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The Respect Dare, Day 6 – A Servant's Heart

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Do everything without complaining or arguing.  Philippians 2:14

I really love today’s challenge in The Respect Dare.  Nina Roesner asks us to continue to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry – and she asks us to do “one act of kindness or a chore for your husband that you know is important to him.”

WHERE DOES A COMPLAINING SPIRIT COME FROM?

For me, it is when I think I am getting “less than I deserve.”  And it comes from a sense of entitlement, “I should have what I want.”

The truth is that we are all wretched sinners with hearts that are entirely bent on evil apart from Christ.  What I deserve is separation from God and punishment in hell. 🙁    But God lavishes His grace on me – not because I deserve it or can ever earn it (I can’t!) – but because He wants to.

When I focus on what is wrong in my life, that 20% that is not what I want, or maybe it is only 0.05% – but when I focus on what is wrong, I am not living in a spirit of gratitude and joy.  I am focusing on myself in a selfish way.  And I am tarnishing the image of Christ.

Why are we to do everything without arguing or complaining?  

“So that you may shine like stars in the universe as you hold forth the Word of Life.”  Phil 2:14.

It is God’s will for me to live humbly and to be content with Christ, food for today and clothes on my back.  If I have those 3 things – God instructs me to be content.

A complaining spirit also says arrogantly to God, “You are holding out on me.  You are not giving me what is best.  I question your intentions and motives towards me and I distrust You.”

Check out the story of God’s people during the Exodus from Egypt.  How did God respond to them when they grumbled?  God hates it when His people whine, complain and grumble against Him.  It is by faith we please God – not by complaining.

CAUTION – IT IS IMPORTANT TO SAY WHAT YOU NEED/WANT and HOW YOU FEEL – usually once.  Especially if you have strong views about something.  I am not saying to be quiet and never have an opinion or a voice.

But I want us to learn DISCRETION and WISDOM so that we understand what is important information to share, vs. what is complaining.

If I am hot – there is no need to complain about that.  Everyone knows it is hot outside.

If I am about to suffer from heat exhaustion or heat stroke – I need to tell my husband that I need to get to water and get inside quickly because I am not ok.

See the difference?

WHERE DOES AN ARGUMENTATIVE/CONTENTIOUS SPIRIT COME FROM?

Why did I fight and argue with my husband?  For me, it was because I believed I was RIGHT about whatever the little issue was.

I had PRIDE PRIDE PRIDE through the roof.  I seriously believed I was always right.  And therefore, my husband was always wrong.  I did not trust God.  I trusted myself.  I said I trusted God.  But that is not how I lived.  Honestly, I believed I knew better than anyone else.  And, if you look at how I lived, I believed I knew better than God – because I was not obeying His Word for me as a wife.

I fight and argue because:

  • I want my way.
  • I think I am right.
  • I want control over my husband and my circumstances – and, truthfully – I want to be sovereign instead of God.
  • I am afraid of what would happen if I wasn’t in control.  I don’t trust God.
  • I am rebelling against God’s Word.
  • I am selfish.
  • my sinful nature is in control, not God’s Spirit of peace and unity.
  • I am stubborn.
  • I am carnal and worldly.
  • “Being right” is more important to me than the unity of my marriage.
  • “Being right” is more important to me than meeting my husband’s need for respect.
  • I am making the little issue and “being right” more important to me than my obedience to God, my intimacy with Christ and the strength of my marriage.

God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.  James 4:6

God detests pride.  I MUST humble myself like a little child before God in order for Him to work in my life and for me to become a godly woman and wife.

QUESTIONS:

1. What could you do for your husband today that would be very meaningful to him?

2. What expectations do you need to drop so that you can do this with a cheerful, joyful heart – expecting nothing in return and not storing up resentment in your heart?

3. What does today’s verse at the top teach us about the kind of women God desires us to be?

4. Commit to sharing important information and feelings with your husband in a brief, concise, unemotional way.  How could you share your heart, desires and needs with him without blaming him, making him the bad guy or raking him over the coals?

5. How can you be responsible for your own feelings and emotions and allow your husband to be responsible for his feelings and emotions?

6. How can you tell the difference between sharing your needs and your perspective vs. complaining or arguing?

RELATED POSTS:

A Challenge – Do Not Argue or Complain for 1 day or 1 week

Handling Adversity with Joy and without Complaining

Healthy Boundaries and Control

Sharing VS. Complaining

0 thoughts on “The Respect Dare, Day 6 – A Servant's Heart

  1. We have an annual house inspection coming up. I know that DH wants me to make the house ready. In the past he would tell me what to do then I would grumble, do it slowly and then we would fight. If I could impress him by being efficient and organised; that would make him happy.
    I also need to be okay if he doesn’t thank me. I’m learning that he processes differently to me. So if he doesn’t speak it, it doesn’t mean he hasn’t noticed.
    This challenge is more frightening than managing hormones for me. I’m already scared I will fail.
    I have put a daily task reminder to do a helpful chore in my phone. Every day I’m going to think of something extra above the daily chores, that I can do to tidy up and then do it. Right now I’m taking the old mattress downstairs to the garage.
    Thank you April and Nina for the challenge.
    Here goes . . . .

