Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Marriage Challenge Day 2: Promote

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** 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.

My husband is a General Contractor by trade, and with the economy the way it is, there are barely any buildings out there to contract to build. This lack of work has nothing to do with my husbands ability as a contractor, but when business is bad, he takes the blame on himself, which is what most men do, since they are built with an innate desire to be good providers.

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!

Whitney Capps is giving away a $30 Francesca's Gift card, redeemable at www.francescascollections.com


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

Luann Prater & www.EncouragementCafe.com are giving away an Encouragement Cafe mug and t-shirt at both sites!

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

She Reads is giving away two novels, Watch Over Me by Christa Parrish and Screen Play by Chris Coppernoll, and chocolate, courtesy of the authors. They will tell the story of how their writing brought them together - a love story, quite literally, fit for a novel!

RadRevolution The Proverbs 31 ministry site for teen girls is giving away a copy of book called Do the Hard Thing along, with a RadRev t-shirt!

Marriage Challenge Day 2: PromoteSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

141 comments:

Brandee said...

Tracie,
What I am really focusing on is saying "I'm Sorry" when I mess up. God has really been speaking to my heart about building my husband up in this way and not letting things stay between us. It keeps that communication open.

God Bless, all the give aways today are exciting :)
Brandee

Staci said...

WOW - how funny you mention that!!! Our church is doing a series on Godly marriage and last week the topic was women encouarging their man!!!!! I have been getting in the habit of saying nice, encouraging, uplifting things to my husband EVERY day!!!!! It feels awkward right now, but I hope to grow it into a habit that comes more naturally!!!!! It can be as simple as saying "You do a great job." "You are a great husband/father." "Thanks for all you do for our family." "Thanks for your leadership."

I'm just trying to focus on words that build up rather than break down! Thanks for your encouargement!!!!

Staci

LadyDy said...

I brag on my husband in public....makes his heart swell.

kelly said...

Tracie,
My husband is a contractor too...tough times, indeed. He is brilliant at what he does, but the economy has severely affected his buisness, and I know it weighs heavy on his heart. Thank you for your words of encouragement. I have been caught up in the "worrying" myself (despite Phillipians 4:4-7!)Starting TODAY I am going to make my home a safe harbor....stop worrying, and start building my husband UP for the hard work he puts in EVERY day. His gift has taken a hit, but I am determined to let him know how much this family appreciates his presence at the end of a long day! Many Thanks!
Kelly

Mary Lou said...

I try to tell him at least once a day IF not more that I love him...his office is at home and I will walk in there and give him a little surprise hug and smile and tell him how great he is and what a hard worker he has always been. The smile on his face is worth it all. I never let us go to sleep mad at one another....all of the give aways are exciting. thanks for doing this.
Mary Lou dlowran1(at)comcast(dot) net

Pen to Paper; Spirit to Soul said...

Just Saturday morn we spent some time together lazing in our room, I was able to cuddle up and let him know that I appreciate all that he does for me and our girls! The time was over all too fast because he then had to go to work but it was nice while it lasted!!!

I hope I can make it back for more of this study!

Anonymous said...

This is such great advice! We are currently in a Christian Home Makeover class at church, and this is some of our homework! I've recently tried to express how thankful I am and appreciative of my husband for his sacrifices so that I can be at home with our children. It might be a little easier financially if I worked, but God has allowed me to stay home and has given my husband the ok too! :) Thanks!

Melissa R.
reynolds212@hotmail.com

melc328 said...

Actually, I just did this today. My hubby has a job interview today, and I put up a little scripture card for him to see as he walks out the door with Jer 29:11 on it. Also, in other places he might look before he leaves (bathroom mirror, computer, steering wheel, in his shoes, etc), I put little post its with encouraging/good luck messages. I'm hoping he really likes it!!

Kelly said...

My husband is also a contractor and it has been really rough financially. I tell my husband I love him often and I also thank him for beautiful house and the great location that it is in. There is a country song that talks about how important it is to over do "I love you". I think that alone is important to our husbands. God bless!

mrsc said...

Our Valentines Day was a busy one...but I sent my husband 10 text messages throughout the day. I sent him the "Top 10 reasons I am glad that you are my Valentine". He loved reading them and I loved being able to tell him just a few of the reasons I love him! I plan on sending these type of texts to him on a regular basis!

JazzyTurtle said...

Thank you Tracie! This past Sunday was Valentine's day and when my husband and I were dating I used to make a big deal about it, and I used to say rude comments because I wouldn't get flowers, candy, or teddy bears. This past Sunday I again didn't get anything, but then I realized...he loves me. There are times when we are frustrated when the Lord isn't moving like we'd want, but then isn't His love enough? In the afternoon my husband was apologizing that he didn't get me anything, so I told him that it doesn't matter that he didn't get me anything because I KNOW he loves me and that's enough. I hope everyone has a great day!!

Peace, Love, God Bless,
Shelon

Tammy said...

I let my husband know that I appreciate him for providing for his family. I say " You're such a hard worker."

In His Grace,
Tammy

SandraVH said...

