The 30 Day Spouse Encouragement Challenge – Day 18

Wives: “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.

© Revive Our Hearts. Used with permission. www.reviveourhearts.com

Husbands: “Let the wise listen and add to their learning.” Proverbs 1:5

How well do you listen to your wife?

When your wife is talking to you, do you give her your full attention or do you have one ear turned in her direction with your eyes focused on the TV or the computer? While multitasking might be necessary at work, it is seldom a good idea at home – especially when it comes to communicating with your wife.

Your wife has a deep need to connect with you in conversation. She wants to know your thoughts and your needs, and she wants you to know hers. She wants you to listen with an open heart, one that tells her you care and that you want to know her even better than you already do.

Sadly, communication in marriage often disintegrates into conversations that complete strangers might have – the weather, the problems with the car, who needs to get which child to the next event.

Who you are as husband and wife, man and woman, lovers and friends often gets lost in the day-to-day activities of life.

Today’s challenge is to truly listen to your wife. When you are together, do not turn on the TV or the computer, get out of the house together if you must, but give your full attention to your wife and what she has to say.

This might be awkward at first, for both you and your wife, but you stand to learn a great deal about the woman that you chose as your wife. How has she grown since you got married? What dreams does she have for the future? How can you pray for her?

Written and distributed by Claudia J. Pate, www.theanniversaryshop.wordpress.com

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The 30 Day Spouse Encouragement Challenge – Day 17

Wives: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Prov. 9:10

Are you a wise woman? Do you open your mouth with wisdom, as Proverbs 31:26 suggests? As you continue in your 30-day challenge, remember that a wise woman encourages her husband.

Is your husband a “wise man?” Does he have a godly perspective that comes from knowing God and walking with Him in obedience? Does he have a sense of purpose for his life and vision for your home? Tell him how much this means to you.

If you are not sure about your husband’s vision for your home, ask him, “Honey, what do you want to accomplish with our marriage and home in the years to come?” and ”How can I help you accomplish that?” If he does not have a vision, your questions may inspire him to develop one.

If your husband is not walking with God – or perhaps, does not know the Lord – you have the opportunity and responsibility to practice your faith and create a thirst for God. Thank God for giving your husband a place in his heart that only He can fill, and keep praying that he will turn to the Lord to fill that vacuum!

© Revive Our Hearts. Used with permission. www.reviveourhearts.com

Husbands: “Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.” Colossians 3:19

“Let your conversation be always full of grace.” Colossians 4:6

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, how you are 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 crises brought back from the brink.

For today’s challenge you get a mulligan – not a stew, a do-over. Choose one of the challenges from the previous 16 days and do it again. You might choose one that gave particular encouragement to your wife or one that you don’t feel was given your best effort. The choice is up to you, but don’t let the day pass by without doing something to encourage your wife and put a smile on her face.

Written and distributed by Claudia J. Pate, www.theanniversaryshop.wordpress.com

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The 30 Day Spouse Encouragement Challenge – Day 16

Wives: “And the LORD God said, ‘It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” Genesis 2:18

God says that it is not good for man to be alone. But the way some women criticize their mates, the husbands may long for solitude. Be careful today not to criticize your mate, but look for ways to encourage him personally and publicly.

Speaking of communication, does your husband communicate with you? God has made you a companion and helper for your husband, and part of being “one flesh” with him is the privilege of sharing and discussing personal needs and concerns. Thank God for that wonderful gift. Thank your husband for communicating with you.

If your spouse does not communicate as you wish, look for ways that he communicates that are normal for him – smiling at you, nodding his head, even a pleasant “grunt!” – and then thank him for letting you know that he cares. Perhaps he needs to be lovingly taught how to communicate. Be patient with him…and listen when he does speak.

© Revive Our Hearts. Used with permission. www.reviveourhearts.com

Husbands: “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19

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.

Written and distributed by Claudia J. Pate, www.theanniversaryshop.wordpress.com

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The 30 Day Spouse Encouragement Challenge – Day 15

Wives: “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ…” 2 Pet. 3:18a

Sometimes we live so close to our spouse that we fail to see him as others do; we only see our husband’s faults. But take a step back. Perhaps he is growing spiritually in ways you have failed to appreciate. How can you encourage his growth in a fresh, new way? Remember – your husband is accountable to God for his spiritual development. You are accountable to God to encourage and not hinder that growth.

Can you identify an area of spiritual strength in your husband? Does he pray or read his Bible regularly? Does he like to read about or discuss spiritual matters? Does he go to church with you? Is he a spiritual leader? What do others say about him? If you can identify a specific area, praise him for that.

If not, pray earnestly that God will work in his heart, and watch for signs of spiritual growth in the future.

© Revive Our Hearts. Used with permission. www.reviveourhearts.com

Husbands: “Let my lover come into his garden and taste its choice fruits.” Song of Solomon 4:16

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.

Written and distributed by Claudia J. Pate,www.theanniversaryshop.wordpress.com

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The 30 Day Spouse Encouragement Challenge – Day 14

Wives: “The righteous man walks in his integrity…” Prov. 20:7a

Every week there are news reports about men who gave in to temptations and compromised what they said they believed. We hear countless reports about dishonest business dealings, hidden infidelity, and hypocritical leaders. It’s so easy to focus on these things and ignore those who are being honest, faithful and genuine. As you continue in the “30-Day Encouragement Challenge,” determine to look for ways that your husband stands against the culture.

Is your spouse a man of integrity? Is he fair in his dealings with people? Does he understand the meaning of justice? Is he honest in business? Unhypocritical in his faith? Consider all the ways a man can live in integrity, and praise your husband for one of them.

As you have the opportunity – as it is appropriate – share examples of your husband’s honesty and integrity with others.

© Revive Our Hearts. Used with permission. www.reviveourhearts.com

Husbands: “How beautiful you are and how pleasing, O love, with your delights.” Songs of Solomon 7:6

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 Solomon 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.

Written and distributed by Claudia J. Pate, www.theanniversaryshop.wordpress.com

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