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The Respect Dare, Day 1 – Expectations

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Ladies,

I am THRILLED to be on this adventure with you as we begin a 40 day walk through The Respect Dare by Nina Roesner.!

If you don’t have a copy of the book yet, you can certainly get one – either version.  If you can’t get the book, that is ok – we will still be learning and growing spiritually together as godly wives.  I, for one, am very excited about all that God has done and is doing and all that He will do in my own life and marriage and in yours!

THE RULES:

  • I am not at liberty to quote The Respect Dare to repeat the exact dares.

What we will do is talk about our experience with the dares and I am going to be talking about general topics.

You are all very welcome and encouraged to share your struggles, what you are learning, what God is doing, any victories and prayer needs and we will walk through this together.

  • I would suggest NOT reading ahead, but just doing each day’s dare in the morning if possible.  That way you will have time to do whatever the dare is later in the day.  Sometimes there are assignments that you will need to know about before you interact with your husband.
  • I would definitely suggest praying each day and asking God to empower you to please Him , to teach you anything He wants to teach you and to make your heart receptive to His Words and His truth.

Expectations of my husband and marriage:

Well, we dive right in to the really thick stuff with this topic, don’t we??  I love it!

One of my readers shared a quote with me

“Expectations are premeditated resentment.”

Wow.

That really stood out to me.

I don’t know if  you are like I was – but I had TONS of expectations of my husband and our marriage going into this thing 19 years ago.  I mean, it would have taken me pages to write it all down single-spaced.  And the thing that really made it awful was that I believed all of my expectations were totally justifiable and reasonable and that my husband would automatically have the exact same expectations I did.

If you have been reading this blog for very long, you may remember that I had a 4 part series on expectations this past winter.  There is practically no limit to how many expectations we can have of our husbands!

To love WITHOUT expectation is to love with “no strings attached.”

I think we have ALL been loved by someone WITH strings attached.  You know the ones, “After ALL I’ve done for you!”

  • If I love with strings attached – that means, “I love you if you do what I want.”

That is NOT the kind of love God desires us to have for others.

  • His kind of love is “I love you because I am love.”

1. A. I would like for you to spend some time writing down the expectations you have for your marriage or your husband.

Here are some that might help get you started.  (Some of these are expectations I had myself, some are not.)  I expected my husband to:

  • be home every night
  • spend 4-5 hours/day with me emotionally, spiritually and verbally connecting
  • want to go where I want to go on vacation
  • agree with me
  • be romantic by my definition every day
  • help with certain chores without being asked
  • do things on my timetable ( which usually means, right now)
  • make me feel loved
  • be responsible for my happiness.  If I am not happy, it is his duty to fix my unhappiness.
  • change for me and become who I want him to be
  • acknowledge that I am always right
  • initiate prayer with me and pray out loud with me daily
  • give up watching tv and spending time on the computer to just talk face to face with me
  • make me his first human priority after God
  • be responsible with money
  • always want sex when I want sex and never refuse me.
  • be affectionate many times per day
  • plan surprise trips for me multiple times per year
  • be totally transparent and accountable about what he is doing, who he talks to and his online activity
  • never sin against me
  • hardly ever have a bad day
  • not be depressed or upset
  • not disappoint me
  • not make mistakes
  • lead me spiritually in the ways I think he should
  • never sin even in his thoughts
  • never hurt my feelings
  • tell me he loves me every day
  • write me long, beautiful, sincere love letters a few times per week
  • give up his hobbies to be with me
  • give to the church and the poor what I want to give
  • accept that what I think is God’s will is clearly God’s will
  • think, feel, process emotions and make decisions just like I do (to be exactly like me emotionally, mentally and spiritually)
  • answer me within 30 seconds whenever I ask him a question or need him to make a decision
  • have the same priorities I do
  • need love just like I do – have the same needs I have
  • appreciate anything I do for him the way I would appreciate it
  • just know that he should take out the trash/do the dishes/help with the laundry and do it exactly the way I do it
  • want a baby when I want a baby
  • help with the baby and do exactly half of the “work”
  • split the chores down the middle according to my definition
  • be willing to listen to all my feelings, thoughts and emotions for hours
  • act the way my Daddy acts
  • go to the church I want to go to and go when I want to go
  • drive the way I drive
  • park the way I park
  • take care of the children exactly like I take care of the children
  • clean up after himself exactly like I do
  • discipline the children exactly like I do
  • be perfect – by my definition

I don’t know if you have realized this or not – but in my case – I really expected my husband to be… well… ME!   And truthfully, I don’t think that Jesus Himself would live up to a lot of my expectations here.

I was pretty shocked to find out he wasn’t me.  I thought that meant he had to be WRONG for many years in our marriage.   I was also very shocked to find out how NOT perfect I am!

Oh for the chance to start our marriage over and understand that my husband is not only not me, he is a man, he is not a woman.  Men are VERY different from women!!!!  They do NOT think, feel, process and make decisions just like we do.  That was a really important piece of information that I sure wish I had understood on May 28, 1994.

1.B. Now, we are going to lay these expectations of our husbands down at the feet of Jesus.  We are going to let go of them.  Please do NOT share your expectation list with your husband.  In fact, you  may want to shred it, burn it (safely), bury it or destroy it in some way.

Another way of saying that we aren’t going to hold our expectations over our husbands anymore is this:

I accept my husband as he is right now.  I am not going to try to change him.  I am not God.  Only God can change people.  From this moment on, I will accept my husband for the man that he is.

2. I would like you to write down some expectations you have for yourself to grow spiritually in the next few months.

Here are some examples of ways you might hope to grow in your walk with Christ:

I want to learn to

2. B.  Ask God to change YOU! 🙂

You are responsible for you.  You are not responsible for your husband.  Allow God full and total access to the darkest corners of your soul and allow Him to change anything in you that He desires to.

Humble yourself before God – seeking His wisdom, His will and His glory!

My power is not in focusing on what my husband should do or could do to be a better husband.

My power is in focusing on what God wants to do in MY heart!

DISCUSSION:

What are some expectations you have had of your husband?

What would you like to see God do in your heart?

 

PS  – A CAUTION ABOUT ROMANTIC MOVIES/BOOKS/MUSIC:

I personally had to stop watching romantic movies/tv shows, stop reading romantic novels (even the Christian ones – because I would start to feel resentful that my marriage wasn’t like the one in the book, and I try not to listen to love songs.

Those romantic things set up HUGE expectations in our hearts that are not healthy for our marriages in my view. They are not realistic. And if something triggers discontent in me – I want to look to the root cause of the discontentment and tear it out of my life if at all possible.

It is much easier to be content with what we have when we are not filling our hearts with fantasy about what “should be.”

 

134 thoughts on “The Respect Dare, Day 1 – Expectations

  1. I started reading your blog just this week and I am so excited to read all of your posts on here. They have been so helpful to me. Also, I started the respect dare a few weeks ago with a friend, doing one dare a week, but I am joining you too. Thank you for these lists of expectations. It is helpful to read examples. Your blog is packed full of so much information and is encouraging. It has specifically helped me understand more about how God created man which has made me a more respectful wife just knowing he was created this way. Instead of looking at the negatives of his makeup, I can now see them in the positive ways- God’s original plan for making man this way.

    1. Ashley,

      Thanks so much for sharing!

      I know that when I was starting on this road trying to learn to be a godly wife and trying to figure out what was disrespectful/respectful – I really needed a bunch of concrete examples! At least that would give me a place to start – and then I could pray and think about things and be in the general area of respect, at least!

