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The Respect Dare, Day 25 – Responding as a Godly Wife


Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.   I Peter 3:8-9

Sometimes, I really love to take a verse and apply it specifically to my marriage.  Somehow, it has so much more impact for me when I do that.

This instruction in I Peter 3:8-9 is for all believers, in all situations.  I love the wisdom God gives us.  It is LIFE-GIVING, FREEDOM-PRODUCING and INCREDIBLY POWERFUL when we apply it, embrace it and determine to live by it, asking God to empower us to do these things.  I am inserting my husband’s name here – but please insert your own husband’s name – or the name of anyone else for whom you want to learn to love with God’s love.


Obviously, I can’t be like minded with sinful things.  But in areas where I can be like-minded – I can strive for unity, relationship, emotional/spiritual oneness, a team-spirit.

When I say “strive for unity” – let me clarify.  I used to think of unity as him changing his mind to agree with me – since I was always right, and all.  Yep.  Seriously.  That is how I thought.  Now I know that striving for unity involves ME going towards HIM and seeking to understand him better and look for the wisdom in his unique perspective.  And, ultimately – I pray for God to make us one mind in Christ – in God’s way, not mine.

One thing that has really helped me is to ask questions and learn how Greg thinks.  IT IS SO DIFFERENT FROM HOW I THINK!  The more I understand how his mind works and what it means to be a man – the more I can stand in awe and wonder of God’s design for him instead of being angry that he is not me.  Shaunti Feldhahn’s book For Women Only  greatly facilitated my understanding of Greg and of other men.  That gave me a place to begin asking questions – in a friendly, caring way – not an interrogating way. And it helped me get into his shoes and see the world more from his perspective.  How I wish I could experience life in his mind and body for a day or two – how amazing would that be!?!  But since I can’t do that – I can ask respectful, gentle questions about how he thinks, how he processes his emotions, how he feels, how he sees life and I can appreciate his unique masculine perspective and allow it to broaden my own understanding of the world.


If he says/does something hurtful – I can assume the best instead of the worst.  I can find out if he had a bad day or if he is sick, tired, hungry or in pain.  I can ask if I did something disrespectful.  I can listen to him talk about his work and his day and the concerns on his mind – and offer empathy and sympathy to him.  I can seek to understand his mindset and perspective instead of assuming he did something because he “obviously doesn’t love me.”

I can accept that he is an imperfect human being just like me and that is ok.


I Corinthians 13:4-8 – I love to put my name in those verses.  This is how God loves us and this is how He wants me to love Greg:

April is patient,

April is kind.

She does not envy

She does not boast,

She is not proud.

She does not dishonor others,

She is not self-seeking,

She is not easily angered,

She keeps no record of wrongs.

April does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

April always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.


This is the kind of love God desire me to have for my husband and for everyone!  I need His Spirit to fill me with His power to be able to do this!  I cannot love like this on my own.


I can have a huge supply of mercy, grace, love and forgiveness at the ready for Greg – and for other people – because of the massive quantity of mercy, grace, love and forgiveness God has lavished on ME!  I have been forgiven MUCH… so I can love much.  I can love God much and I can love people much and I can extend the gifts God has given me to others.


I can admit that

  • I am a big time sinner.
  • I am not always right.
  • I do not possess all the wisdom of the universe.
  • God DOES possess all the wisdom in the universe
  • Greg has wisdom, too.
  • God may be trying to teach me or lead me through Greg if I will listen.  Since He did place Greg over me as my protector, leader and provider and all. 🙂  (I Cor 11:3)
  • My way is not necessarily “better than” his.
  • He is not automatically “wrong” just because he thinks differently from the way I think.
  • He may have a different idea about what God’s will is than I do – and he may be right!


If he rolled over and went to sleep without cuddling with me, saying goodnight or kissing me – I used to take that as a very clear sign that “he doesn’t love me!”  Now I know it means, “he’s really tired.”  So there is no reason to plot revenge.  Later, when he is awake and not exhausted – I can say (in a pleasant tone of voice and with a smile on my face), “It means so much to me when you cuddle with me, tell me good night and give me a kiss before you turn out the lights at night.”  But, if he forgets – I can assume the best and I can put my hand on his back and bless him and silently pray for him with gratitude.

