Who am I? I’m a mom. I’m a wife. I’m an UberMom. I’m the chef, psychologist and laundry master! Identity crisis too? Now as the little ones in my life, are now nearly grown-ups, eyes open to that bearded man who sleeps next to me. No one can quit being a mom, but the fact remains, the intensity level alters. That guy I married isn’t that guy I married. Friend, lover, provider or cranky old man…love, what’s that all about anyway?
I’ve been married 33 years this December. And to be transparent, it hasn’t all been wedded bliss. Even one extremely intense moment out on our 40-acre farm in Missouri, (20 years ago) with one baby on my hip the other holding my hand I stood on the front porch. I was ready to LEAVE! But where was I going to go? I lived 45 minutes from town, gas stations were closed nearby, and I was barefoot. I went back inside. Somehow, God worked it out.
All of us have moments of throwing in the towel. And hear me, moving on is a very personal matter. You make your choices as I did. But there was that one friend, most recently a few years ago, that called me out. You have one of those gals who’s walked the path before you and has that insight? She advised me to search my heart. I turned on the radio and came across the “Husband Challenge”. I love challenges! I’m goal-oriented! I could so do this and then I’d show him… it was all his fault because he’s cranky.
Into the unknown, the challenge was set before me.
Here are 2 simple rules.
- For the next thirty days, don’t say anything negative about your husband—to him or to anyone else about him.
- Every day for the next thirty days, encourage your husband by expressing something you admire or appreciate about him. Say it to him and say it to someone else about him! (By Revive Our Hearts)
Totally easy! I love my husband. I’m a great wife! I took a deep breath and checked the date. For 30 days this would show him that I’m a loving woman. It only took me fifteen minutes to fail. Ouch. No problem, I’d simply start over and move on. Failed again. How could I be such a nag. I’m in love with this guy. I said for better for worse, but I’d been only seeing with eyes of worse.
I don’t consider myself a gossip, however, I found myself catching the ugly words flying through the texts and conversations. Perhaps I’d become “Negative Nancy.” *I love the name Nancy by the way.* I could control my mouth, but what about my sad heart? As you think, so you are. I began to redirect my “on purpose” attitude to what was good about this guy. As I began to complain to a friend, I turned to express the kind things he did. Small tiny goodness began to bloom. A seed of love watered, sprouted.
Victory began to show its beautiful head. I wasn’t a doormat, rather I’d become a welcome mat. The power surges through a marriage at different rates. Wives we’ve been told… “Your husband is the head of the house!” But wives know, “We’re the neck that turns it!” Our countenance can change the temperature of the home.
I’ve done this challenge several times in my marriage. The change must begin with you. None of us wants to hear that, but take it from this old woman, he will once again sweep you off your feet. Rekindle that first love. What was the thing that made you fall in love in the first place? Light that fire.
Run this race as a marathon. Training our children, we can forget that we’re not going to train our husbands. Let’s encourage them instead. Oh, that’s a fine line from, “You don’t sweat much for a fat man,” to “I’m so proud of all of your efforts in exercise!”
Just like we pick and choose our battles with our children, remember in respecting your husband, he begins to pour out love once again. What have you got to lose on this challenge? Are you up for overcoming obstacles? My marriage isn’t perfect. My children are so not perfect. My life is far from perfect. We’re in this together #momtribe. And to quote an old saying, “No one cares how much you know. They should know how much you care.” I care enough to share what’s worked for me. One thing for certain, just trying this challenge will be a challenge. Are you up for the unexpected? Keep in mind, love is an action, not just an emotion.