I have been trying to build my husband up... I have been met with a few eye rolls, as I am sure he is skeptical of where I am coming from. But I will continue....I guess the eye rolls just let me know that I haven't done this enough in the past.

Sonya said...

I can encourage my husband by telling him how much I appreciate his hard work over the last few weeks. He has worked six and seven days a week, ten hour days. I never tell him how much I appreciate how he takes care of our family in this way.

Denise said...

We have alot of snow in Minnesota, so when my husband left for work this morning, I thanked him for cleaning out the driveway "once again" and never does he complain about it!

Anonymous said...

I tell my husband how much I appreciate his ability to get the best deal. He is so smart and he does his research before he buys anything and I love that. I am so blessed to have him.

Thanks for this great study!
ArliFos75@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

my husband was recently having a very difficult time. I think it was with the winter and cabin fever, etc. So one night before I went to bed I wrote him a 2 page letter--one said that I would do anything for him and how much I respected him and the other was just a list of all the things he does do for all of us.


Melinda Brown
miranda34_01@yahoo.com

Teresa said...

My husband recently got a new job. He had been applying for two years. I let him know that I was so proud of him. That really meant a lot to him.

Anonymous said...

Wow...what a great post. I hadn't ever thought about this, but giving 50% would be a failing grade in school. We should give 100% in our marriage!

I think that one of the nicest things you can say to your husband is "I am so proud of you."

My husband and I got sudden custody of his two kids when we'd only been married three weeks. It was really tough on me since I hadn't been a full-time Mom before, and it was tough on him knowing it was tough on me and seeing the damage their mother had done to their sweet souls.

We've had our share of ups and downs in this crazy parenting ride, but through it all I have realized that while I tell the kids I am proud of them all the time, my man needs that too...probably moreso since the world is not always encouraging to grown men as they are seen to be strong, capable providers. But even strong, capable providers need to know they are appreciated and loved too.

So I am focusing on letting my man know how proud I am of him, and of us.

Warmly,
Kris
Lvnglyf73@aol.com

Amy Cook said...

My man has dealt with some issues in his job that have required him to take a stand for what was right. I am so proud of him for doing the right thing while still being respectful to his boss.


Amy Cook

looking for me in god word said...

I found you from proverbs 31 and i am looking forward to following you i want to have a good marriage and maybe at some point i can bring my husband to share my new found faith it's hard but i with prayers and knowledge i might just pull it off.

Tiffany said...

I know I need to show my hubby more love, patience and appreciation - something I still need to work on quite a bit. At the end of the day I am usually tired and stressed and the kids are equally tired and fussy. I know it is probably not the best environment to come home to after a long day at work so I'm trying to be as upbeat and positive and welcoming as I can be when my husband gets home. I can't completely control my kids' moods and behavior but I can control mine.

sacket said...

One of the ways I encourage my husband is by letting him know in every circumstance I trust him. I have to believe that God is in control, and that God will provide through my husband. I choose not to worry in good times or bad. When we were first married my husbands job wasn't bringing in much and instead of opening my mouth trying to offer solutions I got down on my knees and prayed God would give me a heart of contentment and allow us to still get our bills paid...I never said one thing during that year in a negative way toward his job as a provider or about his job in general. Now, things have improved and he makes enough for me to stay home with our children....Thanks be to God!

Anonymous said...

Why is it that kind encouraging words don't seem to come easy to us? Thanks so much for the reminder. My husband too, is in the building business, and work has been slow lately. Instead of getting caught up in myself, and worrying, I want to be more supportive of him, and encouraging. I know he feels discouraged about work. I want to begin today, being a better wife and asking God to speak to my husband thru me.
Melanie
mwalters123@charter.net

cupcake said...

I give him a sleepy "Love you" every night before I fall asleep.

The Martha Complex said...

I have recently started the Love Dare, so I have been simply following the dares. Can't say he has really noticed anything though - is that good or bad? :)

Thanks for giving me a chance to enter your give away. :)

cking92674@aol.com

Anonymous said...

Country Mom: The best encouragement came this weekend not just for my husband but for me as well. We attended a retreat for couples. During this retreat we had to write our Fairy Tale love story how we met and continue to where we are in our marriage. That brings back lots of memories of when you fell in love with your mate. It stirred up happy memories. Our pastor also talked about our marriage being the story of Christ, that our marriage is a reflection of Christ and the Church. Who wants to have a story that is Christ's story and not want to work on making your marriage better? This has really made me want to change the direction my husband and I have been going and try to slow the roller coaster ride or even get off the roller coaster and make our marriage a story worth telling. Thanks for your words of encouragement. Have a blessed day.

Michelle said...

My husband works many hours a week, and has for decades. I say "thank you for working so hard," frequently. He also is a fix-it man around our house. I thank him MANY times for each job he does, pointing out how much it means to me not to hear the faucet drip, or to have all four burners working again, etc. But, ladies, I find that this appreciation business has to be constant (just like laundry and meal preparation), as its effects don't seem to last very long :(
Peace, Michelle

O'Nealya Gronstal said...

My husband is just starting to fall in love with Scripture - really dive deep. Something I have been praying for him for a long time. Deep Bible study is my passion and as embarrassing as it is to admit when he would ask me a question or see something for the first time I would not relish in that moment of him seeing Truth for the first time and celebrating with him.