What if he injured me in a really big way?  What if he was dishonest about our finances, or what if he was unfaithful to me, or what if he spread lies about me and destroyed my reputation with my family or at church?   (He has not done these things, by the way, they are illustrations only!)

It would be so tempting to lash out at him and want to hurt him, too.

That is what I tried to do the first summer we were married.

  • I felt ignored, neglected, unloved and rejected.
  • I wanted him to hurt like I hurt.
  • I did everything I could to try to make him hurt so he would see how hurt I was and he would fix it.

Guess what the results were?

We were BOTH very hurt.

My hurting him did not make my hurts heal.  It just destroyed him.

That is why God says not to repay evil with evil.  It is destructive!  This is why Jesus says for us to leave room for God to take revenge and let Him repay others for their evil as we seek to do good to those who hurt us.

That does not mean I have to trust him – if he was unfaithful or is severely addicted to drugs or something major was going on.  But I can ask God to empower me to purpose to do good and to bless Greg even when I believe he has hurt me.


If Greg says something hateful to me, my sinful nature wants to get right down off that cross and say something hateful right back at him.  In fact, I am pretty good at that.  If we are going to have a “war of words” – I could easily dominate him and “win.”

Yep!  I “won” many verbal battles in the past!

Guess what happened then?

  • My husband shut me out of his heart and unplugged from our marriage and our family.

Somehow, that just doesn’t seem so much like a “win” anymore to me.

If he insults me – that is wrong.  But,

  • Can I maybe try asking a few questions to be sure I understand correctly before I take offense?
  • Maybe I misunderstood him?
  • Maybe he has had a really hard day?
  • Maybe he is allowing his sinful nature to rule his life and tongue right now?

I do not have to respond to sin with more sin.  Gary Thomas, “Sacred Marriage,” says, “We are most tempted to sin when we are sinned against.”

Guess what awesome thing happens when I do not insult my husband in return?

  • He is left thinking about HIS sin instead of my sin.  That is much more likely to convict him!  If I lash out back and insult him – now I have given him ammunition to use against me and plenty of things to think about how justified he was in insulting me.  Not good!
  • When God empowers me to respond in His power – by saying, “Ouch” (like Laura Doyle suggests in The Surrendered Wife), or “That sounded unloving to me, did I come across disrespectfully just now?” (Dr. Emerson Eggerichs in Love and Respect) or maybe God wants me to say words of blessing or maybe I just need to quietly leave the room – then God has a much easier job of convicting him.


This takes some prayer and intentional thought sometimes.  But if you don’t know how to bless your husband in a situation like this – ask God. Pray earnestly.  He will show you how to do it.

One wife I read about had an argument the night before.  Her husband didn’t resolve the argument but went to sleep.  The wife didn’t sleep all night – she was so upset about the hurtful things her husband had said to her.  She prayed fervently that God might inspire her how she could bless her husband instead of repaying him with evil. God prompted her in the morning to make breakfast in bed for her husband even though he had not apologized and had said some unkind things.

When this husband saw his wife’s kindness and blessing – he was overcome with guilt and quickly apologized on his own for his hateful words the night before.

God’s ways are FAR above our ways!


“… because to this you were called so that YOU may inherit a blessing.”  I Peter 3:9


I am the one who benefits here.  That is how our amazing God works.  We are blessed when we obey Him.


  • Greg will benefit when I obey God because I will be responding in the power of the love of God instead of in a sinful way.
  • I will benefit because God blesses my obedience and faith in Him.
  • God benefits because He is honored and glorified.
  • Other people outside of my marriage will benefit because my marriage will exalt God.
  • My children will benefit.
  • My coworkers will benefit.
  • Those around me will see a godly example and benefit.

Who knows how far the impact may reach when I say, “Yes, Lord” and obey what God calls me to do?

The Respect Dare – DARE 24:

Seek to understand your husband’s intent and what he is really trying to say.  From Nina “Before you say your opinion, say, ‘If I hear you correctly, you are saying…;” Then strive to understand and listen.  Make your biggest goal be about understanding your husband (and others).   Be quick to listen and slow to speak and slow to become angry!  Be sure  you understand others VERY clearly before saying anything yourself.

