Honestly, it was extremely difficult to follow the challenge this past week. I was distracted with work obligations, writing, and all the other things that come with being a wife and mom. I was scattered and my emotions decided to take a ride on the wildest roller coaster. I was emotional, moody and even said a few snarky remarks about my husband in front of friends at a gathering; I had to go back and apologize to them. I still owe my husband an apology as well.
I struggled this week and I’m still struggling to pull myself together and get my attitude in check. I need mercy (compassion & forgiveness) to engulf me today. Sometimes, we spend so much time focusing on how we were offended by our spouses that we place blame without fully examining our own hearts. Today, I am taking a look at myself and praying David’s prayer in Psalm 139: 23-24 which says “Lord, search me and know my heart. Test me and see if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way of the everlasting.” When we are more aware of our offensive ways, we are able to take our focus off of everyone else’s wrongdoing and put energy into changing our own hearts and attitudes.
I am beyond grateful for this challenge. It is providing practical ways to support, encourage and pray for my husband, even when I do not always feel like it. I am sticking with it and would love if you would continue to journey with me. Let’s continue to continue!
SNAPSHOT OF THE CHALLENGE:
- The purpose of the challenge is to encourage your husband!
- Your decision means that you truly want to be a blessing in your home.
- This challenge will also result in spiritual growth in your own life.
- For thirty days, don’t say anything negative to or about your husband. Also, say something positive to and about your husband each day.
I have posted days 21-25 below. Here is the link for the remaining days from Revive Our Hearts!
Day Twenty-one: Living for the Kingdom
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. —Matthew 6:33
If we are living in light of eternity, everything we think, do, or say is seen from an eternal perspective. Only two things will go into eternity—the Word of God and people. Be sure that you are focusing on the right things.
Does your husband have an eternal perspective that allows him to reject materialism and temporal values? Express your gratefulness for his value system, and praise him for putting eternal things before riches and other things of this world.
If this is a problem area for him, consider how you might alter your own value system and live for eternity in front of him, encouraging him to do the same. We will someday give an account for our failure to speak words of love and encouragement. Determine today that your words will be sweet and helpful, encouraging your husband to live for God’s Kingdom.
Action Step: Put your treasure in heaven.
Assess any habits or patterns in your life that are not placing a priority on God’s Word and people. Make adjustments so that God is honored and your home is more focused on the Kingdom.
A Wife’s Prayer
Lord Jesus, I want to be a wise steward, investing in eternal things. Help me to adjust my thinking and priorities so that our home is a centered on Your Kingdom values. I want to live in such a way that my husband is encouraged to seek You and Your Kingdom even more.
Day Twenty-two: Season Your Speech with Grace
Let your speech always be gracious. —Colossians 4:6
Do you talk positively about your husband to others . . . or do you complain and criticize? Here’s a way to find out—ask yourself: If all my family and friends knew about my husband came from a filter of what I’ve said about him, what would they think of him?
Your speech should reflect 1 Corinthians 13 love. Your words should be kind and should never “rejoice at wrongdoing” (v. 6). Refrain from listing your husband’s faults to others. Satan likes to trick us in this area. Be wary of sharing barbed “prayer requests.” Some of what you say may come back to him—and you want your words to be sweet, building him up and never tearing him down. Don’t forget, you are always criticizing—or encouraging—before an audience. God hears your conversations when you are alone with your husband in your own home. May your speech be always seasoned with grace. Focus today on how you represent your husband in your home, your church, and your community.
Action Step: Give a good word about him to others.
Remember, “love covers a multitude of sins” (1 Pet. 4:8). Present your husband before others today in a strong, positive manner. Slip in a good word for your spouse. Resist the urge to correct or belittle him in front of others.
A Wife’s Prayer
Lord Jesus, forgive me for being quick to slip in a jab about my husband to others. This reveals sin in my heart even as I try to reveal his. Teach me how to praise his strengths; help to cover over his sin by refusing to betray his weaknesses to others, even as I trust You to deal with him in those areas.
Day Twenty-three: Appreciating His Strengths
Showing yourself in all respects to be a model of good works. —Titus 2:7
God has wired us with different personalities. And often He will draw together two people with opposite strengths and weaknesses, on purpose, in order to refine us and help us. Sometimes the very strengths we love at first become points of contention later.