      I have tons of posts on many different topics. Back in April, I did a series on men and how they process emotions and how very differently they think from us. It is SO helpful to understand where they are coming from and that they do not think or feel exactly like us at all! Then we can be patient when they need time to process and realize that they are men, not women. And that is a good thing! 🙂

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

  2. Hi I started or joined couple days ago. My situation is a bit different because my husband has left me n living with another woman but I’m trusting God he will return. We are still friends and he turns to me to help him with everything.

    1. Marva,

      I am SO sorry to hear about your situation. 🙁 I pray that God might bring your husband to Himself, that he might repent and return to God and to you – according to God’s will. And I pray for you – that this might be a time of incredible spiritual growth, that you might allow God to access the deepest parts of your heart and change your heart and mind to be more and more like Christ.

  3. Here we go! I am so excited, yet scared at the same time to start this journey. I don’t think I will answer the questions here, because it would take up way too much! LOL! I had/have a lot of expectaions of my husband and honestly of myself too! I am ready to let them go!

  4. Thank you for writing this! Reading it brought me back to the time when I stood in that place. The place where I tried to bring about change in my husband. It also reminded me of what God said to me about it and I think it may be a valuable tool for other wives to have in their tool box!
    He said ” you are NOT Mark’s Holy Spirit”

    Oh, how easy it is to fall back into the wrong idea of our role …. So thank you for stirring this up in me again!

    1. Traci,

      God had to show me the same thing. I am not Greg’s Holy Spirit. I had to learn where my responsibilities end and God’s begin and respect and honor those boundaries. 🙂

      Very important point!!

  5. I would like to share one expectation of my husband that I think is huge for all of us. I have always expected my husband to know how I feel and comfort me when I am feeling sad (have empathy). I want him to hold me and tell me everything is going to be ok. To wipe my tears away when I am crying and just ask me what is wrong, even if I don’t know what is wrong. I have struggled with this one and had many pity parties on paper bashing him and myself for being “depressed”, “crazy”, etc. I will be putting this on the top of the list to get rid of, because I know only my heaven father knows me like this and he holds everyone of my tears in his hands. It is his job to take care of me like this not my husbands!

    1. Sarah,

      Yes, you are responsible for your emotions. It is ok to ask for what you want! Husbands don’t generally feel and process emotions the same way we do. And they are definitely not mind readers!

      Whenever I feel disappointed in my husband, I need to be sure I asked for what I needed. But then disappointment also reminds me to check to be sure I am not putting my husband or his behavior or my expectations or feelings of being loved by my husband above Christ in importance in my life. I had all of those things as idols in the past. I had to tear them out and learn to be content in Christ alone, regardless of what my husband does or does not do.

      Great point!!!! Thanks for sharing!

    2. Hi, Sarah… One of my expectations to let go is to “stop expecting that my husband can read my mind and know what I need and want without me telling him.” Just wanted you to know that this is a common thing with another wife, as well. 🙂 Excited to take this journey with all of you!

    3. This is a good point Sarah. And one that I had to deal with also. The interesting part that you point out is that you (or we as women) don’t even know what is wrong! How can we expect so much from our husbands when we don’t even know ourselves? I have learned (and am still learning) that we women are an interesting species but we need to definitely focus on the Lord because if anyone knows, He knows and the best part about Him is that He can do something about it. That revelation was absolutely freeing! Thanks for sharing.

  6. Just finished day 1, I am excited for this journey.. I did have a question. In my kindle version of the book it says to take your expectations list you have for your husbands and file it away in an envelope .. and take it out in six months . then go to the website for further instructions? I didn’t see this mentioned was just curious if you were planing on doing that too? thanks.. have a great day!!!

    1. Mia,

      I think those are great ideas!
      I spoke with Nina Roesner. She does not own the copyright to the book. Thomas Nelson does. And she herself may not quote from the book she wrote. So I am trying to not quote from the book itself. But it is fine to follow those instructions. 🙂

      1. Mia,

        PS,
        I looked at my own list of expectations for growth and God has fulfilled them and gone WAY beyond what I had asked for or imagined. It is neat to seal them up and look much later to see how far God has brought you. 🙂

  7. I got this book back in January and began it but didn’t finish. I pulled out my expectations that I wrote down back in January and one of the three for myself is accomplished. I have a bit of a different situation as my husband is verbally abusive and does not have a personal relationship with Christ. I will re-seal my expectations and hopefully all 3 will be accomplished in another 6 mos. Thanks for re-starting this journey with me. I know it will be easier with the support of you all these lovely ladies.

    1. Beth,
      That is exciting that you already saw God working in your marriage. 🙂 Many women are in a similar situation – I Peter 3:1-6 is God’s prescription for wives whose husbands are disobedient. I pray God might bless your husband through your being filled with the Spirit and respecting the good that is in him and learning to cooperate with him whenever possible.

      If you want to talk some more about your situation, let me know. I have some posts about this important topic. 🙂

      Much love to you!

      aprilc@sc.rr.com

    1. I LOVE the Respect Dare.

      It was seriously like opening a gift each morning. I didn’t want it to end! I was so sad when the 40 days were over. I loved having a challenge and new insights every morning. 🙂 This will be an exciting 40 days – but thankfully, God will continue to teach us and grow us way past then. 🙂

      You are very welcome, Kendall!

  8. Well April I started my day out right as far as prayer. I asked God to change me this morning. I said I do not want to look at my husband right now just me. I asked him to humble my spirit before his. And then i read this I am like ok I am on the right track. We have had so many disagreements I want him to see the things I see may be wrong and he simply doesnt and it makes me angry so that will be on my list also.Thank you so much for doing this.

    1. Nina,

      God is able to show your husband his sin. I am so proud of you for focusing on you. That is where your power is – to ask God to change YOU! 🙂 And He has already changed you SO MUCH! I can’t wait to see what He has in store. 🙂

  9. I have ordered the book, and am just waiting for it to arrive. I expect my husband to consistently love me the way that I want to be loved. I expect him to actively look for ways to do this daily… and when he doesn’t… I feel rejected, hurt, and get kind of mad. I am desperately expecting myself to find a way to lay it down. To release my husband from this expectation in particular is the most difficult. I honestly don’t want to. BUT, I know that it is self defeating, and that if I want to have more peace myself, and if I don’t want to drive my husband away.. I have to.

  10. I did part of “The Power of a Praying Wife” with some friends and she also starts you off looking inward and asking, “Change me, Lord.” I’m glad we’re doing this together because I’ll be less likely to accept my own excuses for chickening out!

    I agree that expectations set us up for so much disappointment in marriage. Often my expectations were revealed by my disappointment; I didn’t even realize they were there! When friends ask for marriage advice I always say, “Check your expectations!” because that was something I had to learn the hard way. I love my husband and being married, but it’s not like the movies! (Which in some ways is good and in some ways is a bummer–there is no “cut to a new scene” right after I say something really hurtful.) So this will be good!

    1. So true Maria. It’s not like the movies and I think media has a big influence on my expectations though I’d rather it not. My husband is never going to be a “Darcy”. It’s encouraging that Jesus is perfect and far beyond movie heroes. I can lean on the perfect Prince of Peace. It’s hard for me to remember that and not try to make my hubby the perfect prince. He’s after all..human like me.