Now, I intentionally talk about the uncovered treasure as if I myself am seeing it for the first time! We have had some precious, life changing and faith challenging conversations lately!

Tonya Ingram said...

Wel.... I don't have a man/husband/boyfriend, etc. Can I still win? I hope to one day :)

LyonsLady said...

My husband is a God send...we never say goodbye on the phone or when we part from each other...we always say..."I Love You and Smooches"
He just went through chemo/radiation treatments for cancer.Never complained...We had to move upstairs at his step-sisters house...He knows how I felt about this BUT I learned to say to him..."no matter what needs to be done and no matter where we live I am here for you always"
Gods peace to you all!

DeenafromIowa said...

This study has been written just for me! I look forward to recieving your blog in my IN box.
Deena
deeenakramer@msn.com

Eagles Wings said...

Tracie,
I created him a note with pictures of us and our boys and Told him why I married him and how he has blessed me with four handsome godly young men! I posted it on the mirror in the bathroom so he would find it when he got home...last friday and it's still hanging there...

Faith said...

I struggle daily with staying "Godly" in my marriage!

krisievert said...

Where my marriage is failing, God has to step in as my soulmate. I struggle to hold onto that faith in the face of so many challenges.

Tracey said...

I'm trying to not say anything discouraging at all. Even just kidding around. It's not that easy when you realize how much you were doing it.

Rebecca said...

I'm trying to speak well of him to the kids....like about how hard he works.

God bless!
Becky
rahastings@juno.com

Janet said...

My husband had a bad first marriage so I always try to make sure I encourage and lift him up with words. I try to let him know how thankful I am for things he does, especially the little things that sometimes are taken forgranted. I always tell him how good a husband, father, son he is. Where he was hurt and broken I try to be a soothing balm to heal, lift up, encourage and love.

Anonymous said...

My husband has been going through some difficult times lately. Since I was in a head on car collision 18 months ago, we both realize how short time is and how quickly it could end. Although, we sometimes irritate one another, we both will let it slip because we realize the shortness of life and most times it really isn't anything worth losing sleep over. I continually try to encourage him and he encourages me.

Terri in AZ said...

I'm working on being less critical and more affirming. I especially need to be more respectful when I'm talking to/about him with our teens. Thanks for the reminder and the carnival.

BRANDY said...

well other than writing him a loving note for Velentine's day...we do little sweet things for each other a lot.. like I wrote on the inside of his lunch box with a sharpie "I LOVE U SOOOOO VERY MUCH, HAVE A BLESSED DAY AND BECAREFUL!! U ARE MY EVERYTHING" and it is there every time he opens it. :))) Also I wrote on the windows of his car with the window paint pens...I put things like I LOVE U LIKE CRAZY MADNESS and U R MY WORLD and WORLDS BEST DAD AND HUSBAND...:))) I am a romantic so I enjoy doing these kind of things for my wonderful MAN OF MINE!!! :))) I am blessed!!

Anonymous said...

praise...and positive strokes are important.

karenk
kmkuka(at)yahoo(Dot)com

~Grace and Peace said...

I have started telling my DH how much I appreciate what he does for our family. For Valentine's Day, I made him a card and wrote down all the things that I love about him. God has brought to my attention through our pastor, and the blogs I have been led to including this one, that my husband needs to know he is respected. And I need to focus on the positive things he is doing and ignore the trash that has not been taken out yet.

Thank you for spearheading this challenge, Tracie. You've been such a blessing

Olivia said...

Oh I so need work in this department! But one thing I have done recently was encourage my husband after he confessed to a certain sin in his life that had been kept hidden. He gave this sin to God firmly and finally, I believe (as he does) and I am striving to encourage him daily that this sin doesn't have power over him, but through God, he has power over it!

R said...

i definatley don't tell my husband enough, how much i appreciate him. He is a very hardworker and provides for us-thanks so much for the opportunity to win. I appreciate all of you p31 girls too!
Blessings,
Renea H
harrinr@vmcmail.com

Cheryl said...

This last week I posted as my Facebook status each day a reason why I love my husband for all the world to see! He loved it...he posted some compliments for me in response and sent me roses at work!!! :)
crose6799@gmail.com

Shannon said...

My husband recently expressed interest in digging deaper in the word. I have been trying to encourage him in a positive way.

Shannon
smarklow@gmail.com

Digging for Pearls said...

I encouraged my hubbie by writing him a poem after we went on a romantic walk through the snow.

Blessings,
Pearls

Janet R said...

I'm trying to remember to thank him when he does little things, like taking the rubbish out to the bin, mowing the lawn etc. I appreciate it when my kids say thank you, so i figure he will appreciate a thank you also! i'm also trying to pray positive words of scripture over him, to replace the negative thought patterns that had become such a bad habit with me lately. Thank you for your blog. God bless, Janet R.

crodriguez said...

Thanking my him and telling him I love.

Marissa said...

I wrote my husband a card last week trying to really put into words all the things I appreciate about him. He loved it.

Laurie said...