If the other person said something insulting – then be even more careful to really understand them and be sure you heard correctly before responding.  Pray for God to empower you to listen well and to think carefully before saying anything – and to give you wisdom to respond with blessing.  Seek to do good to your husband and to others.


How is the Respect Dare going for you?

What is God teaching you in your walk with Christ and in your marriage? (whether you are doing the Respect Dare or not)

23 thoughts on “The Respect Dare, Day 25 – Responding as a Godly Wife

  1. Great post! I so appreciate all the practical applications of scripture to realistic situations. You’ve given me a lot to think and pray about today. 🙂 May the Lord bless you richly for your ministry.

  2. April, thank you for this post. In my opinion this is really one of your most phenomenal posts… or maybe I just needed to read this one especially today. Probably both! I love how you broke down the scripture and gave examples… and putting your name into the most well known passage about love… I would have never thought to do that, but it is incredible helpful. This post makes it so clear to me what type of thoughts I continually need to approach my marriage with daily for those days in which I feel so lost. This is definitely a good one to reread, I agree with Sandra above. Thank you for always giving us readers a multitude to read and think about! 🙂

    1. Holly,

      I am so glad that God spoke to you through this one. 🙂 This is the stuff I spent hours doing. Writing these things out and really seeking to absorb all of it in a practical way and applying each verse towards myself in my marriage. It highlights all the areas where I need God so desperately and helped me understand how God wanted me to treat my husband in ways that I never understood before. 🙂

      Anything good in me is definitely totally a God thing. I have to praise Him for that! Thank you for sharing!

  3. oh how i hope i can respond in a godly way.. my husband & i have been disagreeing on tv/movie choices for some years now. our kids are 8, 9 & 12. for the younger two, i try to keep it in PG-land, at most. And even that is hard because many movies from the 80s are rated PG, but if they didnt have the PG13 rating yet and quite a few of them should be PG13!
    my husband doesnt mind if the younger ones hear all the bad language & some sexual situations. this really bothers me. it turns my stomach.
    i started out a recent movie night with “well, neither of us has seen it in awhile. lets watch & see how it goes. we can always turn it off.” After the language kicked in a bit, i said “do you remember if there was a lot more of the language like this?” and he said no & shut it off & turned on smurfs & was mad at me.
    he thinks im controlling & manipulative. i tried to understand where he was coming from. theres more to the story, but even after i clarify my intentions & my heart towards him, he definitely wanted to see only the worst in me. i dont know what to do about that. i dont know what i should do in the future.. maybe just say, “i dont really like that movie” and leave it at that. leave it in Gods hands? i asked “how can i express my thoughts, but still show you i respect your decision?” all he could say was he didnt know why i had to say anything at all.. that saying anything would be evidence of my bullying & manipulation.

    we still havent settled this.. i know this is an older post, but i could use advice!

    1. Sarah,

      I think that this issue is probably pretty common. I think a lot of moms, particularly Christian moms, are very concerned about what kids see/hear on tv. And for many Christian dads, it doesn’t seem to be as big of a concern. I am not saying they are not concerned at all – but it doesn’t seem to be as big of a deal to them many times.

      What husbands sometimes hear in conversations like this is, “I don’t trust your judgment.” “You are not as righteous as I am.” “You are contaminating the kids.” I believe they feel judged and condemned in situations like this – and that makes them feel disrespected.

      I personally agree with you about not wanting the kids to see things like that. Honestly, if it were up to me, we wouldn’t even own a tv or watch movies or have video games in our house at all.

      How is the rest of your marriage going? Are there other issues that upset him a lot, too?

      If you haven’t already, please read the posts at the top of my home page about disrespect, respect and biblical submission.

      Is your husband generally someone that you are able to trust? Do you believe he feels generally very respected by you about most things?

      I can’t see your facial expressions or hear your tone of voice, and I don’t know if you said anything else. What you shared doesn’t really seem that disrespectful to me as an isolated incident. But some men do feel disrespected if their decisions as a dad are questioned.

      It sounds to me like he would rather you allow him to choose the movie and not talk about your concerns.

      I believe that as your husband feels more and more respected by you – he may begin to care more about your feelings on this issue and other issues.