      1. This is such a good point, Maria and Amber!

        I personally had to stop watching romantic movies/tv shows, stop reading romantic novels (even the Christian ones – because I would start to feel resentful that my marriage wasn’t like the one in the book, and I try not to listen to love songs.

        Those romantic things set up HUGE expectations in our hearts that are not healthy for our marriages in my view. They are not realistic. And if something triggers discontent in me – I want to look to the root cause of the discontentment and tear it out of my life if at all possible.

        It is much easier to be content with what we have when we are not filling our hearts with fantasy about what “should be.”

  11. Thank you for starting this! I am doing this with my mother-in-law and am looking forward to how God is going to further work in my life and marriage. My situation may be like others out there… my husband recently had an affair. It lasted for over a year and I had no idea it was happening. Finding out about his infidelity was the most painful, devastating thing I have ever gone through. I lost all respect and hope in my husband because of his lying, cheating, and awful choices. All of my dreams of a wonderful, faithful, happy marriage were destroyed.

    But God works all things out for our good for those who love Him. It has been nine months since everything was brought to the light. My husband ended his relationship with his mistress, asked for forgiveness and has been repentant. We have chosen to stay together and God is working a miracle in our lives and in our marriage. He is healing my broken heart, showing us the true meaning of forgiveness, opening our eyes to His love, and renewing our marriage. It is a very long and painful road, but God has His hand in all of this.

    Now I want to learn how to respect and love my husband the way God desires me to. Even though, my husband has done some terrible things, God is leading me to learn how to be a strong, powerful, woman to does not fear, lives boldly in God’s love, trusts that His ways are better than mine and respects the man that He provided for me. If I can do this, anyone else can too. I look forward to this journey with you ladies…

    1. Jamie,

      I am so thankful for your comment! I have several good friends whom I have had the privilege to see God do miracles and heal their marriages after adultery. Our God is able!!!!!!

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

    2. Jamie I too am reeling from finding out about my husbands affair that he had with a close friend for over two years. It’s been a year since I found out and still very painful but I do have a strong faith that God is working.

      1. Hannah,

        Thank you for sharing, too! I am SO THANKFUL that our God is SO SOVEREIGN that He is able to take ashes and turn them to beauty. He is able to restore the years the locusts have eaten. He is able to raise the dead to life. He is able to restore wretched sinners to Himself. I am so thankful there is no sin Jesus’ blood cannot cover. And I am so thankful that He is able to empower us to be holy by His Spirit living in us.

        I can’t wait to see God’s plans for you, Hannah! May God richly bless your walk with Him! And may He use you to richly bless your husband. 🙂

      2. Hannah, I am so sorry you had to go through this, especially since it sounds like you knew his affair partner. As time passes, the pain will become less and less and eventually it will be merely a statement rather than a painful memory. God is very much at work in you and your marriage, otherwise, you wouldn’t be on this blog or reading this book. I pray that God continues to mend your wounded heart and shows you how to love your husband the way He intended it. May your husband experience God’s love through you, just as you have shown your husband how God forgives with your act of forgiveness…

  12. My DIL pointed out I could download the book on ibooks and not have to wait for snail mail – so I did.

    I have been married 34 years and it took so many of them to realize expectations were often the cause of issues.

    I love this challenge

    1. Pam,

      How awesome is that? I love that you can have a book instantly. :).

      Yes, I had no idea how much my very high expectations hurt our marriage. Laying down my expectations was necessary for me to begin to have the marriage I had always wanted!

      Thank you for joining us!

  13. Expectations
    That he would always put my needs first, because I knew he was a gentleman and that’s what gentlemen do.
    That he would automatically know what hurts and offends me and therefore NEVER hurt me.
    That he would be very well off financially and that I didn’t have to contribute.
    That he would always take care of me without me taking any responsibility.
    That he would always enjoy being worshipped by me and always lavish love and praise on me.

    Challenges
    To stay quiet in love not resentment.
    To be more thankful and full of praise in worship.
    To forgive my husband. After reviewing my expectations above I’m seeing that I’m not really entitled to unforgiveness.
    To break the patterns of idolatry in my life.

    Please pray for me as I will be praying too. Thank you April for your ministry. I am learning every day.

    1. Tam,

      These are GOOD!!!!!! I have a feeling many wives can relate deeply to your expectations. You expressed them so articulately.

      Wow.

      And I love your desires for growing in your marriage. BEAUTIFUL!

      Lord,
      I pray that You will help Tam to let go of every idol, every bit of unforgiveness, resentment and bitterness. I pray that You might fill her soul to bursting with Your Spirit’s power. I pray that she may draw closer to YOu than ever. Give her the mind and heart and eyes of Christ, Lord. Use her to richly bless her husband and to bring great glory to Your Name!

  14. I had a busy day but was just reminded before to go to bed to start the First dare again. Yes, expectations…. That God helps me to succeed with the expectations of myself but giving me the grace when I fall short of it and help me to lay down the expectations I have of my husband. It is really hard and I don’t know really if we can’t live totally free of expectations of our spouse. I think we might sometimes still hopes in our heart even if we don’t hold it as an expectation. What do you think April?

    1. I think that as much as possible, laying down ALL expectations is wise. Then, anything our husbands do – we can see as a gift and a blessing. We can then have an appreciative heart for something as simple as: he is HERE. He is faithful to me. He went to work today. He sat with me at supper.

      I have heard it said that people are happy when reality exceeds their expectations. Expecting nothing from our husbands makes it much more likely for us to develop hearts of gratitude and joy.

      We can have desires – we desire our husbands to love us. We desire them to be faithful to us. We desire them to be kind to us. But if I am not demanding it – then I can be ok either way, no matter what happens, especially if all of my faith is in Jesus.

      To me, burying expectations is part of dying to self. It forces us to focus all of our expectations – and FAITH and HOPE and TRUST on Christ alone. The more I look to only Jesus to fulfill me and to meet my needs – the more content I will be and I will have His Spirit’s power then to give me the ability to be the godly wife and woman He desires me to be.

      Then anything my husband does is “extra” and a gift that I can enjoy and be delighted by.

      Much love to you!

      1. To love without expectation is a gift from God and a constant journey. As Humans we place expectations on everything and everyone without even realizing it.

        1. Pam,

          SO TRUE! I never verbalized my MANY expectations. I made a lot of assumptions that my husband and I had the same expectations. Big mistake!

          I think you describe this concept very beautifully. Thank you!

      2. You are totally right April and I guess this is something that I need to work more on…. I am really gonna try each day to lay down at the cross all the expectations I have over my husband and take everything he does as a “plus”. Thanks for your wisdom and care: you are an awesome woman sister and I love you dearly. Big hug

        1. Sonia,

          It is totally against our sinful nature to do this. It has to be a God thing. Dying to self REALLY HURTS!!! At first. But then it leads to LIFE. 🙂

          Much love to you, my beautiful sister!

  15. To love WITHOUT expectation is to love with “no strings attached.”

    I think we have ALL been loved by someone WITH strings attached. You know the ones, “After ALL I’ve done for you!”

    If I love with strings attached – that means, “I love you if you do what I want.”
    That is NOT the kind of love God desires us to have for others.
    That is control, not love.

    His kind of love is “I love you because I am love.”

  16. I think I should probably join in! I have all those expectations as well and obviously its not working out like I wanted!
    My husband and I are having difficulties mainly because He works out of town and is gone 4 days a week. I am lonely and sitting around waiting on him to call…and of course i never think he calls enough or talks enough. And then when he comes home he wants to relax, and of course I think he should be attached to me making up for lost time!
    Not sure how to deal with our situation, I think I am simply pushing him further away by complaining.

