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The Respect Dare, Day 7 – A New Tongue

silence

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.  Ephesians 4:29

Ok, ladies – this is a TOUGH one!!!!!  We have GOT to be abiding in Christ, feasting on His Word daily, praying humbly for ourselves and our husbands and seeking God with all our hearts, asking Him to fill us with His Spirit or we cannot have victory in this area.

God has given us incredible verbal abilities to use our words to give life, affirm, encourage, bless, support and build up our men (and children and others around us, as well).  But when our sinful nature is in control, we can use our verbal abilities to attack, insult, gossip, slander, tear down, destroy and kill our husbands (and others).

Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing.  My brothers, this should not be.  James 3:10

The tongue holds the power of life and death.  Proverbs 18:21

  • It is time for us to decide to lay down the weapon of our tongue.
  • It is time to stop using our words to fire verbal bullets at our husbands.
  • It is time to stop using our words to tear down our husbands to other people and to destroy our marriages and our husbands’ reputations on Facebook, to our friends, to our other family members, to our coworkers.  (If we have serious problems, let’s only talk to a godly mentoring wife, a Christian counselor or pastor  about it – but even then, let’s be respectful, truthful and not try to slander our husbands or destroy their reputation in our church, neighborhood or community.)
  • It is time to stop negativity, complaining, arguing and a critical spirit.
  • It is time to begin to speak of the GOOD things in our husbands to others (Philippians 4:8).
  • It is time to praise our husbands and talk about what we admire.
  • It is time to learn to use our mouths to bless our husbands at all times.

A minimum requirement of respecting our husbands is that we do not tear them down in public.

TALKING WITH GIRLFRIENDS

It is SO VERY EASY today to get together to chat with our girlfriends and to listen to everyone else bash and ridicule her husband and then to join in.   Sadly, disrespecting our husbands has become normal today.  In fact:

  • if you choose NOT to insult your husband to your girl friends, you will be “weird.”
  • if you go so far as to actually say GOOD things about your man – many of your friends, even ones who claim Christ, may look at you like you are from another planet.
  • if you talk about respecting your husband – you can expect confrontation and anger from many other women.
  • if you have the gall to talk about biblical submission (Ephesians 5:22-33, Titus 2:2-5, I Corinthians 11:3), well… you might just have rotten tomatoes thrown at your head.  Even in your own family.  Even among women who say they are Christians.  That is how deeply poisoned even the church has become with the world’s messages about femininity, masculinity and marriage.  God’s Word is often not tolerated even in “Christian” circles.  How awful is that!?!

Keep in mind that you will become like those friends you hang around.  If your friends are tearing down their men, these are not friends you can spend much time with.  Not if you desire to be a godly wife who honors and obeys Christ and who respects and honors your husband’s God-given leadership.

A COVENANT

Let’s make a covenant with our lips not to tear our husbands down verbally to other people out of respect for our husbands and reverence for Christ.

WHAT DO I TALK ABOUT?

This was a really big struggle for me for the first year or two of this journey of respect and biblical submission.  I wanted to learn wisdom.  I wanted to have discretion.  But at first, I realized that almost every word out of my mouth was negative, critical, complaining, contentious, gossip or hurtful.  At first, I got really quiet as I tried to stop all the negative and disrespectful words from coming out of my mouth.

For me,  I personally had to take a few steps back emotionally from extended family, friends and coworkers because I did not trust my mouth.  It took a long time before I could confidently sit in a group of women and NOT blurt out something hurtful about my husband.  Seriously.  I don’t know that you will need to be that extreme.  Or, maybe you will have a group of wives who will support you in your efforts to stop criticizing, blaming, shaming and complaining about your husband and who will keep you accountable if you slip up.

It takes time to learn to stop the bad stuff.  And at first the positive and good stuff feels awkward, weird and foreign on your lips.  But it becomes more natural as you practice and keep doing it.

This is a process, a long process.  Nina Roesner describes the normal cycles and progress of this journey here.

QUESTIONS:

Nina Roesner has some REALLY good questions on today’s dare.  I dare you to check them out and really do some soul searching with them if you have the book!

I have a few questions to ask you as well:

1.  Do your family members and friends encourage you to say negative things and complain about life and others in general, and specifically about your husband?  What do you believe you may need to do when you are with these people to honor Christ and your marriage covenant?

