journey to act as a Christian wife for just a short time and it is EXACTLY as you’ve described! I’ve found that now that I’m aware of my words and actions, I not only speak kinder words, I physically speak softer which has made an amazing difference for me to keep control over my words. The hardest part for me is that I am a paramedic, so I spend 40+ hours a week being in charge and being expected to control everyone and everything to handle critical situations. On top of which, my husband is not the jump in take charge fight for his place leader, he is a quiet, subtle man who expresses himself much more in actions than in words. I have already known how much of a challenge lies ahead of me to become the godly wife he deserves, but reading this blog today has given me new hope that by letting the light shine through in my words with my husband, my family and everywhere else that I really can be closer to being the wife God intended me to be. Thank you so much!

    1. It is VERY hard to turn off the control from work – I am a pharmacist, I tell technicians and patients what to do. I do strive to be very respectful and polite! But I used to tell my husband what to do, too – and never turn off work mode. NOT GOOD!

      My husband is much like yours- but NOW HE WRITES A BLOG FOR HUSBANDS ABOUT MARRIAGE!!!! That still blows me away. God is so very good.

      As you step down, stop any negativity, praise what he does well, thank and encourage him – he will step up. 🙂

      You will be doing a LOT of waiting at first. The sooner you can embrace that with joy, the easier this road will be! 🙂

      I am so excited to see what God has in store for you.

  9. The most difficult thing for me is sarcasm. My family used it all the time, and I’ll use it on my husband if I’m angry or frustrated.

    Thanks for reminding us how important it is to tame the tongue; it’s certainly a difficult, long process, especially for me.

    1. LisainVermont,

      Our speech patterns become such ingrained habits. It can be very difficult to change them. BUT, now that you are aware – you can catch yourself and ask God to transform your mind into the mind of Christ and your heart into the heart of Christ. Evaluate each word and tone – “Does this glorify God?” “Am I allowing God’s Spirit to fill me and flow through me, or is my sinful nature in control?” Check Galatians 5:19-23 to see the difference between when our sinful nature is in control and God’s Spirit is.

      Ask God to help you forgive and release all bitterness and resentment. That stuff is poison, and it grieves God’s Spirit, then we are acting on our own. NOT GOOD!

      This is the most difficult part of sanctification, James talks about that in chapter 2.

      But when God’s Spirit fills us – and we are truly seeking Him WAY, WAY more than everything, asking Him to fill us, desiring to obey Him, yielding all that we are and all that we have to Him as a living sacrifice every day, He can and will transform our hearts and minds and empower us to speak His way.

      I can’t wait to see what God has in store for you!

  10. I needed this…it’s an area of my life I know I need to work on badly. I have known this for a while, and although I think I’ve been trying to be better-it’s so hard and I don’t know why.
    It’s frustrating to me, because I DO love and respect the heck out of my husband-but sometimes-my attitude in my tone and face just come out! & then I feel awful and become even more resistant towards him-for NO reason.
    Thanks for this post-it’s just more encouragement for me for something I am working on.

    1. Kendall,

      Our tone of voice and words reveal what is truly in our hearts. On our own – it is ugly.

      It is easy to let our guard down around our husbands and think we can get away with much worse behavior because they love us. It is so easy to use beautiful manners and a pleasant tone of voice with complete strangers or people at church – and then think, “Oh, now I can be ‘myself'” at home.


      What SELF is it that we want to be?

      What we are doing, is dumping our old sinful self all over our husbands.

      Let’s pray and ask God to regenerate our hearts and minds by His Spirit’s power and that we might be our new self in Christ. Then we can extend kindness, gentleness, grace, mercy, forgiveness, joy, peace, cheerfulness, patience … to our husbands because we have God’s Spirit like Niagra Falls in our hearts, and it can’t help but just gush out everywhere!

      Much love to you!

      1. Thank you SO much for those words-that was exactly what I needed to hear. I am going to pray, pray, pray and do my very best!

