It was one of those gray rainy days preceded by another sleepless night with kids that were up –again.
I curled up on my couch with my early morning cup of tea while I read my Bible, prayed, and tried to get myself in a good mood before the household exploded with ten little feet.
As my brain cells began to stir I started to think about my misery and my husband. In my exhausted, early morning mental fog these thoughts tumbled out-
I wonder if he ever thinks about how I feel- how hard life is for me with all these kids.
And that thing I asked him to fix last week, it’s still broken.
And just once, I wish he’d offer to do the bedtime and homework routine without my asking.
And that suggestion I gave him about something that might help him at the office-he didn’t think it was very good.
I wonder if he appreciates my carpooling the kids all over every day and feeling like I’ve accomplished nothing…and, and…
As I sat in my pity-party, a question entered my mind. “Susan, what if he had said:
“Honey you work so hard; I appreciate how difficult it must be especially because it feels so mundane to you.
What if he had fixed that broken thing right away.
What if he had come home one night and said,” I’m taking over dinner and homework; you take a break.”
What if he had said, “By the way that suggestion you gave me for work; I took your advice and it was good.”
What I quickly realized was that I would have simply thought of something else that did not please me.
I had fallen into a “picky trap.” Pick, pick, and pick at the things my husband does or doesn’t do. Rehearse them in my mind. Add to the list.
I also realized that I had become an “encore wife,” a person for whom nothing is ever enough.
No matter what he did I would think of something else I wanted. There was no way he could satisfy me.
Picky wives who also want an encore are not very much fun to live with.
And I wanted to be fun.
Impact Your Marriage with This Daily Marriage Habit
“Please Lord, change my heart. Make me grateful instead of critical. Remind me of things to appreciate in my husband.”
I began to say out loud the things I was grateful for in my man. He gets up early to pray for the kids and me. He is a man of integrity. He is even-tempered. He is reliable. He has self- discipline; doing things he doesn’t necessarily like to do.
That morning I discovered what I call the “marriage vitamin.“
Every day I try to thank God for one specific thing I appreciate about my husband. Occasionally, I even tell him.
No, he’s not perfect, but neither is his wife.
And yes we still let each other down, ask forgiveness, and start over again.
The thing about marriage is it’s a lifetime of growing together, of iron sharpening iron.
We never will get it just right this side of heaven. Our God is more concerned about what we learn in the process than He is about us getting it all figured out.
Even with 50 years of marriage, I still get lazy and fall into the picky trap. I still need that daily habit to impact my marriage.
Today I find myself praying more and more that I’d lighten up and not make a big deal out of something small. And I continue to pray that we’d laugh more together at the dumb things we do.
Today, after all these years we appreciate more and more that we simply have each other. God is good and He is using us to sharpen one another. (Proverbs 27:17)
by Matt and Lisa Jacobson
Every one of us has tremendous power to either build others up or tear them down through the words we speak every day, and nowhere is this more evident than in our marriages.
Are you being purposeful in how you use the power of your words to speak encouragement, strength, and love–breathing life into the heart of your spouse? Or are careless words having a negative impact on your marriage and on the heart of the one you love most?
Matt and Lisa Jacobson want you and your spouse to discover the powerful ways you can build one another up in love with the words that you choose to say every day–words that every husband and wife need to hear. These marriage books offer you 100 Things to say to your husband or wife that deeply encourage, affirm, and inspire.
Start speaking these words into each other’s lives and watch your spouse–and your relationship–transform before your eyes.
Grab Susan’s free ebook, “Camp at Home,” right here. This valuable resource is based on her book Cousin Camp. It includes 100 things for you to do with your kids of different ages including toddlers, the middle years, teens, and specific things for the whole family. In addition, there are ideas for grandparents to use to stay connected with their grandkids.
A 52-Week Devotional for the Deeper, Richer Marriage You Desire
An intimate, loving marriage is so much closer than you think
Imagine if, at the end of the year, despite your busy schedules and all the demands on your time and attention, you and your husband were more in sync, more connected, and more in love than ever before. Sounds amazing, right?
That kind of marriage is what is waiting for you as you read through the fifty-two weekly devotions in Loving Your Husband Well. Each entry includes a specific theme, related Scripture, a powerful devotion, thoughts for further reflection, practical ideas, and a prayer, all designed to help you love, cherish, and serve the man who shares life’s journey with you.