2. Does your husband feel you support him and show respect to him in the way you speak with others?  Want to ask him and see what he thinks?  If you do this – please just listen and really focus on hearing his heart on this issue.  Whatever you do – do not attack him or list all of his failures.  Just listen to his answer and pray for God to give you wisdom about what you may need to change.

3.  Do you tend to say every thought that comes into your head?  Or do you filter your words wisely with discretion and wisdom – making sure that your words will benefit and bless those who listen?  What do you believe God would like to change in your life in this area?

RELATED POSTS:

Our Words Can Cause Catastrophic Damage

Husband Bashing is Very Contagious

From Clark Kent to Superman  (How God changed my tongue of kryptonite)

Finding the Hero In Our Husbands – Youtube video

23 thoughts on “The Respect Dare, Day 7 – A New Tongue

  1. This is a huge battle for me. The devil has a stronghold in this area of my life. My marriage was very rocky in the beginning which was very hard for me to deal with since I was raised in a Christian family with rarely any conflict. Because I was never taught how to deal with conflict, I resorted to verbal attacks on my husband. Now, years later, it is better but I still have a negative, critical spirit many days. It is now just a habit and we all know how hard it is to change them. I can so relate to you in this post. It feels so foreign to build my husband up and awkward. He has even said things like, ” you must be feeling bad about something”. I so want to be free from this. I am tired of hurting him, my children, myself, and my relationship with God. I can see this negativity in my son, especially. The guilt can be so overwhelming. It’s like I am constantly turning in circles and cannot overcome this. I do believe it is some pride too. I know it will be easier and easier once I take those first steps. And you are so right about being in prayer and the word constantly. I believe that is much of my problem. I try to be positive on my own, which will never happen! Thank you for the encouragement. Knowing someone else has had these same battles is helpful.

    1. Ashley,

      Yes, it takes God’s power to overcome our evil tongues and destructive attitudes. I am thankful God is working in your heart. I am right here if you need to talk or want me to pray with you.

      Dying to self is very painful, but so worth it! I am very excited to see what God has in store for you!

  2. Agreed this is a very challenging dare. The devil is so good at sending the firey darts of negativity to us, constantly pointing out where are husbands are failing.

    In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; Ephesians 6:16. When we seeking God with all our hearts and taking up the shield of faith, we can overcome this.

    As a woman who recently discovered her husband had an affair, this was extremely challenging in the beginning. This was an ultimate failure in my mind, aside from him divorcing me. Even though I was running to God in my pain, I know my words still eluded to my disappointment, disgust, and pain of my husband. These constant negative thoughts about him and what he did only made things worse for me, put me in a constant state of fear, unrest, and sin. It was a big component of how the evil one was keeping me exactly where he wanted me…in captivity.

    I prayed that God would change my sinful heart, that he would give me new eyes to see my husband the way he sees him. As a sinful child of God who just like I am…sinful and in much need of Jesus. When I look at my husband and try to envision him the way God does, it immediately softened my anger, healed some of my hurt, and made me love more.

    Our words are sooo damaging and permanent. They linger in our husbands minds. They can be used to further tear him down (regardless of what they have done) or they can build him up. I pray today that God open my eyes further to the words that come out of my mouth. May God given me a new mouth to speak words of truth, love, honor and respect for the man that he provided for me.

