Monthly Archives: July 2011

“Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” ~Luke 6:45

Day Twenty-two:

“Let your speech always be with grace…” Col. 4:6a

Focus today on how you represent your husband in your home, your church, and your community. In this challenge to encourage, ask: “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 my husband?” Do you need to change the filter?

Do you talk positively about your husband to others… or do you complain and criticize? Your speech should reflect 1 Cor. 13 love. Your words should be kind, and should never “rejoice in iniquity” (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.”

Remember, “Love will cover a multitude of sins” (1 Pet. 4:8b). 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. 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.

By Nancy Leigh DeMoss
Published by Revive Our Hearts, © 2005. Permission granted to photocopy in the exact form, including copyright. All other uses require written permission.
Revive Our Hearts * P.O. Box 2000, Niles, MI 49120 * www.ReviveOurHearts.com

Advertisements

My computer beat me at checkers, but I sure beat it at kickboxing.

Day Eighteen:

“You will show me the path of life. In your presence is fullness of joy…Happy are the people whose God is the LORD!” Ps. 16:11a; 144:15b
“A merry heart does good like medicine…” Prov. 17:22a

It’s hard to criticize others when we are enjoying their company. Instead of speaking negatively to your husband today, enjoy him! Encourage him! As you experience fullness of joy with God, share some of that joy with your husband.

Does your husband have a playful side? A great sense of humor? Is there a “little boy” that wants to escape from time to time, reflecting the joy in his heart?

This is a wonderful part of who he is, and a great strength. Let him know that you
appreciate his joyfulness and his playful spirit. Find opportunities to join him in positive play times.

If your husband can sometimes be overly serious, coax him out occasionally for some play times. It will help him relieve stress and relax.

By Nancy Leigh DeMoss
Published by Revive Our Hearts, © 2005. Permission granted to photocopy in the exact form, including copyright. All other uses require written permission.
Revive Our Hearts * P.O. Box 2000, Niles, MI 49120 * www.ReviveOurHearts.com 

Having a sense of humor is so important in a long-term relationship, and considering that marriage is for the rest of your life–it’s time to let our hair down and laugh!  No I’m not joking!  How often do we take life’s moments–that are wonderful, precious and FUNNY–and turn them into “serious issues”?  How often has your husband wanted to play–be silly–joke around–have fun and you’ve been the downer responsible one and made him talk about bills.  BLECH!

If you have a husband who works hard and provides for the family, but has a silly sense of humor, the next time he tickles or plays or tells one of those GROOOOANER jokes of his, don’t roll your eyes.  Laugh!  Let your hair down, kick up your heels a little, and play back with him.  Tickle him.  Giggle.  Play wrestle until you collapse into each others’ arms laughing and then kiss!  Or better yet, when the kids say something adorable (but mildly embarrassing) right in front of the pastor or gramma–LAUGH!  They are so cute at that age and it is a gift to TREASURE!

If you find that you (or your husband) are just a little too “on the serious side” I suggest that you purposely plan a weekend alone–just the two of you–and go do something fun.  Making love all weekend *can* be fun but that’s not what I mean.  You know how you always drive by that amusement park and say “Wow I would love to go there but with the kids and appointments blah blah blah?”  Yeah–go do THAT.  GO to the muscle car show, horse pull, sci-fi convention or weekend doing nothing by the beach that you have always wanted to do!  Remind yourselves how fun it is to just hang out and be together…how much you really LIKE each other.  Then work on keeping your sense of humor alive when you get back home!

1.  Tell jokes about your own self!  You are super funny (and looks aren’t everything).

2.  Make up a silly habit to break up crabby moods…like breaking into Monty Python‘s silly walk.

3. Exaggerate problems.  I mean turn them into universal chaos and the end of mankind if that song isn’t turned down RIGHT AWAY!

4. Ask people about one funny thing that happened today.  Amazingly this will get you thinking about something funny that happened during your day and you’ll be aware of little funny things.

