Marriage: Encouraging Your Spouse

marriage(1)

Well, friends, it happened. Last Thursday the man and I were well and therefore we made it to Re|engage. All I can say is finally….

At the Opening Session, we heard a testimony from a couple that we knew from our days leading the MilitaryLife ministry. It is always encouraging to hear from other couples that have struggled in their marriage. This particular couple has been married for 18 years. It was the second marriage for both of them and with that came a blended family. They dealt with so much and eventually divorced only to get remarried and start the craziness over again. Through years of counseling, nothing seemed to change until…they stopped trying to change one another and point fingers at the other one and dealt with themselves. Here in lies the truth. My power to change anyone is non-existent. Heck, I can barely change myself. But that is where the rubber meets the road. Will I take the responsibility for myself and make changes in me? For this reason, I began My Happiness Project and wanted to attend Re|engage. I’ve committed to working on me.

After the Opening Session, we headed to the Open Group. There were half a dozen or so couples there. I didn’t recognize any of them from the last time we attended. The leaders opened the group with a discussion about encouraging your spouse. Everyone shared two things that they admired in their spouse. For me, here is where the angst entered. I could feel my own resistance to speak anything kind about my spouse in that moment. I was frustrated with him. Frustrated because he didn’t speak to the couple who shared earlier. The man was a friend of his and an army buddy. Inside I was panicked because I felt pressure to say something kind that I did not want to do because of his actions. Ouch! Oh, the hardness of my own heart is difficult for me to accept. But only I can change me and that is who I am responsible for not my husband.

I’m reminded of something a co-worker said to me back in my teacher/principal days. Did you know that being offended is a choice? I didn’t like that either the day I heard it but I know it to be true. That night I chose to be offended and angry. I chose my actions. This made me think about what other things. I used to choose to speak well of my husband to him and to others. I used to choose to do sweet things for him and on and on of what I used to do. Lately, I’ve made the choice to not do those things but I realize that is just me being foolish.

Having said that, I have to say that our challenge this week has been to practice speaking highly about my spouse to others. This is because a part of God’s character is His gracious defense of us. As the Lord defends me, so should I defend my husband. In the past, I did this continually but I have chosen to stop. Ironically, the Lord has not stopped defending me. He is vigilant in His defense and love for me. Therefore it’s time for me to step back up to the plate and do this myself.

I’m starting here to speak highly of my husband:

  1. He is a hard-working man.
  2. He is not a complainer.
  3. He is loyal.
  4. He is always supportive of me.
  5. He loves my family.

Just a little side note. On Tuesday, one of my aunts {my mom’s younger sister} passed away unexpectedly. My mom notified me and my husband. As I was talking to my mom on the phone, my work phone rang and it was him. He immediately called to check on me. He chose to say things to me like, “What can I do for you?” “How can I help get you home?” “I’ll do whatever you need/want but just tell me what that is.” In my sadness he was graciously there to love and support me. I believe I have learned a few things this week.

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. ~ Ephesians 2:10

Let your goods works be to encourage your spouse.

Be blessed! ~ Carrie

Where I’m linking up.

  • I absolutely love this series!! Can’t wait to read the next one. So true about changing the one you are with. Mr. said when we first got married he went around picking everything up after me and eventually he realized he wasn’t going to change this so he became okay with it and let it go instead of letting it bother him.
  • Laura
    I loved reading this post! I know we can all get frustrated with our spouse at times, but it is so important to remember all the amazing things that made you fall in love! It helps keep a marriage fresh!
  • Ronna Chappell Snipes
    Thanks for sharing something so personal....God is good and gives us mercy and grace (thank-goodness). So sorry for your loss of your aunt. Many Blessings!
  • That sounds like a great conference and time of encouragement. Thank you so much for sharing. I am so sorry to hear about your loss. I will be keeping you and your family in my prayers <3 Sierra~Beautifully Candid
  • Carrie @ Curly Crafty Mom
    What a beautiful post. I love this series you are sharing on the blog. I think all that you mentioned in your post is some things I've felt at one time or another with my spouse! I really love the being offended is a choice part, so true! I've never thought of it in that way! Carrie curlycraftymom.com
  • You have written this beautifully. I am sorry for your loss.
  • We need these posts in our wife lives! My husband and I benefited so much from a marriage experience at our church years ago and I wish they would host another! This is a great post. Raise them up!
  • I appreciate your honesty. It isn't easy to share that nitty-gritty relationship stuff but your words are such a help and salve to others of us. I am sad to say there have been times that I have been so frustrated with PC that for a moment, I couldn't think of something complimentary I WANTED to say about him. He is always a good man, it's just that at times I could spank him! Or at the very least, put him in time-out for his insensitivity. (Hope he isn't reading this) Marriages and families are hard work. Many of our difficulties stem from other relationships...mine with my daughters and family, in particular. But we keep working through things. Glad your husband called you after your received the news of your aunt's passing. That was a perfect opportunity for him to demonstrate his love for you. He rose to the occasion. Thinking of you and your loss. Hope your memories of special times with your aunt, and your husband's love help to make this time easier. XO