  17. My only expectation for my husband is that he would not have expectations for me. He has so many expectations that I don’t feel like I can even breathe in a way that meets his expectations.

    My prayer is that the Lord would teach me to rely on Him for acceptance so that I can love my husband no matter how he treats me.

    1. Wife,

      That is a tough one!!! I believe that living with a very controlling, perfectionistic man would be harder than living with a passive, unplugged man – although, there are frustrations either way, to be sure.

      Praying for God’s power for you! Praying that you will seek to please Christ alone in how you interact and respond to your husband, that you might bless him with God’s power working in your life, that you might be able to let go of any resentment, bitterness or unforgiveness and see that maybe he is living in a spiritual prison himself. We will pray for freedom for him!

      Love your prayer! I pray in agreement with you!

      Much love,

  18. Reblogged this on amberdover and commented:

    Hello dear ones! I know this is mainly for women but I had to reblog. The Peaceful Wife has a great series she’s starting on The Respect Dare. I got the book last night and I’m really excited about this journey. Wives please join us. I dare ya ;)! God bless & remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover
    PS: email subscribers if you can’t see the reblog please visit my blog page.

  19. PS – A CAUTION ABOUT ROMANTIC MOVIES/BOOKS/MUSIC:

    I personally had to stop watching romantic movies/tv shows, stop reading romantic novels (even the Christian ones – because I would start to feel resentful that my marriage wasn’t like the one in the book, and I try not to listen to love songs.

    Thank you for including this part. I have been working on this for a long time. It started with giving up all romantic books, then moved to being careful about movies, and now I found myself turning away from lovey dovey songs because of the resentment, ungrateful attitude I was developing or worse projecting! Most women I talk to about it just sort of chuckle it off and i felt like maybe I was crazy!

    1. Mel,

      No, you are not crazy! If you find that something creates resentment and disappointment in your heart – it probably needs to go! Those things create such awfully unrealistic expectations – even Jesus would not meet all of our expectations if we listen to those books, movies and songs.

      Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  20. I don’t know about romance novels, but personally I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being aware of the ideal. Should we rip Proverbs 31 out of our Bibles because it may set us up for disappointment with our future wives?

    Or am I on a different wavelength?

    1. JC,

      Thanks for your comment! 🙂

      Romance novels portray men in a very unrealistic way. They have them saying words that real men don’t say. And they have the men reading their wife’s/girlfriend’s mind in ways that real men don’t and can’t do. There may be some women who can read these things without feeling resentful. But if reading about fictional romance or watching fictional romantic movies creates a spirit of discontentment in a woman’s heart – then it is a stumbling block for her.

      Romantic novels are not about God’s ideal, they are about the way that women want men to be. Often they are written by women – and the way that men behave and act is often total fantasy.

  21. I have not been a spiritual woman. I do want to be though. My husband is not either. I have caught him talking to other women spending time with other women flirting with them and using drugs. Though I have allowed him to stay in the house he stills uses drugs and has 2 women in his life that he says are just friends. But one of them makes me feel VERY uncomfortable. He has several pictures of her in his phone and has even asked her to go out of town with him. But he doesn’t know that I know all this. I went through his phone and saw it all. I do not know where he is going to take her or even if he really is gonna go out of town with her. He would NEVER be honest and tell me. What do I do? He wants to I out of town with a make friend next weekend. But I do not trust him. I think he is going to go with her. Help!!

    1. Stacey,
      It is wonderful to meet you!

      Well, this is a bad situation. 🙁

      What drugs is he using?

      It sounds to me like neither of you are believers in Christ, is that correct?

      Are you safe?

      I believe your biggest need, and his, is Jesus. He is able to heal our brokenness and the messes that we all are that we can’t fix ourselves. He is able to make us right with God. Then we can have a relationship with Him and live for HIm and He will give us a new heart, new mind, new priorities and a new self.

      At this point, if you don’t have Christ, you only have your own power and your own wisdom and a big mess. 🙁

      It may be necessary to say something like, “I want this marriage to work, but drugs are not ok and having other women is not ok. We can’t be together until you are sober and are faithful to me.”

      Then see what he chooses. You cannot force him to choose to be faithful and to be sober. But you can find a relationship with Christ and learn to be a godly wife and with God’s power working in you, He is able to make something beautiful even from very awful situations.

      Is there a godly CHristian pastor or counselor or mentoring wife you could talk with?

      1. I or WE have not found Christ yet. I don’t know what I am afraid of. I guess I am afraid thy if I leave my husband even for just a few hours to go to church, he will turn to another women for his emotional needs in my absence. I try to be with him as much as possible. I have spoken with a local pastor an it did help. But that was only once. That is why I have turned to you for help.
        With this trip he is planning on taking next weekend I am thinking of hiring a PI to spy on him.

        1. Stacey,
          I would be glad to walk with you on this road. I can definitely point the way to having a relationship with Christ. He can make you right with God – and give you a real relationship with Him – now and also after you die, in heaven. Jesus is the only way to God. He wants to give you a new life, hope, peace, joy and purpose.

          You can hire a PI. That won’t change what your husband is going to do. You cannot change your husband. God can change him.
          THe more you try to control him, the more you will push him away.

          I am praying for you to hear God’s voice and to find real life in Him! He can take away your fear and worry. He can show you how to be the wife of His dreams.
          He may heal your marriage – I don’t know. There are no guarantees. But if you come to Christ, seeking for Him to change YOU, I know you will never regret it.

          Then we can trust Him to work in your husband’s life in ways you never could on your own.

          Much love to you!

  22. Jennifer, thanks for this post. Anything introspective is always a challenge for me. I feel lost and overwhelmed. Your list helped me to look at the questions without so much emotional stuff that gets in the way of clear thinking.

  23. Hi, I’m late in finding this blog, but interested in starting now with you ladies. I did do the first day about a month ago on my own, very excited to change and have a more peaceful marriage, then that same night my husband did something which really upset me (you know as soon as you commit something to the Lord, the trials come) and I flew off the handle and gave up on this. I suppose the biggest expectation I have is I expect him to put me as the first and most important person in his life, and I feel like his parents constantly come first instead. Of course, this is not his intention, nor does he understand or even try to understand why I feel like that. This is a hard expectation for me to let go of though. I feel like I deserve this and the Bible commands it. I liked your quote though that expectations are premeditated resentment. I would really like the accountability this group provides, I think this is a difficult area that I need accountability and encouragement in order to keep going. I need to know that I’m not alone. I like that the book and this group looks like it’s focused on what WE can do, not on our husbands, because I understand I can do nothing to change his behavior or attitude, I can only change mine, but God can use my changes to improve our marriage, even if nothing on his side changes. I wanted to find a friend to do this with me, but such a topic is hard to even approach others about it, and I have very limited time I can be away from my kids, and few friends I feel comfortable confiding in, so I am really thankful that I found this blog where we can encourage each other, even if we don’t see each other and know each other, and even without encroaching on our family time.

  24. I just started reading your blog last night. I got married a few weeks ago, and as newly weds, my husband and I are still in the “honeymoon” stage. However, we do have a tendency to disagree, especially when (shamefully) I don’t get my way. I feel God is calling me to change, and become a surrendered wife. I find your blog very helpful and uplifting. Thank you for your inspiration!

