I mentioned when I introduced the 30-day Husband Encouragement Challenge that I felt like I was cheating because my husband is so easy for me to get along with. I know from the comments and from emails I’ve received since we started that that is not true for all of you who decided to dive into this month-long experiment in building our husbands up and enriching our marriages. (Which makes me all the more impressed that you were willing!)
Still, even though I have loads of things to praise and admire and respect about my husband, that doesn’t mean it’s always easy for me to maintain a completely positive attitude. I get tired (this week, all of my girls—including Della—having been taking turns waking up in the middle of the night from about 2 AM on; totally not normal for us, since they all usually sleep through the night like champs), and I start making excuses for why I don’t have to watch my tone (“He’ll understand; after all, he wasn’t up 3 times during the night”) or my facial expressions.
This week alone, I have met with figurative obstructions (a communication snafu that messed with “my day” a bit) and literal ones (a train that broke down on the railroad tracks that cross my path home, right when I really needed to get home just so I could leave again to get somewhere on time and while I was mondo hungry, which is a big deal for me; I take my food seriously and get a little crazy when my blood sugar drops out). Throw in a broken shower at one of our rent houses that our resident plumber (that would be Shaun) had to attend to rather than spending Friday night with me, and I definitely found myself fighting the urge to be what I like to call “snitty.”
Snitt.y – adj.: A special concoction of slightly short-tempered with a splash of passive aggression and irritation thrown in for good measure.
I’m sure y’all have no idea what I’m talking about.
ANYhoo, while I did not completely avoid getting frustrated at a few of those circumstances, doing this challenge forced me to remind myself that I wasn’t allowed to criticize or say anything negative to Shaun. So, I took a moment to pray, take deep breaths, acknowledge my irritation/hunger/exhaustion, and apologize and move on rather than dwelling on or blowing them out of proportion. (Hopefully, he would agree with that assessment).
Everything else has been fabulous! I’ve used the challenge as an excuse to make him special treats several times already (I plan to get a little more creative in the second half of the challenge as we approach our anniversary on June 2nd), and I get a lot of joy from feeding my husband’s belly and soul.
It’s also been fun to have a reason to stop and think about the different reasons I love my husband so much. And the look on his face each time I compliment him far outweighs any potential awkwardness that results from saying things like, “Can you pass the butter; oh, and by the way, have I told you lately how much I respect your work ethic?”
Speaking of respect, today’s challenge is all about that + submission—two areas that are very unpopular concepts in our society unless we’re sure that we’ll get equal play on both (“Sure, I’ll submit to you in this area, if you’ll submit to me in the area of picking up your dirty clothes and not messing with my pantry organization”).
I know this can be especially hard when you have a husband whose judgment you doubt and who doesn’t seem to have his family’s best interests at heart when he makes decisions. Still, there’s an amazing thing that happens when you choose to do something you know you should, even if it terrifies you. It’s called freedom. I definitely find this to be true when I just let him choose instead of trying to micromanage everything. Shaun still asks for my input (sometimes more than I even want to give!), and he values my opinion, but ultimately, the responsibility for big decisions rests with him. And, I don’t know about you, but I find that incredibly freeing.
All in all, I am loving the challenge and the way God’s using it to soften my heart even more toward His perfect mate for me.
So…now I’d love to hear from you!
How’s it going? Triumphs? Failures?
Questions for me? (I’m no expert, but I’ll do my best to answer).