How A Simple Kindness Can Change Your Marriage

How A Simple Kindness Can Change Your Marriage

So I had this really hard day.

Or, to be more accurate, I had a really hard week.

And I was close to tears by late afternoon.

He asked me what was wrong and I’m sorry to say that I snapped at him.

Was it not obvious? Hello…? You’d only have to take one look at all the pressures I’d been under the last five days.

He stared at me and I felt a bit of guilt for the hurt I saw there. Taking it out on him. Undeserved.

But not feeling guilty enough to apologize. I was too wrapped up in my own struggles.

I figured it was about to get ugly and, frankly, I had asked for it with my snotty attitude.

Then I saw his countenance visibly change – from offended to compassionate.

He didn’t exactly understand where I was coming from – but then again, he didn’t need to. What mattered was that I was in a bad place.

His eyes softened.

He reached out with a gentle touch.

Asked if I’d like run into town with him. A mini-errand date.

He also announced to the kids that Mommy was turning in early that night.

And then later ran a hot bubble bath for me.

So, yes, I did end up crying that evening, but these were very different tears. They were the tears that come when someone shows kindness to you that you didn’t necessarily deserve.

My husband is the hero in this story. But you know what? I learned something afresh.

I was reminded of the power of offering a simple act of kindness in a relationship.

Offering Kindness in Your Marriage

A loving look. Sometimes you don’t need to say anything at all. Just look at your spouse with loving eyes and communicate that you care and you’ll always be there.

A soft voice. It’s possible to completely turn around a situation by returning harsh or unjust words with a sweet response. A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger (Prov. 15:1).

An encouraging word. Often our meanest moments come from our own discouragement or feeling of defeat. Those are the times when we could most use a friend (or spouse!) to cheer us up with kind, uplifting words.

A gentle touch. Reaching for his hand, rubbing his knotted shoulders, a loving kiss – these small gestures can have a powerful effect on the one we love.

A thoughtful act. Going beyond the ordinary to do something special or meaningful to the other person when they are down, or “in a bad place”.

Like any skill, kindness must be practiced repeatedly and untiringly in order to really master it.

And, like any gift, it is not up to us to judge another person’s talent, but far better if we simply focused on developing our own.

So, I don’t know about you, but I’ve recently renewed my commitment to showing kindness to my husband.

Even in those times when he doesn’t necessarily deserve it.

Maybe even especially in those times.

Because kindness is simply changing our marriage.

*What kinds of things do you like to do to express kindness in your marriage? Please share! I’d love to get some ideas from you.

In His grace,
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100 Ways to Love Your Husband by Lisa Jacobson and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife by Matthew L Jacobson

 (This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

Raising Heavenly Minded, Down to Earth Kids (small)*If you would like these posts delivered directly to your inbox, simply subscribe below (and get 2 FREE eBooks, The 7 Habits of a Highly Fulfilling Marriage and Raising Heavenly-Minded, Down-to-Earth Kids).

What Every Daughter Desires to Hear from Her Mom

What Every Daughter Desires to Hear from Her Mom

It’s not easy to define what success in a relationship means because relationship is a very fluid thing.

It moves and breathes.

It changes with time.

But I can tell you that my mother and I have a successful, close relationship. And I’m pretty sure this is one of the main proofs:

I’ll call her until the day she dies.

My mom and I talk as much as we can in our busy lives. When I traveled around Europe, as I prepare to move across the country—it doesn’t matter.  If we can’t talk in person, we use the phone.

You see, my mom is not just a “person” in my life. She is not just the woman who gave me birth, she is the woman who gave me life.

Because of my mom, I know I can fly. She is the first person I want to cry to and the first person who hears my good news.

So, this mother of mine asked me to write about what every daughter desires to hear from her mom.

And this is my answer—for all the women who were perfectly made to be the moms of their precious daughters:

I will listen.

It’s no secret that girls are usually talkers. We have lots to say, and even if we don’t initiate the conversation, it’s very likely we still have lots to say. If your girl is a talker: let her. If she is quiet, give her time and space to open up. Create opportunities for her to tell you the secret things.

I value you.

The power a mother has over self-esteem cannot be measured. It is limitless. Communicating and saying, I value who YOU are as a person, I value your gifts, I value who you were made to be, can change your daughter’s life. It can give strength to her soul. It will give her the strength to fly. Every girl is different. Value her, just for her.

You are my friend.

