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The Respect Dare, Day 12 – Wise Words and Kindness

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She opens her mouth in wisdom; and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.  Proverbs 31:26

Nina Roesner shares a very relatable story in The Respect Dare – on Dare 12 – about a wife who had a rough day and asked her husband to take care of the dishes and put the children to bed so she could go to bed early.  He agreed but then forgot to finish cleaning up the kitchen – she discovered this when she went to make coffee the next morning.  She had a choice – to explode in anger or to extend grace, mercy and kindness with her words, remembering he had had a bad day the day before, too.

Nina shares that sometimes what seems like an inconsiderate action or insult – is really just an oversight by someone who is just as tired as we are.

Whether you are working through The Respect Dare book right now, or not, you can read my posts and participate in the discussion and challenges I give.  Everyone is welcome! 🙂

WHICH IS THE MORE POWERFUL APPROACH?

WORLDLY:

Worldly wisdom tells us that if someone “drops the ball” we are entitled to blow up at them, get highly offended and demand that they do what we want them to do.

Worldly wisdom says that overlooking an insult means we are going to be “taken advantage of” – as if that is the worst thing that could happen in life.

Worldly wisdom says that we are totally justified to yell, scream, cuss, disrespect and emasculate our husbands if they don’t meet our expectations.

Worldly wisdom says, “I WILL have my way, no matter what the cost to others.”

Worldly wisdom says, “Life is all about me.  Who cares what problems other people have.”

Worldly wisdom says, “I’m going to make him pay for what he did for me.  I’ll show him!”

GODLY:

Godly wisdom says if someone makes a mistake and doesn’t meet my expectations to offer grace and seek to understand that person, offering mercy and forgiveness that I have been given in Christ.

Godly wisdom says that  there are times when overlooking an insult prevents an unnecessary conflict and is an exercise in self-control.

Godly wisdom says that I am accountable for my behavior, attitudes, motives, actions and sins no matter how much someone sins against me.

Godly wisdom calls me to repay evil with good, to pray for those who mistreat me and to be kind to those who are cruel to me.

Godly wisdom knows when to gently confront and when to let things go.

Godly wisdom says that the person who insulted me may be having a bad day, too, or may be exhausted, in pain or stressed.  I don’t have to necessarily take their insult personally.

Godly wisdom says, “I will wait for God to take revenge, it is not my place to seek vengeance.  I will respond in the power and love of Christ when someone hurts me.”

(If your husband is physically abusing you or has an uncontrolled mental disorder or you have serious marriage problems – please seek godly, wise counsel!!!)

QUESTIONS:

1.  When you are tired, hormonal, have low blood sugar, etc… how do you normally interact with others?

2. How can you honor God today if your husband says something harsh?

3.  When you are having a bad day, how can you sympathize with other people who may also be having a rough time?

CHALLENGE:

It is better to say nothing than to say something hurtful.  Let your words today be words of kindness.

From Nina Roesner:

“First comes the control,

then comes the ability to see things how God sees them,

then comes the ability to say things wisely to others.”

SHARE:

How are you doing with the dares?

What has been the biggest struggle so far?

What surprises have you had?

What victories have you seen?

