Try-it Tuesday: The 30-Day Husband Encouragement Challenge

First up, thank y’all so much for all your suggestions from yesterday’s “Supper Slump” post. You have armed me with a brand new arsenal of weekly meals. I feel like the Rambo of homemaking.

I even have an outfit for that:

ramob

Peeeerrfect.

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So, the honest-to-goodness truth is that my husband and I rarely fight. Better than that, we really like being around each other. A lot. Sometimes, I take that for granted, but then I hear about so many other folks who are struggling to like, much less love (or is it the other way around that’s harder?), their husbands, and I remember just how blessed I am.

I don’t say this to brag. Believe me when I say we are both very, very human, which means we struggle with selfishness, pride, defensiveness, crankiness, laziness, and on and on.

But, in a way, I kind of feel like I’m cheating by having a husband I like so much. Because we agree on almost everything. Big things, like theology and child-rearing. And even itsy-bitsy trivial things like movies and toothpaste brands. And it’s not because one of us has brainwashed the other. Or even because we have the same personality (we do, and we don’t). I am still surprised by how similar of a conclusion we will each reach on our own after listening to a sermon or even eating a new version of a dish we both like.

See? I’m totally cheating. But I’m not complaining!

Until I am. Because, despite the fact that I am married (in my humble opinion) to the smartest, kindest, sexiest, funniest, most godly man on the planet, I DO complain. And criticize. And clam up and freeze him out.

What’s up with that?

In fact, just last night, even though I was already planning on writing this post, I caused a fight for no good reason, simply because I felt threatened by a (legitimate) suggestion he made and was too tired to deal with the reality of needing to follow through on it, since it had the potential to add a few potholes to my daily road of motherhood (my system is working pretty well these days, and the road has been relatively bump-free, so you can imagine that the comfort-loving part of me did a great big “Say WHAT???!” at the prospect of changing anything).

Don’t get me wrong. My husband’s not perfect, but, as I’ve mentioned several times before, he is perfect for me, which is really the only thing that counts.

Here’s the deal, though: more often than not, I “forget” (i.e. don’t bother to take the time) to tell him all this. As much as we both know how simpatico we are together, neither one of us is fantastic about verbalizing our approval to each other.

But let me tell you what: when I do get a compliment from him—like the other day when he told me that I did a great job with our Sunday School group of 16 kids, ages 3-6 (totally not my forte, which is a hilarious thing to say considering the current demographic of my own children)—I cherish it. I seriously grinned at least 6 times during the day when I remembered that the person I love most on this planet thinks that I am a good teacher and classroom manager (other people have told me the same thing, but it’s never made me that happy).

Sappy much? Maybe. 

But I’d rather be accused of being too sappy where my husband is concerned, especially if the alternative is too reserved.

Which is why I decided to do the 30-Day Husband Encouragement Challenge. Again.

husband encouragement

This will be my third time to take the challenge. I even wrote about it once already when I was a brand-new blogger, but that was nearly two years ago (whoa…not sure how that’s even possible).  And I had fewer children then, which means fewer distractions (ridiculously cute TWIN distractions, no less), and I really feel like I’ve gotten pretty lax in the encouragement department.

And 1 Thessalonians 5:11 tells us to encourage and build each other up. Which means I’m not obeying my Bible if I don’t.

So, here’s the deal: starting tomorrow—May 1, 2013—I will be spending the next 30 days encouraging my husband via words of affirmation and gestures of appreciation., which should segue quite nicely into our 8th wedding anniversary on June 2nd.

I can’t criticize. I can’t be negative. But I can be as schmoopy as I darn well please (something which does not come naturally to me). Heck, maybe I’ll even start calling him “Snookums.”

Or buy him a superhero snuggie:

superhero snuggie

Or not.

Anyhoo, if you want the full skinny, then click on over to the challenge to read all the details (there’s even a day-by-day breakdown of specific areas to praise and encourage).

And once you’ve done that, come back here and let me know if you’re IN!

Seriously, y’all, this will be so much easier to do knowing that I have other awesome women who are doing it with me and counting on me to stay the course, even when I’m grumpy and exhausted and tempted to focus on the jeans crumpled at the end of the bed instead of the diaper he just changed.

And since accountability is HUGE, I’ve decided to post a pic to Instagram (which also links to our Facebook and Twitter feeds) that in some way relates to that day’s challenge each and every night. So, feel free to follow along with any of those to keep up with my progress.

So, wanna join in? Pretty please?

If you’re up for it, leave a comment letting me know! You can post as Anonymous, but be sure to sign your first name because I will add you to my 30-Day Encouragement prayer list and pray for each of you by name every morning.

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118 thoughts on “Try-it Tuesday: The 30-Day Husband Encouragement Challenge

  1. Love your candor and commitment to a happy love filled marriage. I too have one of those perfect guys, but I definitely criticize him constantly. Probably way more than I build him up. And he’s one of those very insecure and introverted types who really needs building up. Thank you for the post and the challenge! I’m going to try it!

