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The Respect Dare, Day 5 – Slow to Anger


My dear brothers, take note of this:

Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.  James 1:19

In the Respect Dare, Nina Roesner shares a story on Dare #5 about how a wife applies this verse and avoids a serious argument with her husband.  The awesome thing is, he soon came to see his wife’s point of view and agree with her without her forcing the issue or having an argument about it.  Sometimes we as women figure things out before our husbands do.  But, there are times when wise wives will wait and allow God to reveal things to their husbands instead of trying to tell their husbands what to do or taking over.


In the first 14.5 years of our marriage, before I really understood respect and biblical submission, I would often ask Greg a question –  And then Greg didn’t answer immediately – I would get UPSET.

I expected him to  know his mind on any issue right away- just like me.   I expected him to answer within 10-20 seconds.  I would wait – and sigh and watch the clock and count the minutes ticking by as he seemingly “ignored” me and “refused” to answer my question.

Then by about 15-25 minutes – when I had waited impatiently and pressured him to give me an answer, I would explode in anger and storm off – incredulous that Greg “wouldn’t” answer a simple question.

I was most certainly NOT quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.

Now, when I ask him a question, I give him time to think because I know that is how he works.  He is not being hateful or unloving.  He just needs to think quietly on his own for awhile.  Now that I understand this about him, I am able to offer him time, grace and plenty of patience.  God has changed my heart and opened my mind to see things from his perspective.


When we first moved into this 1960s era brick house in 2007, my husband said that the renovations that needed to be done would take 6 months.  Sometimes, Greg would stop working on the house and go tear vines off of the back fence.  I wanted that house DONE in 1 year or less – which seemed pretty generous and patient on my part, considering he had estimated 6 months.

(When I say renovations – I mean: making a new kitchen out of an old office, making a new master suite out of the original living room and den, taking down walls, tearing out most rooms all the way down to the studs and starting from scratch.  And this is a big house.    He worked on the house 5-6 days per week until midnight after his full time job for a year and a half.  My husband  wanted to be careful, methodical, spend money wisely and do things perfectly.  My goal was SPEED.  We had very different priorities.)

So when I saw Greg outside pulling vines, I stomped out to the back yard and said, “Why on earth are you pulling vines back here?  The fence is NOT a priority right now!  You said the house would be done in 6 months.  It’s been 5 months already and you have barely gotten anything done yet.  I want the house done as soon as possible!!”  (at that point, he had closed in the carport and made it a garage.  And we spent about 3 months just deciding where the master suite would be, where the kitchen would be, if we would have a dining room or not, what walls would stay and what walls would go… you know, normal stuff.)

I didn’t even ask Greg questions.  I didn’t try to understand his perspective.  I wanted the house done and I wanted it done ASAP.  I NEEDED HELP!!!!!!  I was beyond nervous breakdown mode by the second summer we were here because I had been EXTREMELY sleep deprived for a year and a half nursing our baby around the clock almost every night (Usually I only slept 4-5 hours/night of sleep in 30 minute intervals).  She was often sick.  I was often sick.  I was also working 20+ hours/week, caring for our 5 year old and handling all the housework, shopping, cooking.   I was beyond being totally overwhelmed.

A year or two after I learned about respect and biblical submission, Greg shared with me that when he was frustrated with a renovation project that was not going well – he would go outside and pull vines and try to clear his head and think through the problems he was having so he could work out a solution.


Imagine if I had been more interested in listening to my husband instead of demanding my way.  What if I had not been quick to fire my anger at him?  Maybe there wouldn’t have been any tension at all because maybe he would have shared with me that he used that time to think through possible solutions.  If I had known that, I feel sure I would have been a lot more understanding – even if I was very sleep deprived.

I see now that he was fixing up that house as a HUGE gift of love for ME.  He wanted to give me my dream home.  He wanted me to appreciate his hard work and the beautiful rooms he made.  What an amazing, talented, loving, generous man I have – to devote himself to such a massive project just to make me happy.  Wow!


I understand how my husband thinks a WHOLE lot better which has made a huge difference.  I have let go of many unrealistic expectations.

