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The Respect Dare, Day 10 – His Biggest Critic, or His Biggest Supporter?

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Do not judge, and you will not be judged.  Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned.  Forgive, and you will be forgiven.  Luke 6:37

How can we apply this verse to ourselves as wives?

Nina Roesner, in The Respect Dare on Dare 10, challenges us not “to judge, criticize or condemn others, but instead be a woman who speaks carefully in wisdom and encourages her husband.”

HE NEEDS MY HELP

That is what I used to think.

You know, there is some truth there.  I was created by God to be my husband’s helper.

But when my sinful nature is in control of my life instead of God’s Spirit, being a”helper” can easily become being controlling.

What is the difference between “helping” and “controlling”?   That is a REALLY important question!

CONTROLLING:

  • I overstep my husband’s boundaries and do things for him that he does not appreciate.
  • I think I know best and I am determined to do things my way no matter what my husband says or what he thinks.
  • I do not give my husband a choice – I insist on what I want.
  • I make his decisions for him, and I make family decisions for him.
  • I don’t see God’s sovereignty, I act as if I am sovereign and everything depends on me.  I don’t trust God to lead me through my husband.
  • I offer unsolicited advice to my husband – he may interpret that to mean that I think  he can’t come up with good solutions and ideas on his own.  That feels disrespectful to many men.
  • I jump in to help him with something without him asking me for help.  This can be confusing – because to a woman, it is loving to jump in and help someone usually, but to a man it is disrespectful many times to help without his asking for help
  • I offer plenty of criticism about his ideas and shoot down his plans, suggestions, dreams, wisdom and solutions.
  • I clean up my husband’s stuff, give away his things, organize them or mess with them without his permission.
  • I look down on my husband with contempt.
  • I believe I am better than my husband.
  • I have a HARD time forgiving.
  • I have a lot of negative things to say to my husband and about my husband.

HELPING (by God’s Spirit working in me):

  • I only offer help when he asks me for help.  And when he does ask me for help, I make his request a priority.
  • I listen to him intently, trusting him to come up with the solutions and answers himself.
  • I show my faith in him that I know he’s “got this.”
  • I say something like, “I don’t know what the answer is, but I know you, and I know you will come up with the right way to handle this problem.” (Gary Thomas, Sacred Influence)
  • I only offer my suggestions when he asks for my opinion.
  • I respect my husband’s ability to handle his job, his family relationships, his friendships and problems without my assistance.
  • I do my best to stand behind his decisions.
  • I share my perspective and ideas respectfully.
  • I don’t tear him down with my words to others.
  • I have only good and kind motives towards him.  I think of myself as being on his team.
  • I have his back and defend and support him to others.
  • I support his authority as a dad and stand united with him to our children.
  • If he does ask for my advice, I am gentle, not bossy.  I present options to consider, not iron clad things he has to do.
  • I am a safe place for my husband to confide his vulnerabilities, weaknesses, temptations, struggles, emotions, ideas, dreams and plans.
  • I generously and freely offer grace, mercy and forgiveness.
  • I focus on the good in my husband.

DARE:

1. Seek to avoid giving unsolicited advice to your husband.

2. Let your husband know that you want to be a safe  place for him to share his struggles/difficulties with you.  Do what it takes to become that safe place.  You may want to ask him how you could improve in this area.  Then just listen and take his suggestions to heart.

SHARE:

How is the Respect Dare going for you?  What challenges are you having?  What victories have you seen?  Please share, I know that your story will touch and bless many other wives. 🙂

OTHER RESOURCES:

You have GOT to read this post by Jennifer at www.unbrokenwoman.com

SOME OF MY YOUTUBE VIDEOS (My Channel is “April Cassidy”)

26 thoughts on “The Respect Dare, Day 10 – His Biggest Critic, or His Biggest Supporter?

  1. I sent you a private message, but I will share here to because maybe another wife is struggling too. I have had a hard time answering the questions. I don’t know if it is because they are just too deep or if it is because I am a full time working mom and just haven’t had the time to dig deep into them or maybe a bit of both. I am learning a lot though and continuing to follow along each day. I will not give up. I know that God has something planned for me in this study!

    1. Sarah,
      This journey does take time and intense concentration on God, His Word, and time to look at and evaluate your faith, your beliefs, your core understanding of God and yourself and marriage.