    Tam

    1. Tam,

      That is an awesome idea! I love it! I pray you can keep from having expectations from your husband and keep your eyes on Christ and His praise for you when you stand before Him in heaven! Thank you SO MUCH for sharing!

  2. I had one day late so tonight, I did the six and seven, to not get stuck. And when I saw the verse of today, I was sad cause today, I did complained and argued. I am responsible but I was talking to my husband saying that this week, I didn’t felt myself. I didn’t tell him I felt like crying, discouraged but just said I was really hormonal all this week. But he told me: you have to have the control over it. I said yes, but it is not easy.

    I guess do everything without complaining is a big challenge for me. But all this coming week, I am going to try to meditate on these bible verses and remind me to shut my mouth. If I’d have done this morning, I’d have avoid two arguments. May tomorrow be better. I proclaim I’ll have am awesome week despite of everything. Big Hug April

    1. Sonia,

      It is definitely NOT EASY to have control when you are hormonal. I am very glad you told your husband you were feeling that way. It is unfair, in my view, to not tell our husbands important things like that! I pray God might give you wisdom and His control over your words. 🙂

    2. I actually have a little note on my kitchen… for a week at a time… It just has the dates on it, and it’s my reminder to not complain that day. If I am successful I put a blue X over that day, if I’m not successful then I put a red X. It feels good to use that blue marker… b/c i feel like I have accomplished something difficult. When I have to use the red marker, it’s a reminder for me to do better the next day. For me.. that visual helps

      1. Miriam,

        Sometimes a visual like that man be very helpful when you are stopping a bad habit and starting a new one. Thanks for sharing!

        I pray for God to empower you to honor Him with your words and thoughts. 🙂

  3. The hardest part of this for me is going to be #4. Communicating with my husband in an unemotional way. I cry a lot so even stating facts will be emotional for me.

  4. Jumping on this journey a few days late having just recently found your blog : )

    #4 Communicating in an unemotional way. I just did this a few days ago before even reading this challenge.

    I found that I was struggling with something that was deeply hurting, but couldn’t say anything because I was so emotional over it and knew we would fight, even though he kept asking whats wrong. I ended up writing it down. When I started it was a three page letter, filled with all my emotions and condemnation. By the time I edited it, (3hours, and countless sheets of paper) it was only 6 bullet points of “just the facts”. The last bullet point was I wouldn’t bring the subject up. I left the note where he could find it the next day and purposed to Trust God. This wasn’t an issue that required discussing, as much as just being heard/understood. So the fact that he hasn’t brought it up is okay with me. I have kept my word as well, and have not brought it up. In fact I don’t even think about it anymore. I have such great peace from just having been able to get it out without a big blow up and more hurt feelings, and just being heard.

    Sure this isn’t always going to work, but for a great deal of what we end up fighting over, its a good solution for now. Most of the time I just want to be heard, and my emotions prevent that.

    ~~
    12 1/2 years of getting it wrong. 5 months of learning how to LOVE and 1 month so far of having almost an honeymoon period, despite the fact that each day I fail as much as I get it right. The difference? My heart changed 6 months ago, and I purposed to begin living for God, and not to change my husband, or live up to an impossible standard.
    Now I don’t hear God say “girl what are you doing?”, instead I hear “you are doing well, keep plodding”. And that is a beautiful sound.

    1. Mel,

      Thank you so much for sharing!

      This is awesome!!!!!! I love your practical example and the way you wrote everything out with all the words and emotions – which helps you process your feelings – and then summarized with bullet points. I wonder if you might allow me to share this anonymously later today on my PW FB page?

      BEAUTIFUL!!!!

      I LOVE LOVE LOVE that your motive is to live for God. That is so key. Thank you for sharing what God is doing in your heart and in your life. You are a blessing!

  5. Hi April,

    Good Sunday morning April. I kind of got stuck on this day about a week ago. Aside from personal emotional health challenges, I found this one day hard to dig into. Just not knowing that one thing I could do that would show my husband that I respect him. A very hard thing to do, just one random act of kindness, one little thing, and it has taken me a week of deciding to finally think of that one little thing. And that is orange juice. Sounds simple. But it will mean a lot to him to make him fresh orange juice for breakfast from our juicer. I know he loves his big hearty breakfast more than I do. Anyways, sometimes i complain about making breakfast, sometimes I expect compliments about my cooking or a big thank you, but I should do it because I love him and want to bless him. Even if he doesn’t appreciate it, I know he does….he may just not express his appreciation like I do. That is okay and something I have to learn. So today’s job is to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry and to bless my husband with breakfast and other things that I know he appreciates and enjoys. I am created to be his helpmeet. Thanks again April for your blog. I am going to do Day 7 today on top of finishing day 6 from last weekend. Blessings to you. Enjoy your week with church fun and family too and work. Praise God you are getting more hours. Thanks again, Missy Sue

    1. Missy Sue,

      I love your idea! I think that is an awesome way to serve your husband with joy and make his day extra special.
      If you get behind, that’s ok, just do one day at a time.