5. Laugh.  Every day.  Right now.  Come one–a real one.  Not a slight giggle.  If you can’t belly laugh, put on “Naked Gun” or “Airplane” right now!

6. Finally just acknowledge that “Some mornings it just isn’t worth it to gnaw through the leather straps. ”  (Thanks Emo for the encouragement!)

He’s my Romeo…

Day Thirteen:

“I am my beloved’s, and his desire is toward me.” Song of Solomon 7:10

The sexual relationship. It’s one of those elements – along with money and children – that can derail a marriage through negative comments. Negativity destroys intimacy, but encouragement builds and strengthens the marriage bond.

Let’s get practical here. Is your husband a “good lover?” Have you told him so? Be specific. Let him know when he pleases you. Most husbands genuinely want to please their wives, especially in this important area of marriage.

In moments of intimacy, do you find your mind wandering? This can change as you focus on something wonderful about your husband. Realize that your husband wants intimacy with you…his desire is toward you.

Does this area of your marriage need some work? Remember that this is a sensitive area for men. Be sure to encourage his lovemaking and masculinity in positive ways.

By Nancy Leigh DeMoss
Published by Revive Our Hearts, © 2005. Permission granted to photocopy in the exact form, including copyright. All other uses require written permission.
Revive Our Hearts * P.O. Box 2000, Niles, MI 49120 * www.ReviveOurHearts.com 

“Through the eyes of Grace…”

 Day Twelve:

“With all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love.” ~Eph. 4:2

Part of the difficulty you may face as you continue in this 30-day challenge to encourage your husband is that you really are struggling to find positive things to praise. Perhaps the problem is not with your husband. Have you checked your own heart?

Sometimes we get disillusioned because of our own unreasonable or unrealistic
expectations (Prov. 13:12). It may not be that our mates are doing something wrong; it’s simply that we expect too much in some areas.

Our expectations must be met in God alone, and then we will have the right perspective to ask God for the healing and grace we need to respond to others.

How sad that we give more grace to others than to those in our own homes. Today, try to look at your husband through eyes of grace. Verbally thank your husband for what he is already doing.

By Nancy Leigh DeMoss
Published by Revive Our Hearts, © 2005. Permission granted to photocopy in the exact form, including copyright. All other uses require written permission.

Revive Our Hearts * P.O. Box 2000, Niles, MI 49120 * www.ReviveOurHearts.com 

The posts of the past few days have caused a little stir, and I suspect today’s may also.  Today’s challenge is not so much an assignment we have to accomplish as it is a challenge to look at ourselves in the mirror as wives. Sometimes finding something about your husband to praise every day can be…well a challenge!  But sometimes the reason is not is not because of your husband, but rather because of you and your own heart and attitudes.  Today we face ourselves and consider Matthew 7:3-5 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?  How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?  You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”  

Our culture right now teaches us unique and sort of weird things as women and wives.  The feminist movement tried to correct a real issue (namely: if a male and female with the same education and experience do the same work…the pay should be the same) and then somehow veered to the left and turned that into a view of “equality” that means women get the benefits of a relationship without holding themselves to the responsibilities.  And if a man does try to hold her to the responsibilities, that’s being a “chauvinist” or “sexist.”

Recently I posted Day 9 of the Husband Encouragement Challenge which was the day about listening to your husband.  The concept was not to let him boss you around or “you have to listen to what he says” like you have to listen to your parents–but rather a challenge to focus on what he is trying to share and then repeat it back to validate him and his thoughts.  He has just as much right to his thoughts and feelings as you do!  Plus as his wife it would seem natural that you might care about him.  That day, a male person posted a comment “Wow, with all the issues with marriages I don’t think I’ve heard any of it say to listen to the husband. This was kind of a neat post. Thanks.”  Does that strike anyone else as shocking–that with all the marriage advice and so-called “experts” out there, no one recommends listening to the male in the relationship?  I know for a fact we women expect our men to listen to us!  If it were TRUE equality, wouldn’t that hold us responsible to listen to them? That’s a kind of sad commentary!