I know that he:

  • does not think or feel or process emotions like me at all.
  • often thinks without words and uses formulas or imagines a scale as he is making decisions.  So it is difficult for him to verbalize things for awhile until he arrives at a decision.
  • feels disrespected when I pressure him to come to a decision too quickly.

So, now (by God’s power working in me) I:

  • am patient and ask a question casually and leave a lot of time for him to think without any pressure.
  • LISTEN when he does speak and pay careful attention to his unique masculine perspective and wisdom and I know that many times God is leading me through his words.
  • patiently wait and don’t try to force my way or force a quick solution.
  • share my feelings and desires and perspective calmly, in a pleasant tone of voice with a friendly expression on my face.
  • ask questions respectfully and softly if I don’t understand.  But I try not to ask “why.”  That question is disrespectful to many men.
  • am gracious if we don’t do what I had suggested or what I wanted to do.  My goal is to seek God’s will first, not my own.  I trust God’s sovereignty to lead me through my husband if my husband doesn’t agree with me.


1. What were some of the disagreements/arguments my husband and I have had lately?

2. Why did I feel it was necessary to argue?

3. How could I have applied this verse (James 1:19) and handled things without an argument?

4. How can I apply this verse on a daily basis when I start to feel angry?

5. Is it possible that I might be making small issues more important than our marriage or my obedience to Christ?

6. Do I believe that my sinful behavior (disrespect, yelling, cussing, throwing things, becoming violent, attacking my husband verbally) is justifiable because I believe I am “right” about the small issue and I believe he is “wrong”?    Is God more concerned with the little issue or with my sinful attitude?

7. Is it possible that my husband’s idea might just be different, not “wrong”?  What if he has valuable wisdom to share with me that I am missing when I get angry quickly and don’t listen?  What might I be missing that God wants me to hear?

8. Is it possible that I am exhausted, hormonal, hungry, in pain or have some other major physical issue that makes things seem a whole lot worse than they really are right now?  If so, I need to take care of that first before I unwisely get into any kind of argument!



A Real Life Example of Respect and Biblical Submission

How Do Men Process Emotions

Men and Emotions Part 2

Men and Emotions Part 3

How Do Men Think?

How Men Think – Part 2

How Men Think – Part 3

Why Men Need Space Sometimes – Youtube Video (5 minutes)

God May Be Leading Your Husband’s Decision – Youtube Video (under 3 minutes)

Responding to Our Husband’s Constructive Criticism – Youtube Video (5 minutes)

34 thoughts on “The Respect Dare, Day 5 – Slow to Anger

  1. Recently my husband and I had a huge disagreement about money! (Its always about money isn’t it?) Anyway, I spend, spend, spend, but he is a saver. I justify my spending and he gets so frustrated with me becuase all he sees is the spending. I do the finances in the home, so I know all the bills are paid and how muich we have to last until next payday, so I think if I spend $5-10 here and there that is ok. Then, I listened to him and started to understand his need for financial security and that he wants to save for our future. I tend to live in the moment and not think about those things. My future is in heaven with Jesus and all my riches and rewards will be there waiting for me! (I really think this!) He wants to take 10% of his paycheck every payday and put it in a savings account to save for emergencies (medical bills, car repairs, etc.) I thought this was crazy, but then one day God laid it on my heart to look at things in a different perspective. He showed me that this is my husbands way of tithing. My husband is not a believer and does not attend church, so he doesn’t tithe, but God showed me that my husband wants to tithe to our storehouse, our home, our family. He is preparing for our future. And God is preparing him for the day that he does come to know the Lord and start tithing in the bibical since of tithing! It was a huge eye opener to me.

    1. Sarah,

      Saving money for emergencies and the future is very important. Your husband is trying to protect his family and take good care of all of you. I am glad you can see his perspective more now! Maybe you can thank him for his responsible leadership and commit to cooperating with his saving plan for your family.

      Fantastic example!!! Thank you so much for sharing!

  2. My husband is taking college classes on top of his regular full time job, recently he had an English test.. I asked him how he did on the test? and he replied “I passed” this was not the answer I wanted. so i asked him again., and he continued to not answer the question. I became so angry with his refusal to answer my simple question that I got mad and slammed the bathroom door and refused to let him in or even talk to him.. Things got so out of hand that day that we ended up missing church! over such a silly argument. I realize now that it was so not worth it.. and I am applying James 1:19 to further disagreements to avoid something like this all together!!