      The roots of our ability to respect our husbands and honor their leadership are tied to our understanding of GOd’s sovereignty and His character, any idols we may have in our hearts, and possibly warped views of God and ourselves that we most likely developed as children.

      This is a totally thorough inspection of our hearts and souls. For me, I had to be willing to tear out everything I thought I knew about being a Christian, being a godly wife, marriage, femininity and masculinity and dig all the way down to Christ and then begin rebuilding on His Word alone.

      It is HARD and PAINFUL work.

      Yes, I have no doubt that many other wives struggle with these questions, too.

      I am so glad that you are on this journey and that you are not giving up. 🙂

  2. “I only offer help when he asks me for help. And when he does ask me for help, I make his request a priority.”

    When I started this journey of respecting my husband about a year ago, the biggest confusion for me was how to be a Biblical helper to my husband, and yet not come across as his “mother”. The quote above is such an excellent guideline for drawing the line between the two. Thank you, April!

  3. DARE:
    “Let your husband know that you want to be a safe place for him to share his struggles/difficulties with you.”

    This dare has been the hardest one yet. In the past when I have tried to approach my husband respectfully it has always back fired. I have begun to see that part of this is because I was still trying to “change” him and not honouring Christ. So I’ve approached it in baby steps. I casually mentioned that I wanted us to have trust and left it at that. Any more and I think I would’ve begun a long winded explanation that probably would’ve made him defensive. Now comes the real trust part; trust that God sees my heart and intention. Trust that my husband will think on this and process it his own way. Trust that even if DH doesn’t ever reply, he will feel more trust in me if I am consistently loving. Repeat steps 2-6 then steps 8-9 as needed.

    SHARE:
    This Dare is going beautifully. I am calm, less frustrated, seeing my husband with fresh eyes. He lost major contract on Monday. It was his most lucrative one and he’s really down about it. He has been sharing everything that’s going on each step instead of shutting me out. He’s even asked me for advice and followed what I recommended he do. I think that this is because instead of complaining and freaking out, I just listened and encouraged him when he needed it. I let him know that I believe in his skills, talents and his work ethic; I reminded him he is a great provider and he deserves a break. He took that last part literally and is now planning an island holiday.
    Who loses their job and then goes on holidays? I hear my sinful nature ask.
    A family that feels safe together.
    I know that God is watching over us and DH wouldn’t think of relaxing if he wasn’t confident that we did have the money to cover it.
    So I know we are safe. Both in Gods hands and my husbands.
    Thank you April this journey is painful but a blessing.
    Love Tam

    1. Tam,

      WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      THIS GIVES ME CHILLS.

      WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Lord,
      THANK YOU for what You are doing in Tam and her husband. This is SO BEAUTIFUL!!! Thank You that You are ABLE, Jesus! What glory is Yours when we obey You.

      Bless Tam and her husband. Draw them closer to You and to each other. Use them to draw many to Christ. Protect them from evil. Provide just the right job for her husband at just the right time. Give her husband wisdom to lead this family and let Tam greatly bless and encourage her man and build him up, inspiring him to become the man of YOUR dreams.

      In the Name and power of Christ,
      Amen!

      I wonder if I might share this on FB anonymously?
      I know many wives would be greatly blessed. 🙂

      THANK YOU for sharing! YOU MADE MY DAY!

      1. Ok I will say yes this time. I have a feeling God wants you to share it. I will be praying for women who need encouragement.
        ThxTam

  4. Good morning April…

    Whew…just got done reading Tam’s reply and broke out in many tears…but I know that is because I saw exactly the same sinful attitude and heart that was in me that was in Tam’s post. But God is good and He is at work.