      This is an issue that you could certainly take to God and say, “Lord, You know my heart. I don’t want to expose our children to this worldliness. But I want to respect my husband. Help me to hear Your voice and Your prompting about what to say and how to handle this. I pray that You might change his heart if that is Your will.”

      You could say something like, “Honey, I must be coming across very disrespectfully when I bring up concerns about language and sex being in movies. I don’t want to disrespect you or question your judgment. I apologize for being disrespectful. I personally don’t want the kids to hear bad language or see sexual things at all. I don’t want them to see PG13 movies. I feel afraid for them when they see and hear those things. But from this point on, I will trust you to make the best movie decisions for our family in the sight of God.”

      Then, if he makes a movie decision and you don’t like it, maybe you can leave the room without saying anything? And maybe you can just silently pray?

      I actually have a post on a similar issue dealing with what kids see on tv/movies.

      What do you think?

      I am praying for God to give you both wisdom!

      1. thank you for writing back & for praying for me!

        you asked how the rest of the marriage is, he & i regularly express how thankful we are to have married one another. he actually just told me today that he was telling his gym buddy about our great relationship. he gets upset mostly when i spend time with other people (before this saturday, the last time i hung out with a friend was about six or 7 months ago, & that was so she & i could try a free week of Zumba.. hubby & i hang out mostly together) & about our ‘media’ choices. until about 2 years ago, i was a miserable person to be around if he turned on a not so good show.

        And yes, he is definitely someone i can generally trust. maybe twice a year (as far as i know) he falls back into the porn pit, but i can quickly forgive him because it helps that i can see God actively working in that area of his life.
        you said: “Do you believe he feels generally very respected by you about most things?”

        before this past weekend, i would have said yes. he catches me off guard sometimes! i thought i had shown him that i dont want to be how i was.. but i guess it takes a lot of time to reprogram his perception of me.

        i have felt God maybe is telling me i can find something else to do during those movies/shows (even though its supposed to me a ‘family’ thing) & pray & keep a peaceful attitude.
        maybe on a good night, in a nonconfrontational way, i will say what you suggested (“Honey, i must be coming across…”) and then if sometime during a movie i sense its my time to exit the room, we wont need to get into an arguement about it but we both understand the situation.

        im going to reread what u said to me. thank you for taking the time to give me advice. i know it will help me & my marriage!

        the part where you said “I believe that as your husband feels more and more respected by you – he may begin to care more about your feelings on this issue and other issues.”

        i thought i sensed maybe God was saying this to me, but sometimes i have a hard time telling whether its Him or just me, talking to myself! so thanks because that cleared that up for me! 🙂

        1. Sarah,

          It sounds like you actually have a pretty wonderful overall marriage – that is AWESOME! And it will probably make it a bit easier to overcome these few little obstacles because other things are going fairly well. 🙂

          If you haven’t, I would suggest reading the posts at the top of my home page – I cant remember if I said this already, I am so sorry! About disrespect, respect and biblical submission.

          Please let me know how things go!

          I am always glad to hear from you and pray with you.

          I pray for Your glory in this precious marriage and family and for Your will about Sarah’s respect and how she approaches her husband and Your will for the children about what they see and what they are exposed to in the world. Please give her husband Your wisdom to lead his family well that he might be found faithful in Your eyes.
          In the Name and power of Christ,

  4. A testimony of using Dare 25! When I first read this, like most of the dares, nothing really comes up for me to apply it – its always a few days later : )

    The other day my husband and I were talking, and he made some statements that would usually hurt me deeply because I wouldn’t try to understand his point of view, just react to what and how it was said. This is a topic that comes up repeatedly and usually ends with some very hurt feelings. So when this came up, I first went to respond like normal and then shut my mouth real quick as God reminded me of this dare and asking “If I hear you correctly you are saying……” So I did that, except I used understand instead of hear (because I forgot it was hear). Then I repeated what he said, but put it in a way that made sense to me. He broke into a huge smile when I was done and said “that’s exactly what I meant.”

    And then life went on and we had a very enjoyable evening instead of avoiding each other. I sadly never before tried to understand what he was saying, I always took it as how he said it, is how he meant it. This is a HUGE game changer : )

    I should also note that when various past Dares come up for me to apply I find myself going that’s Dare 17 or Dare 13 and then apply what it is (no I don’t have them all memorized). I get some funny looks, but I just smile and keep going.