Your daughter will always have to face enemies. So make sure she knows you are her friend. Be on on her team. You are rooting for her. Include her in your life. Ask her advice. Tell her that you are going to be best friends for life. As she grows older, eventually, this can come true.

And lastly,

I love youno matter what.

Love is transcendental. Love is safety. Love is approval. Give your daughter your love. Tell her. Show her. Approve of her with your looks. If she is different than you, rejoice in her giftings. Don’t try to make her like you.

So there it is.

And mamma, you just hang in there with that little girl. We grow up. But we will always need you.

Really, you have always been the perfect thing we needed.

~ Savoury Jacobson

100 Ways to Love Your Husband by Lisa Jacobson and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife by Matthew L Jacobson

 (This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

Raising Heavenly Minded, Down to Earth Kids (small)*If you would like these posts delivered directly to your inbox, simply subscribe below (and get 2 FREE eBooks, The 7 Habits of a Highly Fulfilling Marriage and Raising Heavenly-Minded, Down-to-Earth Kids).

A Mother’s Guide to Bedtime Prayer for Your Child

Club31Women.com_A Mother's Guide to a Bedtime Prayer

As a child I prayed the same prayer every night.

You might know it, and maybe you prayed this as well.

“Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake I pray the Lord my soul to take.”

Then came the creepy part about the 3 little angels around my head.

“Three little angels around my head, one to watch, one to pray, and one to carry my soul away.”

I didn’t give this prayer much thought. I had said it so many times that the words came without them meaning much to me.

Now I have children of my own and every night we tuck them into bed, answer questions, get drinks, give kisses and, we pray with them. This is important because we want our children to know that we love them, that God is in control, and that we are forever dependent on Him for life now and in eternity.

What are some things that we can pray over our children? How can we intercede for them before the throne of grace?

I find Psalm 28 to be a helpful guide in praying for my children.

A Mother’s Guide to Bedtime Prayer

Save your people, and bless your inheritance: feed them also, and lift them up forever.”
Psalm 28:9

“Save them”

Our children, like us, need the saving grace of our Lord. This should be a prayer they hear us pray for them all the time. That God would give them a heart that beats with love for Him and perseveres in faith.  Additionally our children need continual saving (as do we). They need God to save them from the evil found in the world, in other people, and even from the foolishness that lurks in their own little hearts.

“Bless your inheritance”

Those who belong to Christ are his heirs. I do not know if all my children have placed their trust in Jesus yet. Some kids can very clearly and very early on articulate their faith in Christ, while others take a while for the fruit of their faith to be seen. We pray with anticipation and hope that God will save our children and so we also pray that God would in turn bless them.

We should desire that God bless our children with all the wonderful things spoken of in the Bible. We ask God to bless our children with mercy and an abundance of grace. We ask that God bless them with knowledge and wisdom regarding His Word as well as a love that starts with Himself and flows into the life of other people.

“feed them”

Jesus said that His the bread of life (Jn 6:35) and a well of living water (Jn 7:37). Anyone who comes to Him will find a satisfaction that the world does not posses. I want this for my kids, don’t you? No matter what God has in store for them during their lifetime, I want them to be fully satisfied in Jesus.

I also pray that the Holy Spirit would use the Scriptures to feed their souls. I don’t just want my kids to have a rudimentary knowledge of the Word of God. I want them to KNOW it, and I don’t just mean have a bunch of verses memorized. I pray that through the study of the Scriptures they would get to know the God who has revealed Himself through its pages. I especially want them to know His character and His promises.

“lift them up”

The world says that we are to lift ourselves up and that it is okay to boast about our accomplishments. What we have, who we are, and what we look like are all things that we should use to exalt ourselves, but God tell us the opposite. He has said that He opposes the proud but will lift up the humble.

I want my kids to be humble boys and girls who look to the only One who holds the true position of exaltation.

Sometimes it is easy to just rattle off a shallow bedtime prayer, and believe me, I am guilty of doing this way too often. But  I want my children hear me pray for them in very specific ways, that go beyond “thank you for a good day and help us all sleep well” ( though there are evenings when that is all I have energy for).

I want my children to learn that the Lord is real, that He saves, sanctifies, and satisfies.

In praying with and for my children they begin to get glimpses of this very truth.

Let’s Talk:
What are some of your favorite bed time routines?
In what ways do you want God to work in the life of your children?

