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Posts: 13,501 9/8/13 1:46 P
Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them. Colossians 3:19 (NIV) Let your conversation be always full of grace. Colossians 4:6 (NIV) At the risk of sounding like a broken record, how are you doing with the ground rules? While each of the daily challenges is important, it is more important to grasp these ground rules and use them as the basis for your entire marriage, not just these 30 days. It is these ground rules that will keep a healthy marriage strong or will help to warm the heart of a wife who is teetering on the edge. Long after the 30 days are over, these basic guidelines will keep peace and harmony in a home and in a marriage. You can't say anything negative about your wife . . . to your wife . . . or to anyone else about your wife. Say something that you admire or appreciate about your wife . . . to your wife . . . or to someone else about your wife every day. You’ve worked hard these past 16 days and the end of the 30 days is in sight, but the hope is that these ideas and practices will be written on your heart so that you make your wife the priority that she should be and that a good marriage will be strengthened, a stagnant marriage revived, or a marriage in crisis brought back from the brink.
Day Sixteen: And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 (NIV) There are many, many pressures on a husband to live up to the standards of this world. The company wants you to work 60 hours or more a week, while your wife and kids want you to spend as much time with them as you can. While it is true that men often gain self-worth from their work, and God has created them this way, consider whether the hours spent at the office go beyond the basic needs that you and your family have financially. You may think that you are working long hours to provide for your family, but do you have more than enough already and are working only to have more and more to keep up with the Joneses? Sit down with your wife and kids and ask them how you can better spend your time with them. Take time to have fun with your wife and kids, not just working to provide more and more in a household that already has enough. Let God be the supplier of your needs. Your wife and family do need the financial security that you provide, but not if they have to sacrifice your presence with them.
Let my lover come into his garden and taste its choice fruits. Song of Songs 4:16 (NIV) If you have been married for any length of time, you know that men and women often view sex in vastly different ways. For a woman, physical intimacy often requires much planning, preparation, and time. She might need flowers, a back rub, and a restful attitude before “feeling ready.” All of the events of the day might need to be resolved and put to bed (no pun intended) before she can give in to her sexual desires. For a man, all that is required is “to show up naked and bring food.” Even though you know that spontaneity is more difficult for your wife than it is for you, it is sometimes difficult not to be hurt by her seeming lack of interest. If waiting until bedtime to spring the idea of making love on your wife isn’t working, let her know your intentions early in the day. Ask her what you can do to help set the mood for the evening. Are you willing to watch the kids while she takes a bath and unwinds? Do the dishes need to be washed and put away before your wife can call it a night? Sometimes a woman is just too tired from all she has to do to think about making love, even though she may want to. Remember that differences in sexual desire were created by God, and learn how you can work with these differences instead of railing against them in your marriage.
How beautiful you are and how pleasing, O love, with your delights. Song of Songs 7:6 (NIV) Too often we get caught up in the routine of marriage and forget to notice the beauty that is before our eyes. Look at your wife with fresh eyes. See how she has changed since you first met. How has the life that you share made her even more beautiful to you? What is it that attracts you to her? What do you love about her body? The Lover in the Song of Songs did not spare many details when he wrote of the beauty of his Beloved. From the tips of her toes to the fragrance of her breath, he spared no detail in describing how he saw her body (Song of Songs 7:1-9). Is your wife self-conscious about her body? Does she feel beautiful? Does she feel that she is beautiful to you? Tell your wife today what makes her beautiful to you. Spare no detail – right down to the blush of her cheeks when she hears these words.
