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).

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 .

The Answer to that One Question He Really Wants to Know

The Answer to that One Question He Really Wants to Know

At 7:30 p.m. my son was leaving the house for a dodgeball intramural tournament at school. (Can you imagine doing that for fun?)

Mom, if I brought laundry down…he said.

Oh no. Please don’t tell me you need your choir outfit for tomorrow’s concert, and you’re just now thinking about it, I said.

Well . . . he said.

This does happen at your house?

But he’s my baby, and he’s about to graduate, so I was gracious. Soon he was off to play, and I was bent over his hamper of dirty clothes.

My husband came downstairs to visit with me while I sorted.

He should do this laundry himself, he said.

Probably, I said.

It was quiet for a minute.

When he’s gone, will I be enough for you?  he said.

I looked up quickly.

Of course! I said.

I looked back down at the bright green sock in the hamper.

But maybe right now isn’t the best time to ask me, I said. Then I was staring up at him with tears pooling in my eyes.

Oh baby, he said, and I was wrapped in his arms.

Soon we were upstairs snuggling on the couch, and Matt picked up his Nexus. In the fall, our church had gifted us with a weekend get-away, to honor Matt for 10 years of service. We decided we would use the gift soon, while our son was gone on choir tour.

Do you want to help me choose what kind of room we get? he asked, typing the resort name into the search bar.

Do you want a fireplace? (People in Montana still need to consider this in April.)

Do you want a lake view?

As we dreamed about an extravagant two nights away, it wasn’t hard to imagine that the answer was yes.

He would be enough for me.

I woke up in the night thinking about Matt’s question to me, but this time I could hear Jesus speaking.

Am I enough for you?

Paul writes to the church in Ephesus about wives and husbands, but at the end of his talk he says:

This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. (Ephesians 5:32 ESV)

This relationship we have with our husbands is an echo of the relationship Christ has with His followers.

I can see myself bent over the laundry hampers and the cold lunch boxes and the reading logs that need signed, caring for my children day after day for a few decades. Loving them with all these little chores I do. But always there is this question.

Will I be enough for you?

And I need to say yes to my husband, because in this I learn to say yes to Christ.

We have to get good at this, my husband said to me a few years ago. We have to be good at enjoying each other, because pretty soon the kids will be gone from home.

So we’ve been practicing.

Going on dates.

Laughing over silly things.

Holding hands.

This is marriage.

And marriage is the picture of what it means to know Christ –working to find joy in our relationship with Him and looking to Him to fill the deep places of the soul.

May we be women with satisfied hearts.

~ Christy Fitzwater

*So what are some of the ways you’ve been “practicing” at getting good at enjoying each other? 

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).

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).

7 Verses to Hold On To . . . When You’re Holding On to Your Marriage {& Free Printable}

7 Verses to Hold On to When You're Holding On to Your Marriage

I’m just trying to hold on . . .

And she left it there. But I knew what she meant and my heart went out to her.

Sometimes it’s simply a matter of holding on and holding tight.

Remember what’s good, what’s right, and what’s true.

I was pretty sure I knew what she meant.

She was holding on to her marriage and wasn’t about to give up.

Maybe that’s where you are too. 

Or maybe it’s someone you love who is close to you and struggling to hang in there.

Holding on.

But you are not on your own in this world. God is with you.

Turn to Him and turn to His Word. Hold on to these truths He wrote for you. 

7 Verses to Hold On To . . .

When You’re Holding On to Your Marriage

Wisdom

If you don’t know what to do, or how to handle what’s before you? He promises to give you wisdom, if you ask Him for it.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. James 1:5

Comfort

If you’re heart is breaking and you need healing and comfort? Let God’s steadfast love surround you and fill your heart once again. His promise.

Let your steadfast love comfort me according to your promise to your servant.  ~ Psalm 119:76

Strength

Maybe it seems impossible and you feel like you’re faltering? God will give you the strength to do what He’s called you to do. Let Him work through you and in you.

I can do all things through him who strengthens me. ~ Philippians 4:13

Help

Do you need some help in this situation? Can’t do it by yourself or on your own? You don’t have to do it alone. He is your mighty God and He will help you.

Fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. ~ Isaiah 41:10

 

7 Verses to Hold On To - Part 1

Peace

If you’re worried and full of anxiety over the matter before you? Come to Him with your requests, remembering to thank Him for even the little things He’s done. He promises to fill you with His peace—the kind that almost doesn’t make sense and yet it’s real.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

Courage

If you’re afraid of what’s going to happen or what the future holds? You don’t need to be because that’s only the voice of the Enemy trying to discourage and defeat you. This is a great verse to say right aloud: “For God gave ME a spirit not of fear…!”

….for God gave us {me!} a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. ~ 2 Timothy 1:7

Hope

You are never without hope because we serve the God of hope and He is a Redeemer! He is able – more than able – to carry you and your marriage.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.  ~ Jeremiah 29:11

7 Verses to Hold On To - Part 2

FREE PRINTABLES

I hope you find strength and  encouragement in all these verses! They are for you.

Please feel free to print them off and place wherever they will most bless you—in your purse, in your kitchen window, or on your bedroom wall.

You can download and print the verses by clicking the links below:

7 Verses to Hold On to  – Part 1

7 Verses to Hold On to – Part 2

 

Keep holding on to your marriage, my friend.

God is holding on to you.

In His grace,

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*You’re very welcome to share these with friends or family who might need to hear this as well!

**If you’d like prayer- either for yourself, or someone you know and love – you can mention it below in the comments. I’d be glad to lift you up, as well as many other women in this community. And don’t feel like you have to get into the specifics, even a basic “pray for me” works and God knows well what it is that you’re asking. 

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).