Blessings,
Jen

100 Ways to Love Your Husband by Lisa Jacobson and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife by Matthew L Jacobson

 (This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

Raising Heavenly Minded, Down to Earth Kids (small)*If you would like these posts delivered directly to your inbox, simply subscribe below (and get 2 FREE eBooks, The 7 Habits of a Highly Fulfilling Marriage and Raising Heavenly-Minded, Down-to-Earth Kids).

Your S.W.E.E.T. Guide to Marriage Communication

Your S.W.E.E.T Guide to Marriage Communication

I have the wonderful privilege of working alongside my husband, each and every day.

We both sit here with our desks set just right so we can look at each other, share our Paraguayan tea (terere), throw out tidbits of news or input, ask a question, and get into deep discussions.

Marriage is . . . an amazing adventure and a significant challenge. (Lisa Jacobson)

There was one particular day, as we sat at our desks that he laid back in his chair with his feet propped up, and I knew he wanted to discuss something that was on his mind. Being married for almost 14 years, you learn about your spouse and I knew his posture well, this was not going to be a short conversation.

We began talking about a particular issue, yet – instead of guarding my words right from the beginning – I let them roll, one after another.

My words were not supportive, as I pointed out his failures.

My words were not wise. Instead, I compared him to another.

My words did not edify my husband.

My words did not encourage him, but hurt him.

My words did not communicate thankfulness, for this amazing man who God gave me.

And when his words came back in response to mine, they stung me. His words hurt deep. There were words that I never thought I would hear from this husband of mine.

I never imagined that once he leaned back in his chair to talk, it would have ended in a war of words and one hurting the other and vice versa, but that is exactly what happened.

And, of course, here is where I would like to say that we asked for forgiveness when we finished the discussion . . . but we didn’t.

My husband went back to his work on the computer, and I went off to find something to organize or clean. The discussion was over, and it was not going to get any better if we did not part for some time.

Later in the day, we did forgive each other, and once again, we were ready to move forward in our marriage.

Your S.W.E.E.T. Guide to Marriage Communication

There are two things that I want to bring out with this story.

I first want to emphasize that my husband and I struggle like any other husband and wife. We may be missionaries overseas, but we are far from perfect. We daily have to decide to be committed to our relationship, because marriage “… requires that you invest heavily in your relationship.” (L. Jacobson)

Secondly, I see the importance of investing in my speech. Ephesians 4:29 says, Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Your  S-W-E-E-T Guide to Marriage Communication

*Are my words supportive?

“Express enthusiasm for his plans and ideas.” (L. Jacobson)

*Are my words wise?

“A wise woman knows when she should wait to speak or never mention it at all.” (L. Jacobson)

*Are my words encouraging?

“Kind words can have such a powerful impact on your marriage.” (L. Jacobson)


*Are my words edifying?

“Speak only those things that EDIFY.” (L. Jacobson)

*Are my words thankful?

“Babe, you’re the champion of my heart. A true winner. And I thank God for you.” (L. Jacobson)

Now, friend, there is nothing magic about what I am sharing.  I know that there will still be wars of words, because life just isn’t that simple. Yet as I grow as a wife who loves her husband, I know that to be sweet with my words is a few ways to say “I love you” and I value our marriage relationship.

Marriage truly is “a life-long journey of learning to love each other” and Lisa Jacobson’s book, 100 Ways to Love Your Husband, was a wonderful tool to help me on my journey of loving my man!

*Will you join me in not only applying these 5 S-W-E-E-T guide words as you communicate with your spouse, but also read Lisa’s book and be challenged to love your husband more?

Serving Him wholeheartedly,
Trisha Goddard

(This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

100 Ways to Love Your Husband

In Paperback: 100 Ways To Love Your Husband

On Kindle: 100 Ways to Love Your Husband

 

**********************

 Now in Spanish

We’re very excited to announce that 100 Ways to Love Your Husband and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife are now available in Spanish as well!

100 Maneras de Amar a Su Esposo by Lisa Jacobson

In Paperback:  100 Maneras de Amar a Su Esposo

On Kindle:  100 Maneras de Amar a Su Esposo

*This same article can also be found in Spanish: Un Guía Dulce para Comunicarme con mi Esposo.

Trisha GoddardTrisha is a born again believer, created and called to express her faith through love, especially by finding ways to serve her family and women in ministry. Trisha enjoys traveling and reading. She is married to Mike, and they have three children. They live in Paraguay, where they have served in ministry since 2004.

You can read more about Trisha on their website: www.mtgoddard.com .