Turn your ear to wisdom and apply your heart to understanding. Proverbs 2:2 (NIV) Now that you’ve learned your wife’s love language and have gotten a few ideas about how to put it into practice, do not let any grass grow under your feet. The sooner you begin to speak her language, the more quickly she will respond and the more quickly you will be able to speak her language fluently. What ideas did you get from your wife? What ideas can you come up with on your own? This may be difficult for you, especially if your love language is not the same as your wife’s. You may wonder how anybody could feel loved by even the smallest act of service or a heartfelt hug while washing dishes, but if it’s your wife’s love language, she will get the message loud and clear. Today’s challenge is to get more comfortable speaking your wife’s love language by speaking it to her today. If you are still unsure of what to do to speak her language, check out www.fivelovelanguages.com or www.squidoo.com/lovelanguage or buy the book The Five Love Languages, Gary Chapman
Turn your ear to wisdom and apply your heart to understanding. Proverbs 2:2 (NIV) Now that you’ve learned your wife’s love language and have gotten a few ideas about how to put it into practice, do not let any grass grow under your feet. The sooner you begin to speak her language, the more quickly she will respond and the more quickly you will be able to speak her language fluently. What ideas did you get from your wife? What ideas can you come up with on your own? This may be difficult for you, especially if your love language is not the same as your wife’s. You may wonder how anybody could feel loved by even the smallest act of service or a heartfelt hug while washing dishes, but if it’s your wife’s love language, she will get the message loud and clear. Today’s challenge is to get more comfortable speaking your wife’s love language by speaking it to her today.
Each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself. Ephesians 5:33 (NIV) Hopefully yesterday wasn’t the first time in 10 days that you’ve told your wife you love her. If it was, or even if it wasn’t, do you realize that hearing “I love you” is extremely important, but it might not be the most effective way to show your love to your wife? Today’s challenge is to learn a new language – your wife’s love language. Many of you have heard of The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman (Northfield Publishing, Chicago, 1992). While it may take only a few minutes to learn your wife’s love language, it will take practice to perfect it and speak it fluently. You see, we are often most prone to give love in the same way in which we ourselves like to receive it; that is, we speak the same love language that we like to hear. If I speak words of affirmation because it is my own love language but not my husband’s, he might know that I love him, but he is not fulfilled as much by my words as he would be by expressions of love in his own love language, such as physical touch or just spending together. To find out your wife’s primary love language, ask her these five questions: Do you feel most loved when someone expresses appreciation for you or for what you have done, no matter how simple the act? (words of affirmation) Do you feel most loved when you are given attention and feel that someone wants to spend time with you? (quality time) Written and distributed by Claudia J. Pate, www.theanniversaryshop.wordpress.com; www.theanniversaryshop.com Do you feel most loved when someone brings you gifts or some tangible item, no matter how small or inexpensive? (gifts) Do you feel most loved when someone does things for you, taking out the garbage, washing clothes, running errands, etc.? (acts of service) Do you feel most loved when you are receiving physical touch? (surprise! physical touch) Note: Be careful here not to confuse physical touch with sex. Think of nonsexual touch: holding hands, sitting close when watching a movie, getting a neck and shoulder rub. Sexual fulfillment is not the same as physical touch as a primary love language. After you have discovered which of these languages speaks most clearly to your wife, ask her what you can do within her language to show her your love. Trust me, she will have ideas.
Behold, you are beautiful, my beloved, truly delightful. —Song of Songs 1:16
We all crave appreciation. We want to know that we are valued and loved, pursued and special. When’s the last time you remembered everything you admire about your husband? Early love letters probably reflected that admiration! But if we’re not careful to verbalize our admiration, our spouse will forget why we were drawn to him.
And when we spend time criticizing our husbands, we lose time that could be spent admiring and remembering why we chose that person in the first place! As you consider various ways to encourage your husband, ask, “How can I admire him?”
Action Step: Count the ways you love him—then tell 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 easygoing 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! 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.
A Wife’s Prayer
Lord Jesus, I confess that it is often easier to criticize than admire. Please forgive my critical spirit and free me to remember all the things that nudged me to choose my husband in the first place. Remind me of things I’ve forgotten, and even point out things I’ve been blind to. Loosen my tongue to speak words of admiration and renew in me a deep, passionate love for my husband.
There is a time for everything … a time to be silent and a time to speak. Ecclesiastes 3:1,7 (NIV) How easy it is to speak before thinking, especially if that pattern has already been established in your marriage. Do you or your wife have the habit of returning one hurtful jab for another or lashing out at the smallest provocation? It is hard to be silent, especially when you feel hurt or angry or disrespected, but often, if you take a few minutes to gather your thoughts and think about what you might say in return, you will realize that the problem will only escalate if you say what immediately comes to mind. Your challenge today is to be silent when you could return insult for insult or when you could say, “I told you so.” Remember that silence is a show of humility. Allow your wife to vent if she needs to, and offer an ear to listen without rebuttal.
