"Home is the nicest word there is." ~ Laura Ingalls Wilder
In love with Jesus. Wife to my best friend & man I love more than life. Mama to 4 amazing God given blessings. Proud Homemaker & Homeschooler. Living life with it's ups and downs and blogging about it!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Husband Encouragement Challenge-Days 24,25,26,27,28,29,30 (Catching up again!)

I know, I am so far behind on posting this, it is terrible! But, it's okay, I have been doing it, just running out of time to post it! It takes awhile to do all of that copying and pasting and typing! Anyway, enough excuses! I am here to wrap it up and say how truly blessed this has made me feel to be Charlie's wife of 10 years. I could not ask for a better man to be my husband! Thanks to all of you who did this challenge with me, the accountability sure does help! If you get a chance, read my sister's responses to her challenge, very good and helped me so much to stay on course! Denise has some awesome responses to her challenge and taught me so much, as well! Read these and be encouraged!

Day 24
"And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord." (Ephesians 6:4)

Children can be quite a challenge to the marriage relationship. A wise wife will support her husband's leadership in the home as much as possible, and will praise him for his fathering skills. Negativity makes a man feel like a failure, and may make him to want to give up.

Does your husband discipline your children 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.
If your husband does not experience positive relationships with children, you will need to figure out why. Perhaps he had negative experiences as a child with his own parents, and needs to learn how to respond. Perhaps you can lovingly and patiently show him how to parent--while still maintaining his authority in the home.

*I am so blessed to have children with Charlie. He is such a wonderful involved Daddy to our kids. He does baths and reads and sings with them every night. He cooks for them and takes them outside to play. He teaches them their letters and colors and explains how things work. He comforts them when they are afraid and tells them he loves them several times a day. He is AMAZING and I love him so much. Thank you God for Charlie.

Day 25
"Seek peace, and pursue it." (Psalm 34:14b)

"You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You." (Isaiah 26:3)

Before you consider whether these verses describe your husband, consider your own presence in the home. Do you promote an atmosphere of peace, or do critical words often flow from your mouth? Do you struggle with anger? If so, before you continue with this challenge, confess these sinful habits to the Lord, and determine to speak words of peace to your family today.

Does your husband bring an atmosphere of peace into your home? Is his presence a calming influence? Does he bring music, entertainment, books, or people into your home that build a sense of serenity? Let him know how much you appreciate this wonderful quality, and support his choices.

If, on the other hand, he is quickly angered or he creates chaos rather than calm, ask God to give you an abundance of the kind of peace that will speak to his heart. Be patient and loving. Create an inviting atmosphere of peace, as much as possible.

*I struggle with anger because I have a tendency to worry and focus on things instead of giving them to the Lord. Charlie is quickly angered at times but I have seen him improve a lot in this area. We are both trying very hard to work on peace in our lives. This definitely is a challenge that we will continue.

Day 26

"And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men." (Luke 2:52)

If you have faithfully encouraged your husband, you will no doubt have seen some changes in his life . . . and your own life, as well. Encouragement is a wonderful habit that we hope you will continue for the rest of your life.
The important thing is to keep growing in Christ and obeying the Word of God as you respond to your husband. As you consider today how to bless your husband and not tear him down, think of ways that you can encourage balance in your home.

Jesus led a balanced life. He grew mentally, physically, spiritually, and socially. As you see your husband branching out in these areas, is there a pattern of growth? Is your husband striving for balance in his life? If so, let him know you have noticed, and ask how you can further encourage that balance.

If your husband is out of balance--focusing on one area to the exclusion of the others, consider whether there are things you can do to help restore or create balance in his life. Can you encourage times for sports or exercise? Keep the children quiet for a study time? Invite friends over for dinner? Stimulate his mind?
Be sure you are working toward balance in your own life, as well. Be an example!

*We are both working on this and I am not ready to say much about it right now. We both need balance and are striving towards that goal.

Day 27

"Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the LORD." (Psalm 31:24)

You have almost completed the "30-Day Husband Encouragement Challenge." Perhaps it has taken you a tremendous amount of courage to speak words of ecouragement consistently to your husband. Courage comes as we place our trust in God. Have faith that God will continue to work long after your encouraging words have been shared.

There are lots of "tough guys" in the world, but true courage comes from the Lord. Does your husband exhibit the courage to take an unpopular stand, perhaps even to stand alone against evil? Is he courageous in his faith? Does he work hard to change injustice? Is he a stickler for the truth? Does he protect you or your family from the attacks of the Enemy?

Psalm 27:14 says this kind of courage comes from "waiting" on the Lord for His strength. If your budget allows, "award" your husband with a medal, trophy, framed picture of a brave knight, or some other token that represents his courage as a man of God. Praise evidences of your husband's courage in protecting you, your marriage, your family, or your home.

*Charlie is very good at protecting his family. He loves us and strives to keep us protected in all areas. It is a huge blessing to have Charlie as our protector (with God first, of course!).

Day 28

"The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom, and before honor is humility." (Proverbs 15:33)

Sometimes, when we just "know" we are right and our husbands are wrong, it takes great humility to honor them. It is difficult to speak well of our husbands when our own hearts are puffed up with pride.
As part of your challenge today, pray that you will respond to the Lord in faith and humility before you react to your husband. Speak wisely and well, and leave the results to God.

The humility that comes from a right relationship with God--the humility that comes when a man is willing to listen to God and be taught from His Word--is indeed a beautiful quality. Jesus was an example of this kind of humility when he was willing to submit to His Father's will (John 6:38; Matthew 26:39).

Does your husband have that kind of humility? Is he willing to learn from and submit to direction from the Lord? Let your husband know how precious this is to your marriage relationship.

*This is always a work in progress but we are learning. It has been a long hard road but we are getting there. I am grateful every day that Charlie is here to walk it with me.

Day 29

"A prudent man foresees evil, and hides himself; the simple pass on, and are punished." (Proverbs 27:12)

As you near the end of this challenge, take time to think about your husband's responses to the wickedness of the culture, the media, etc. Does your husband recognize and avoid evil? Does he regularly turn his back on pornography, sexual temptations, and the urge to lie and cheat?

This is a valuable character trait. Like Joseph in the Old Testament, who fled from the wicked advances of Potiphar's wife, this takes an understanding that these kinds of sins are first and foremost, sins against God (Genesis 39:9).

Praise your husband when he recognizes and turns his back on wickedness. If you can think of a circumstance where your husband stood for righteousness, remind him of that today--and express your gratitude.

*Charlie is getting so much better at recognizing danger areas for both of us. He is amazing and the work he has put into building himself into a man of God, as he says, "a man my wife can be proud of", is just remarkable. I love him so very much and when marriage is hard, I stand by him and he stands by me. I love this man so very much!

Day 30

"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.

*Our marriage and our friendship have been so incredibly blessed by this challenge; please join, it's never to late to start! Your marriage will improve, I promise!!!!


crystal said...

Sounds like yall are doing really well. I am just trying to remember to always put God first and my husband second and everything else seems to follow...

Love Yall Guys

Denise said...

I really enjoyed doing this challenge with you my friend.

If we don't find Him in the small things, how will we ever find Him in the big ones? ~Elisabeth Elliot