25 thoughts on “The Respect Dare, Day 12 – Wise Words and Kindness

  1. Hi April,

    I am persevering through the Dares each day and had a small epiphany just now as I answer question 2 from the Respect Dare. Have you been wise in your communication? So I was thinking to last night when I needed to ask my husband for a favor. He puts our 17 month old daughter Hannah to bed at night and I carefully asked him if he could please put her to bed by 6:30 -6:40 as I had a Dr appt this morning that I had to leave the house by 7 for. I said to him that my hope was that she would wake around 6:30. We always put her to bed at this time, I was just asking him to ensure it happened and she did not go to bed too late and then get over tired and then not sleep or sleep too late. I like her to wake up when she is ready, not be woken up. So my husband kinda snotily said YOU CAN JUST WAKE UP HER, YOU DON”T HAVE TO GET STRESSED OUT BECAUSE YOU HAVE A DR APPT TOMORROW. I wanted to pulverize him. I didn’t. 🙂
    But wanted too. I used to tell my husband that he is a contrary. EVERYTHING I seem to say, he has to somehow negate. This drives me nuts. He has asked me to stop calling him a contrary. I have since eliminated this word from my vocabulary. But his behavior remains. So here is where I get hung up NOT being wise in my communication. I carefully craft my initial questions to him respectfully and then he makes a response like the one above and I feel sucker punched. I am so derailed off the train track that I then react badly. How can I be trying so hard to make my initial request to him respect and then he responds so negatively? He actually said he was sorry IMMEDIATELY and then said he was sorry again after he put her to bed. So I know he sees his bad behavior. So I think I am seeing the resolution to my own problem as I type (good therapy :))
    I somehow need to not only craft my first question but THEN I have to have something else to say after he makes one of his very typical CONTRARY ( I didn’t just say that, typing does not count) responses. REALLY??? I have to anticipate his bad behavior and have a respectful response for after that? What should I have said last night as fume is filling up every cell of my being. FIRST – Holy Spirit please speak for me NOW and then say something like. I am not getting stressed out, I could just really use your help to get me to my Dr appt tomorrow?
    Thanks April.
    I really appreciate you helping me.

    1. Hello April,

      Not sure if you ended up responding to Stephanie in a different post/form than thruogh the comments, but I would like to bring this question back to life. It is ExactlY what I go through! (Stephaine, you are not alone!) The “contrary,” or opposite of what I’m lookig for gets brought up.
      When I feel like I’ve taken the time to “craft” my question in a polite and respectful manner and then I don’t get the loving thoughtful response back from my husband it is very discouraging and a bit demotivating. I feel like he is not coming along side me, understanding ME, where I’m coming from, and my position, but just wants to share what HE thinks, in a (what feel to me) rough, cut and dry way. I’d like to be thought of, considered, gently. Maybe too much to ask? Maybe an expectation that is wrong to have on my part? Maybe.
      If you have any thoughts, I’m sure Stephanie and I would both appreciate it. Stephanie I know it’s been a while since this senario, but we all need help. April, maybe you can point us to some insight posts about this very thing?

      You are apprceiated, April. Thank you in advance. And thanks for posting your comment, Stephaine.

      Here’s to many more blessing, doing things God’s way!!

      Sab 🙂

        1. Hi April
          Here is Stephanies comment:
          “I am persevering through the Dares each day and had a small epiphany just now as I answer question 2 from the Respect Dare. Have you been wise in your communication? So I was thinking to last night when I needed to ask my husband for a favor. He puts our 17 month old daughter Hannah to bed at night and I carefully asked him if he could please put her to bed by 6:30 -6:40 as I had a Dr appt this morning that I had to leave the house by 7 for. I said to him that my hope was that she would wake around 6:30. We always put her to bed at this time, I was just asking him to ensure it happened and she did not go to bed too late and then get over tired and then not sleep or sleep too late. I like her to wake up when she is ready, not be woken up. So my husband kinda snotily said YOU CAN JUST WAKE UP HER, YOU DON”T HAVE TO GET STRESSED OUT BECAUSE YOU HAVE A DR APPT TOMORROW. I wanted to pulverize him. I didn’t. 🙂
          But wanted too. I used to tell my husband that he is a contrary. EVERYTHING I seem to say, he has to somehow negate. This drives me nuts. He has asked me to stop calling him a contrary. I have since eliminated this word from my vocabulary. But his behavior remains. So here is where I get hung up NOT being wise in my communication. I carefully craft my initial questions to him respectfully and then he makes a response like the one above and I feel sucker punched. I am so derailed off the train track that I then react badly. How can I be trying so hard to make my initial request to him respect and then he responds so negatively? He actually said he was sorry IMMEDIATELY and then said he was sorry again after he put her to bed. So I know he sees his bad behavior. So I think I am seeing the resolution to my own problem as I type (good therapy :))
          I somehow need to not only craft my first question but THEN I have to have something else to say after he makes one of his very typical CONTRaRY ( I didn’t just say that, typing does not count) responses. REALLY??? I have to anticipate his bad behavior and have a respectful response for after that? What should I have said last night as fume is filling up every cell of my being. FIRST – Holy Spirit please speak for me NOW and then say something like. I am not getting stressed out, I could just really use your help to get me to my Dr appt tomorrow?
          Thanks April.
          I really appreciate you helping me.”