Then today I noticed on my brother-in-law‘s blog–Word Around the Net–that he has a post about the “Obedient Wives Clubs” that are springing up in Southeast Asia and catching a few eyes.  Now make no mistake, my brother-in-law has never been married, so it seems to me that he (and the commenters on that post) would be a somewhat decent candidate for what the “average single guy” thinks about women and wives and such. Know what I saw?  That single men see that women apply “equality” when it means the man has to adapt or change to fit the woman, but do not see “equality” when it means looking at themselves and changing or adapting to fit their man!

And this all leads to today’s challenge.  COULD IT BE that part of the reason you have difficulty finding things to praise about your husband is because you expect him to change but don’t change for him?  COULD IT BE that you can’t find things to praise about him because you expect him to listen to you and validate you but you don’t listen to or validate him?  COULD IT BE  that you don’t apply the same “equal” rules to yourself that you expect of him?  If that is the case, please don’t be discouraged (or stiff-necked and stubborn).  Hey I have to admit I was the same way until I saw it!  If you realize this is you,  it’s okay we’ve all made mistakes–the difference is that those who are wise *learn* from their mistakes and stop doing them!  So look at your own self and if you are not looking at your husband through the eyes of Grace–start tonight.

“Respect my authoritay!”

Day Eleven:

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.” Eph. 5:22

Women who are constantly negative toward their husbands – especially by speaking evil of them to others – show great disrespect. Determine not to do that today (or ever!). This challenge to encourage is closely connected to submission.

Men respond to women who respect them. What do you respect about your husband? Part of that respect includes submission to his authority. Let your husband know how respecting him makes it easier to submit to his leadership. Show your respect in public by listening to him and smiling at him when he speaks. Place your hand in his as you walk together.</span?
If you feel there is nothing to respect, search harder …nearly every man has some core characteristic that can be nurtured and respected. In any case, you must still cultivate a submissive spirit to his position of leadership…”as to the Lord.”

By Nancy Leigh DeMoss
Published by Revive Our Hearts, © 2005. Permission granted to photocopy in the exact form, including copyright. All other uses require written permission.
Revive Our Hearts * P.O. Box 2000, Niles, MI 49120 * www.ReviveOurHearts.com 

A lot has already been written about husbands, wives and submission.  All too often the wives resist it–and all too often the husbands sound like Cartman saying “You will respect my authoritay!”  Rather than rehash it all here, I hope to put it into a new perspective for this challenge.

It is crystal clear in the Bible that God has told wives to submit to their husbands.   Ephesians 5:22, Colossian 3:18, and I Peter 3:1 are all explicit so that there really is not a question of whether wives should or should not submit to their husbands.  It’s also clear that there are not prerequisites there, such as “Submit to your husband if he deserves it” or “Submit to your husband if you agree with him.”  Nope it’s not a suggestion–it’s a requirement.

In fact it is my understanding that the Greek word used for “submit” in all of those verses says it in an indicative tense.  That means that rather than it being an imperative (like “You Shall…”)  it is an indication of what already exists (like “You Are…”) .  Thus the verses don’t say “Wives…you are commanded to submit to your husbands and you have to actively choose to obey that commandment” but rather “Wives…you are in the state of being under the authority of your husband.  This is your state of being–submission.”  Thus, we can rebel against it all we want and stubbornly refuse, but we just are not the leaders in our homes–we ARE in submission to our husbands.  Whether he is good at it or bad at it, he is the federal head and we are not.

How does this relate to our challenge?  Well as a wife living day-in and day-out with a man when he is ill, when he is tired, when he is not at his best … all too often we can see that side and begin to lose respect for him.  Rather than seeing him as the man who helps others, works hard, attends church and studies God’s word, we begin to see him as the man who postpones chores he doesn’t like, who is short-tempered with the kids, or who leaves his jeans in the middle of the floor.