        1. Kendall,

          Let me know how you are doing! It will definitely take allowing God’s Spirit to empower you – if you have never really done that before, it takes some time to get rid of the old bitter and unforgiving thoughts and to figure out how to allow His Spirit to gush full force into your heart.

          Much love!

  11. Loved this April, thanks for sharing. My ‘bit’ was prayer. I didn’t know it at the time (how blind we are sometimes) but you can really ‘feed’ your flesh in the guise of prayer whilst at the same time be slandering your husband to pieces.

    Truly a humiliating thing to see in yourself; but thanks to God, He doesn’t leave us in our immaturity and grows us up!

  12. Back and reporting for duty! Let me tell you something, I was doing just fine…until about an hour after hubby came home. We were working together on something that was frustrating me and I just let loose. It was ugly and horrible and ack. I literally started crying, saying, “I failed my peaceful wife chaaahaaahaaleeeeeeeeenge.”

    Needless to say, hubby gave me a very strange look.

    Today was only slightly better, and it’s not over yet. Methinks I’m going to have to find some accountability here. This respect journey is H-A-R-D!

    1. Dani,

      Ooh! A report! Thank you so much!

      There are some situations that you seriously need the Spirit to be able to conquer. Especially if you are tired, sick, hormonal, pregnant, sinned against, stressed out, hurting, overworked…

      This is a day by day thing – sometimes a minute-by-minute thing where you learn that there is NO GOOD in your own heart. And you realize that you must completely depend on God’s Spirit every single second of the day.

      If I take my eyes off of Christ for a minute – I will crash and burn.

      I constantly ask Him to purify my motives, check my motives, look for ungodliness, examine my heart, remove anything that offends Him, speak to my heart, let me hear His voice… Focus on praising God and praying and giving thanks.

      How did the rest of today go, my beautiful sister?

      1. Better. And yesterday was even better than that. I’ve been praying like crazy and telling my husband why my words are suddenly changing (you know it’s bad if he looks at you like you’re crazy when you say thank you often…ouch). Over the few days I’ve seen transformation. Even though it’s hard and I’m stumbling like a new soldier at boot camp I’m overwhelmed by the grace God is giving our relationship and the transformation He is having on my heart. I’m excited and energized, nervous and scared, but at complete peace knowing this is FINALLY happening. I’m FINALLY giving my marriage to God and it is AWESOME!!!
        Praying for God to continue taking the yuck out of my heart and that I’m open to hearing His correction, open to repenting of my sins when I do mess up, open to praising Him continuously as I go through this journey. Especially for my husband. The more I thank God for him the better my attitude and words seem to be towards him.

  13. April, I am taking the challenge too! Thank you so much for all of your posts and videos. Each one has really spoken to me!

      1. Update so far…

        – what surprises were there?
        It is definitely a minute-by-minute thing. Unfortunately, I have to remind myself throughout the day of my new behavior / attitude. I get wrapped up in other things, forget, and then just react to situations. It also seems that things get worse before they get better. It’s like you are being tested to see if you can really meet the challenge.

        – what was the hardest part?
        It seems to be the hardest when I’m tired. Or when I get my feelings hurt. It’s amazing how feelings can seem like reality, but they are not. Sometimes I know how I feel is unreasonable. So I try to tell myself that my feelings will pass and it’s really not that big of a deal. But that is very hard to do!!! I also let my feelings “bleed” from one encounter to the next. For example, I might be upset about something at work. Then my husband calls, hears my tone, and thinks I am upset with him.

        – how did your interactions with others change?
        Internally I am questioning everything I say. For example, if my husband makes a statement and then I tell him my opinion, I wonder if it’s wrong that I disagreed with him. Hopefully I will find a balance over time.