          It’s the frustration and demotivation that comes when you feel like you’ve tried your best communicating properly yet get a seemingly harsh response.
          Thank for your help!

          1. SAB,
            Your husband puts your baby to bed every night?
            Wow!

            How often do you thank him for this???

            Many wives would faint from shock if their husbands did this one time. 🙂

            Sounds like you have a very living, involved man.

            What if you just listened to him and considered his words?

            “Hmm… That is true. Thanks for sharing your wisdom and perspective…”

            Then, think about what he suggested. Pray about it even. He may have wisdom to offer to you. 🙂 you could thank him and cooperate with his suggestion and thank him for his perspective and leadership. Or, after awhile, if you still feel strongly about the early bedtime, maybe you could say, “you know, you are right that I don’t need to stress about my appointment. I don’t think I am stressing about it. But it would mean a lot to me if our baby goes down early tonight. Maybe it won’t matter. But it would make me feel better… I really appreciate your wisdom and willingness to help me not stress. You must really love me.” 😉

            Sometimes, try to take his suggestions. You may be surprised how much wisdom he has and how much pressure he might take off of you. 🙂

          2. SAB,
            I also have a feeling that as you begin to hear him and take his ideas seriously, he will probably approach you more gently and lovingly as well. 🙂 let me know how it goes!

          3. This is a good response April. It’s always good to have a good attitude and see the positive side. I think what may be going on here also with these ladies, that I can identify with is, having a husband who continually responds with harshness despite our best, prayerful efforts to remain Godly in our interactions can really wear us down. I remember you saying in one of your youtube videos that you have a passive husband. So is it possible you may not identify completely with what’s happening? I don’t know. I could be wrong. I have a very strong, opinionated, “type A” husband. Other women here may have a similar type husband as well. It can be very grating on my soul to deal day in and day out with my husbands, harshness and can really break a woman’s spirit. It’s easy to become discouraged in this atmosphere. Focus on my husbands positive side does help. There is also the issue of when resentment builds because I try and try and it’s met with harshness day after day…..I’m exhausted from it all. I’m so glad God loves me.

          4. heartbroken,

            I agree that there can be situations where a husband is quite harsh and it happens daily. That is not how Christ desires us to treat anyone. 🙁 It breaks my heart to think about any spouse living in a situation like that.

            To me, this issue sounded different from that. It seems like this husband may have been trying to help his wife be a bit more relaxed and go-with-the flow. The response she said she gave was a potentially reasonable idea, it seems to me. And then he was quite apologetic when he saw she was upset. Perhaps I am misunderstanding? It seems like he may have been even trying to lead her and to share his wisdom that might have made her life better.

            But what you are talking about sounds like a much more difficult situation – if I am understanding SAB and you correctly. If a husband is quite harsh and or controlling constantly – that could certainly break a woman’s spirit. It is very hard to live with a very demanding, perfectionistic, controlling, or harsh person. It would be easy to allow the harshness, criticism, and control to steal a wife’s joy in Christ. I never want that to happen!

            I do have a weakness in ministry because I have not experienced living with a husband of every personality type. I have attempted to recruit women whose husbands tend to be more type A, harsh, controlling, etc… but most of these husbands won’t allow their wives to write a blog post. That has been really frustrating. Yes, my husband has a tendency to be more passive. I was the more controlling, harsh one. He tended to completely shut down and say absolutely nothing. There have been a few times he has shown anger – but it is rare.

            I have had some guest posts from wives with more harsh husbands since this post was written. You are welcome to search my home page for:

            – conflict
            – command man

            And if a husband is particularly harsh and verbally abusive (and a wife is not contributing to a “culture of verbal abuse” in the marriage) – some helpful resources might be Leslie Vernick’s books and blogs. She has material on dealing with toxic, difficult people in a Christlike way.

            Also, Sacred Influence by Gary Thomas has some real life examples of wives with harsh/angry husbands and how they handled the situations in godly ways that seem helpful to me.