Is your husband organized? Is he diligent? Is he persistent? These are all related to a pattern of personal disciplines that are worthy of your praise—even when his bent for order and discipline comes against your bent for whimsy. Affirm him for these traits and how this helps your marriage function.
Some men are naturally more spontaneous. They may be fun loving or people-focused. These are all related to a creative spirit that is also worthy of your praise—even when his bent for spontaneity comes against your bent for planning.
Action Step: Serve your husband with your strengths.
If you are more naturally spontaneous and fun loving, perhaps God called you together to help him loosen up. Serve your husband with your ability to enjoy the twists and turns of life.
If you are more naturally disciplined, perhaps God has called you together to help him stay focused—but this does not include nagging. Serve your husband with your multitasking and organizational skills.
A Wife’s Prayer
Heavenly Father, when I see the differences between my husband and me, sometimes I am grateful . . . but sometimes it is so difficult. Let me serve my husband, in love, with the gifts You’ve given me. Help me learn from my husband and lean on his strengths. Fill me today with an appreciation for how You’ve wired him and let me be quick to praise him for being the balance I need in life.
Day Twenty-four: A Father at Heart
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. —Ephesians 6:4
Here’s a newsflash: Men and women parent differently. That means how you approach parenting will be different from how your husband approaches parenting. And that is a good thing. A wise wife will support her husband’s parenting style and leadership in the home as much as possible and will praise him for his fathering skills. A foolish wife will criticize. Negativity makes a man feel like a failure and may make him to want to give up.
If you have children, does your husband discipline them wisely? Does he show them love and encourage them? Does he take an interest in their activities and dreams? Does he spend time with them? Does he take part in developing their character? Praise him for these important life skills.
If you don’t have children, is your husband positive and encouraging around other people’s children? Let him know that you have noticed and believe he has what it takes to be a great dad.
If your husband does not experience positive relationships with children (either your own or those you know), try to figure out why. Perhaps he had negative experiences as a child with his own parents and needs to find healing and growth. Perhaps you can lovingly and patiently show him how to parent or be a nurturing adult to a child.
Action Step: Encourage his fathering skills.
Watch for positive deposits your husband makes in children, and praise him for doing it well. Ask him to share his fears about being a dad and encourage his parenting style even if it is different from yours.
A Wife’s Prayer
Heavenly Father, although You alone are the perfect Father, too often I expect my husband to measure up to Your perfection. Forgive my critical spirit and help me to see the good things he does as a father (or father figure). Please show him where his own wounds are preventing him from being the man and father figure You want him to be. Let me love him and encourage him in his own journey even as he walks out this fathering role along the way.
Day Twenty-five: Making Peace a Priority
Seek peace and pursue it. —Psalm 34:14
You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. —Isaiah 26:3
Does your home flourish under an atmosphere of peace? According to God’s Word, peace is something that must be sought, pursued, and focused upon. The way you live your life and relate to your husband and family will set the tone for your home.
Likewise, you can encourage your husband to pursue peace. Praise him for his gentle spirit or his ability to diffuse conflict. Lovingly remind him of the power of his words and how much good can come from a wise comment. Thank him for being mindful to protect your family from negative entertainment options.
Action Step: Pursue peace.
Consider these check-up questions to see how well you are pursuing peace:
- Is your mind set to maintain peace through the words you speak or the attitudes you bear?
- Are you quick to criticize or be impatient or arrogant?
- Do you allow regular entertainment (books, shows, music, etc.) that is negative?
- Is the pace of your life too fast?
Take time before the Lord to confess any sinful habits these questions exposed. And make the pursuit of peace a priority in your marriage and home to be an encouragement to your husband.
A Wife’s Prayer
Lord Jesus, You are the Prince of Peace and I invite You to reign and rule in my heart, in my marriage, and in my home. Guard my tongue and my mind from sinful habits. Help me to make peace a priority so that You a magnified.
My hope is that this challenge will center our hearts on praying for our husbands often. Someone once said that it takes 21 days to turn something into a habit. I hope this challenge turns into a way of life for many of us, instead of just a one month challenge. My prayer is that over the course of time our marriages will be renewed, healed and strengthened in Christ through the power of love, prayer and encouragement.
Thank you for joining in! Follow me on Facebook every morning to learn how the challenge is going for me and share your experiences as well. I look forward to journeying with you!
© Revive Our Hearts. Used with permission. http://www.ReviveOurHearts.com.
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