Day Seven: Let love and faithfulness never leave you. Proverbs 3:3 (NIV) Nothing gives encouragement to your wife like knowing that she is the only one for you. Tell your wife today that you are glad you married her, that you would marry her all over again, and that you will keep your vows made before God and man on your wedding day. When my husband and I got married, we wrote our own vows. In his wisdom, our pastor made a booklet for us that contains our entire ceremony, including our vows. If you can remember the vows you spoke on your wedding day, say them again to your spouse. If you do not remember them exactly, write new ones that tell your wife you would marry her all over again.
Day Six: Humility comes before honor. Proverbs 15:33 (NIV) This story is taken from Night Light, by Dr. James and Shirley Dobson (Multnomah Publishers, Sisters, OR, 2000). Mr. Smith learned that his neighbor, Mr. Jones, had presented flowers and a gift to Mrs. Jones five nights in a row. He thought, That must be what wins a woman’s heart. So Smith went out and bought a big box of candy and a bouquet of his wife’s favorite flowers. Arriving home a little early that afternoon, he rang the doorbell. When Mrs. Smith appeared, he passionately embraced her. Suddenly she sagged and fell in a heap on the floor. “My goodness! What’s wrong?” he exclaimed. When she regained consciousness, she explained. “Oh, this has been the worst day! Our son received a terrible report card; Mother was admitted to the hospital; the roast burned; the washing machine broke. Now to top it off, you come home drunk!” Has it been a while since you brought home anything to your wife except for a special occasion? Would she think there was something wrong with you if you brought something home for her? Todays’ encouragement challenge is to surprise your wife with something – flowers or something as simple as her favorite candy or the latest book from her favorite author. It doesn’t have to be big, it just has to say, “I was thinking of you. I love you. And I thought you would like this.”
Day Five: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry. Ephesians 4:26 (NIV) Even during these 30 days when you, and hopefully your wife, are both working to build up and encourage one other, you might find yourselves in a debate, a discussion, or an all-out battle that leaves one or both of you angry and upset. Charles Schultz, the creator of the Peanuts cartoon, once said that “Love is never having to say you’re sorry.” That philosophy might work with puppies, but it certainly doesn’t work in marriage. The inability to say you’re sorry often stems from pride, pride that keeps you from saying you were wrong and that you just might have to change your thoughts or actions in a particular area. Think over the events of the day, the week, or even past weeks and honestly consider if there is something for which you need to say “I’m sorry.” If you or your spouse are angry about something that happened today, do not go to sleep tonight until the issue has been put out in the open and discussed. You may not be able to resolve it all tonight, but neither
Day Four: May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14 (NIV) How are you doing with your commitment to say only good things about your wife and to others about your wife? Did you catch yourself starting to say something negative and then stopping? Did you falter and let something slip? Did you have a thought about your wife’s actions or attitude that would not be pleasing to her or to God? Recommit yourself to the ground rules of the 30 Day Challenge: You can't say anything negative about your wife . . . to your wife . . . or to anyone else about your wife. Say something that you admire or appreciate about your wife . . . to your wife . . . or to someone else about your wife every day. In fact, let’s go one step beyond recommitting to the ground rules and intentionally say something positive about your wife to someone else while she is listening. I am not talking about mere flattery; I mean a real, honest compliment that will tell someone else and your wife how much you appreciate her. You do not have to come up with something new that you’ve never thought of, although there's nothing wrong with that. You can choose one of the items from Day One or from the list of chores that your wife normally takes care of and tell someone how your wife makes your home and your life special when she can conveniently “overhear” what you are saying. After she gets over the surprise, you will see a smile on her face you haven’t seen in a long time.