    1. Katie,

      Congratulations on your new marriage! 🙂

      Our marriage hit a LOT of trouble just one week in. MAJOR, MAJOR issues. I had no one to turn to. I had no idea what my husband needed. I was clueless that my response made things much worse. So I want you to know – I am here if you need to talk. I am very glad to walk this road with you. You just let me know anytime you need to chat.

      aprilc@sc.rr.com 🙂

      I’m really excited about what God is going to do in your heart. May He richly bless your walk with Christ and your marriage and your husband!

  25. I just found your blog and I love it, I have a poor marriage relationship with my husband. After reading your post , I found out its helpful and gave me strength to start all over again. Thank you for the sharing looking forward to see God changing my life.

    1. Palmira,
      I am so excited about what God is about to do in your life! 🙂 Thank you so much for letting me know! Please let me know how you are doing!!!! I’m always glad to talk with you or pray for you. 🙂

      1. This is my second time doing the dare. I struggled with this one the first time around. I have let go of almost all my expectations and I didn’t have nearly as many as you! 🙂 Do you think their are some expectations that we should have? Two I still can’t let go of are… I expect my husband to put our marriage first before his children. I put our marriage first before my child. And I expect him to speak to me kindly and not yell at me. He is doing much better at this one.

        1. DaisyMae,

          Well – I think there are some basic expectations we probably will need to have. Things like:
          – fidelity
          – no violence
          – no abuse

          basic things like that.

          But – when you try to make other people do what you want – it is often a recipe for a disaster.

          1. your husband putting your marriage before his children – I believe that over time as you respect him and stop inadvertent disrespect, he will most likely begin to put you first. BUT, you can’t make him do that. It will be God who will change his heart. And it will be easiest for him to do this as you obey God’s Word for you as a wife. But there are no guarantees. Even if he continues having his priorities wrong, you are still able to live and act in the power of God’s Spirit and trust God to work in his heart about this.

          There may be some times you can say something about that you feel hurt. But if your husband doesn’t feel respected by you, he won’t care much about your feelings. The more respected he feels, the more he will begin to care about your feelings and when you feel hurt. This will take time. It is not going to be an immediate thing most likely. You will probably have to be able to lay down your resentment and trust God to work in his heart and be willing to wait awhile on this issue.

          I do think that not yelling at you is something you can ask for, respectfully. I am very glad that he is doing better at this.

          Again, the more he feels respected, it’s amazing, he will become very sensitive to when you are upset and he will learn to be a better man, usually. We will trust God with the results on this one, too!

          I believe your greatest power is to focus on pleasing and honoring Christ and blessing your husband. When those are your motives, you are usually in the right place. 🙂

  26. Thank you for your reply! It does make a lot of sense. I think that is why I am seeing some softening in him towards me since I did the dare the first time. I look forward to the next 40 days of your blog. 🙂

  27. A LIST OF WHAT YOUR HUSBAND EXPECTS FROM YOU. You dont have to ask him b/c men sometimes cant think things for you right off, actually my husband is always telling me things he wants from me, so this is obedience to what I need to do that he may keep telling me over and over b/c Im not doing it right. So Im off to make this list as well.

    1. Lindsey,

      It is so good to meet you! Welcome to my site and to the Respect Dare. :). I am here if you want to talk about anything. I will do my beat to point you to Christ and His Word. 🙂

  28. I’ve completed dare 1, and I am struggling with releasing my expectations of my husband. Am I to have absolutely no expectations of my husband? I find it hard to have no expectations for him. Am I supposed to okay with his lack of communication or him wanting to indulge in tv rather than spend time or take interest in me? Is this selfish that I want these things?

    1. Brandi,
      It’s not wrong to want him to communicate more with you. But if you resent him about it or try to force him to change or if you allow his actions to steal your joy in Christ or you want to be close to him more than to be close to Jesus – then that is a problem.

      I have some other posts on expectations, too.

      1. Thank you for the other articles about expectations. Truly eye opening and encouraging!!! I shall continue on with the Respect Dare!!!

  29. I am very glad I stumbled along this blog. I am on the receiving end of the resentments you listed above. My husband let’s things build up and every few months goes through the lists of ways I am failing him. It is so demoralizing. I have always tried to buck up and turn things around but I have finally realized I can’t keep doing that or I will have no boundaries left. So tonight I got crazy vulnerable and I told him that I was scared and how sad I am. And that ultimately I am afraid I can’t live up to his expectations. He only said Thank you for sharing your feelings with me and walked away for some time by himself. Honestly he could end up leaving me which is my deepest fear. We have a one year old daughter together and at this point I am more afraid she will internalize the way he feels about me than I am of being alone. Or worse that she will treat her partner this way. I am praying tonight that God will help us reconcile but I feel a huge relief in not pretending I can fix this or make him happy when he hangs onto every slight. I feel very human and very vulnerable but I pray that God put me on this path for a good reason and that time will reveal the best outcome for me and my daughter.

    1. Sara,
      I pray for wisdom fro you both!!!!

      Thank you so much for sharing. It is very difficult to try to live up to a long list of impossible expectations. 🙁 Please let me know how you are doing and how we can encourage you! 🙂

  30. We had an arguement with my husband a week ago and he said to me that I am disrespectful to him. Then this week I decided to google “how to respect your husband” and I am grateful that yours was the first page on the list. I want to start to respect dare…how do I get the book,Im in Africa? I perused through day 1 of the challenge and thought I should ask if its wise to know his expectations about me,as in what it is that makes him disrepected that I do? Thanks for the clearly written blog

    1. Caroline,

      You can follow along my blog posts for those 40 days – I cover the same topics that the book does. Or you can google The Respect Dare by Nina Roesner. I know it is available on Amazon. 🙂

      I have a number of posts at the top of my home page about disrespect, respect and biblical submission that may be helpful to get you started. But, you can certainly ask your husband to share what his expectations are and what feels disrespectful to him. If he is willing to talk with you about that or, even better, write it down, that would be wonderful!

      If he does do this – please be as open as possible to hear what he has to say without defending yourself.

      Much love to you!

      I can’t wait to see all that God has in store for your walk with Christ and your marriage. 🙂

  31. I do not see biblically where expectations are the problem, in 1 Corinthians 13 does it not say that love hopes all things? I think the problem is expecting things other than God tells you to in his word. He says a husband is supposed to love like Christ loves the church, are you not to expect that even though it says that? Are your expectations coming from a place where God would want you to have them? Does God want you to have none, though it says to hope? What scriptures are provided to prove that expectations are wrong? I really want to understand you and your ways of thinking as I have posted previously and seen instead of posting you ignored it all together. I am not trying to bash you but gain understanding myself but I do not want to gain shallow understanding, meaning not gaining understanding in you and fashioning myself after you, but of God and of what he would want. So I need scriptures to back it up not just opinion or a book. If you really want to help someone who is a wife and looking to be the best Godly wife she can, hopefully you will post this and reply and not think I am attacking you as I assumed you did the first time.

    1. April,

      I have not intended to ignore anyone’s posts. I remember responding to your comment last week – but I don’t recall seeing another comment since then. However, things have been quite chaotic in my life this past week as well as here on the blog, so it is possible that I could have missed it.

      What I am talking about is when we place our own expectations of what we want our husbands to do for us or what we want in life above our submission to and obedience to Christ. It is possible to turn “wanting to feel loved in a certain way” or “wanting my husband to be responsible for my happiness” into things that we care more about than Jesus. So, I am talking about:
      – dying to self

      Galatians 2:20 ESV / 199 helpful votes

      I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

      Luke 9:23 ESV / 115 helpful votes

      And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.