  2. My husband really needs encouragement right now- he doesn’t have friends, he hates his job, and we have a child with cerebral palsy. Anything I can do to make his next month better would be great! I’m IN!

  3. Sooo, I remember seeing your facebook posts about doing this…and quite honestly I have been in a rather interesting mood lately and not really thrilled about doing this for my hubs. While searching for furniture refurbishing help I ran across your blog again…and this really struck my heart and I feel God telling me to do it. So, I will be starting this TODAY! :) Thank you!!

  4. i’m in! i take mine for granted so much i think it’s because we do have the same type of relationship as y’all. that i don’t mean to its just that i think/know the answer so i just take care of things and that makes him feel like i dont think his opinion is important. we’ll be celebrating our 16th this September.

  5. Abbie, I am so glad that I opened the link to this blog post. This happened at just the right time for us. I thank God for putting you EXACTLY where you are so he can use you. My husband and I will be married ten years this August. Deidre

  6. oh great I just blew it big time when he sarcastically accused me of being selfish and just thinking of myself when I commented that a tape measure extended out kitty corner up into the cathedral ceiling could slip and that my lap top and I were in the target area. this is one of a zillion comments re incidents that seem to be goading me into something. oh my I do need help.i even made the sign of the cross at him.

    1. Taking a chance you are still reading and repying after 3 years.
      Im looking for accountability and encouragement, in a difficult time
      I’ll explain more if you reply

  7. I’m in — a little late, but that’s typical! ;) After 14 years of marriage, it’s really easy to get too comfortable and take each other for granted. I married my best friend, and he’s a wonderful husband and papa, but the days get long with 6 littles that need attention and we so often don’t express our love (or like) for each other nearly enough! Thanks for sharing this challenge with us, and for your prayer! =)

    ~ Mara

  8. I definitely need to do this…we are in a slump. Thank you for posting this and for the prayers!
    Anne

  9. 1) I’m late in joining
    and
    2) I’m only engaged.
    But! I figured it doesn’t hurt to start the encouragement early! I really want to hold to this. Especially since the wedding is just a few weeks away and stress is starting to kick in.

  10. I’m in! Any ideas on how I can encourage while my hubby is away in an international business trip? U mean besides taking impeccable care if his children of course :)

  11. I stumbled upon this from pintereset. I agree with so many other posters about how God’s timing works out! And as our church is finishing a series of what it looks to be more like Jesus I can’t think of a better way than to build up and encourge my husband the way God would do for me. So here goes.. 30 days!

  12. I love this idea! I started it yesterday too! Thank you for sending this out. I was looking for something like this to let my hubby know just how fabulous I think he is even after 22 years of marriage!
    Thank you~Julie

  13. I’m joining! This is just what we need right now! We’re in our second year of marriage with a baby & just bought and moved into our first home. All things I’ve heard can be stressful on a marriage.. and it has been.

    Thank you Abbie! This is perfect timing.
    -Ashley

  14. I’ve been married 8 months to my wonderful husband, but I know I don’t encourage him as often as I should. This sounds like a great challenge that I would like to try!
    Marylynn

  15. I LOVE this! I totally feel the same way about my husband (we like all the same stuff and really like hanging out together), but I also know that I take that for granted a lot more than I’d like to admit. I’m in!

  16. Abbie, thank you for pointing us to this challenge. I am going to try to follow the whole 30 days and see what God will do. It will be a great reminder of all reasons I fell in love with my husband almost 29 years, 4 daughters, and many varied life experiences ago!
    I enjoy reading about your wonderful family. May God continue to bless you!

  17. I am in! I think this is such a great idea! We just got done doing a marriage study on Wed nights at church and it has been so great for our marriage. We will be celebrating 12 years of marriage on June 2nd. We have 4 kids and I think we get so caught up in the day to day life of raising them we sometimes forget to encourage each other, though we do make spending time at night together a priority.

    Jen

  18. Count me in. this is coming at a really good time, as we have been at odds so frequently as of late. This July will mark our 27th anniversary, and it is too easy to take each other for granted this far in. We’ve had some pretty big ups and downs, but divorce hasn’t been an option. Just take that off the table up front and amaze everyone with your longevity, lol! I have no doubt that you will be going the distance. Thanks for the prayers, I’ll pray for you, too.
    Karen

  19. I am an older soul in the midst of about the 18th incident of hsb going over the top with a new friend that he thinks he has to buy. perhaps this will help one of us. would be nice if it was both of us. these friendships usually(always) leave us penniless with a mess for me to clean up. so far they have always been male and they are Christians that turn out to have really heavy mud/clay feet.

    1. I’m so sorry to hear about your struggles. I’ll definitely be praying for you. And I know the Lord can work miracles! So glad you’re in!