This challenge is a reminder to us to respect our husbands in two ways.  First, we need to remember his position.  He IS the federal head of our family and as such he is owed the respect of being the head.  Don’t forget his position!  Second, when we see him at his “less than finer” moments we need to remind ourselves of the things he does that are worthy of respect.  Don’t let those outside your family heap respect on your husband when he doesn’t get the same in his own home.  Take a moment today and remember the things he does and purposely remind yourself of those characteristics that are worthy of respect.

My hubby? He’s pulchritudinous!

Day Ten:

“Behold you are handsome, my beloved! Yes, pleasant!…” Song of Solomon 1:16a

We all crave appreciation. We want to know that we are valued and loved. Early love letters probably reflected our admiration, but if we’re not careful, our spouse will forget why we were drawn to him. If you still have any of your old love letters, re-read them for clues to deepen your current level of appreciation for your spouse.

When we spend time criticizing our husbands, we lose time that could be spent
admiring them. As you consider various ways to encourage your husband, ask, “How can I admire him?”

Does your husband know that you think he is attractive? What was one of the
characteristics in your husband that first drew you to him? Was it a physical
characteristic, or something else?

Was it his gentle, compassionate eyes? Kindness or concern for others? An easy-going confidence? A steadiness that comes from trusting in the Lord? Strength of character in a culture that lacks integrity? Do you see at least a glimpse of that characteristic in him today? Whatever it is, tell him!

By Nancy Leigh DeMoss
Published by Revive Our Hearts, © 2005. Permission granted to photocopy in the exact form, including copyright. All other uses require written permission.
Revive Our Hearts * P.O. Box 2000, Niles, MI 49120 * www.ReviveOurHearts.com 

Oh today’s challenge should be FUN!  We all long to be attractive to our mate–to have the one we love look at us physically and think, “YUM I have to get me some of that action!”  And yet when we live with each other, day-in and day-out it is easy to get caught up in the bills, kids, and daily worries and forget to say out loud that his eyes still melt you…and those muscles in his arms!

So today, the challenge is to say it.  Out loud.  If you married him when he had a full head of hair and that’s starting to thin a little, he may be worried.  So tell him that bald men turn you on!  Some of the sexiest men are bald: Michael Jordan, Yul Brynner,  Vin Diesel, Bruce Willis, Samuel Jackson, and Patrick Stewart (aka Jean Luc Picard) are stunning…and bald.  Maybe he’s not as thin as he used to be.  Maybe he is starting to get grey hair or a wrinkle.  Whatever it is, let him know today the physical attributes about him that just curl your toes.  It’s his smile, isn’t it?  That smile is worth a thousand little wrinkles!

But beyond his physical attributes, are there qualities about him that attract you such as his sense of humor?  His kindness?  His easy-going attitude that never seems ruffled no matter what?  His love of music?  His geekiness?  What is it about him that drew you to him like a magnet “back in the day” and stills pulls at your heart?  What personality traits and characteristics captivate you and pique your interest?  Today…tell him.

“I hear ya!”

DAY NINE:

“…be swift to hear, slow to speak…” James 1:19b

We are often so busy speaking that we don’t take time to listen. We are so quick to offer a comment – negative or positive – that we don’t really “hear” our husband‘s heart.  Remember: we have two ears and only one mouth. We need to listen more!

As you continue in your 30-day challenge, not speaking negatively and focusing on positive encouragement, hear the Lord’s admonition today: “Be swift to hear.”

If listening is a real problem for you, play a game with yourself. See if you can listen to your husband for one whole day, only speaking when asked a question. If your husband notices the difference, explain that you are learning to listen more-not only to God, but also to him.

One easy way to express admiration for your husband is to ask a question about
something he enjoys, and then listen to his response. If it’s an area of personal
familiarity, keep asking questions until you learn something you didn’t know, then tell him, “Wow, I didn’t know that!”