        – did anyone treat you differently?
        No. Not yet, anyway. Part of this is due to the fact that much of my negativity is internal. (But I don’t even want to think negatively!) However, I do say things out loud that I shouldn’t. But since I am generally a quiet person, if I just zip my lips, no one seems to notice. I do want to be a positive influence for those around, especially my husband. Hopefully that will happen, but it might take time.

        – how do you think this helps us shine for Christ?
        I hope that people will see how optimistic, kind, and caring we all are and wonder what our secret is! 🙂 However, I know there will always be people who don’t agree with this. They think complaining is just stating the facts. They think being positive is too Pollyannaish. But we are doing it for Jesus, not them!

  14. As I mentioned in an email I’ve been on my own personal “peaceful wife” journey for many years now, yet just whenever I think I’m “getting there” God reveals to me an entirely new layer of how I’m not even close! Lately this exact issue has been weighing on my heart especially since lately hubby has told me several time, “I feel like all you ever do is argue with everything I say.” (Which I normally responded, “No I don’t!” too….ummmm hmmmm.) So I decided to take this challenge and WOW! I’m floored! I knew the arguing part might be difficult but I had NO idea how much I complain! I normally am/are thought of as a happy, optomistic person but I kept realizing every other comment out my mouth is negative–yikes!!! Thank you for this challenge because it’s really opening my eyes!

    1. Wyominggirlcoastiewife,

      Yes- this journey is a LONG one! The more you grow and learn, and you reach the mountain peak that was ahead of you – you suddenly see that there is a long range of mountains that you hadn’t even seen before – more mountains to climb, much more to learn.

      It is humbling. The more you know and learn about God – the more you realize just how far you have to go!

      It is SO our sinful nature to argue and complain. 🙁 I know that I used to just constantly talk about every single thought that entered my head – and almost all of it was negative in some way.

      That verse that says “where words are many, sin is not absent” in Proverbs used to upset me. I knew I talked a lot, and I was offended that it might mean my words were sinful. Turns out – that verse was right!

      It is so easy to think that our priorities are godly, and to think that we are projecting happiness, joy, peace… but not to even realize how we are coming across to everyone else.

      You can’t change it until you see the issue. That is half the battle!

      It is a constant reminder that we are in TOTAL and DESPERATE need of Christ every moment and that without His Spirit filling me with His goodness – living in my own strength, I am full of sin – it just bubbles over from my wicked heart when my sinful nature is in control.

      1. Yes!!! Love this statement: “The more you grow and learn, and you reach the mountain peak that was ahead of you – you suddenly see that there is a long range of mountains that you hadn’t even seen before – more mountains to climb, much more to learn.” SO true!!! and which verse is that in Proverbs?? I need to mark it 🙂

        I took a dry erase marker and wrote “Do everything without complaining or arguing” on my makeup case mirror–so each morning as I prepare my face for the day I’m also preparing my heart!

        1. Nicole,

          I’m glad this is an encouragement to you! 🙂

          Was that “Where words are many, sin is not absent”? That is Prov 10:19

          Great idea to prepare your heart in the morning!

          Arguing comes from a place of pride in my heart – that I think I am right and I know best.

          Complaining comes from a lack of gratitude.

          God desires my heart to be humble and full of gratitude. That gives me the proper perspective! 🙂

  15. Ladies,
    When I talk about not complaining to God – I am talking about pouring out my heart, pain, sorrow, loneliness, sadness, fear, unbelief… etc… to Him – but not murmuring against Him. Not questioning His authority or sovereignty. Not speaking poorly of His wisdom as if I know better than He does. I am talking about holding God in great reverence and speaking of my husband with respect – even if there is a problem. I believe we do need to share our burdens with God – but without disrespecting or insulting God.

  16. Ladies,

    Let me share a secret with you.

    Complaining and arguing become DEEPLY ingrained habits of the mind and speech. Changing a lifetime habit does not happen immediately.

    First, you become aware of what you are doing. Sometimes only after the words are out of your mouth.

    Then you begin to catch yourself as you are starting to say something and stop yourself.