      Galatians 5:24 ESV / 99 helpful votes

      And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

      Mark 8:35 ESV / 89 helpful votes

      For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.

      Romans 6:1-23 ESV / 60 helpful votes

      What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.

      Helpful Not Helpful
      Matthew 10:38 ESV / 59 helpful votes

      And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.

      John 12:24 ESV / 58 helpful votes

      Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.

      1 Corinthians 15:31 ESV / 43 helpful votes

      I protest, brothers, by my pride in you, which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die every day!

      1 Peter 2:24 ESV / 35 helpful votes

      He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.

      – surrendering completely to Christ in obedience

      Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7
      John 14:22-24

      – finding our contentment in Christ alone – Philippians 4:12-13

      taking responsibility for ourselves instead of trying to force our way on someone else, seeking God’s will above our own.
      What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 2 You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

      4 You adulterous people,[a] don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us[b]? 6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:

      “God opposes the proud
      but shows favor to the humble.”[c]
      7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

      1. April,
        And the verse that applies best of all to this question of expectations, in my view is “Not my will, but Yours be done” – Jesus’ example of submission to God the Father in the Garden of Gethsemane when He asked “this cup” to be taken from Him.

        That has to be my desire – “Not my will but Yours be done” in all things. 🙂

    2. Here is the response I posted for you last week. 🙂
      April,

      Awesome name!

      Wow. You sound quite angry. I know that you are new here – but – you will find that here, we treat everyone with respect.

      What is your relationship with Christ, please, if I may ask?

      Sure, I can give you references and resources that men are visual. Men are not all “equally visual” there is a continuum. Some men struggle much more with visual temptation and lust than others (and there are some women who are visual) – hence the billions of dollars spent on porn.

      The Bible talks about men overcoming lust in numerous places.
      – Job said that he made a covenant with his eyes not to look upon a woman lustfully. Job 31:1
      – David had issues with visual temptation and committed adultery with Bathsheba because of it, in spite of being “a man after God’s own heart.”
      – Proverbs chapters 2-7 are almost all warnings to young men to avoid lust and adultery.
      Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes. …
      Don’t lust for her beauty. Proverbs 6:25
      – Jesus said, “You have heard it said, ‘Do not commit adultery,’ but I say to you that any man who even looks upon a woman with lust has committed adultery with her in his heart.” Matthew 5:28

      For Women Only – by Shaunti Feldhahn – is a survey of about 2 thousand men, most of them professing Christians. She has a chapter about the struggle most men have with lust and quotes percentages and also shares word for word quotes from the men themselves about how great a struggle this is for many of them, even at church.

      Every Man’s Battle – by Stephen Arterburn is a book entirely devoted to helping men find victory over visual temptation and lust by the power of Christ.

      http://www.xxxchurch.org is an entire Christian website devoted to helping men (and some women) who struggle with visual lust addictions, pornography addictions and sexual addictions.

      The Modesty Survey has responses from hundreds of men about how various articles of clothing on women create struggles with lust for them in their hearts.

      A CAT scan study at Princeton in 2008 of a number of men revealed that when some men see pictures of women in bikinis the area of the brain associated with “tools” lights up – instead of the area that recognizes a person. When these same men saw pictures of women who were dressed modestly, their brains lit up in the frontal cortex recognizing a person with thoughts and feelings. Men can and do objectify women. Not all men. But some. And there are CAT scans to prove it now.

      I can give you more references if you would like.

      “No woman would be visible” – I am not following you there, my apologies.

      My husband and I haven’t had an argument in over 5 years now. My husband is not particularly visual – not as much as some men are.

      Men are primarily motivated to connect with their wives, in general, sexually. Women are more motivated emotionally. These are generalizations – but many husbands will connect emotionally with their wives in order to be able to have sex with them – but for most husbands, sex is a very emotional, spiritual and physical connection.

      You can also check out Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs where he talks about this.

      Dr. Walt Larimore MD also refers to these issues in his book His Brain, Her Brain – he is a Christian neuroscientist.

      A husband desiring sex with his wife is a beautiful thing. A wife desiring an emotional connection is a beautiful thing. I believe that God may give spouses different primary drives and desires so that they both learn to stretch beyond their own primary needs and desires to meet the other person’s need. It helps us learn to become holy and more like Christ. Then we can have unity on every level and our marriages can be as glorious as the Song of Solomon.

      Most women have no problem dolling up for their man before they are married. Why do we do that? Because we want to show our men that they are very special to us. Some men feel greatly respected when their wives make some effort to look nice for them. That is not wrong for men to have preferences like this. Some wives appreciate their husbands making some effort to take a shower, shave and brush their teeth, as well. That is not wrong, either. And some wives like to have time to talk every day with their husbands – that is not wrong. Men and women are often different – but that doesn’t mean one is wrong. Both have priorities, desires and goals that are important and both can work as a team to meet the other’s needs and create a strong bond of unity.

      I Corinthians 7:1-5 is God’s command to husbands and wives about sex.
      Now for the matters you wrote about: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” 2 But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. 3 The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. 5 Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

      A godly husband does not want to cheat with his eyes and will do all that he can in the power of God to avoid temptation and to avoid lust. He can control his thoughts with God’s Spirit’s power filling him up. But if he is controlled by his old sinful nature, that is a different story.

      It’s kind of like how women – when they have PMS – are a lot more likely to be hateful, disrespectful, resentful, hurtful and nasty to their husbands. Should they do that? Nope. That is sin. Their hormones influence them to desire to sin. But if they have God’s power, He is able to give them victory over sin.

      Every sin is evil and grieves God’s heart – lust, pride, idolatry (putting things above Christ in our hearts), self-righteousness, hypocrisy, greed, materialism, unforgiveness, bitterness, resentment, jealousy, hatred, contempt, gossip, etc…

      A man who struggles with lust is not a “worse sinner” than a woman who does not struggle with lust but who struggles with unforgiveness, idolatry of self and bitterness. We are all wretched sinners. We are all in desperate need of the blood of Christ. And we will all need grace from one another, especially in marriage.

      God revealed to me that we should look at our own sin first in Matthew 7:1-5

      “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

      3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

      It was not until I finally saw my own sin and began to fully repent and submit to Christ that He radically changed me and then began to heal my marriage.

      I wrote these two posts for wives who asked me to write about these topics. They are not particular struggles my husband has. I have never seen him flirt with anyone. Is visual temptation an issue for him? Yes, at times. Again, not nearly as much as many husbands have described here or in the resources I mentioned, but I am happy to support him and bless him and encourage him in any way I can. We have had numerous talks about what it is like to be a man, what men struggle with, etc. I love learning more about life from his perspective.

      Oh, another great resource that describes how wives can extend grace to their husbands, in particular, who are struggling with porn, is Grace Filled Marriage by Dr. Tim Keller. Or chapter is devoted to that topic.

      May God richly bless your walk with Christ, your marriage and your husband and may your life bring Him great glory and honor.

      With love,
      April

    3. April,

      My goal is to put all of my expectations in Christ. To allow Him to be my life. To expect only His promises and to expect only Him to be good and perfect. I don’t put my trust or hope in man. There are many verses about the folly of that in God’s Word, if you need references, you can search google for “Bible trust in man.”

      Yes, every person is accountable to obey God and will stand before God and give an account for every careless word and every evil thought – unless the blood of Christ has washed away those sins.