    1. Ooh! Love this, Mel!

      I wonder if you might allow me to post it on my PW FB page anonymously, please?

      I am THRILLED about what God is doing in you!!!!!!!!! 🙂

      Praying that you keep abiding and resting in His love and seeking to obey all that He asks you to do.

  5. April,
    This is the day I am on. I read it this morning. I was sick this morning and my husband went in late to work to take me to the doctor then get me back home into bed. So I text him at about the time he got there to let him know how much I appreciate him and that he is the best husband. Then… I get a text from my friend and she tells me that my husband just told her husband she could lead an axe group at church I know this sounds like a silly thing to get upset about a few days ago we had decided we were going to take a break from Bible study that we had been reading it separately since January and I are going to focus on each other well I guess there was a need for a male Bible study later then he went ahead and say yes without consulting me I for some reason it got so so upset and hurt that he didn’t talk to me about it first or say let me talk to my wife I called him and was very Disrespectful. going on and on about how he should have talked to me first and I thought we were going to take time off blah blah blah he was saying things like you sound so selfish right now I’m not going to be yelled at this is a ridiculous thing to get upset about how can you tell me I’m the best husband and that I never include you on decisions in the same day? you need to pray I’m going to go I love you bye. Ugh! I am so mad at myself. I hate how this is a process not a switch. I know it sounds weird to get upset about this but sometimes my husband seems more into church and how he can spend more time there and not as much into our time together but I know it is bc he wants to be a pastor and is in ministry school and wants to do anything to make that happen. And how I acted definitely won’t make him want to spend time with me now.. please pray for me, I need gods spirit to lead me more of the time than my sinful nature.. it is too much my sinful nature I feel something I wrong with me that I don’t have self control or get so mad about things like that. – I haven’t told my husband I’m doing the respect dare, I just wanted him to see the change in me quick so I can just become this person that it’s so hard for me to be. I can’t even apologize now bc he’s busy at work and tonight we lead a college night group and won’t really have time to talk.. I really want to do ministry together.. to find where we are supposed to be together and we’ve been praying for that but then he just accepts this all men’s one with out even talking to me about it and now I’m left on the side again.. I don’t know how to not be upset that he doesn’t care if we’re doing ministry together or not. ..

    1. Nicole,

      When we are sick, hormonal, exhausted or have low blood sugar – our flesh is weak. We need God even more in those moments!

      Something you could have done would have been to say (in a pleasant, calm, friendly voice), “Oh. I feel a bit taken by surprise. It would mean a lot to me if you would have checked with me first before you committed to this study. I would rather we do X instead. But if you truly believe this is what is best for us, I will honor and cooperate with your decision.”

      And you probably would have been done sharing. An approach like that would have gotten through to your husband much more powerfully and effectively than berating him.

      Yes. We all wish it was a switch we could flip! But it doesn’t work that way. I pray you can apologize tonight and ask for a do-over.

      And please do not assume evil motives on his part “that he doesn’t care” – your job is to respectfully, gently share your concerns and your desires (probably once) and then see how God might lead you through your husband.

      Check out my Youtube video from earlier this week about making big decisions in marriage. My channel is April Cassidy

      Much love!

  6. It’s going pretty good. I’ve noticed instead of lashing out I ask questions. Most of the time I find out that people do not have evil motives towards me. I still battle thoughts but I no longer let them over take me. I rationalize the truth and cast down the argument. Praise God. Family and friends say they see a change in me 🙂