Un Guía Dulce para Comunicarme con mi Esposo {A S.W.E.E.T. Guide to Communication with My Husband}

Une Guia Dulce para Comunicarma con mi Esposo

Tengo el maravilloso privilegio de trabajar junto a mi esposo cada día. Ambos nos sentamos en nuestros escritorios, colocados de forma que podamos vernos, compartimos nuestro tereré, lanzamos ideas y aportes, hacemos preguntas y nos sumergimos en discusiones profundas.

Es “…una aventura increíble y un desafío significativo.” (L. Jacobson)

Hubo un día en particular en el que, al sentarnos en nuestros escritorios, él se recostó en su silla con los pies levantados y yo supe que quería discutir algo que había en su mente. Al estar casada durante casi 14 años, aprendes sobre tu esposo y yo conozco bien esa postura, no iba a ser una conversación corta.

Comenzamos hablando sobre un tema en particular, pero, en lugar de guardar mis palabras desde el principio, las dejé salir, una tras otra.

Mis palabras no eran de apoyo, sino que apuntaban sus fallos.

Mis palabras no eran sabias. En lugar de eso, lo comparé con otra persona.

Mis palabras no edificaron a mi esposo.

Mis palabras no lo animaron, sino que le hirieron.

Mis palabras no comunicaban gratitud por este hombre maravilloso que Dios me dio.

Y cuando sus palabras llegaron como respuesta a las mías, se clavaron en mí. Sus palabras me hirieron profundamente. Hubo palabras que nunca pensé que escucharía de mi esposo.

Nunca imaginé que, una vez que se recostó en su silla para hablar, terminaríamos en una guerra de palabras una más hiriente que otra, pero eso es exactamente lo que sucedió.

Y, por supuesto, es ahí donde me gustaría decir que nos pedimos perdón cuando terminamos la discusión, pero no lo hicimos. Mi marido volvió a trabajar en su computadora y yo salí a buscar algo para organizar o limpiar. La discusión había terminado, y las cosas no iban a mejorar si no nos separábamos un poco.

Más tarde ese día, nos perdonamos uno al otro y, una vez más, estuvimos listos para avanzar en nuestro matrimonio.

Your S.W.E.E.T. Guide to Marriage Communication

Hay dos cosas que quiero destacar con esta historia.

En primer lugar, quiero enfatizar que mi esposo y yo luchamos como cualquier otro marido y mujer. Podemos ser misioneros en el extranjero, pero estamos lejos de ser perfectos. Diariamente tenemos que decidir comprometernos con nuestra relación porque el matrimonio…”requiere que inviertas fuertemente en tu relación”. (L. Jacobson)

En segundo lugar, veo la importancia de invertir en mi forma de hablar. Efesios 4:39 dice, “Ninguna palabra corrompida salga de vuestra boca,  sino la que sea buena para la necesaria edificación,  a fin de dar gracia a los oyentes.”

Se me ocurrieron un guía dulce para aplicar a la hora de comunicarme con mi esposo, ¡y pensé que también podían ayudarte a ti!

¿Mis palabras son de apoyo?

“Expresa entusiasmo por sus planes e ideas.” (L. Jacobson)

¿Mis palabras son sabias?

“Una mujer sabia sabe cuándo debería esperar para hablar o nunca mencionar algo.” (L. Jacobson)

¿Mis palabras son de ánimo?

“Las palabras amables pueden tener un poderoso impacto en tu matrimonio.” (L. Jacobson)

¿Mis palabras edifican?

“Habla solo de aquellas cosas que edifican.” (L. Jacobson)

¿Mis palabras son de gratitud?

“Querido, eres el campeón de mi corazón. Un verdadero ganador. Y agradezco a Dios por ti.” (L. Jacobson)

Ahora, amiga, no hay nada mágico en lo que estoy compartiendo. Sé que aún habrá guerras de palabras porque la vida no es así de simple. Pero al ir creciendo como una esposa que ama a su marido, sé que ser dulce con mis palabras es una de las maneras en las que puedo decir “te amo” y valorar nuestra relación matrimonial.

El matrimonio es “un largo viaje para aprender a amarse el uno al otro” y el libro de Lisa Jacobson “100 Maneras de Amar a Tu Esposo”, ¡fue una maravillosa herramienta que me ayudó en mi viaje de amar a mi hombre!

¿Me acompañarás no solo a aplicar estas 5 palabras al comunicarte con tu esposo, sino también a leer el libro de Lisa y ser desafiada a amar más a tu marido?