    I went through a study called Self Confrontation with a mentor from my chuch about 2 years ago. It is from Biblical Counseling Foundation and it is a hard study. You look at yourself based off of Matthew 7 where it talks about judging and removing the plank out of your own eye before you can see the speck in your brother’s eye. That year I was convicted about the anger in my heart towards hubby and also towards those who I thought had offended me or had took advantage of me and our friendship. I realized that I am not peaceful and do not act loving and am an ANGRY person. Yes when I was going through this it was in a hard time where I was adjusting to a new medication for my bipolar. But God used this hard time to teach me that yes, Melissa, you can be an angry person. I never knew that anger was in my heart, until God ordained circumstances (or heat) in my life to reveal my angry heart to me. It was an awesome in detail study and I am tempted from time to time to repeat it…because I was changed…

    While I am no longer an angry person (for the most part…maybe frustrating person) there are so many more areas that I want changed but I need God’s spirit to change me in. One of which is, like TAM, said above is to be my hubby’s best friend and not his mother. I tend to like to do that because I like control and I like things my way. But in so doing that, I disrespect my husband and make him feel belittled. For example…I have a little better personal hygene than my husband. But when I ask him daily or sometimes to go brush his teeth, that is acting like a mother. While he may need to improve in this area, he doesn’t need my disrepectful “mothering” comments or suggestions. He is 37 and he is a grown man. What kind of grown man wants a momma living with him. I married him and he was my best friend. But my constant criticism that sometimes came out/or comes out, even in nonverbal communcation, like looks or frustrations, or words, is disrespecting my hubby. And how can he trust me as his friend if I am acting like his mother?

    1. Missy Sue,
      Did I miss this comment? I am so sorry!

      You are exactly right. Men are not attracted to their mothers. That is what we are being when we constantly tell them what to do and remind them about personal hygiene issues. I used to do the same thing! But possibly even worse – since I am a pharmacist, I felt very qualified to tell my husband all about the healthy things he should be doing and how unhealthy his choices were.

      Now, I leave those things up to him. It works so much better that way. 🙂

      Much love!

  5. Good afternoon April…

    The Respect Dare has been going okay for me…just really, really slow. I am trying to take the time to process the material and prayfully go through the dares. I just finished day 10. It is taking awhile for me because I process things in chunks and ideas. I am usually a writer and communicate via writing…and I need time too. So I have been plugging away dare by dare. Easy does it.

    I did have a conversation the other night with hubby about if I was critical of him or supportive of him in a lot of stuff. I asked him if I advised him too much. His basic response was that he sometimes feels like he is wasting his breath speaking to me. Even when asking him simple questions or explanations about what he does at work, how was his day, how to work things out on my computer and cell phone…well I guess he probably does talk into the air a lot.

    I have learned that he feels that way because it is that way. I am a horrible listener. I like to give advice without thinking about it. I like to talk more than I like to listen. I like to boss others more than I like to learn. And that is sin. I don’t have a humble, submissive, gently, loving and sincere spirit in my conversations and I am not teachable…maybe by others leaders whom I respect, but before I thought about this…the more I have disrespected my hubby, tried to give him advice, and took other leaders words and opinions as weightier than my husband’s opinions or advice.

    This is sin and it breaks my heart. I want so badly for my hubby to safely trust me with his challenges and thoughts and opinions, but if the tables were turned, why would I waste my breath also.

    This not only has happened in my relationship with hubby but in other relationships as well. I need to listen because I love. I need to love because I love God. and I need to love others because God loved me. I need to love and listen, not talk and be more concerned about getting my own needs met.

    God, make me an excellent listener and work in my heart in this area of struggle. Put a clamp on my jaw, help me bite my tounge, and attune my ears to listen to others without offering my thoughts and advice. Spirit of God do this work by the Power of your Name according to your will and work in my heart. Amen.

    Thanks April. Missy Sue 🙂

    1. Missy Sue,

      WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      I am glad you are taking time to process. If this is the first time you are seeing some of these topics, they can send you reeling at first.

      But you know what? Better to go slow and REALLY process all of these issues deeply than gloss over them and not allow God’s Spirit to convict and change you. Total heart change is painful. Dying to self HURTS. Facing our own sin is YUCKY!!!!!!!

      But it is the path to wholeness, healing, peace, joy, intimacy and abundant life!

      You know somthing? What you have written is SO INCREDIBLY POWERFUL… it is such a GOd thing – I hope you might let me anonymously post it. I believe MANY other wives would be extremely blessed by what you have written here.

      Thank you for your candor and honesty. And thank you for having a broken heart over your sin before God. THAT is the place you have to be to start to allow God to work powerfully in you. It is the most beautiful attitude in the world to God – when someone sees just how spiritually bankrupt she really is and how desperately she needs Christ. That is called being “poor in Spirit” – it is step one of the journey.