My husband always remembers to say "I love you". He is also one that is slow to anger and slow to speak....I really love & admire him for his many good qualities! But he is by no means perfect....and puts up with me!

faithWalker said...

Tracie, great post! Thank you! One thing that builds up my guy is how I talk about him to others. He never fails to comment on it.

Deb (deb@debbrown.org)

Annie said...

Thanks for this opportunity and the great reminder that we can bless or curse with our words. I think I encourage my husband most when I express my gratefulness of what an amazing gift of God he is to me and to our sons. Writing, praying and speaking these words of encouragement is a 3 way win for our relationship.

redheadkate said...

I don't have a man. As valentines rolled around, I realized that it is hard on others who don't have anyone. So I made valentine's card and sent them to people who might not get one otherwise.
kate AT sweetpotatoes DOT com

Sherry said...

I remind him that he is an Awesome man of God. I tell him good moring "handsome" each morning as he brings me my coffee and says "here's your coffee beautiful". It really does set the tone for your day and helps me to pass it on to our 3 daughters as I wake them up each day. Thanks for this marriage challenge - it is a God send.

Heather V said...

I have been working on being his cheerleader. I too often slip into the role of being his mother/holy spirit. Neither is helpful so am working on being encouraging!

bguido said...

My husband recently decided to leave the law firm that he was with and go out on his own (hanging his shingle as he and his law buddies call it). When we had conversations last fall about this decision, I knew that this was his path and had no reservations about it. It was difficult to watch him come home, beat down every day at the other firm. Although he loved his career, his job was weighing him down. Most days, I am home before him, and I do my best to greet him at the door or outside with a smile and helping hand. I listen to his day and ask questions regardless of how long the conversation may take (this time together is something I recently found out he is encouraged by), then go back to what I was doing. God has blessed his practice and we high-five almost every time a new client pays or a check comes in the mail. He tells me that gets scared/worries some times, but knows that our "team" will succeed.

Becca
bguido@gmail.com

Amber said...

Thanks to Lysa's book, I am practicing the art of shutting my mouth - thats how I'm trying to encourage my husband and my kids. Some things are better left unsaid and when it is left unsaid the reward is much better when I realize it is from heaven instead of me being right. Work in progress.... :)
God Bless your ministry!
Amber
aschurade@msn.com

Me said...

I encourage my husband by thanking him for the little things he does, like taking out the trash, putting the kids to bed and cleaning the snow off my car! Also, I thank him for working hard and providing for the family, so that I can stay home with our children!

Pamela (His maidservant) said...

We are both going through a weight lss program. His pounds are sliding off faster than mine so I have been encouragening him in how good he looks in those "non-expected" moments. Like last night at the kids game he was walking towards me and I was smiling bi and commentd to him how sexy he looked in his baggy jeans! He was brimming from ear to ear! They like to be noticed physically!

In His Graces~Pamela

sarahsmile said...

Yesterday, my husband was having a bad day at work and "venting" to me via text. I told him to take a deep breath and that we are put in these situations as a test. Do we react with compassion or anger? It helped!

Tania said...

I encourage my husband by telling him that he is doing a great job as a husband, father and provider for or family. He appreciates the encouraging words that are spoken to him.

GirlNumber5 said...

I am trying to keep my mouth closed when necessary :-)

God Bless

Trish in CT

Heart2Heart said...

Tracie,

The one thing I find is saying something that day that doesn't sound made up or fake. It's not taking the little things he does for granted like picking the kids up from school or making dinner. If I let him know not only that I appreciate his gesture but how that made my day, it comes across genuine and you can just see by the smile in his face, that I've made his day!

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Michelle said...

Well lately our family has been under tremendous stress. The other night my husband let his temper get the best of him and I was able to encourage him to tell the kids he was sorry and to press on. I think this prize would be so timely in our lives right now.

Michelle
rfams4him@verizon.net

Renae Williford said...

Awesome giveaway!!
renae.williford@gmail.com

Shelley said...

I will leave little notes of encouragement and love for him to find in random places.

Julia said...

I have been spoiled. My husband always says he doesn't know how to love me, and he just, "does what he knows to do." We've discovered each others love languages, but its hard speaking a different language. We've read the magazines (world has nothing on God, BTW). But in this all, it's God's word that I've tried. My duty is to respect my husband. I do love him. But to respect him? Hmmm . . .
Well, this weekend he washed my car. Yesterday he stayed with me in the kitchen and when I was rinsing dishes (he was about to leave for work and was eating dinner as I washed) he would kiss me everytime I rinsed a dish. I just woke up at 1:30 this morning (he was still at work) and texted him that I love him and I am glad I have someone to spoil me with affection. He responded and all in all, he told me today that I made his night.
Recognizing when he does right is my goal. After all, love covers up all sins. Shower your man with praise, beef him up in front of your girlfriends (avoid the man bashing trap at all costs. It's a cost we will answer for!) and just let him know you do recognize what he does.

Christy said...

I wrote a blog about the way I encouraged my husband last night... to read go here... www.tennysontalk.blogspot.com
Hope you enjoy my story! :)
christy

ps. tracie you are in inspiration and your words cut through to the heart... the Lord has used your words in my life. Thank you for writing what the Lord lays on your heart.