    1. Mia,

      I am so glad you are willing to consider this verse in the future! Sometimes husbands don’t answer our questions because they know we will give them the third degree if they are honest, and they don’t want to lie.

      The fact that he passed was the main thing.

      I am glad you see that your response could have been very different and how easily that whole argument could have been avoided.

      I have to ask myself things like: which is more important to God, my husband’s grade on a test or my sinful attitude? And which is more important to our marriage, my husband’s grade or me responding with grace, mercy and patience?

      Great example. I pray God will empower you to live this verse out!

  3. This is probably our biggest struggle…. Anger. It hurts our relationship like no other. It’s hurting our relationship now. For us, I think it’s about not wanting to let go of what we think we have “right” to. It’s not just what I want… but it’s what I think I deserve.. .not just what I want to have from him…. (whatever it may be at the time) but what I think am entitled to as his wife.. what I SHOULD have from him.. what he SHOULD do for me. I really don’t ask for much, so the little that I do want from him, I justify, that I deserve when I want it how I want it. I know it sounds bad… but honest. I know it’s wrong. I know it’s hurtful. I know that it’s NOT what the Lord wants for me. I think I fight the cultural messages around me. The thoughts are so automatic that I don’t even necessarily realize it until I’m in the middle of it, and struggle to back my way out. I have yet to write my purpose statement from yesterday.. but I do know that it HAS TO include dying to self.

    1. Miriam,
      Thank you for being honest! Many, many wives can relate to you! I know I can! That was my thought pattern too for many years.

      I have a post on Dying to Self, you can search for it on my home page.

      That is a HUGE key to becoming the believers God wants us to be!

      I am so excited you are walking this road with me. Much love to you!

  4. When I read the story about Jan (in the book) another verse quickly came to mind: Proverbs 31:11 in the New King James: “The heart of her husband safely trusts her…” Our husbands aren’t “safe” with us when we hold them hostage with our anger, as I am realizing I often do to mine! Him agreeing with me is not the same thing as him keeping quiet because he doesn’t want to set me off. I want to be a wife whose husband can safely trust her, and keeping my petty anger in check is a good place to start. I can imagine how if Jan had given an “I told you so” Tim might have been so focused on resisting her that he could have missed the reality of the situation she wanted him to see. Ultimately he did see it because she didn’t put a premium on being right, even when she was right!

    1. Maria,

      Such a great point!!! You are exactly right, if she had made the issue and her anger more important at that moment, he would have probably focused on her anger and easily missed the real issue with his mom.

      This does not come naturally to us, but God can give us the power to become the women of His dreams!

      Thanks for sharing!

    2. “Proverbs 31:11 in the New King James: “The heart of her husband safely trusts her…” Our husbands aren’t “safe” with us when we hold them hostage with our anger”

      You reminded me of this verse about the qualifications for a Deacon’s wife before a man may become a Deacon:

      1 Timothy 3:11 AMP
      [11] The women likewise must be worthy of respect and serious, not gossipers, but temperate and self-controlled, thoroughly trustworthy in all things.

      I think this could apply to each husband’s ability and willingness to “safely” trust their wife in his heart.

      April, how do you think this may apply to single women/wives?

  5. Ouch. Thanks. Ouch.

    I have always struggled with being swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath. This has given me a lot to think about. Again.. ouch. Thanks, Ouch. 🙂

    1. Missus Cruz,
      I definitely relate to you! I know it hurts! But when God is sculpting us and refining us – the chisel hurts and the furnace hurts – but He is making us into something very beautiful. I can’t wait to see what He has in store for you! 🙂 Thank you for sharing!

  6. Ouch is right Missus! I share many of April’s stories from years past. I am no longer quick to anger at all, but I do speak to quickly and I’m going to really work on that.

    The story in the book made me realize how I would have acted and I didn’t like the answer. I am a work in progress and intend to listen more and speak less… prayer will help.