            If God has helped you learn how to cling to Him and abide in Him and respond in His power in the midst of feeling that your husband is too harsh – I would love to hear what He has shown you. 🙂

            These posts are also by a wife with a very harsh husband (who has not done much changing in the past year still):

            My Husband Wanted a Divorce

            The Treasures of God in the Midst of a Great Storm

            How She Apologized for Her Disrespect

  2. “She opens her mouth in wisdom; and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.”
    Proverbs 31:26

    Uh oh, just when I felt I was getting a handle on this respect thing the Dare Journey takes a huge turn.
    “Nina shares that sometimes what seems like an inconsiderate action or insult – is really just an oversight by someone who is just as tired as we are.”
    So my sinful nature jumps up and down in a tantrum. ” why do I have to be patient and tolerant if he’s tired or stressed, but if I’m tired or stressed I have to simply put up and shut up!”
    Yuck I know.
    When I read the worldly wisdom part (several times, this one was so hard to process) I kept thinking. “Why does he always treat me like that?”
    When I read the Godly wisdom part (again several times)I kept thinking “there’s no way I can treat him like that”
    My mood does get foul when I’m tired hungry or hormonal. I’ve started giving DH a warning when I feel over emotional and I think it’s helping. But I do wish he would be patient and not critical of me. It doesn’t help.
    Hang on a minute today’s dare says it should be the other way around. Oops I forgot.
    “When you are having a bad day, how can you sympathize with other people who may also be having a rough time?”
    Hmmm I’m having trouble with this one.
    I don’t dare open my mouth because I know that wisdom is still out of my reach right now. I have to grow more in respect and humility before I can contemplate speaking in wisdom. I am practicing being slow to speak and slow to anger. It’s hard but better than allowing angry emotions to rule what I say.

    Ok lessons learned. All of this ugliness has to be brought out in the open. If I don’t recognise it God cant change it and my anger and resentment will grow.
    Keep your eyes on Christ. He forgave while nailed to a cross as people ridiculed him as he was dying.

    Like I said earlier I think I’m doing well on this Journey but each challenge is confronting and very hard to process. Day 12 actually took me around 3 days to really work through.
    I am more calm though and less emotional. When I feel denial or anger or unforgivness I am quicker to think of scripture or prayer.
    Ok next challenge. Lord help me cause I think I’m not ready.
    ThxTam

    1. Tam,

      I always look forward to your comments! God gives you some seriously powerful insights that are such a blessing!

      The fact that you won’t open your mouth and that you know you don’t have wisdom yet – means you are much closer to it than you ever were before. I’m so proud of you! Nina Roesner talks about the stages of this process. And she says that silence comes first. Then the ability to speak respectfully and kindly comes later.

      This is quite a refining process – God uses it all to bring the dross to the top. It hurts to go through the furnace like this- but God is purifying us to make us more and more like Jesus. He is absolutely worth it!

      If you need more time to process a particular dare – that is fine. Don’t try to do more than one dare on one day. If you need to stay on one dare for awhile – that is ok.

      This is A LOT to absorb. It may take going through this book several times to help really cement the concepts in our minds.

      Much love to you!

  3. I’m going through the respect dare on my own and reading these posts is very helpful and insightful.
    This challenge is particularly hard for me because I feel like I have taken on everything in regards to our home. I work full time and come home and have all the responsibilities of the home. I’m tired and don’t really get much help. Its really hard for me to have grace towards my husband in this area. I come home from work to have hours of stuff to do around the house and helping my daughter, etc. He comes home to dinner and hours of tv before he goes to bed. Its really hard not to be resentful. He has ADHD and asks me to remind him to help. He just doesn’t see all the things that need to be done even when I think its obvious. So I do leave notes and ask for help and he helps when I ask (not always in the time frame I’m hoping) but it gets so old having to ask for help for things in our home. I feel like everything is my responsibility and if I can’t handle it I have to ask for help. I desire to have the Godly wisdom in this type of situation so this dare is a really good one for me. Its another step towards dying to self.
    I will add that this last Saturday, he did do a lot of work around the house and it was nice because I was doing stuff too, but I also would take breaks and just sit on my tablet for awhile as he kept working. I’m not saying he never does things, but its really hard to have to ask all the time and its really hard to deal with the disappointment when he didn’t do something he said he would.