  3. I can’t seem to get this right. On the way to church this morning my husband started talking about the latest article he has read about FEMA camps,etc. I am uncomfortable with this topic because my husband seems paranoid. I tried to discourage him because I didn’t want to talk about it while I was trying to prepare for worship. I ended up commenting that the article sounded flawed. I was using a calm, respectful tone of voice. He asked why I only ever put him down when he talks about the topic. While praying for calm because I knew things were most likely going to get volatile, I said that it is scary for a wife and a woman to hear of all these things and that I needed him to protect my mind. I explained that I saw it as part of his presenting me spotless. He listened (I didn’t realize he was steaming underneath). We talked more. I was calmly talking along the lines of how he tells me these things, but I don’t hear him say anything about the Lord. I told him that I knew he must be thinking those things, but that because he never verbalizes them, that I was left afraid that he was running off in his own direction. He was quiet. Then he let loose with “WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE, MISS HIGH AND MIGHTY? HOW DARE YOU TELL ME WHAT I SHOULD SAY TO YOU OR HOW TO SAY IT?” (He was referring to this conversation and also other times when I’ve asked him not to yell, or to let me explain my reasons for something). The Lord was gracious and I cried briefly in the church bathroom after we arrived, prayed, pulled myself together and asked for the strength to love him. Today was also communion. I didn’t feel that I should take it under the circumstances. He did take it. On the way home he asked why I didn’t. I said that I felt the Lord was saying that we needed to reconcile first. He didn’t say anything else. Where am I going wrong??? Is he wrong or me? Am Iwrong to explain how awoman perceives things? How can I “support” him when I believe his beliefs are irrational? The Lord did show me today that if I stop practicing in my mind all of the things I wish I could say to him but can’t or shouldn’t, that they would not be hidden in my heart, from which the mouth speaks. Therefore I am going to endeavor, with the help of the Spirit, to take captive every thought so that there is only love and purity stored there waiting to overflow. Help.

    1. Wife,

      Whew!

      Well… this is a process of learning. Each husband has his own unique perspective and sense of what is respectful and disrespectful.

      I do like how you told him that the FEMA articles make you feel afraid.

      I think if you had said something like, “I feel afraid when I hear about that topic. It makes me feel nervous and scared.” That would probably have been enough.
      Saying, “I don’t hear you say anything about The Lord” – even though you said “you are probably thinking those things, but I don’t hear them” – I assume he heard that as a criticism of him as a husband and as a believer.

      saying “I’m afraid you are running in your own direction” says to him that you don’t trust him at all and that you believe his direction is wrong.

      If you believe his beliefs about FEMA are irrational. It may be best to not comment at all and just pray for God to give him wisdom.

      You could just say, “Hmmm.” “Wow.” and things to show that you hear him. But you don’t have to agree with him. Does it really matter if you don’t agree with the article? If you think he is paranoid, that is fine, but it may not be wise to say that. Even saying, “The article is flawed” could be an invitation to a conflict if this is something he believes strongly. I personally would focus on Christ and His sovereignty and not worry about the article. That is someone’s opinion. They are not God. They are not sovereign. God is in control.

      I think you both had areas this morning where you could improve. So, my suggestion is to focus on what you can do differently.

      I believe your husband responded so strongly because he felt very disrespected. It is probably wise to apologize for your disrespect tonight – without explaining yourself. “Honey, I apologize for being disrespectful to you this morning on the way to church.” End of comment.

      Do you see any ways that you could have handled things differently this morning now that you have had some time to think and pray about it?

      I am fine with you not taking communion – I think that was wise.

      I like what God showed you about not rehearsing in your mind all the things you could have said to him. That is very wise!

  4. What The Lord taught me 3 or 4 months ago was to shut my mouth, especially when my husband say something bad about me or if I start to get emotional and that I feel like screaming. Some days, I do quite fine but it needs to get an habit. Today I totally forget about it and even in the car to church, after an argument, I knew I should keep my mouth shut or will have an second disagreement. I managed for half way of the road but then ended up by opening it. I wish I could grow in this area and really master this cause I know this it the key of victory. And later on, if I need to say something I can say it but calmly and not under emotion. That is a real challenge. But I’ll keep pressing on. It is so good to see It is a challenge for almost everybody….

    1. Sonia,

      Yes! Sometimes just waiting awhile to think and pray through what you say before you say something too quickly – makes all the difference! It is ok to say, “I am feeling upset.” “I feel scared.” “I feel sad.” Or to say what you want or need – but for me, at first, I had to learn to stop saying anything for awhile – then God slowly taught me what was appropriate to say and what wasn’t. At first, I was too quiet. Then I overshot the other way and said too much. Then I got too quiet again. Then said too much again. It takes practice, lots of prayer and most of all God’s Spirit of wisdom and discretion to learn this stuff. The attitude and words issues are some of the most difficult in my book!