  7. THIS dare is the singe hardest thing I have ever tried to do in my life. I say tried, because I have yet to view myself as responding respectfully when I matters most. On a normal day, with minimal conflict, I find that, after having completed the respect dare twice, I have little trouble showing respect to my husband and setting a good tone in my home for our daughter’s to follow. But, I have learned that I have certain triggers – there are certain phrases my husband says or certain scenarios that play out – all benign for the most part. At first I get aggravated – I begin thinking about how I have been left out or hurt. Then, it turns to “justified” anger when I don’t get the remorseful response (or appreciation for my sacrifice) that I believe I deserve. I speak my mind, pick a fight, and am left knowing that I have failed at changing my response from controlling and destructive to respectful and peaceful. It’s discouraging to say the least. And, lately, failing like this has been leaving me feeling insecure and afraid, which just intensifies my emotions. I know in my head what my response should be, but in the heat of the moment I fall flat on my disrespectful face (so to speak).
    My husband left early yesterday morning to go spend some time with his dad – he only expected to be gone for a couple hours. Before he left, we discussed our plans for the day. He asked me to wait for him to get home, so we could run our errands together. I had no problems with that. Lunch time came and went. One of the errands happened to be going to the grocery store. Our two daughters and I were at home and starting to get really hungry, but I didn’t have anything on hand to fix – that’s when the aggravation began. About an hour later, my husband called to tell me he was on his way home. I told him I was happy to hear that because we were all starving. His response was, “Why didn’t you go grocery shopping and stop to get something to eat?” I know it’s ridiculous, but it made me angry. He asked me to wait, I waited, and then he asked me why I waited??? I didn’t argue the point with him, though – why when he’s almost home anyway? When he got home, he walked through the door and started working on one of his projects. I started thinking, ‘Excuse me,did you miss the whole “We’re starving bit”???’ After about ten minutes of me storming around the house in QUIET anger, he told me that we can leave whenever I am ready to leave. I don’t know why I felt so hurt and unappreciated, but I did – and BOY did I let him know… But, all he took away from this whole thing is that I don’t want him to spend time with his dad – not the point at all. After our big blow-up, he told me that I should have just told him that the girls and I couldn’t wait on him any longer. I could have and I should have, but I was trying to do what he asked me to do.
    I have been reading scriptures and praying and using your blog as a Bible Study guide for a couple of months. I also wanted to give you a HUGE thank you for your ministry – I was at the end of my rope, and not sure where to turn, or how to fix my marriage when I started reading about Biblical Submission, which led me to your blog – SO, thank you from the bottom of my heart! My husband has noticed a difference in my attitude- he says I am easier to get along with – so I know that my spiritual growth is positively impacting my family. I just KNOW that I have so much further to go, and I don’t WANT to be in these emotional spirals anymore.

    1. Aim,

      I’m super glad that you are recognizing your triggers. THAT IS AWESOME! Such an important part of this journey. Here are some more terms you may want to search on my home page for posts that may be a blessing about these areas:

      – insecurity
      – triggers for sinful thoughts
      – my demon
      – how Satan wants to destroy your marriage through your thought life
      – the voice in his head
      – security
      – anger
      – conflict
      – emotions
      – fear
      – bitterness

      Also, it is tricky, especially in the early years of this journey sometimes – to figure out when to speak up and when to wait quietly. But in a situation where you and your girls are hungry and he hasn’t come home yet, it is okay to say, “The girls and I are getting hungry and need to have lunch soon. Would you like to join us or should we go on ahead?”

      At first, I got too quiet. I stopped voicing my needs for awhile because I knew I couldn’t do it respectfully. We will kind of overshoot to be too quiet then maybe overshoot the other way too far. There is a delicate balance – that we achieve by the power of God’s Spirit and also by practice and trial and error.

      Give yourself and your husband some grace. I’m glad you tried to share with him that you are glad he could visit his dad.

      It’s fine to say, “I was trying so hard to respect you and to honor what you wanted to do. But I need to do a better job figuring out when I need to speak up. I know you don’t want us going hungry if you are at your dad’s later than you expected to be. I should have said something. I still am learning about respect. I will try to do better next time when this issue comes up.”

      It would be much better to respectfully share that you had an urgent need to eat soon than to try to respect what he had said and say nothing and then blow up. I’m sure that makes sense now. 🙂

      You are most welcome. I can’t keep these treasures to myself! It is a long journey – a life-long journey to become the women God calls us to be. We will always continue growing and becoming more holy as we allow God’s Spirit to sanctify and prune us. But what a joy that we don’t have to stay where we were and that we can share this journey together!

      Much love to you!

      Some other posts to search that may be a blessing:

      – to speak or not to speak
      – I can’t have needs
      – voice
      – a husband’s and a wife’s authority in marriage

      Much love to you!

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