  7. This does not relate to my husband but to my mother. About 30 years ago she was hurt by my dad’s mom and by his first wife. My dad and his first wife had a daughter whom my mom cannot accept because of things my grandma and that lady did to hurt her. She has let hurt, anger, resentment, lack of forgiveness, and bitterness govern hear heart. 30 years later my sister is asking to meet us, as we had never met since we got separated when my dad redid his life with mom, and my mom basically told all of us it would be her or sister we had never seen. She is blinded with hatred and pride. This is how bad things can get when we so not forgive or are extremely mad, it causes destruction to family.

    1. Yasmin,
      I am so thankful to meet you and that you were willing to share your story. Yes, a small root of bitterness grows up and defiles many. It spreads like cancer and consumes the person who cherishes it. It grieves God and keeps us from fellowship with Him and it destroys relationships with others, too. And it can destroy other people’s relationships with other people. Bitterness, unforgiveness, resentment and pride are the kinds of things I used to hold on to as well. They kept me in a lonely, miserable prison.
      I pray God might open your mother’s eyes so that she might forgive and turn to Him and find healing.

      1. Thank you, please keep her in prayers, as she is not answering her phone to my calls because I kindly told her I was going to meet my sister. God has done so much for me that I can not deny my love to nobody and I am nobody to reject if Jesus did not reject me. I am sad she is mad at me, but have faith the enemy will have to release her in the name of Jesus.

  8. We often argue about Housework and hormones. I believe I have been peri menopausal for a while now but I was in denial about it. DH would point it out to me and it made me so mad I felt like ripping his head off (small clue). As for housework he has asked me thousands of times to make a home, but I’m pretty much domestically dysfunctional and can never manage a tidy house.
    My main reasons for arguing have been
    – wanting to be right.
    – feeling that he is right but speaking to me in an unloving way.
    – feeling that he is right but equally guilty of making the mess.
    – feeling hurt by other unrelated things that he’s done but won’t apologise for.
    – thinking that he is hypocritical.
    – my own denial.
    I feel stuck in the “frustrated quiet” phase. I bite my tongue most of the time because I realise I say unhelpful, angry things. I practice being slow to speak a lot. The area of weakness is that I am still quick to anger. My thoughts are still way too toxic so I definitely don’t come across as peaceful and gentle in spirit.
    I’m so grateful for James 1:19 because now I can use this verse when I’m getting angry and remind myself that anger does not produce righteousness.
    I sometimes get irritated over small things usually around PMS time so I’ve taken to warning my family when it’s coming on. This has helped. Also ensuring that I eat well, take my vitamins and pain medication at the right times. Then he can be prepared and I can be aware to not sweat the small stuff. There are some huge issues that I want him to apologise for. Things where he was absolutely out of line but he won’t admit it. Also I would like to attend church and one bible study per week but he doesn’t want me to go at all. Here’s where I stay silent but in resentment not respect. I want to find my voice and speak up only when the Spirit can speak through me and not my sinful nature. Right now there is too much of my own sin at the forefront so I need to work on me before I challenge him. You know motes and planks.
    I don’t like it when DH is right because he uses that as a weapon against me. It makes me want to respond by being a right fighter too. This formula doesn’t work. It’s very humbling to me to admit that DH is right about something. Maybe this is the lesson that God wants me to learn. If I find admitting that he is right humbling then maybe I should do it more often. That’ll certainly stop the arguments. But it’s important to focus on righteousness and humility afterwards in order for it to be actually spirit focused humility.

    April I think that if I’m trying to be humble then I’m probably not doing It right. Do you think this is correct?


    1. That link was perfect for me. I am learning every day. So excited to be on the Respect Dare journey with you. It’s confronting but I believe that’s God’s will for me. There is a lot of disrespect and pride to sift through. You say it’s painful but worth it. I hope and pray for that for me and for the other women reading this too.

  9. Hi April! I love your site and especially this article. I think your advice is so helpful to women, especially me. It’s so important to manage our emotions. Unfortunately, I am not good at it. 🙁

    For the past two years I have struggled greatly with anxiety. This has affected my marriage a lot. My dr wanted me to go on medication but I was hesitant to do so and my husband did not want me to. I thought if I was a better Christian, the anxiety would go away. It has gotten so bad I feel distant from God and feel I am a bad person who is surely going to hell. Do you have any advice? I thought about going to my pastor but was afraid he would think I was crazy and not a good church member. My husband is great, but all he says is that it will get better in time.

