Husband Appreciation Challenge: Days 11-20

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Would like to improve your marriage, or perhaps just show your husband how much you appreciate him? Take the 30-Day Husband Appreciation Challenge!

Day Eleven: 

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord (Eph. 5:22).

Women who are constantly negative toward their husbands—especially by speaking evil of them to others—show great disrespect. Determine not to do that today (or ever!). This challenge to encourage is closely connected to submission.

Men respond to women who respect them. What do you respect about your husband? Part of that respect includes submission to his authority. Let your husband know how respecting him makes it easier to submit to his leadership. Show your respect in public by listening to him and smiling at him when he speaks. Place your hand in his as you walk together.

If you feel there is nothing to respect, search harder . . . nearly every man has some core characteristic that can be nurtured and respected. In any case, you must still cultivate a submissive spirit to his position of leadership. . ."as to the Lord."

Day Twelve:

With all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love (Eph. 4:2).

Part of the difficulty you may face as you continue in this 30-day challenge to encourage your husband is that you really are struggling to find positive things to praise. Perhaps the problem is not with your husband. Have you checked your own heart?

Sometimes we get disillusioned because of our own unreasonable or unrealistic expectations (Prov. 13:12). It may not be that our mates are doing something wrong; it's simply that we expect too much in some areas. Our expectations must be met in God alone, and then we will have the right perspective to ask God for the healing and grace we need to respond to others.

How sad that we give more grace to others than to those in our own homes. Today, try to look at your husband through eyes of grace. Verbally thank your husband for what he is already doing.

Day Thirteen: 

I am my beloved's, and his desire is toward me (Song of Solomon 7:10).

The sexual relationship. It's one of those elements—along with money and children—that can derail a marriage through negative comments. Negativity destroys intimacy, but encouragement builds and strengthens the marriage bond.

Let's get practical here. Is your husband a "good lover?" Have you told him so? Be specific. Let him know when he pleases you. Most husbands genuinely want to please their wives, especially in this important area of marriage.

In moments of intimacy, do you find your mind wandering? This can change as you focus on something wonderful about your husband. Realize that your husband wants intimacy with you—his desire is toward you.

Does this area of your marriage need some work? Remember that this is a sensitive area for men. Be sure to encourage his lovemaking and masculinity in positive ways.

Day Fourteen: 

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? Not hypocritical 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.

Day Fifteen: 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. 

Day Sixteen: 

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.

Day Seventeen: 

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!

Day Eighteen: 

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.

Day Nineteen: 
a wife's description of her beloved in Song of Solomon 5:10-16

Criticism leaves scars; but encouragement can bring healing. Remember that today as you focus on your "30-Day Encouragement Challenge." Almost nothing is as devastating to a man as the belief that his wife finds him repulsive. Sadly, many women unwisely criticize their husbands' bodies.

Have you ever considered how wonderfully God designed men and women? No matter how a man looks—by the standards of the world—a loving God designed them all, and they are all "beautiful" in His sight. Encourage your husband today by praising his uniqueness.

As you look over your husband's body, from the tip of his toes to his bald or bushy head, thank God that your husband is "wonderfully made," then admire your husband verbally. (Strong arms? Hairy chest? Firm hands? Big feet? Rugged chin? Wide shoulders? Compassionate eyes? Broad smile?)

Day Twenty: 

And be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ also forgave you (Eph. 4:32).

It's time for some heart examination. As you continue in this 30-day challenge, have you found any roots of bitterness that are contaminating your relationship with your husband? Do you understand that as long as you are unwilling to forgive your husband—by God's grace and in His power—you will not be able to encourage him? Your own resentment will keep getting in the way. Now is the time to deal with any unforgiving attitudes. Forgive him, even as God has forgiven you.

Is your husband a forgiving man? Does he keep short accounts of your problems? Express your thankfulness for such a man.

Does your husband—rightly or wrongly—harbor grudges against you? Again, are there things you need to change, or do you need to ask for his forgiveness for an offense? Help your husband be more forgiving by quickly forgiving him for his mistakes.

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