    1. Please just politely ask him for help. Maybe if he has ADD he may need reminders. If he is ok with that, it’s fine. Most men don’t help if they are not asked. Many times they don’t notice things that need to be done. But also, for a man to jump in and take over when another man is doing something and didn’t ask for help would be disrespectful. Most men wait to be asked because they are being respectful. 🙂

      1. Yeah, because of his ADD, he has specifically asked me to ask him even repeatedly. He says that really helps him. I feel like its nagging, but he doesn’t see it that way so thats good. I just have to get over myself and be okay with asking. Thanks!

  4. . When you are tired, hormonal, have low blood sugar, etc… how do you normally interact with others? When I have any of the above I get snappy,I have less tolerance for people, and I may complain alot more.

    2. How can you honor God today if someone says something harsh? I can respectfully address it or let it go depending on what it is.

    3. When you are having a bad day, how can you sympathize with other people who may also be having a rough time?
    Realize that everyone has a bad day and we are all in this together.

      1. Thank you sis,
        I wanted to give you an update. My ex fiance stated that he does not want to put forth the effort for a relationship right now with me or anyone. He does not have a desire to put the emotions in that are required for a relationship.

        I in return asked him to never contact me again so that I can move on with my life. He said if that is what I need and he would like to remain friends. I have opted out of the friendship. for a better healing process. Thank you so much for your help sis!

        I am sad about it but I know that God will work this out for my good so I embrace this time. I have learned from my mistakes of being a disrespectful woman. I love this journey of becoming a peaceful woman of God.

        1. Shy,
          It seems to me that y’all had an incredibly toxic pattern of interaction – one of the most toxic I have seen. I can certainly understand why you have opted out of any relationship. Praying for God to give you continued wisdom and direction!

          1. Shy,
            It WAS. It is possible to learn to have a godly relationship with him, provided that he has repented and is seeking God, but it will be very, very tempting to revert back to those old sinful patterns.

  5. Hi April
    This has really been an incredible journey so far! Its been 4 weeks this week since I recommitted my heart to Christ and really making Him Lord over my life. (Although I have been a Christian for the last 19 years)
    It is amazing how much Christ revealed to my heart of my pride and idolatry of self and my husband. In my last comment to you, I was really convicted about my scorecard as a godly wife. Since then, God has really been working on bridling my tongue! Not complaining, not giving unsolicited advice and being a know-it-all, preaching to everyone and trying to make my revelations everybody else’s revelations too. Not just in my marriage, but at work and friends as well.

    My husband told me about a month ago that he was done and really saw no hope for our marriage, because it is dead. He did not give me specifics and I was lost as to what to do. The Lord led me to your site and to The Respect Dare, and I cannot begin to describe all the changes!! What I really trusted God for, (and I mean TRUSTING as in; me not being involved and not trying to influence it,) was for my husband to also find God again, on his own and get back to Him on his own accord. It was really hard to keep quiet and pursue my own relationship with Christ, while being respectful and truly laying it on the altar that I would be content in Christ even if my husband does not change. But it was also empowering and giving peace to know it is not my responsibility!

    So last Sunday night I went to church alone and had an awesome time with the Lord, and my husband stayed home with the kids and he watched the sermon over live streaming, and God touched him as well! He is very clearly a changed man!

    And this is the biggest challenge now. He only told me he is tired of the marriage not working, and he now wants it to work! All I said was, “me too.” We haven’t had a long or deep conversation as yet, and he has shared a bit of his journey, but I have not shared anything really. (where I would normally have had verbal diarrhea about all my experiences and revelations) Whenever he shares something, I keep thinking he is not completely on the right track, because his journey is about his business and his fatherhood. Then I would think: but what about repenting about his sin against me and his pride etc? Then the Holy Spirit would convict me about thinking I know more than God and I am telling God what to do and how his journey must look like – that it must look like mine to be truly authentic. And I know it doesn’t!
    I have a long way to go on this – trusting God that He would work in my husbands heart in His own time and His own way.
    Sorry for the long essay!

    1. Ellie,
      I am so excited to hear from you and about everything God is doing in your life and your marriage already. 🙂 PRAISE GOD! WOOHOO!

      What you are learning and how God is transforming your perspective and working in your husband’s heart is SO beautiful! I’m so thankful you shared.

      Praying for God’s continued healing and power to work in both of you for His greatest glory my precious sister!
      I’m here if you want to talk about anything.

      Much love and a huge hug!

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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