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Friday, June 15, 2007

Husband Encouragement Challenge: DAY 15

Reflections on yesterday...
Yesterday afternoon I made sure I didn't get carried away with scrapbook stuff and played with Eli, allowing Kevin time to do whatever he wants. Every day I try to ask him if there's anything he wants to do for himself that day. And I think he really appreciates me at least asking, even if he doesn't have anything. So I'll try to remember this habit. And then later in the afternoon after a trip to Toys R Us (for Eli's birthday presents!) I was pretty tired so he told me he'd watch Eli so I could take a little nap. Wait, what was that? A nap?! Mommy's hardly ever get naps so I really appreciated the time to just lay and rest, even if I couldn't actually sleep.

Today is Day 15, we're halfway through the challenge already! What are you realizing about yourself or your husband? How is the challenge affecting your marriage? What parts of the challenge are going well? What parts need more work?

I'm realizing how negative I was being before and how I really can just let things go. If I do need to speak up about something, I can take the time to consider how I'll use my words wisely. For Proverbs 19:13 says, "The contentions of a wife are a continual dripping." Maybe Kevin didn't realize how negative I was being, but it was still wearing on him and our marriage. But I'm seeing change... I'm learning to be more positive with my words, to consciously build up my husband to him and to others. And I don't know, maybe I'm just now noticing it, but Kevin's been really sweet about helping out or allowing me time to myself or saying nice things. He seems happier, and I seem happier. We as a couple are happier.

So far in this challenge, I've been doing well at not making negative only making positive comments to Kevin, building him up to others, and saying Thank You for all the things he does. But I need more work at building him up and saying things that I appreciate about him to him. I remember one day (before this challenge) saying something really nice about his the Jeep and how nice it looked or something, and he just lit up, like "Really?!" So I need to do more of that kind of thing.

30-Day Husband Encouragement Challenge

By Nancy Leigh DeMoss

"But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. . ." 2 Pet. 3:18a

Sometimes we live so close to our spouse that we fail to see him as others do; we only see our husband's faults. But take a step back. Perhaps he is growing spiritually in ways you have failed to appreciate. How can you encourage his growth in a fresh, new way? Remember—your husband is accountable to God for his spiritual development. You are accountable to God to encourage and not hinder that growth.

Can you identify an area of spiritual strength in your husband? Does he pray or read his Bible regularly? Does he like to read about or discuss spiritual matters? Does he go to church with you? Is he a spiritual leader? What do others say about him? If you can identify a specific area, praise him for that. If not, pray earnestly that God will work in his heart, and watch for signs of spiritual growth in the future.

For my husband, this is an area that needs work. [Use your words wisely, Sarah...Continue to build Kevin up even in this area...] I have tried to encourage him in different ways, but if I do much more it will become nagging, and I don't want that. So at this point, I just need to pray... Kevin is a Christian though, and he takes us to church every Sunday, prays for our family at every meal, and looks for Christian fellowship. I appreciate all those things about him, and I know God can do all things and will work in Kevin's heart in amazing ways, but in His own time, not mine. I pray that I will take notice and encourage him at all the right times.

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AmyD said...

I'm definitely realizing the same thing about myself in how negative I was. Thanks so much for starting up this challenge! It's been such a blessing to me and our marriage! I'm thinking I'm going to need to do this every month for the rest of my life! :-D

Anonymous said...

What are you realizing about yourself or your husband? How is the challenge affecting your marriage? Well, there are a lot of things I have realized! I have realized really putting forth the effort and going through on being positive for Shawn has impacted him. If I am pleasant to him, then he is pleasant back! If I am rude to him, then he gets an attitude back. I have also realized just how negative I have been towards him sometimes. :( I can't count the times I have stopped for five seconds before I spoke. Shawn really appreciates me saying thank you after he has done something or he has been extra special. I can see a change in myself towards my husband and I believe he has noticed as well. Granted, I have not straight out asked him because I am waiting until the end of the challenge. I think I am going to write a letter to Shawn. I want to see if he has seen a change and maybe what else he thinks I need to improve on. My hope after this challenge is that I will continue to be uplifting and positive towards my husband. This will have even a greater impact on our marriage if I can continue doing so.
---Shawn is a Christian husband. He does take us to church every Sunday. Shawn is stronger than I am with going to church sometimes! Granted we go to church every Sunday unless we are out of town or something comes up. Shawn is stronger because sometimes I will just want to sleep in, but Shawn encourages me to get moving!! He is willing to get involved with different ministries with me and help me out with something at church if need be. He chooses his friends wisely. He wants to fellowship with other Christians. I know people at church and work see him as a Christian. I do remind him when he is at work that his actions speak of how people view him as a person. There are some areas that need to be worked on personally, but Shawn has to work on those areas. I am thankful to have a strong, Christian husband. LT

Servant Becca said...

This challenge encourages me to look at my husband with a new perspective. Rather than take for granted the qualities that are Godly -- and call it good -- I can recognize them as part of what makes my mate special and a good match for me. It seems that many of the challenges that we have encountered so far are aspects of my mate that I have taken advantage of without recognizing to myself or to him.

In the midst of all of this, I have also seen areas within my spiritual walk that I questioned the power of the Almighty. So not only is it helping with my relationship with my earthly husband, my relationship with my heavenly Father is part of the package.

Sarah said...

One thing that I'm really realizing is how against the grain it is to be a voice of encouragement to your husband. It's definitely not something our culture promotes ("women should be independent and housework should be divided equally") and it's something a lot of Christian women struggle with, I've observed. It's encouraging to me to read your blog, and today to read Amy's and Rebecca's, and see the changes God is bringing about in their marriages and relationships with the Lord this month. I think the challenge is even harder when you have kiddos (which I don't yet), and I really admire you all.
What if our marriages and the marriages of all Christian women were always characterized by encouragement, what if we were known as wives and women of uplifting words? I feel like my life would look so much more like the lives of the Biblical wives, like Sarah, who obeyed and loved Abraham, trusting his guidance, even into the unknown.
The thing about this challenge that I've appreciated is the long-reaching effects that it needs to bring about, not just for the month of June, but for all of our lives. I'm left wondering how I can continue to challenge myself when this month is over.