Recently, I posted on my one word for 2013.
As I consider how to live a life of complete surrender to Jesus, I realize that every aspect of my life--from my relationship to my husband and kids to the completion of my to-do list--must be fully and completely given over to Him.
In anticipation of Valentine's Day, I want to spend some time really focusing on my husband and showing him the respect, attention, and affection he deserves. I will be participating in Women Living Well's "Be My Valentine" Marriage Challenge to help me in this pursuit.
What does it look like to live surrendered to our husbands?First, let's consider what the Bible says:
Ephesians 5:21-23, 3321 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.
33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
Living a surrendered life means yielding my thoughts, my words, my body, my everything to my husband. It means showing him respect even when he makes huge blunders and giving him my attention even when I'm tired, touched-to-death, and frazzled. It also means finding words to express the magnitude of my love when I really don't want to.
|Photo Credit: epSos.de|
How can we surrender ourselves to our husbands with our words?
Song of Songs 4:11
milk and honey are under your tongue.
The fragrance of your garments
is like the fragrance of Lebanon.
For me, praising my husband is a real struggle.Words of encouragement and affirmation don't flow naturally from my tongue. I have to make a real concerted effort to step outside my comfort zone and voice my gratitude for and love to him.
Aside from the personal challenge, I honestly don't think about praising my husband. It isn't like he struggles with self-esteem issues. But his love language is "words of affirmation," so by not building him up verbally, I am neglecting to fill his love tank and show him the affection he needs.
We all need to hear that we are loved, valued, and needed. Even our husbands.
7 Ways to Verbally Edify Our Husbands:
3. Replace nagging with praise. One surefire way not to get my husband to help with the chores is by hounding him. He absolutely refuses to be bullied into anything. Nagging is disrespectful and rude. Instead, thank him when he takes out the trash. He 'll start helping out more if we praise his efforts and show him we notice what he's doing.
4. Thank him for his hard work. As a mom, I swoon when my kids thank me for something--anything--because it's so rare. Husbands and dads need to know we see how hard they're working for us and that we're grateful for it. Gratitude is a great motivator.
5. Let him know you're praying for him. God entrusts our husbands with a great responsibility as heads of the household. They have a lot riding on their shoulders. As their helpmates, we can and should pray for wisdom for our spouses. By letting them know they are in our prayers, we show that we respect them and the decisions they make on behalf of our family.
6. Trust his judgment. Even when my husband makes decisions I don't like, I defer to his position as spiritual leader of the family. There's a peace that comes from knowing he is in charge, not me, and I affirm my compliance with positive words. This is especially important to do in front of parents, in-laws, and children.
7. Keep a record of
3 Words of Caution:1. Watch not only what you say but how you say it. Tone is key. If I speak life-affirming words to my husband but in a condescending or hostile tone, I do not show him love. He is more influenced by the way in which I speak than the words I say. Be kind and gentle.
2. Avoid coming off as forced. If, like me, you struggle with praising your man, don't just say something to say it. Feel it; mean it. Pull him close and let him see the sparkle in your eyes. He will know if you're faking it. Be sincere in your praise.
3. Don't be a naysayer. Just as you don't want to be a nagging Nelly, don't be a naysayer. Even if pessimism is your middle name, work on being positive Polly instead. Nothing irritates my husband more than when he comes home to Eeyore. Greet him with GOOD NEWS, not "Your son did this and this..." and "Look at the mess your daughter made!" He wants to see you're happy, not miserable. Be positive!
As I strive to live a surrendered life this year, I pray the Lord will show me ways to humbly submit myself to my husband, giving him the verbal affirmation he needs and deserves.
What about you? How do you praise your husband verbally? What is the most effective way you've found to do it?
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