      I hope you might let me share your idea on my FB page? It’s beautiful!

  6. April,

    Sure you may post this on facebook. I don’t mind. Oh…I did an extra special thing….letting him sleep in and I also drove to Tim Hortons and got him two muffins to choose from along with his juice. Isn’t it the little things that count?

    Thanks,

    Missy Sue

  7. I did this one yesterday. I filled up hubby’s gas tank yesterday evening so he didn’t have to stop on the way in to work this morning. He didn’t notice when he got in the car this morning. He also didn’t say anything when I spoke to him at lunchtime, but I made it a point and had to work on not expecting any thanks in return. I really worked hard on not letting his lack of thanks hurt my feelings. I reminded myself that he’s really busy during the day. I totally let it go. This is a BIG deal for me and I’m really proud to have practiced such self control. Tonight, my husband called to tell me he was on his way home. Before we hung up, he said, “Oh, and thank you for filling up my gas tank. I noticed while I was on the phone with a customer this morning. I meant to call you this morning to thank you, but I got so busy I forgot.”

    Wow! He noticed, and I didn’t even point out my good deed to him!

    1. I am SO SO SO proud of you!!!! Especially that you worked on blessing him without expecting anything in return. I am actually glad you didn’t get a big response right away and had to struggle a bit. That is a good thing – it forces you to really check your motives. 🙂

      But what a sweet surprise that he did give you validation and affirmation and appreciation at the end. 🙂 THANKS FOR SHARING!

      1. I am really enjoying reading the book in conjunction with this blog. Some of the dares take me a couple of days with my busy schedule, but I’m getting them done! Thanks for what you do here! 🙂

        1. Kelly,
          It is FINE to take a few days for one dare. These are pretty deep and intense. Better to stretch it out as long as you need to rather than gloss over something important and not pay enough attention to the details. 🙂

          I am so glad that you are seeing God work in your life. What a blessing to me!

  8. Good morning. God led me to this dare this morning as he sent my husband home after over a year of seperation. Now I am struggling with my old behaviours coming back and wondering what is wrong with my husband. It is definitely my expectations of my husband and assuming the worst of motives in all his actions. I have been ironing his shirts (something I didn’t do for 12 years) but have stopped cos I am too tired. I know when I complain (it’s manipulative) and it’s like I have forgotten the grace of God in bringing him back. Just cos it’s not exactly the way I envisaged it to be. Going to go and iron a shirt and remember Serve God and others will see Jesus and that’s my only motive. Thanks to you April. I truly believe that reading your blog helped save my marriage.

    1. Sarah,
      I have to praise God for this! WOOHOO! I am so glad God is speaking to you and you are listening.

      You may want to search my home page also for:

      – idol
      – idolatry
      – discontentment
      – contentment
      – expectations
      – a challenge for you ladies

      Much love to you!!!! Please let me know how you are doing!

  9. QUESTIONS:

    1. What could you do for God today that would be very meaningful to him?
    I picked up a friend for church and feed her and her child afterwords. we talked about him in a respectful way.

    2. What expectations do you need to drop so that you can do this with a cheerful, joyful heart – expecting nothing in return and not storing up resentment in your heart?
    I need to stop expecting God to do as I please my will my biding and wait patiently for his will and what he has for me and wants me to do.

    3. What does today’s verse at the top teach us about the kind of women God desires us to be?
    That we should never argue or complain. gosh that’s a hard one. But I just realized we should never complain @_@ or argue .How eye opening. This verse means we should learn how to communicate effectively which requires us to use a respectful tone and speak what needs to be said only.

    4. Commit to sharing important information and feelings with your husband in a brief, concise, unemotional way. How could you share your heart, desires and needs with him without blaming him, making him the bad guy or raking him over the coals? You “I Feel “statements Instead of “You” statements I don’t know anyone motives.

    5. How can you be responsible for your own feelings and emotions and allow your husband to be responsible for his feelings and emotions?
    I have to learn to be conscious of what I’m feeling and realize that I can control them and how I react no more blaming others for my out burst. ( its crazy how I want control but don’t want to be responsible lol)

    6. How can you tell the difference between sharing your needs and your perspective vs. complaining or arguing?I think complaining is very negative. Ill have to think about this because I don’t know

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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