  5. To all of you wonderful wives out there who are trying to make a difference in your marriage, I must mention that Satan is taking note. He is a lot happier if your marriage is okay, or bad. He doesn’t want us to have strong marriages. Just keep this in mind and when you start to have too strong emotions and the words are trying to burst from your lips say “Satan get behind me.” Start fervently praying to God that he would keep Satan and his evil minions away from you so that you can do this good work.

  6. I’ve thought over what happened yesterday and I’ve prayed about what you said and I am ashamed to say that the only conclusion I’ve come to is that I am clueless. Today is our 13th anniversary. He told me that if it weren’t for the children (our 5, my 2, his 2) that we wouldn’t be married. It is true. We are only still married by the grace of God. He doesn’t sound hopeful. Nina Roesner had tried to find someone to help me/mentor me through this, but it didn’t work out. She mentioned your blog might have someone who would be willing to be a Titus 2 woman to me as I learn this new road.

    There is so much more to our story that you can’t even begin to understand. I’m trying to keep my eyes and heart focused on respecting him. I believe it is the key, but your response really showed me that I just don’t even begin to understand men, especially my man.

    What do you suggest? I am reading through as much of your site as possible each day.

  7. I’ve been working on this since you set out a challenge about a month ago not to say anything negative for one day. I’m accutely aware that if I’m not participating in the gossip and complaining then I don’t have much to contribute to conversations. I feel a bit dull and uninteresting. Your third question is a lesson for me. I don’t really self censor when I speak. Sometimes I can hear myself as I speak and I regret the words even before they finish coming out of my mouth.
    But the blessing is that we have been on The Respect Dare journey for just a week and I’ve noticed smiling, jokes laughter and small compliments in my household. DH even noticed the mattress in the garage! Thank you Jesus.

    1. Tam,
      I can relate to you about feeling like you have nothing to say when you cut out the negative things and gossip. I felt that way too at first.

      You do have to be more consciously aware of good things to talk about them, so you have to have a lot of good things in your mind or things you have read about that are interesting and not negative. It definitely is more work than gossiping!

      This is a process, you will begin to feel God’s Spirit tug at you earlier and earlier, thankfully!

      I love that you are seeing a difference in your home already!

      I wonder if you would mind if I share that last part anonymously on FB? Anything you might like to add?

      1. Hi April,
        I’ve prayed about this one lots. I’m happy for you to share my thoughts with other women if you think it will help. FaceBook is a major stumbling block in my journey and I choose not to have a presence there at all. That’s some of the reason I’m doing this journey by replying to the posts each day. Could you pray about it too? I’m sure He is mighty enough that all encouragement will reach those who need it. Please understand. ThxTam

        1. Tam,

          I understand FB being a stumbling block. I completely got off of it for over a year at one point. The main reason I am on it now – is because a lot of people follow me through FB, but I spend almost no time on it myself! 🙂

          If you prefer – I don’t have to share it at all on FB.

          Much love to you! 🙂

  8. Oh my goodness. I have a sad story to share on this one. My women’s bible study group was doing a book study (I don’t remember which book, one by Beth Moore) and it was ongoing complaints and insults about their husbands. This was during a time where I was REALLY trying hard to be better about how I talked about my husband and viewed him in general. I approached the study leader after three weeks of this nonsense, telling her it had to stop because it was hurting my relationship and faith walk. The next meeting she spent less than a minute telling the gals no more husband bashing…and then ten minutes later was doing it herself! After two more weeks of this junk being spewed out of their mouths I left the bible study.

    She still approaches me, asking for me to rejoin the group. But I felt attacked by their words, for daring to be loving, and I only see myself spiraling down into a negative place where there’s plenty of room to let resentment grow.

    We are debating leaving our church for many reasons, this being one of them. I know we’re not perfect but it scares me to think that leadership can be so quick to jump to inappropriate behavior and insulting to those who are actually trying to live out the words of the Gospel.

    1. Dani,

      That is a very sad story. 🙁 I will pray for the leadership to have God’s wisdom and His Spirit right now.

      Thank you for sharing. I pray that God might intervene and help the women to see so that He might be able to change their hearts.

  9. I love this challenge/dare. Of course having said that, this will now be a huge struggle for me.

    I started really working on my complaining, not just towards my husband but in general, a few years back when my oldest child began to mimic my behavior. It drove us crazy the amount of complaining that went on, but by working on it myself, I was able to help them change.