      God expects things from His children. I can desire my husband to obey God. I can share with him if he is hurting me. But I cannot force him to do what I want him to do. I cannot control him or dictate to him. He has a free will. He is able to sin against me just like I am able to sin against him. My job is to be obedient to God for myself and to trust God to work in my husband’s life.

      Here is God’s prescription (His commands) for wives whose husbands are disobedient to Scripture:

      Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, 2 when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. 3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. 4 Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 5 For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands, 6 like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.

  32. Hi April! I hope you are enjoying your time with your family.

    Since I couldn’t just go “blog free” 🙂 I decided to take a look at the Respect Dare articles. I did get the book, and I just finished Day 1. I must say, the book is good, but having the blog to help as a study guide has been priceless.

    I am going through a trial right now, my precious grandmother is dying from a brain bleed. Funny how sometimes it takes things like this to make us realize how superficial we have been. My husband is a great man. Does he sin and struggle? Sure. So do I. Sometimes. Oftentimes. I need to focus on the log in my own eye. God is opening my eyes to the fact that a lot of these issues are ME. Ouch. And not just in my marriage, but in a lot of my relationships.

    One of my expectations for MY progress is a blend from what I’ve read and from your blog list. “Learn to take my sense of self from God’s opinion of me, and stop comparing myself to others.”

    This is very, very hard for me. I have struggled with this since I can remember, even as a child. I look forward to working on this issue, and I pray I can conquer it, with God’s help, of course.

    I almost didn’t take the Dare, figuring, well – I missed it. It’s too late now. But then I realized, hey! That’s the wrong attitude. Perhaps I wasn’t ready for this last year. Perhaps God pointed me to this just when I needed it. God’s timing is always best.

    Thanks for everything you do, April! You are a blessing!

      1. Hi April,

        Good to have you back. I’m doing so-so. I went through a real valley through most of July, with my grandmother passing away and all of the infighting in the church. My husband was very supportive, although I do still tend to make him angry with my insecurities. I had thought about commenting about a week ago, but if didn’t want to drag your readers down. If I’m not edifying others, I need to learn to be careful with what I say.

        I still struggle so much with men’s visual temptation and separating it from the fact that it doesn’t mean I am not good enough and will never be good enough. I still struggle with that a LOT. There are some other struggles but I’m not ready to discuss them in an open forum.

        Thanks for asking, though! I hope your summer has been refreshing! 🙂

        1. Becca,

          I am so very sorry to hear about your grandmother passing away! 🙁 And about the drama at church. 🙁

          Please don’t worry about dragging my readers down. What you are struggling with is probably what many other women are struggling with as well.

          Did you read Mel’s comments earlier this week about this topic and how she confronted her husband about it and what he said? Very interesting stuff!

          Much love to you my precious sister!

          1. I did not see her comments. I just looked but I’m not seeing them. What post are they under? Thanks!

          2. Hi April,

            Thank you. I read it. It sounds like Mel had some of the same issues I had, only my husband never pointed out things he was attracted to in other women. Thank God! I don’t think I would have handled that well.

            While I am very happy for Mel, it sure seems like she got an instant answer to her prayer and an instant solution. Don’t get me wrong, that is so great for her. Maybe she’s more open than I am.

            While my husband is a wonderful man, and would probably be willing to help me with my body image, I don’t think he can. I am the only one who can change my body. If I don’t like it, or if it’s not as good as an attractive woman’s body, there’s not much he can do about that.

            These are issues I need to get over. Thanks for sharing the comments!

          3. Becca,

            I agree with you. These are spiritual issues in YOU. Your husband can’t fix them. They are hang ups that you will have to wrestle with with God and pray over fervently and seek God’s truth and healing about.

            Praying for you! The only one who wants you stuck in this awful way of thinking is the enemy of your soul. I pray God will help you recognize the lies you have absorbed and that you might reject them and replace your thoughts with God’s truth!

  33. My first day on my respect challenge has been great. have decided to burn my expectations for my husband and work on myself and allow God to change me. Thank you for this.

    1. Norah Namei,

      You are most welcome, my precious sister! When I see a wife who is willing to do this hard step, and who wants to allow God to change her, I know some BIG things are about to happen in her soul. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for you!!!!! 🙂

  34. I hope I am not to late to begin the journey of the respect dare! I am hoping to buy the book soon 🙂 I can really see more each day my desperate need for God’s grace in marriage and in every other area also! I love peaceful wife’s testimonies very much and they are so inspiring to see what God can do when we are willing vessels. Do you have a video or testimony about the beginning of your journey (in relation to giving into any temptations like speaking something negative to your husband?) Yesterday I experienced such amazing breakthrough by the power of God’s grace of course and had such a blessed day! Today however I felt like I experienced such a set back due to giving into the flesh and it’s “needs” I put the focus back on me (BIG mistake!) I must remember the scripture about thinking we stand strong, lest we fall! Praise God for his grace. Thanks xx

    1. Katie,

      This is a journey of many years, my sweet sister! Don’t let yourself get discouraged! It is kind of like hiking thousands of miles through the mountains on foot. We all have times when we stumble or fall – the goal is that we might allow God to empower us and that we might grow and mature and stumble less. But we will never be perfect until heaven! Yet, we can be totally available to God and totally willing to give Him access to every part of our hearts, souls, minds, and lives so that He can change anything He wants to. It is only when His Spirit is in charge that we can do anything good at all.

      You are not too late to start. I do have a video about the beginning of my journey – lots of videos about many topics on this journey, actually! My Youtube channel is “April Cassidy.” The first video is my story.

      I praise God for what He is doing in your life and I can’t wait to see all that He has in store! Thank you for walking on this road with me, my dear sister! 🙂

  35. Hi April,

    Me and my husband have underwent a few changes and moves lately and I think with some of the stress and worry I have been slipping on my respect and have done a few things to hurt my husband. In return he has also been very unloving, and hurt me. but I always try to get back on track and really want to protect my marriage .. So I decided to really spend time with God to change and convict my husband and ask him to tear idols from my heart.(including my husband as an idol).. I’ve noticed since I’ve done that, my husband hasn’t stopped the unloving behavior. I started wondering if that was part of Gods plan to help me get stronger and focus on Him during those times, which it has. I’ve noticed more than ever my husband is a mere human and will never provide for me what God can. With that being said I still deeply desire respect and love in our marriage, and I am always trying to make it better. It feels I am doing this alone much of the time.

    I decided to start the respect dare today(again), and told myself I was ONLY going to be encouraging to my husband!! I had this vision of even if he was unloving I would be respectful and pleasant and ENCOURAGING. I also kind of promised myself I wasn’t going to snoop since I can unfortunately activate his phone search history right on my phone, I say unfortunately bc it has been the beginning of many bad days for me, many days of bitterness, and many fights and discouraging/hurtful words…

    So all day I have been studying the word and reading your blog and getting rid of my expectations and thinking about how I was going to greet my husband when he got home and thinking of how I want to be intimate with him and serve him and be loving to him! I really couldn’t wait, it’s been a little while since he’s really been greeted like that.

    then for a little while at work I stopped focusing on it all. I had some weird urge that something was off… I had an urge to check his search history. And now I am disgusted. He had searched porn over 2 hours this morning. The day after church and we talk about changing and being better and getting rid of sin in our lives. I just can’t believe it. I’m upset that I looked but at the same time, now I know!!! 🙁
    I just don’t even want to go home after work now.. I don’t want to look at him. I definitely can’t do what I had in mind and I am terrible at pretending I am happy with him when I am not.