Joni said...

I also thought about the 50/50 versus 100/100. 50% is failing! I need to step it up. I love it when he tells me positive things, I will start doing the same!

Linda Philipp said...

Looking into my husband's eyes everyday and tell him that I respect and believe in him everyday.

larkfam said...

I am single, young lady. So the man in my life is my dad. He is not a Christian and my prayer is that I want to do and say things that would lead him to Christ and not lead him away from Christ. It's hard no to say somethings sometimes but I have to ask my self if what I am about to say will lead him to Christ or lead him away from Christ.

November Rain said...

What an encouraging blog post!
My husband is working full-time during the day & going to college full-time at night. It's become a very stressful time for us, but I try to be encouraging & not complain about taking on more of the responsibilities with the children & house. I know he is working hard to make things better for us in the end. My husband is very special to me & I love him with all my heart!

sfink@churchatrockcreek.com

Mom to 8 said...

Your post is so timely for my husband and myself right now, as we are both stressed and have said things that we do not mean under all the pressure. We love each other so much, but both need to work on bringing each other up and not down with the positive things we love about each other. thank you so much for this reminder.
Blessings, Kim mom to 8 blessings

Anonymous said...

Hi Tracie,
Wow!!

Right when I clicked on to place my comment. The phone rang.

It was my husband...

It was as if God told me to tell him right and now how much our family appriciates him...What a great provider he is...He is on his way home right now. I always tell him I will alway take him in when he gets home. He is an over the road truckdriver. (They don't get much respect).

I know what you mean... You have all these good thoughts about Him through-out the day and there are times when I do just what you did. "instead I fussed about something not done to my liking." Something I'm going to try to do these next 40 days of lent. Hope it will grow into a blessed habit.

Oh... When I was done with him on the phone...His humble comment to me was, "Don't brag me up too much that is when I'm bound to fall."

Sherry I loved what you wrote..."saying Good Morning Handsome" .... My man is getting middle-aged and he is trying his hardest to stay fit and keep up with our two teenage sons...and remember he drives truck. "He really has been doing a great job at this."...Will be telling Him this tonight when he gets home.

Love all the encouragment...Now lets turn our focus inward. Relax and be aware of God's loving presence as we answer his call to be a sign of love in the world.

Rhonda

Phyllis said...

I'm trying to focus on building my man up and reminding him of all the ways that he provides for our family.

Rita Newlin said...

Tracie,
I can always use information to help with my stress level. God Bless you in your ministry.
Rita Newlin

Tricia said...

Tracie, I'm commenting to enter the carnival contest to win your CD on faith. Thank you for your blogs full of encouragements to encourage!

Pam Swope said...

This past weekend was not only Valentines but our 5th wedding anniversary. Since Mike and I married later in life, we have decided that every 5 years will be a special celebration. This weekend, my husband went ALL OUT to surprise me, pamper me and show me his love. My hubby is not big on romance so to see all the things he had planned , just for me, was incredible. And I told him so! And thanked him! And reinforced what a great job he did (and he did!) I spoke so much love language to him so I could let him know I appreciated all his time and effort. I love that man. He was a gift from my Father in Heaven!! Thanks for letting me share. Pam

Moranda Clark said...

My situation is a little different. My husband and I were just divorced Feb 5. We were separated for nearly 3 years and I tried to have faith that God would restore our marriage. Then I got the divorce papers, fear set in. At this point, I have to press into God and allow him to direct my path. I do believe that God could still restore our marriage. I know that I must focus on my relationship with God first. I know God has a new beginning for me. I have been praying for my husband and I have felt led to send him an email. I have been praying for what to say in it to show him that I do love him. I am going to join in on your challenge as much as I can in my situation.

Denise said...

I often try to encourage him with a text throughout the day just letting him know how much I appreciate him.

Leigh said...

Tracie,

I told my husband I thought he looked sexy when he was grilling. He's grilled a lot since then. Grins. But it was totally true, and he just looks sexier and sexier every time he BBQ's the chicken. Men don't hear a lot of compliments so it's amazing to see how they respond when they do.

Lisa B @ simply His said...

Hmmm, I've blogged good things about him, does that count? Actually, I try to tell him thanks for doing the little things he does for me. Oh, and you inspired me to go through The Power of a Praying Wife. I'm going to start a series on my blog for those who want to go through it with me. And I think you know Angie C -- she lives near me so I'm making her go through it with me :D

♥emma stormy♥ said...

Great words! I will focus on thanking my husband for something each day. He works hard for our family and he shows complete unconditional love to me at all times.
emma
emmastormy08@gmail.com

iamfreetodance said...

My husband is truly a wonderful man of God. Like everyone though, he has *issues*, he's human after all. I try to encourage him daily by telling him how much of a blessing he is to me and our children (they are from my first marriage but the way he loves them you would never know they aren't biologically his.) I want him to know how much I love and appreciate his love, and his willingness to do God's will, and care for his family as God does for all of us.

in Him,
Tricia
(tricia at free to dance dot com)

ndharris11 said...