By Nancy Leigh DeMoss
Published by Revive Our Hearts, © 2005. Permission granted to photocopy in the exact form, including copyright. All other uses require written permission.

Revive Our Hearts * P.O. Box 2000, Niles, MI 49120 * www.ReviveOurHearts.com

Did you know there are three ways to “listen” to someone?  Listening is not just “hearing” because you can hear a noise and completely tune it out or ignore it.  Nope listening is when one person decides to communicate and chooses the “code” they’re going to use to indicate that message/idea…and the listener receives the “code”…decodes it…and interprets it to try to understand.  It’s effective when the person doing the listening interprets the code in the same way that the communicator intended it.  And as I mentioned there are three ways to listen to someone:

1) Active Listening–this is the one we are talking about and aiming for today.  When you are active listening, you are looking at the person who’s talking, you are thinking about what they are saying, and you are trying to understand their idea–catch their excitement–or share what they are sharing.  In this listening both parties are active and verify that they have heard the right thing.

2) Passive Listening–oh we’ve all had this one done to us!  This is when you are talking and someone is looking at the TV or computer screen sort of “half-listening”–their mind is elsewhere.  Passive listening can also be when the listener thinks, “Oh I’ve heard this before!” and rather than verifying the message, they assume it’s the same ol’ message they’ve heard in the past.

3) Competitive Listening–unfortunately we’ve all done this one too.  This form of listening is when we are so interested in our own ideas and pushing our own agenda that we don’t really “listen” at all!  Instead, while the other person is talking, we’re thinking of our response or looking for flaws or weaknesses to attack.  We basically just pretend to pay attention while we look for openings to jump in and take over.

So that’s our challenge today.  LOOK at how you listen to your husband.  Is it more like #3 or #2 than #1?  Are you looking for your chance to butt in and give YOUR opinion or say how much worse YOUR day was than his?  If so, take the day today and really try to listen to him.  Hear his words and then ask him, “So what you’re trying to say is…” and summarize what you think you heard him say.  You will probably be surprised how often you assume you know what he means and assume incorrectly!  Today…give him the gift of being HEARD.

Banknote, bankroll, bills, bread, bucks, coin, dough–in other words: Money!

It’s Day Seven of our Husband Encouragement Challenge, and today’s challenge is all about money!

Day Seven:

“Do not overwork to be rich; because of your own understanding, cease!…for riches certainly make themselves wings…” Prov. 23:4-5 

“That I may cause those who love me to inherit wealth, that I may fill their treasuries.”Proverbs 8:21

Money is the root of much marital discord. Ask yourself, “Am I being negative toward my husband in the area of finances?” Determine not to speak evil of your husband in this area. Discover ways to encourage and help him instead.

Does your husband handle finances wisely? Does he make good financial investments, based on biblical principles? Does he have a budget? Does he make wise decisions about purchases -checking many sources before he buys? Is he a good steward of his money before the Lord? Let him know how much you appreciate his strengths in financial matters.

If he is weak in this area, encourage any good decisions that he does make. Perhaps you can help him, if he’s open to the idea, by organizing financial files or providing other practical assistance. Or, if he wants you to handle the finances, ask for his input before you make decisions that will affect him.

By Nancy Leigh DeMoss
Published by Revive Our Hearts, © 2005. Permission granted to photocopy in the exact form, including copyright. All other uses require written permission.

Revive Our Hearts * P.O. Box 2000, Niles, MI 49120 * www.ReviveOurHearts.com 

All too often in marriages, the finances cause a host of problems and friction between a husband and a wife.  Maybe one is a generous spender and one is frugal.  Maybe one has a PERFECT credit rating and one has past credit problems they are trying to keep secret.  Maybe one likes to wear designer clothing and the other shops at Goodwill.  Maybe one believes in living on a cash basis and one wants to live by credit and borrowing.