    Then you think it but don’t say it.

    Then, God changes your heart to the point that you don’t even think it anymore.

    Total heart regeneration – being transformed to have the mind of Christ.

    But – you can’t just stop one habit, without replacing it with something else.

    Replace the complaining and arguing with:
    – thanksgiving (Philippians 4:8)
    – submission to God-given authority and to God
    – appreciating God’s sovereignty
    – learning to share your feelings and desires in a calm, concise, pleasant, respectful, controlled manner.
    – learning to accept “no” from God and from your husband graciously, trusting that God will lead you through your husband (unless he is asking you to sin or condone sin). I learned to say, “I want to do X. But I know that you are responsible before God for this decision, ultimately, not me. I trust you to do what is best for us. I will pray that God will give you great wisdom, Honey. Thank you for your leadership.”

    If he decided to say no – I thank him for his leadership then wait with anticipation to see what God will do. It is an amazing adventure every day!

    1. SO true! It is definitely a habit that is not so easy to break. I have had been praying and doing my best, especially cause my sweet husband snuck in my car while I was at work yesterday & left me a love note cause he passed by my office but I was busy. I went on my lunchbreak and got in my car, and was so surpised to read the sweetest love note from him (even after being together 8 & 1/2 years, we’re still super in love and cheesy ;)) So, just an example of how wonderful he is to me, that I KNOW he deserves sweeter responses from me.
      I can’t say I haven’t faltered, because I have. Yesterday we were doing our budget/expenses/income. & that always gets me frustrated-not at him-just because I hate math-lol. But unfortunately, he is the one that is there, so he usually receives my attitude.
      Today is a new day, and although I’m at work, I have already sent him some encouraging text messages :).
      Love him so much and I’m so glad to have come across your blog, because sometimes you don’t know you really have a problem until someone else opens your eyes to it!

  17. Ok April, I’m gona jump on board here. I’m going to get the respect dare book on my nook today. I really need this and it sure will benefit my family !!!! I’m ready for a tame, loving, uplifting, encouraging, soft spoken tounge. Excieted to see God work thru me 🙂

  18. Ok, ladies,

    How is the challenge going so far?

    Any struggles you’d like to share? Any confusing issues you’d like to hash through?

    Praying for each of you!

  19. Well, I’m a little tardy to the party, but I’m going to do my best for this week and take this challenge. I also ordered a copy of “The Respect Dare” and am looking forward to that too. 🙂

    1. Jenny,

      Welcome! I believe you will love The Respect Dare. I am actually going to be promoting doing that book in July. So you are ahead of the game for that one! 🙂

      Let me know how things go for you! Praying for God to empower you to use your words to give life and to bless your husband and family and everyone around you!

  20. I am going to try this. 🙂 i know it is going to be difficult for me but I so want a marriage the way God intended it. To be! ( btw do you have an email add? I have some questions I would like to ask you :))

  21. Wow…talk about divine intervention. I have been feeling so bad about who I am as a person, colleague, wife etc. I have put so much unwarranted pressure on my husband with all the arguing and negativity that last night was the finally straw. I woke up this morning asking God to help me be the person he intended me to be. I am taking ownership of all the disrespectful actions towards my husband and others and asking God to make me over in his image. I was driving in to work thinking maybe I’ll see a counselor or get some professional help. I kept wondering “who can I talk to”, where should I get help from”? Once I got to work I searched the website looking for books on or about an argumentative spirit. That’s when I found you! Thank you Jesus…I can have hope again that things can be different in my life. So…please know that I am definitely going to take this challenge. My intentions are to journal about the entire transition (anyone who knows me knows I don’t like journaling…at all). God wants me to have an account of my transformation so that it can be my own personal testimony.

    1. Welcome, Michelle!
      That is definitely a God thing. I’m so glad He brought you here. I can’t wait to see all that He is about to do in your heart. I’m right here if you need some encouragement, prayer or support. 🙂

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