** Information about todays P31 Blog Carnival is at the bottom of this post! Dont miss out on some really awesome giveaways at most of the Proverbs 31 blogs today! **
My Proverbs 31 devotion from February 11th, which launched this 14 day Marriage Challenge, primarily talked about the influence that our words have on our husbands.
I once read that marriage is not 50/50 as the old saying goes, but instead it is really 100/100! What a profound statement, because if you think about it, regardless of what we are trying to work at, if we only offer 50% of our efforts, the outcome is not going to be what we had hoped for. If we only give half of our efforts, how can we expect a complete result?
In the book I mentioned in last week’s devotion, The Man Whisperer, Rick talks a great deal about this subject of the influence our words have on our husbands.
I think that most of us would admit that if there are changes that we desire in our husbands, it is probably because we genuinely want them to be the best they can be. But regardless of the reason we may want them to change, the truth remains that there is really no way to change them – only God can truly do that.
However – we can give him a reason to change himself, by focusing on what is good, instead of just trying to fix all that is wrong. When we fail to do that, the door is opened for Satan to creep in and begin taking his toll on the relationship. I have fallen prey to that trap myself, and maybe you have as well.
The goal, through prayer and selfless intention, should be to subtly guide and build up a husband so that he can become the man God intended for him to be, and the husband that we long for; to help a man recognize his own self worth, by seeing himself through the adoration of his wife.
The truth is that men have to desire to change, before they will work towards changing….but the good news, is that women can motivate their men to want to change, through using tools of love, respect and admiration, but the key is remembering to say those words when we feel them.
I have told Michael several times in the past few months that he has always been a great contractor, and always will be, regardless of how business is going. I want him to know that I respect his career, his ability, his talents, his skills, and his provision for our family. I want him to know that I still admire him and what God has gifted him to do, even when things are looking grim.
This is just one small example, and I could list many things to compliment my husband about… the trick is, whether or not I actually do it. There have been days when I have been away from Michael, and thinking such fond thoughts of him, such as how much I love him and how glad I am to be his wife, but then when he got home from work, I never mentioned those things, and instead fussed about something not done to my liking.
Why didn’t I just share all those loving thoughts with him, instead of voicing the negative or neutral thoughts? The culprit is simply a habit – a habit that needs breaking. I have heard it takes 21 days for a new habit to form; for it to become second nature to us, instead of something we have to focus on doing. Each one of us is in a habit with our words – a habit of tearing down, or a habit of building up. It is our choice.
The challenge for today is to let your man know how worthy of your love he really is. For some, this might be an easy task, but for others it might take some long hard thinking to come up with why he deserves your love. If you cant think of anything, then pray about it. Ask God to prick your memory or bring something to mind that you do admire about your husband, especially if lots of ugly things are coming to mind first.
Make a list of positive things about your husband, and then pick one or two of those things to compliment him about today. Pray for God to give you an opportunity to compliment him, and then if you have not done so in a long time and it seems awkward, ask God to put the words on your lips, and to soften your husbands heart to be receptive.
Last week, a reader sent me a private email thanking me for the devotion, but also sharing a personal story. She stated that her husband was not an emotional or affectionate man, and that their relationship was strained. She was hesitant to try to compliment him, because she did not think he would be responsive or appreciative. But she stated that as soon as she spoke those words of encouragement to him, he “melted like a marshmallow”. I just loved that analogy!
I am not saying that all men are like marshmallows, but all men do need encouragement, and need to believe that they are respected and admired. We might be surprised at the response a few sweet words can elicit, and maybe see a side of our husbands that we have not seen before.
Hebrews 10:24 says “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds” – a perfect verse for todays challenge.
Many of you mentioned in your comments last week that building up your husband with your words is an area that you needed to work on. So ladies, we are going to put our words to the test!
I will be praying for all of you! Now read below to find out how you can enter to win some really valuable giveaways from the Proverbs 31 family! Click on each link to find out how to enter on the different sites, and good luck! 🙂
My giveaway today is an audio CD of one of my speaking sessions, called “Overcoming Stress With Extraordinary Faith”, and a cool decorative Christian notepad and pen set. To enter to win, please post a comment stating one special way you could encourage, or have encouraged your man recently, with your words.
Wendy Blight is giving away a copy of the One Year Chronological Bible and her book Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner: The Transforming Power of God’s Story.
Shari Braendel is giving away 3 beautiful jewelry pieces to begin a spring wardrobe with! One for a Glamour Girl, one for a Movie Star and one for a Rock Star!
Micca Campbell is giving away her book An Untroubled Heart, and a cute clutch purse for those fun summer evenings!
Melanie Chitwood is giving away One marriage conference call (see her blog for details) and a copy of her new book What a Wife Needs from Her Husband.
Lynn Cowell is giving away a prize for mom and a prize for a teen girl in her life – the 3 book series B.A.B.E. series by Andrea Stephens (Beautiful, Accepted, Blessed, Eternally Significant) for the teen and for Mom a $10 gift card to Starbucks along with Lynn’s CD “Building a Bridge to Your Child’s Heart”.
Karen Ehman is giving away a Winter White Basket that includes Skin Milk body wash, a white loofah, Winter White Citrus Bath & Body Works products, white lily linen and room sprays, white hot cocoa, a white mug and white-chocolate macadamia nut cookies. Along with it, a copy of her book on celebrations entitled Homespun Memories for the Heart: More Than 200 Ideas to Make Unforgettable Moments.
Suzie Eller is giving away a webcam!
Zoe Elmore is giving away a journal, a copy of My Heart’s Cry by Anne Graham Lotz and a piece of jewelry Zoe style!
Charlene Kidd is giving away a $20.00 Starbucks Gift Card and a copy of Karen Ehman’s book: A Life That Says Welcome, Simple Ways to Open Your Heart and Home to Others.
Rachel Olsen is giving away Bread for Life: a hardback copy of The Daily Message: Through the Bible in One Year by Eugene Peterson (which you can read this along with her this year) and the Williams-Sonoma Muffins cookbook.
Wendy Pope is giving away a copy of her book Out of the Mouths of Babes and her CD Yes, No, and Maybe of a Balanced Life
LeAnn Rice is giving away a copy of her cookbook Sharing Grace: Recipes- Family Traditions-Gift ideas and a Starbucks gift card.
Susanne Scheppmann is giving away her Birds in My Mustard Tree Bible Study with an I-tunes gift card.
Renee Swope giving away Lysa TerKeurst’s “Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl” 6 week DVD set and a copy of Renee’s message “Living Beyond the Shadow of Doubt” on DVD.
Lysa TerKeurst is giving away a Mom’s Book Club gift pack including 4 copies of Lysa’s new book, Am I Messing Up My Kids? and a 30-minute Q&A conference call with Lysa.
Van Walton is giving away her DVD for children – From the Pound to the Palace
Glynnis Whitwer is giving away her book work@home: A Practical Guide for Woman Who Want to Work from Home and a French Country Wire Silverware Basket