I encourage my husband with a card the other day! We usually leave them from time to time to each other on the counter before work.
Thanks for the give a way!
Nicole
nicole.harris11@att.net

Mary said...

My husband works hard so I can stay home with the kids. There are times I get frustrated b/c I don't get the breaks I think I deserve. I have made a point lately to see things from his perspective a little more. I make it a point now to tell him thank you for the many ways he helps out around the house and providing for our family.

Amy said...

Because I'm not good with encouraging words and that's my husband's love language, I once started noting things that he'd done that I loved on each day's calendar square. He soon noticed what I was doing and made it a point to check when he was walking by. I think I'll start doing that again!

Jenni / Jennifer Saake a.k.a. InfertilityMom said...

My husband has been so amazingly supportive of me. We weathered years of infertility together, the losses of many sweet babies, and he's supported me through nearly 20 years of chronic illness. When he said "for better or for worse," I'm afraid he got a whole lot more "worse" than he ever imagined, but he's faithfully stood by my side, sometimes literally carried me, though it all.
Yesterday he took his day off work to take the kids out of the house to allow me several hours of uninterupted sleep. His gift was such a blessing to me. And then it occurred to me that he gives so much and rarely asks for or takes. I asked him, "When was the last time you had a day all to yourself." He looked at me rather blankly because neither of us could think of the last time. I told him this Saturday is all his, however he wants to use it. I'll take the kids to my mom's so he can sleep or watch tv or do computer, or go out, whatever he wants. I pray this "day off" will be a blessing to him, a small thank you for all the ways he daily blesses me.

jsaake AT yahoo DOT com

Sarah said...

I haven't always been a fan of what my husband does for a living and I've often let my husband know how unhappy I was about it. However, God has been opening my heart up lately and I'm beginning to see the love my husband has for his job and how it's also been blessing our family. I told my husband all about how my heart has been changing and how proud I was of him and all the hard work he does for us. It's been such an uplifting experience for us and a HUGE lesson for me on how I need to use my words better.

Russell said...

Stacy (Russ' wife) comments...I know what things he can get discouraged about and try to encourage him often in these areas, how good of a provider he is for us, how great of a husband and father, how much I need him and thank God he's a part of my life...and somedays when I know he doesn't want to face the stresses at work, I tell him thanks for going anyway and tackling it all because I know he does it for us. He always smiles at this. Thanks for the fun giveaways today!

Kayla O'Hern said...

I wrote my husband a poem telling him all that I love him for, how proud I am of the man he is, and the memories I have of our dating and marriage so far. It made me cry - him...not so much, but I do think he liked it :)

The Hallenbeck's said...

My focus is on letting him know how much I respect him. We recently completed the Love and Respect study and I know that I do not tell him enough.

Anonymous said...

I am looking forward to doing something new each day with this challenge to make our home a safe haven for my husband and to reignite our love with Christ as our center.

Ricki Ellen said...

I decided to be honest. I have recently been so disappointed in my husband that I have become a nag. Tonite, I am making dinner and showering my husband with words of kindness and love and hopefully a meal that is not burnt. Thank you for inspiring me.

mbp said...

I love this post, because it is so important and so true that we uplift them. My husband has often said that it is important to men to have that praise/words of affirmation. I don't have a problem praising him, but I do seem to have a hard time telling him specifics of why he is so important and admired.

lisasmith said...

i do try to make an effort to encourage my man with my words. i have been focusing lately on not just what i say but how i say it. he just complimented me yesterday for my tone of voice when i answered a question for him about what time the movie we were going to see started. even though we had discussed this already a million times, i sweetly told him without reminding him i had already told him and he responded to that! words can be such a blessing =)

The Fifth Street Mama said...

I have been being intentional recently with my tone. Instead of whining into the phone that a kid is misbehaving and he had better not be late tonight, I simply have asked him to pray for said child. I am choosing to not criticize.

shutterhappyhope said...

Encourage him by sharing how I feel about him.

Wani said...

I'm hope I'm not too forward... My hubby likes to be encouraged verbally in the bedroom. I have been trying to make it a point to encourage and direct him. He really appreciates this since he knows its in my nature to just go along and just be "easy going". He is thankful when I "help him to help me".

Victoria said...

Speaking words of admiration of his traits abilites and recent accomplishments in front of others, in his hearing! is powerful
Not correcting the *facts* when he is telling others of an incident
Smiling
Making a homemade banner out of newspaper roll end is a tradition here... not just for birthdays but also... we missed you and WE APPRECIATE YOU.. with notes, bible verses and hand drawn pictures

Julie B. said...

My husband found out 5 month ago that he was loosing his job as a Mission Pastor at our church due to economic difficulties. We have been patiently waiting for God to give us direction. In the meantime, that can be very overwhelming for my Man as he looks for a new position.

They way I encourage him is with God's truth. We have been memorizing John 15:1-17 that encourages us to remain or abide in HIM, to abide in HIS love, to bear much fruit and then whatever we ask the Father for in Jesus name will be given us. Not that we ask amiss, but for God to give patience and peace as we wait on HIM and He leads us.

