This is it! Our last day of coming together on a regular basis. Thank you all, ladies, for encouraging me throughout this challenge. You have been a blessing to me and my husband. And I hope I've been something of the same for you. I can't wait to hear your responses today!
June 30--DAY 30--The Challenge Finale! (well, sort of...)
30-Day Husband Encouragement Challenge
By Nancy Leigh DeMoss
". . . This is my beloved, and this is my friend . . ." Song of Solomon 5:16b
Friends can be completely honest with each other, but friendships are strained when truth is not spoken in love. How are you speaking to your beloved? Are you so "used" to him that you don't appreciate the wonder of his friendship? That is your challenge today. Is your sweetheart your best friend? Does he know this? Have you told him, or do you assume he "just knows"?
Friendship is something that is cultivated through the good times and the bad. Friends can share their hearts, but they don't step on each other's hearts. The way to have and be a good friend is to cultivate and celebrate the relationship. As you end this "30-Day Encouragement Challenge," celebrate your friendship with your husband. Get alone and reflect on your beloved friend. Write him a letter, listing the qualities you admire and appreciate about him. If you are creative with words, write and frame a poem about him.
Perhaps you can prepare a special meal, just for the two of you, and read the letter or poem to him. Ask if you can pray for him, and if he is willing, thank God for your love and friendship, asking for His blessing on your home.
Encouragement, as you have seen these past 30 days, is a synonym for love in action. How has this challenge changed your heart and life, dear friend? Did God encourage you as you planned ways to encourage your husband? Were there difficult days where you simply needed to trust that God was working? Days when it was hard to leave the results to God?
Remember that God is faithful, and He will bless you for your willingness to obey Him. His ways are not our ways, and perhaps He will honor you in ways you do not expect, but one thing is sure—you will never be the same because of your commitment to be more like Christ!
What kinds of victories have you experienced in your home since you started the "30-Day Encouragement Challenge"? Would you take a moment to share these victories with us?
Reflections on the challenge...
This was such a great challenge to do and a great way to motivate change in my heart and life! In these 30 days I have learned to think before I speak. To focus on everything Kevin is instead of what he's not. To be more verbal in how I praise him. To maintain a more positive attitude in all of my day, not just when I'm speaking to my husband, because my mood directly affects those around me. To think before I speak. To build up Kevin to others. To look at my words and actions from the outside and be more aware of how I'm responding to my husband. To think before I speak. To ask and allow God to help me be His kind of wife.
There have been and will continue to be days that are more difficult than others, times when I just want Kevin to know he's done something wrong! But I found that if I let the issue sit for awhile, when I came to it later, it's no longer the big deal I had thought it was.
Now at the end of these 30 days, I feel much happier with our marriage. There is much less stress because we aren't bickering about the little things that don't even matter. It's just all-in-all very pleasant being together. I'm no longer demeaning him with comments about how he's driving or how he's using his time or that he's eating another bowl of cereal, etc These things may still drive me crazy, but they're not worth the damage such comments do to my husband's dignity. I'm excited to continue with all we've learned this month and to see our how marriage continues to flourish!
And now for the homework questions...
* Write a list of 10 specific goals you want to keep working on:
- Start each day with a prayer and devotional, even if it's something small like "Dear God, please give me the strength and patience to be a good wife and mother today, to be encouraging and respectful with my words. Fill me with the Holy Spirit that I may bring peace and love to our home. Amen." I believe starting each and every day with God's strength will make a huuuge difference in the rest of the day, in our marriage, and in my role as a mother.
- Pray for Kevin daily, according to the book The Power of a Praying Wife or this article Praying for Your Husband: 31 Days of Prayer
- Practice major self-control by thinking before I speak, so that I'm only saying positive things to Kevin and not being disrespectful with my words.
- Find at least one thing daily to praise Kevin for, aside from Thank You's.
- Big or small, find something special to do for Kevin every day to show that I appreciate him and all he does for our family. I could maybe make a list so I always have ideas--could be a pie since he LOVES pies or just making a pitcher of sweet tea, leaving a note for him on his pillow when he comes home from night shift, putting a fresh towel out for him, fixing a special dinner with all of his favorites, "letting him" take an afternoon nap, doing dishes even after I've cooked, etc.
- End each night on a happy note rather than still being upset about something.
- Get up a little earlier so I can see Kevin for just a few minutes before he leaves for work at 6:00am.
- In my conversations with others, find ways to mention Kevin and some nice things he's done lately.
- Maintain a more positive attitude not only to Kevin but just in general, specifically with Eli so that my frustrations don't spill over affecting others in the house.
- Especially build up Kevin in his interest areas, i.e. his Jeep, by making compliments, initiating time for him to do something fun, listening carefully and asking questions when he talks about it.
Okay, I couldn't narrow it down, so I have 6 verses here...
Proverbs 12:4 A wife of noble character is her husband's crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones.
Proverbs 31:10-31 A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple. Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes. She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: "Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all." Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
Ephesians 5:33 Nevertheless, let each individual among you also love his own wife even as himself; and let the wife see to it that she respect her husband.
1 Peter 3:1-4 Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and find clothes. instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight.
Titus 2:4,5 ...train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, to that no one will malign the word of God.
Ephesians 4:29 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.
* Decide how you are going to hold yourself accountable to your actions. (journal? blog? friend?)
- Make a schedule of the daily things I will do for Kevin to show love and appreciation.
- On Thankful Thursdays, start including a section that mentions the specific things I'm grateful for just about him.
- Continue with Christine's 30-Day challenge at Fruit in Season even though I kinda missed it this week.