      When I see people broken over their sin and humbling themselves before God like this – I get EXCITED! I know some seriously good stuff is happening and more is on the way. 🙂

      You are a blessing to me today!

      Much love, my precious sister!

  6. Good and God morning April…

    Thanks for your comments and feedback.

    Sure you may share this with other wives. I don’t mind. I don’t want the recognition at all because it is not about me, but what God is doing in my heart. It is all about Him and what He wants to change in me.

    This respect dare is another “self confrontation” course to say the least. Confronting sin patterns and even the lies we listen to from the enemy that we use to justify our sin is what will bring me (us) freedom in the end. The victory is already ours in Christ. We just need to be obedient.

    So out of obedience and a love for Christ, I wouldn’t mind you sharing my post on FB with other women because God is doing His work in my life.

    I have been meaning to email you about some things too..which I may do today.

    Thanks April. Have a blessed day! Missy Sue

    1. Thanks, Missy Sue! I hope to post it later today.

      Yes. This is a self-confrontation. It is painful at first! But definitely the way to abundant life in the end.

      Thank you for sharing all that God is doing in you! 🙂

  7. Hi April..
    I didn’t know if or when you were going to share this post. I haven’t seen anything yet. Just curious, that is all. Like you said I think it would be a blessing as well to the ladies.

    Thanks,
    Missy Sue

  8. I am doing the respect dare because I want my husband’s and my love for each other to grow, and I want also respect for each other to grow. I asked my husband how I can improve in the area of being a safe place for him to share his struggles and difficulties. It was a bit hard for me because it seemed he and I both knew I was not much of a safe place for him much. Any response I got out of him, I really listened, even critiquing comments, ’cause that meant I was at least some sort of safe place that he could share that. I thank the Lord for it and pray that his safe place would grow more safe, peaceful, welcoming, and beautiful.

    1. Lindsey,

      I am so glad you were willing to listen – even to his criticisms. That is awesome! I pray along with you that you would become an increasingly safe, peaceful, welcoming and beautiful place for him to enjoy. 🙂 Most of all – that you will be pleasing to God in every way by His power working in you. 🙂

  9. Hi All ( I’m a wife in training)

    1.How is the Respect Dare going for you?
    Its been going really good. I haven’t done one in many days I started school again. I’ve also had many things happen but i’m back. My thoughts are changing.

    2.What challenges are you having?
    I’ve been having a few Challenges. Like when to stop speaking. I talk alot. Another letting the wrong thing come out; only to realize I should not have said that.

    3. What victories have you seen?
    Just the other day a friend did something that could be consider questionable. my first thought was negative ( You can’t trust him cut him off), my second thought was mercy and grace ( give him a chance to explain). I decided to go with mercy and grace ,and rejected the thought to apply motives to what he did. Once I spoke with him everything was good. He did not have evil motives towards me; and I got to miss out on a fight YAY!

  10. Dear April. I hope it’s ok to comment on such an old post. I came across you blog thanks to a dear friend who shared some of your posts and video clips with me. Over the past few years her life has become such a testimony to being a peaceful wife. Even my husband noticed and commented on how she is building her husband up, and this was during a very difficult time in his and my relationship, so I have been walking alongside her, drawing closer to the Lord and devouring your posts. Since I have been working through the Respect Dare posts on a daily basis I feel so much closer to the Lord and we are both happier in our marriage. My husband has noticed that I am trying to change and has expressed appreciation. Now I have two issues I am grappling with.

    1) Firstly my husband doesn’t trust me enough to share his heart with me because of my overly emotional or negative responses to his choices or mistakes in the past. Some of his decisions and choices have cost me dearly and caused a lot of heartache and pain and consequently strain in our marriage. How do I become “a safe place for my husband to confide his vulnerabilities, weaknesses, temptations, struggles, emotions, ideas, dreams and plans.”

    2) Secondly I often feel unheard and I don’t know how to deal with it. Sometimes I will speak to him about something or ask him in a pleasant respectful way to do or not do something that is valid, and at the time he agrees and is quite pleasant, but then later he does just the opposite as if we never discussed it. This can be from minor issues to major issues. Usually I just let it go, but it feels wrong. I know he’s not usually doing it deliberately. He is often just focused on his own plan or his own task that he doesn’t think about what we have talked about. I don’t want to nag him and keep reminding him. Sometimes the issues are really important. Do you have any advice?

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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