Without my being on board with him, my Man could get very discouraged and stressed. But as we walk it together we encourage one another.

Kim said...

The most important thing I can do to encourage my husband is to pray for him as the day 1 challenge suggests. Other ways I can encourage my husband is to greet him at the end of his work day with a smile instead of a snarl, have his favorite meal waiting for him after work, make sure his laundry is done, rub his back and just tell him how much I appreciate him.

Tessa said...

just the other day my husband (a grad student) heard that he had received a summer job that he had applied for. i lavished him with praise and congrats. unfortunately, i need to keep up the encouraging words all of the time, not just when he has an amazing accomplishment.

Janice said...

Tracie,
How I needed your blog today.. My husband and I have been going through some really stressful times lately, especially with finances. There are so many times, I am so frustrated with him and I do not want to encourage him, but that is when I need to think the most of all the positive qualities he has. God has us together for a reason and God has the best for me. I needed your reminder so much...Thank You

Tammy said...

The focus on marriage and husbands extends beyond to boyfriends and any man we come in contact with each day. For we are women of God and as women of God are to be encouraging partners. For myself, I'm new into a relationship and I have found a smile and a squeeze of his hand speaks mountains for encouragement. God Bless and can't wait to see how the Lords leads.

Tammy
luvstampnup@yahoo.com

LeeAnn@Encouragement Is Contagious said...

My husband has been going to college 1-2 nights a week after working a full-time job for almost 4 years now. (and he and I aren't young chickens at age 54 and 55) He graduates in December 2010. I am soooooo proud of him and I tell him so. I've written about how proud I am of him on my blog, which I know he checks out every now and then and I say it in front of others when he is with me.

It's the in-between honoring him with my words times that I need to work on. Such as when he is late getting the trash taken out or when I need his help with something needing fixed in the house etc.. I can get impatient and pushy with my words and I'm not proud of that. This is what I'm praying God will change in me.
(as I read my words above, I also realize that I am very task oriented and he probably feels used sometimes! ouch! I need a makeover. I'm glad God is in that business.

I'd love to win your CD Tracie!

Lee Ann

Horse Prairie Chatterer said...

I tell that some of the best times I have with him are quiet times, when we simply sit or lie next to each other, not saying anything,m but "breathing" each other in

Joy said...

By apologizing for when I am wrong and also thanking him for going to work daily to provide for the family!

Jill said...

I am trying to be more appreciative, especially in the presence of our little ones!

Anonymous said...

We just had a weekend at our church with Gary Thomas.What an awesome speaker he is!! We are dealing with the lies of the enemy in our marriage.We have been together for 16 yrs.And It has been very rocky lately.I have a hard time expressing my feelings in a positive way. I have challenged myself to say one encouraging, positive thing to him daily.And I tell him how thankful I am that he gets up everyday and takes care of his family.

Blessings
followinginthelight@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this today!! I have a lot of work to do to be a better wife and mother...I grew up in a critical family that didn't put a lot of stock in making sure that everyone knew they were loved! It is hard to break that... it is easy for me to have the loving relationship with my girls, but pride just gets in the way of the relationship that is more important. Their daddy deserves so much better. I have given it over to the Lord and am so excited to see what He has in store for us! I am ready to be a wife that builds up her man and not tear him down~ I am ready to be a wife that can say she is sorry~ I am ready to be a wife that tells her man of 17 years that she loves him! Precious time is wasting away! The girls need to see a healthy relationship in order to find their healthy relationship. Thanks for your encouragement!
God Bless your ministry Tracie!
Stacy
scottkirch@sbcglobal.net
Stacy
please enter me in today's give away :)

Anonymous said...

Love this!
Michelle
mpsuess1@yahoo.com

KELLY said...

My guy is the greatest! I continually tell him how wonderful he is for always reassuring me of the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ! He has been unemployed since May, recently started a completely new career and now I am encouraging him that "he can do it", "your not to old"...all the things that come with a new career at 58!

mommyof2 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mommyof2 said...

When I encourage my husband about his job (which is kind of discouraging him at the moment) or tell him what a great dad he is, I think he grows taller-on the inside of course:) Thanks for the good marriage advice & for the giveaway!

http://adviceformommies.blogspot.com/

Lynn Cowell said...

Tracie,
As I wait for Greg to get home from work, I read your devo from yesterday. I am going to greet him with a huge hug, kiss and a whomping thanks!
Lynn

Anonymous said...

OK...offically convicted and deliverd after counseling on yesterday and a verbal spat today a simple "I'm sorry." Wow!!! Please pray for me and mine. We are to be wed on April 17, 2010. We both are God-fearing (He's actually a preacher/minister and I a PW to be).

~Nadia
PtyGrl19oh8@aol.com

mfleeman said...

I really enjoyed your blog today. My husband has been through several years of struggling to provide for our family. He made some bad decisions that has put us into a terrible financial bind. He daily beats himself up over this. Yes, He did make these decisions and Yes, we are suffering from this - but I never let on to him this - I try to encourage him and tell him that no matter what happens God is in control of our situation. Please pray for my husband today - he is battling bitterness and anger and it is affecting our relationship. He needs healing! I would love to win your book.