    I really began watching whatever I said in “public” about my husband, when I sat in a Ladies Bible Study class around Valentines Day and the women were complaining that their husbands bought them flowers and chocolate, and how much of a waste of money it was. It broke my heart because at that point it had been 7 years since I had received ANY gift from my husband, not just a Valentines Gift. He is a great provider. I lack for nothing. But he just isn’t very thoughtful when it comes to “little” gifts. Feeling like I should know he cares by his staying around and providing and doing things around the house. These ladies had no idea what they did that day. And probably still don’t. Although I did step up and mention that should be grateful for the gifts, as there are many women who received nothing, it hit me hard the testimony we have or do not have.

    A bigger challenge that has made me more determined then ever not to complain has been 6 months ago when I really started to learn to LOVE and change my heart, my husbands relationship with God really cooled off. It has even gone so far that he asked I not talk about anything “religious” in the house anymore. That’s been his only request, I can attend church with the kids as much as I want, don’t expect him to go, and don’t talk about it. Now to his credit he does ask my how church was each time I go, but he isn’t looking for more then a good or not so good answer. Sadly I have failed in this more then won, but I am determined to honor him and to live out 1 Pet 3 – winning without a word! I refuse to be the reason that he can’t ever work through whats going on. I also refuse to say anything that would make him feel ashamed to attend church again. And its not our church, just for clarification, he really likes the church.

    AND its okay to be going through this. I actually have so much peace and JOY! The more I honor God, the more I am given. I am not responsible to change my husband, only for my part. It has sadly taken a long time and an almost destroyed marriage to get to this point. But as I mentioned in a previous post, the less I worry about changing him or wanting him to change and just accept, respect, honor him the way he is right now, the greater joy I have and our marriage is the best it has ever been. He has even said that to some other people!

    I do have one prayer partner. I keep her in prayer as her husband is not saved, and she keeps my in prayer. Because we “get” each other. We don’t complain at all, but we do keep each other informed of what our struggle is. There is a fine line between those though, and its very easy to cross it, but we keep each other accountable and in line.

    Oh, I do want to say that out of the blue I got a 10year anniversary ring a few years back. The following year a special lens for my camera. Then next year a huge birthday surprise, and even this last year a huge gift for my birthday. Also this year, he is taking us away on a family vacation. Something he has never done. I have taken the kids away but he has backed out last minute each time. This year he is more excited then I am, so of course I would go anywhere he wants to go, even camping which I loathe – thankfully that’s not where we are going : )

  10. 1. Do your family members and friends encourage you to say negative things and complain about life and others in general, and specifically about your husband? What do you believe you may need to do when you are with these people to honor Christ and your marriage covenant?
    My family is very negative all of the women are very strong willed too. If I had a husband I think they would join in with what ever I said about him. I think I am the problem and need to learn how to filter my thoughts. For some reason words and thought just come rushing out of my mouth I dont know how to filter or be silent. My sister did say that im developing a filter and that she sees a change in me. 🙂
    2. Does your husband feel you support him and show respect to him in the way you speak with others? Want to ask him and see what he thinks? If you do this – please just listen and really focus on hearing his heart on this issue. Whatever you do – do not attack him or list all of his failures. Just listen to his answer and pray for God to give you wisdom about what you may need to change. If I had one he would probably say no/yes or sometimes lol

    3. Do you tend to say every thought that comes into your head? Or do you filter your words wisely with discretion and wisdom – making sure that your words will benefit and bless those who listen? What do you believe God would like to change in your life in this area?
    Yes I speak almost every negative thought that comes into my head. I am also very playful but the sarcastic kind which is not very wholesome . My personality is playful and jokey so how do I change it? I believe God wants to make me a new person with a new tongue. and heart that is not negative. but its all linked back to do I trust him. I really want to trust him fully I mean with all of me I can taste it. Something just isnt right within me. I dont know how to trust.

    1. Shy,
      There is often a period of silence at first, as we learn to stop the sinful words from spilling out.

      Nina Roesner talks about that here.

      And I talk about it here.

      The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord – reverence for Him. Then, the next step is to not say anything if you are in doubt about the wisdom of saying something or whether it is sinful or hurtful or not.

      Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues. Proverbs 17:28

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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