    I wish he could see this is ruining our marriage. 90% of our fights are STARTED by my bad attitude yes but they are BECUASE of his sin!!!!
    Yesterday we talked about what was one thing each of us could do different to strengthen our marriage and his answer for me was how I respond to things.
    I know this is my chance to use all God has been showing me but it just feels so hard.. Idk where to find the strength to do this. I am so disappointed in him AGAIN. I hate sin. It ruins marriages.

    The other night when he was so unloving I bit my tongue and I was very respectful, it was the first time I think I had ever done that. So I know that God is fixing me in that area, but something was weird, I was upset and crying and could not even look at myself in the mirror. I felt it was so degrading to me to treat him nice when he was being so incredibly unloving and uncaring. It was a weird feeling I had never felt and i feel like that is wrong to feel that ?:/ I am new to this respect thing, terrible at it and no example of it in my life. But I just feel my husband does nothing to work on our marriage like I do.

    I told him I want to do counceling and he absolutely does not think anyone can teach us anything. He thinks we already know we just need to do it. But still he doesn’t, and he has SO much to learn about marriage. I just don’t know what to do with him.. And now I don’t even want to do the respect dare not that I don’t want to be respectful bc I do that for God not him, I just want to avoid him 🙁 and I know I am not supposed to withhold sex in marriage and I NEVER do that but I just don’t know how I will be able to be physical with him when I am disgusted with him?! 😭😭😭

  36. Thank you April for this..I have many expectations of my husband and also am well aware of all my wrong doings. Stumbling each day and walking tiny steps. I start the 40 day dare today. Oh Lord please help me and my dear sisters please pray for me. Keeping you all in prayers too .

    1. Love peace,

      I pray that God might open your eyes to the changes He desires to make in your heart for His glory! And I pray for healing in your marriage, my dear sister! 🙂

  37. I lay down my expectations about my husband’s spirituality.That I will not judge what it should look like.Because only God knows our husbands hearts.His walk with Christ may look different than mine.As men and women are different. So their walk with Christ may look different. he may share his faith differently than I do.But it doesn’t mean it is any less than mine.The Bible says if we have the faith of a mustard seed we can move mountains.It does not say that we need mountains of faith to overcome something.Thank You Jesus that His grace is greater than our expectations and experiences.Thank You Jesus for the good work you have begun in me and the things you are showing me.May I be faithful to always glorify Your precious name Jesus!And thank You for helping me to speak the right things.To speak words of life and comfort and encouragement into my marriage.

  38. thank God i found this blog!! i’m taking on this challenge today, to change myself so i can be a better, respectful wife my husband deserves. we’ve been married for 12 years, before we got married i was a very independent college kid, did everything on my own, being the only child, my parents spoiled me, there comes my husband, when i was 21. we both got saved in 2004, life has not been easy since then. we came back to the States in 2005, (i’m from China), some days i just couldn’t stand seeing him, because he was always telling me what to do, what not to do, such as, don’t wear certain shoes to church, dress like a woman not a college kid, don’t show the shape of your body etc, at first i thought he’s so controlling and jealous!! but i did what i wanted to do and caused a big fight. he said i don’t respect him, i thought to myself, what kind of alien did i marry?! respect? does respect have anything to do with how i dress?? then he’d pull out his bible and show me. i’d always have a “but” following. things have escalated over the years, now he’s all broken, he says he doesn’t feel like a man any more. but he loves me dearly. i cried out to God and asked him to show me what exactly did i do?! then i found your blog. those little things i thought i could do that wouldn’t hurt anybody, actually they hurt the person i am supposed to love and respect the most. i have to admit, i still feel like i’m deep in the cloud knowing nothing about how to really respect my husband the way he feels loved. sometimes i struggle badly between my habit, likes and his likes. then i made a mistake choosing me.
    things got to change. i believe God has brought us together for a good reason, and i have made a decision to live this life for God and my husband, to please them, to honor them.
    thank you for your blog, now i see hope.

    God bless.

    1. Becca,

      It is such an honor to meet you! I praise God for what He is doing in your life!!! 🙂 I pray for God’s continued healing for you, your husband, and your marraige. You are on the right track seeking Christ and seeking to please and honor Him and to desire to be the wife zgod calls you to be. I am here if you need to talk.

      Sending you a huge hug!

  39. I’m very thankful to have found this blog today. Much like the woman who commented a few weeks ago, I am broken because of the things that have been occuring in my marriage. My husband and I have been married for 9 1/2 years, but most of our marriage has been very hard. We experienced some very serious things early on in our marriage that tore us apart. We have been working to try to rebuild our marriage ever since, and I have learned very recently that I do not show my husband respect. I have struggled over the years to prove my worthiness to him, and I’ve recently realized after a very difficult fight with him, that what I’ve been doing is not showing him respect at all. I’m thankful for the things that you have written, and I’ve made a list of 18 things that I plan to do to grow spiritually, all the while attempting to live out my role as a servant, Godly wife to my husband. I realized today that I have been resisting God’s design for my marriage in many areas for most of my marriage. I see the error in my ways, and I’ve repented today and asked God for forgiveness. The hardest thing now is going to be receiving my husband’s forgiveness and rebuilding. I will continue to do the Respect Dare each day and I pray that this will help in showing my husband the honor and respect that God calls me to.

    1. Brooke,

      I can sure relate to your story! I”m so glad to meet you and wish I could give you a HUGE hug!

      Praise God for what He is showing you and doing in your life. 🙂 WOOHOO! This is awesome! I have many posts here that I believe will be helpful. I know the Respect Dares will be a blessing.

      I’m here if you need to talk about things. So glad we can be on this road together, my dear sister! 🙂

  40. I have been praying for godly mentors; those who have been where I’m striving to go. I know the road God has me on, and I so want to honor Him every step down the way. I guess I have just been doing this thing of marriage and motherhood blindly. Uugh! We are a blended family. My first and his second marriage. Do you have any advice on that; blended families? Well, I was on twitter when I came across the Respect Dare book. Didn’t know it existed until now. But after having gone through this post, I KNOW I MUST GET A COPY. I also am going to pin your blog site to my main screen on my phone. You have a lot of wisdom and your site is filled with it. Praise God for that! As you can see, I’m so hungry and thirsty to finally have what God wants for me over what I want. But April, I NEED HELP! Why does trusting God have to look so scary at times? HELP!

    1. Erica,

      Most of us are doing marriage, femininity, and motherhood blindly – you are not alone! I’m glad you are seeking God’s wisdom, my precious sister!

      Things do get much more complicated with second marriages and step children. It is much harder for many couples to put the marriage first when the children were before the marriage and there tend to be authority issues with step-parents and conflict with exes and just a lot of confusion.

      I love the Respect Dare. I am sure you will, too! 🙂

      Would you be able to tell me where you are spiritually at this point?

      Is your husband a believer?

      What are the dynamics like in your marriage at this point?

      Trusting God DOES look scary. Yep. Until you realize how little control you have and how imperfect your own wisdom is and how there is nothing else anywhere near as trustworthy as God. When you understand His character and His sovereignty and love more and more – you realize that trusting Him is the only sane place to be. 🙂

My grandmother is on hospice and won't be with us much longer (11-30-16). I will get to comments when I am able to but I need to be with family right now. Thanks for understanding.

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