    Thank you and God bless!

  10. I am so loving these dares – day 5 today -, even though I don’t have the book (and don’t know how to get one). I wish i had started on the dares sooner! Thank you April. I feel that i am learning and growing on my journey becoming a peaceful, respectful, submissive and joyful wife! It is not easy but by the Lord’s Grace, I know i will get there.

    I pray that the Lord will help me be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to get angry. May He teach me to listen carefully and take time to think before responding. May I also learn to share my perspective calmly and if i don’t understand, ask questions respectfully. Even if things don’t go my way, may Jesus help me to be gracious and trust in the Sovereign God. Amen.

    1. Cynthia,
      Even if you don’t have the book, I go into A LOT of detail on these posts. I think that God will use them to greatly bless you and help you grow in your walk and faith with Him.

      I’m so excited about what you are learning! PRAISE GOD!

      1. Indeed you do, April. And I really appreciate that. Thank you very much. May the Lord continue blessing you for what you are doing.

        Much love!!

        1. Cynthia,

          You are most welcome, my sweet sister! Please pray for God to speak through me to everyone who reads each post, that He might be highly exalted, that His Spirit might do the work here, and that I might be faithful by His power to accomplish all that He desires to do through me.

          Much love to you!

          1. April,

            Definitely praying for you my sister! May you continue being a willing vessel that God can use for His Glory.

            Stay blessed <3

  11. Oooh, a vid of us — great idea — don’t think I could pull it off. “Wait a minute while I grab the camera.”

    Yes, I speak softly while talking with him, I try to not engage, to not take it personally, to be adult in my communications. It doesn’t always work, tho, and on those occasions when the argument escalates, I am so ashamed of my behavior 🙁

    I have come to realize that I have a tendency to be argumentative — I have some kind of perverse need to make a point and be “right.” That is enough to shut me up 🙂 But even on the phone at times he raises his voice at something I have said.
    I have to constantly remind myself, “It’s not about him.”

    April, I look forward every day to reading your blog. I’ve already put into practice a lot of suggestions, and have turned a couple other women on to your site. This respect dare (and some suggestions) are so difficult, but necessary. Thank you so very much for sharing your experience with us. I cherish your feedback.

    1. Marcia,

      It would be hard to get a husband to agree to that, I’m sure. But I know some marriage counselors who video the sessions and have the couple watch themselves interacting when they are upset. So helpful!

      Gary Thomas (Sacred Marriage) says “We are never more tempted to sin than when we are sinned against.” So true!

      I’d love for you to check out Sacred Influence by Gary Thomas and Grace Filled Marriage by Dr. Tim Keller when you get a chance.

      Oh, I used to have to be right. I thought I was always right and Greg was always wrong. So much pride in my heart! 🙁

      I have a post that may be helpful with the being argumentative thing.

      And I have a post about that desire to be right all the time.

      And one about how we as wives try to be the Holy Spirit for our husbands.

      Praying for wisdom for you! 🙂

  12. Intimacy Seeker,

    There is a large continuum in what actually jeopardizes a child’s well-being and safety. Sometimes moms get pretty upset about things that aren’t actually going to be dangerous for their children. We can be a bit overprotective. But is the child actually in danger? In this story, the husband hadn’t picked up on some of the things about his mom. But after the children stayed that one more time, he saw the danger clearly.

    If the child is in serious, actual danger, then a wife may need to say something like, “This is not ok. I don’t think our child is safe. I don’t want him to stay there anymore.” She could refuse to honor her husband if he continued to insist the children should stay. She could say something like, “I just can’t leave them with her. I want to honor you. But I could not live with myself if I left them there. I need to take them home now, please.”

    Check out “Spiritual Authority” for times when a wife may need to not submit to her husband.

    More than my words and suggestions, each wife would need to be acutely aware of and sensitive to God’s Spirit’s prompting in each situation.

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