Mady and Jacks Mama said...

I try to focus on telling him what a good provider he is for our family. My husband works really long hours and is out in the weather working, whether it is 102 degrees or 2 degrees. He does this to enable me to stay at home with our children and so that one day we can buy a farm. I try to tell him that I appreciate him so that he knows it doesn't go unnoticed.

Anonymous said...

I put notes in his lunch when I make it to let him know I love him and support him.

Wander said...

By not going to pieces over some serious financial troubles. We've had several setbacks that have jeopardized our mortgage. This could be a deal breaker in many marriages. But we are holding tight through it all.
He needs me to love him unconditionally.....it's way too easy to feel like a failure in this.

Lara said...

Sending little thoughts/reminders of what he means to me, etc. during the day via text sent to his phone...I believe he likes that :)

Kim said...

I need to remember to tell him how much I appreciate him. Thanks for the reminder

Leah Gillen said...

I recently encouraged my husband by writing him a "respect letter" detailing all the many reasons that I respect him. My pastor helped me to see that one of the greatest desires of a man is to feel respect from his wife.

Angela said...

I am really struggling with encouraging my husband right now. We're having a rough time, and it seems like it will never end. I look forward to reading more.

Angie said...

You hit one point exactly for me....I can think it but it never comes out of my mouth.

Communication is still had for me, so communicating with affection is really hard for me. This is a wall I am trying hard to tear down. There is one person on the inside but she has a hard time finding her way out.

Words of affirmation are sooo hard. This is something I know I need to work on. But I am a work in progress. I may be slow but I am moving forward.

Amy@LivinginHarmony said...

After 22 years of marriage without a couples only vacation I gave my hubby a weekend trip to the beach. A co-worker gave me access to her condo and I took my lunch everyday, let my nails and hair color go as well as clip more coupons in order for us to afford to go. I also let everything we did be his decision (that is very unlike me). I just wanted to show him that I did still think highly of him as teh man of my life.

Debbie (Live in Ninevah) said...

Hi Tracie,
God has given my husband and I an opportunity to grow in a new direction. My husband does not like to be served, because it makes him feel weak. Yesterday he pulled his back out and is in some serious pain. He has no choice but to let me put his socks on him, keep him stocked in ibuprofen and ice, and just generally take care of him. And, he likes it. Since he is not running all around, we are able to sit together and actually visit. He mentioned being sorry that I have to do all this, and I thanked him and thanked God for the opportunity to serve him. It has been a mixed blessing because of the pain he is in, but nice to spoil him.

Jen said...

I have been trying to be more appreciative of the things my husband does, such as helping with laundry, watching the kids, housework, etc.

jenniferleannbarnes@gmail.com

Lisa V/ said...

I'm just so excited that your writing about encouraging your man. It is one of my new years resolutions; that is to LOVE and SERVE my husband. Honestly, not doing as good as I hoped, so your blog is going to really encourage and keep me on track.

I have however been saying "thank you" more often. My knee-jerk response too often is to think, "well why should I thank him, we both work full time jobs so he has to pull his weight to". But I realize know that "thank you" means so much more than just thinking he's "doing it for me". It means, I appreciate you and I love you, right? So I will continue to do that.

lisa07110@yahoo.com

Michele said...

My husband is the extrovert and I'm the introvert. He encourages me all the time....guess I need to start saying what's in my head. :)
migilb1@yahoo.com

Beauty4Ashes said...

Tonite as I heard my husband talking with his daughter about the hurt & pain of divorce & how it affected everyone..my heart was full of compassion for him. I could see the look of hurt once again upon hearing the nasty remarks his ex wife was STILL making to thier grown children.. so many years after this rather nasty divorce. I just wanted to remind him how very much he is loved by me. I lost my first husband to Suicide Loss..the compassion for others is so very real to me. I encourage him to continue being a man of God even thru this HURT & I promise to stand by his side thruout it all.

judy said...

I thanked my man for spending his holiday working on my dad's entertainment center. We have been having some difficult times lately, but I have been trying to really point out all the good.

Created for this... said...

I try to express my appreciation for the little things he does for all of us in our family.

mommyof2sons said...

I have been telling him how amazing he is that he goes out and works so hard for our family!

maggi said...

My husband is at home and I am at work, not all by choice. So I tell him the little things that he does that lift my spirit. Like, "thank you for filing" or "I feel loved when you clean the shower."

Nikki Koanui said...

I had to share a testimony at church and started off with a statement that said "If you really knew me, you would know that I am married to the MOST beautiful man in the world. He is the most awesome husband and i love him with all my heart."

My husband teared and hugged me afterward. It was kind of a shock to me because #1 he is not very "emotional", second I praise him all the time. I guess this is the first time he heard it in public like that... :)

Julie said...

My husband's job has been eliminated and his last day will be on March 5th. I have tried to find one thing each day that I can share with him to let him know how much I appreciate all that he does for our family. I want him to know that I believe in him and trust that everything will be OK.

Anonymous said...

I read your blog and enjoyed the topic on marriage especially. Hope I can get more "tips" on how to enjoy my husband and marriage in a more fulfilling way.