To me it’s really hard to write about money because it seems so obvious and clear!  If you earn $3000 a month (either with one working or both) that means you have that amount available to you to pay for your home, your utilities, your food and anything else the family may need such as clothing or supplies.  I know some people take a financial view they consider more “advanced” and borrow and then have their minimum payments add up to $3000 a month…but I believe if you can’t pay cash, you can’t afford it yet so save up!  That way, once you own something it is yours and is an asset and not a debt.

Nevertheless the Bible has plenty to say about money, finances and the economy, and this challenge today is not so much about “which financial approach is correct” as it is about challenging us to look at our husbands in a new light.  Some men work very, VERY hard for what they can provide for their family and then are godly stewards of the wealth God has given to them, using finances to not only provide for his own family but to also graciously give to those in need.  If you look at your husband with fresh eyes and realize you have THIS kind of husband–thank God that He has given you this blessing and thank your husband…lavishly!!

If your husband works very hard to contribute and is wise with every penny but doesn’t earn a lot and money is a little tight–thank God that He has provided for you and thank your husband for all his effort.  Learn to be grateful for the things you do have and be content.  After all God has given to you what He has determined is best for you.   Also just a note to the wives here in the USA: we are so used to “being rich” here that we tend to think that “luxuries” are “necessities.”  For example, did you know that you can live perfectly well without cable TV, or Nordstrom jeans, or a brand new Wii?  Yep, learn to do without, save, and take care of whatever God brings into life!

On the other hand, if your husband tends to over-spend, can not stick to a budget, or just will not work to earn–thank God for the chance He has given you to minister to your husband and help him grow and become a better man.  Remember two things though: 1) it is not our job to “teach” our husband or “make” him do things–however God can use our strengths to support his weaknesses and 2) even if we do show him some tips and tricks and help, we are told in Eph. 5:33 ” “… let the wife see that she respects her husband” and that is not a suggestion!  We are commanded to RESPECT our husband.  So change your own attitude about him, and when it comes to the family finances, be on his side–not his challenger!

You mean I should be thankful for that tinkering in the garage?

It’s Day Six of our Husband Encouragement Challenge, and today’s challenge is all about manly creativity and how sometimes power tools are involved.

DAY SIX

“…whatever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Cor. 10:31b

Do you recognize and appreciate your husband‘s creativity? Or do you criticize and demean his efforts? Instead of negativity, determine to be positive. Perhaps you can help your husband see that his efforts are an opportunity to glorify God.

Is your husband the “creative” type? Does he have any artistic gifts? What is that special “knack” he has? Affirm him for his handiwork – a hobby, music, gardening, tinkering with cars, working with wood, etc. Remember: Even if he doesn’t measure up to your standards, praise his efforts. If your budget allows, buy him a book or magazine that will continue to encourage his special skill or talent.

If you have a hard time finding his “creative side,” understand that men’s creativity sometimes is related to their work. Find something he does to make his job run more smoothly or something he does that adds value to his work…and let him know that you have noticed.

Make his day…Praise his accomplishments in public, while he is listening.

By Nancy Leigh DeMoss
Published by Revive Our Hearts, © 2005. Permission granted to photocopy in the exact form, including copyright. All other uses require written permission.
Revive Our Hearts * P.O. Box 2000, Niles, MI 49120 * www.ReviveOurHearts.com 

When wives think about creativity, what do we think of?  Knitting or crocheting?  Singing or playing an instrument?  Maybe painting or dancing?  As women our idea of being artistic may even extend into the kitchen and the way we create or serve meals.  But when it comes to our husbands, all too often we fail to notice their manly attempts at ingenuity, or if we do notice it, we belittle the attempt because it doesn’t seem creative to us or it’s not up our standard.