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17 (NIV) Ok, you’ve done some talking and you’ve done some playing, now it’s time to put your words into action. What can you do to help your wife today? Do the dishes need washed? Does the laundry need folded and put away? Do the kids need baths? Can you cook? Even just a few minutes of your time to help your wife complete the tasks before her will go a long way to encourage her and make her feel loved. Let your wife know how much you appreciate all that she does and ask her what she needs help with the most today – and do it as unto the Lord, giving thanks and without grumbling
A happy heart makes the face cheerful. Proverbs 15:13 (NIV) We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing. George Bernard Shaw How did you do with your list of things you admire about your wife? Did you start off slow and gain momentum? Did you find it hard to come up with even one thing to be thankful for? I certainly hope not! As a husband and wife live together on a daily basis, taking care of the kids, the house, the pets, the bills, and everything else that goes into daily life, we tend to forget to have fun together – to play. Ask your wife to join you outside to play frisbee or go for a walk or look at the stars. Take her out for coffee and enjoy the drive. Do something together that you enjoyed while you were dating. I know you love your kids and you love spending time with them, but you need to take time to spend time with each other without the kids to remember what it feels like to be Bill and Nancy or Ted and Alice, not just Mom and Dad. Sure the bills and the dishes and the tax forms all need your attention, but take time to enjoy being friends, not just husband and wife or Mom and Dad. Today’s assignment for encouraging your wife is to do something fun together today that will make you forget the cares of the world and make you feel like young lovers again.
Day One: The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.’ Genesis 2:18 (NIV) As a Christian, you must know that men and women bring to the marriage different strengths, gifts, and outlooks on life and love. Think about some ways that your wife is “good for you,” ways in which she makes you and/or your life better. Is she the one that brings color to your life by decorating the home and making it enjoyable to come home? Does she inspire you to try new things that you wouldn’t have tried otherwise? Do you still get that warm, gushy feeling when she looks at you and smiles to tell you that she is glad you chose her? Make a list of ways your life is better because of your wife Share the list with your wife and tell her how good it is that she is your helper and that you are not alone These words, coming from the most important man in her life, will bring great joy and encouragement to your wife
“A Prayer For Observing God’s Wondrous Works” July 31, 2013 Praying man Father, we do extol Your work and praise You with our lips, with our voice and with our devotion to follow You all the days of our lives. We stop and consider Your great wonders and mighty works as we acknowledge You to be the Creator of all things. Your ways are perfect and beyond human understanding. It is all the more reason why we must rely on Your guidance and not lean on our own understanding. Today we acknowledge You in all our ways and ask You to direct our paths and increase our understanding in the name of Jesus. Amen.
• Lord, please show me how to find the time to store your commands within my mind. As I turn my ear to Your wisdom, help me to apply my heart to doing things YOUR way. I know you are the giver of wisdom; help me to hear what you want me to learn even if I don’t always understand Your ways, or why you allow certain things to happen in my married life. I want to trust you with my whole heart. Please help me. I know that as I trust in You, You have promised me that You will make my paths straight. Thank You. (Based on Proverbs 2:1-6 and Proverbs 3:5-6.)
The bible tells us that we set the course for our lives by our words, James 3:6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.NIV Are you where you want to be today?If you aren’t and you want things to be even better, then you will have to start declaring a better future with your words, start declaring your end from the beginning. (Isa 46:10)
"He who is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who is quick-tempered exalts folly." - Proverbs 14:29
One of the Mirriam Webster definitions of being patient is: "steadfast despite opposition, difficulty, or adversity." Being patient is hard because as humans, we have a tendency to want what we want at that particular moment. Unfortunately, it seems that life is a test of patience.
The Lord gave this command to Joshua son of Nun: "Be strong and courageous, for you will bring the Israelites into the land I promised them on oath, and I myself will be with you." Deuteronomy 31:23 Read more at Buzzle: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/encouraging-bible-verses-for-men.html
What is a husband? He is the one who, with a touch, can bring back the starlight and glow of years long ago. At least he hopes he can – don’t disappoint him. – Alan Beck - See more at: http://www.dailylifesinspiration.com/inspirational-quotes-for-husbands#sthash.AT919CPj.dpuf
I would say that the surest measure of a man’s or a woman’s maturity is the harmony, style, joy, and dignity he creates in his marriage, and the pleasure and inspiration he provides for his spouse. – Benjamin McLane Spock
"It is said an Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him the words: "And this, too, shall pass away."" ~ Abraham Lincoln
Day 7 That she would be a woman of courage. Deut 31:6 - May she be strong, courageous and firm. Help her not to be afraid but instead put her trust firmly in You, that You will not fail or forsake her.
2 Chron 19:11 - May she be strong and do Your will! Let her deal courageously in all things knowing You are with her.
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