Sirviendo al Señor incondicionalmente,
Trisha Goddard

(This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

100 Maneras de Amar a Su Esposo by Lisa Jacobson

In Paperback:  100 Maneras de Amar a Su Esposo

On Kindle:  100 Maneras de Amar a Su Esposo

100 Maneras de Amar a Su Esposa by Matthew L Jacobson

In Paperback:  100 Maneras de Amar a Su Esposa

On Kindle:  100 Maneras de Amar a Su Esposa

Trisha GoddardTrisha es una creyente, creada y llamada para expresar su fe a través del amor, especialmente al encontrar formas de servir a su familia y a las mujeres en el ministerio. A Trisha le gusta viajar y leer. Está casada con Mike y tienen tres hijos. Viven el Paraguay, donde sirven a Dios desde el 2004.

Puedes encontrar más sobre su ministerio aquí: www.mtgoddard.com .

If You’ve Never Said, I’m Sorry {An Unapologetic Word to Wives}

If You've Never Said I'm Sorry I thought it was just me.

One of my particular quirks.

Because I happen to be terrible at saying, I’m sorry.

Oh, not to you. I’d apologize all day long to you. I’m sorry if I was a little late. I’m sorry if I forgot to call you. I’m very sorry if I hurt your feelings or let you down.

I’m actually quick to tell you I’m sorry, my friend.

The problem is with saying sorry to my husband.

When it comes to him, I’m much better at brushing things over. Willing to work on stuff, mind you. But not necessarily to come right out and say it.

I’m sorry.

Or, I was wrong.

And, Will you forgive me?

Maybe you think it’s because I’m proud. That I’m so hesitant to apologize to him. But I don’t like to think of it that way because . . . .

I’m proud.

And I don’t like being wrong.

And it’s not easy for me to say I’m sorry.

I’ve got my reasons and if I was going to be totally honest? I don’t believe what I did was really all that bad. Or maybe it’s because what he did was so much worse than what I did, it doesn’t seem like it should count. Or, I’m convinced that all the right stuff I do outweighs the wrongs and so I should get a pass.

You see how it is. The truth is that I don’t say I’m sorry because I’m NOT sorry. 

If You've Never Said I'm Sorry {An Unapologetic Word for Wives}

Now it’s funny that I thought this was just my own personal issue. Because I was recently with a group of girlfriends and we got to talking about this I-Don’t-Say-I’m-Sorry-Thing and, what d’ya know . . .

I’m not the only one.

Each woman there admitted that apologizing isn’t her strong point. Even though her husband was ready to ask forgiveness, she . . . was less so. As in, almost never.

Now maybe you’re the wife who feels like she is continually seeking forgiveness and he’s the one who never does. If so, then this word is not for you.

No, this one is for the rest of us. This is for those of us who find we have so much to say—unless it’s, I’m sorry. And then suddenly, strangely, we can’t quite figure out how to go about it. Not sure how to put it and when would be a good time to have that conversation.

But let’s walk this one out. See what it might look like. You know, in case you’ve . . . .

  • not been respecting him as you know you should (Eph. 5:33)
  • snapped at him this morning (even though it was somewhat justified!)
  • not expressed appreciation for those things he does well
  • complained to him, rather than been thankful
  • not been as loving as you want to be – or should be

If so? Then the right thing to do is to go up to him and say something along these lines:

Hey Love, I’d like to talk to you. I want you to know that I am sorry. I’m sorry for the way I’ve treated you lately. It’s wrong of me and it’s not how I want to be. Will you forgive me?

And just so you know? All of this takes less than 20 seconds. Literally, that’s all it takes. I know because I timed it. (Yes, I really did.)

Who would have thought 20 seconds would do so much for a relationship?

But a sincere apology is like that. Saying I’m sorry is powerful, healing, and those 20 seconds will last you far into a lifetime.

So if you haven’t yet said, I’m sorry? And, Will you forgive me?  Then I’m telling you – without apology – that you should start. Soon.

I promise, you won’t be sorry that you did. ;)

In His grace,
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100 Ways to Love Your Husband by Lisa Jacobson and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife by Matthew L Jacobson

 (This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

Raising Heavenly Minded, Down to Earth Kids (small)*If you would like these posts delivered directly to your inbox, simply subscribe below (and get 2 FREE eBooks, The 7 Habits of a Highly Fulfilling Marriage and Raising Heavenly-Minded, Down-to-Earth Kids).