  20. I had post partum depression for 2 years and am just now getting out of it. My husband has dealt with bouts of anger and sadness and has been such a strong beautiful amazing man to me. He works at a horrible job, but can’t leave because he hasn’t found another job that will pay him enough yet. I would LOVE to do this with you to encourage him because I really do appreciate him and I don’t know how confident he is on this.

    1. Good for you, Becky! I will do my best to share ideas, but the challenge itself has some really great suggestions for each day. It doesn’t have to be fancy! :)

  21. I totally hear so much of what you’re saying in this post. My husband and I really are in tune with each other and although we don’t always want to be doing the same thing together, we ARE together and that’s enough! I really enjoyed this well thought out post and such a sweet one with all the compliments on your husband. You sound like you have a “real” marriage full of love and respect!

    XO,
    Jane

  22. Count me in….today is our two yr anniversary..so will be like a month of presents..lol….Leslee

  23. I’m in ! the article is great, I will send it to some of my friends ! Thanks for sharing ! We will celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary this month ! Sometimes I take my husband for granted. I thank God for him and feel so blessed to have him as my husband.

    Marlin

  24. Count me in! I too have an amazing relationship with my husband, and he is so perfect for me, but I don’t let him know how amazing he is often enough! Thanks for the challenge!

  25. Count me in! May will be a very busy month for me at work and this is a great way to not let him feel lost in the shuffle!

    1. Well, the challenge comes as a whole, meaning there’s not a link to a specific challenge for each day (that I’ve found). You can either download the PDF of the entire thing and look at your challenge for that specific day or you can opt for being emailed reminders about each daily challenge.

      I may not be answering your question. Basically, on IG, I will post a picture of *something* each evening that pertains to that day’s challenge to show/tell how I did.

      I’ll announce a hashtag tomorrow for anyone that wants to do the same, so we can all tag each other and keep up.

      Make sense? Feel free to ask again if I didn’t answer your question.

  26. The fact that I’m already doubting this working shows my desperate need to try. Sometimes it feels like too much hurt and pain has happened to keep our relationship from ever getting back to normal and as lovey dovey as it used to be. It couldn’t help to try this though. Thanks for the link.

    -Katie

    1. I have to report that after 8 days now of doing this challenge things have changed DRAMATICALLY! The first day was a terrible disaster. But I prayed and started again the next day. And I am happy to say that now on day 8, there is so much love, peace, communication, support, and joy in our relationship. I truly never thought this could happen after everything we have been through. Neither of us are perfect but there is so much more effort being made by both of us that it feels like we’re a team for the first time in a long time. He even has a sweet date planned for this weekend. Thank you so much for posting this challenge. I am forever indebted to you. God is good.
      -Katie

  27. We really don’t ever fight too, and there is no one I would rather be around than him. However, this is a fantastic challenge, and I accept! Almost 7 years down and 4 kids under 5, I think he definitely could use a month of sweet words and gestures. (He exceeds my expectations every day with how wonderful of a husband and father he is)

  28. I love this. My husband and I have a similar relationship as you guys, but similarly I am amazed at how easy it is to be less than kind, or to be snappy. Tomorrow is our 3 year wedding anniversary, which is a great way to start this challenge! Thanks for doing this!

    Tara Morgan

  29. I have been married 35 years and I did not encourage my husband for many years. I now realize the importance of this support and I am in! Thank you for the reminder and challenge.
    Dawn

  30. Holy cow you sound just like me! I am not by nature a sappy romantic but I know my hubby loves it when I am. He is a great man and perfect for me, even though I do complain sometimes. I am totally in!

  31. Holy cow you sound just like me! I am not by nature a sappy romantic but I know my hubby loves it when I am. He is a great man and perfect for me, even though I do complain sometimes. I am totally in!

  32. I’m in! Hopefully I’ll be able to blog (or at least post something to InstaGram) every day. This is a challenge as I am a newlywed and a new mommy (but who am I to complain to a woman with more kids than me? LOL).

    I pray that our bond will grow stronger over the next 30 days. Thanks for this challenge.

    Chanell

  33. I have been doing this for almost a week already so, yes I will join you. I will add that I have been married for 33 years and still can find many reasons why I adore him.

    1. I am in! I love my husband alot, right now we have so many things going on in our lives (wait til yours become teenagers!). I need a reminder to tell him how much he means to me. This is great!

      Liz

  34. Okay… I’ll give it a whirl! I really need this, actually. And I’m an expert nag, so I know it’s not going to be very easy.

    Kate

  35. I love it; it’s perfect! All day yesterday, I was thinking about how I needed to leave a note on my husband’s pillow to tell him how much I appreciate him, but one thing or another kept distracting me. I used to be so much better at this, and it really was a special thing in our relationship. Like you, my husband and I get along really well; I love the idea of making sure I tell him so every day. So yes…I’m definitely in!

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