Men can obviously also knit, crochet, sing, play a musical instrument, paint or dance too.  When was the last time your husband tried to dance with you and danced in front of you and you laughed at him?  How about the last time he tried to paint or draw?  Did you encourage the attempt–or tell it was a waste of time because he’s not Picasso?  When your husband makes the effort to try to do something

In addition to the ways we women think of creativity, men also have “Manly Men” ways of expressing inspiration that often we female types just don’t recognize!  For example men often express innovation and originality when they are using power tools.  The way that they build or woodwork is creativity.  Making the car run perfectly is artistry.  Adding a room to the house is a way of increasing the beauty and pleasure of his family via carpentry skill.  Growing fresh vegetables to feed the family or preparing a new recipe with the latest kitchen gadgetry is one method of expressing imagination and talent.  But when was the last time you looked at a perfect, polished carburetor and thought “Wow that is beautiful!” or considered how much automotive mastery that demonstrates?

So to quote Tim, the Toolman Taylor:

  • Al:  Didn’t you study the manual at all?
  • Tim:  A real man doesn’t need a manual.
That’s right–they don’t.  They create it all in their head and then build it.  And today our goal is to praise our husbands for their ingenious, inventive, imaginative side.  Hey honey–that song was BEAUTIFUL!

But I need someone to commiserate with–don’t I?

It’s Day Five of our Husband Encouragement Challenge, and today’s challenge is all about your husband and the words you speak about him to others.

DAY FIVE

“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” Eph. 4:29 

Another way to describe the positive side of this “30-Day Encouragement Challenge” is by using the word “edify,” which means, “to build up.” Negative comments only discourage and tear down. Positive comments encourage and build. Do you edify your husband before others, adding to his value in their eyes? This is especially important to other family members. Do you praise your husband to his relatives, and yours? Does your husband’s mother know how much you love him? How about your dad? Perhaps you can drop a word of praise into a conversation or letter. Be creative in letting your relatives know that you respect your husband, love him, and support him – in spite of whatever flaws and weaknesses he may have.

By Nancy Leigh DeMoss
Published by Revive Our Hearts, © 2005. Permission granted to photocopy in the exact form, including copyright. All other uses require written permission.
Revive Our Hearts * P.O. Box 2000, Niles, MI 49120 * www.ReviveOurHearts.com 

As wives we live with our husbands day-in and day-out and see their personal foibles and flaws–their peculiar habits and hidden struggles.  Yet so often we fall into the trap of finding a girlfriend or a group of girlfriends to whom we turn to “tell our troubles to.”  We’ll go to that friend, or that women’s group, and say things like, “Well you won’t believe what he did THIS week…” and the juicy gossip and criticism begins.  We point out his every mistake.  We turn to a sister who has “been there done that” and tell her every single time he hurts our feelings or doesn’t behave well.  We tell ourselves we need someone who understands how we feel…

Or sometimes we ARE that friend.  All our lady friends turn to us and tell us all their woes: “He did THIS and he did THAT…” and we sit and listen.  In an attempt to be “supportive” we might say “Oh you deserve better!” or “You are so right not to take that from him!”  Not only do we encourage our friend to “talk to us about it” we also encourage her in talking badly about her husband and in acting against him, but them at odds with each other rather than on the same team!  [FYI: a true friend would tell her “You need to speak with your husband about this, not me” and would encourage her to be a husband lover (Titus 2:4) and be united with him…not against him!]

Our words come from our heart–our innermost being, our thoughts.  If our words about our husbands concentrate on his shortcomings and focus on his mistakes, that means our hearts  will be see everything that’s wrong with him too.  But our tongue CAN be mastered, and changing what you say out loud can have an effect on your thoughts.  If, instead of speaking your husband’s flaws aloud, you spoke about his GOOD qualities and what you love about him and the GOOD thing he just did yesterday…it would affect the way you THINK about him and the way you see him.  In addition, if you were speaking with your girlfriends or your mom and sisters, and you were telling them his GOOD qualities and what you love about him and the GOOD thing he just did yesterday…it would change the way THEY see him too!

So practice today.  Look at yourself honestly and admit where you’ve spoken and torn your husband down…and today make a complete 180 and build him up with your words.

Related articles