Ever noticed how one small tweak can make a big improvement? If you want to create a change in marriage, focus on small tweaks rather than an overhaul. This is the focus of the One Degree Marriage Challenge. (If you’re seeing this challenge for the first time, check out last week’s blog and begin there).
On week 2 of the One Degree Marriage Challenge, choose one idea from the following list that best fits an area of need in your marriage. Focus on this idea for the entire week. Watch God’s redemption at work as you implement His Word in your life.
Week 2 One Degree Marriage Challenge
- Don’t Interrupt
Wowza! I already know this idea will be my focus for the week. For a while now, I’ve interrupted Tom with regularity. And he doesn’t like it! Sometimes I know I’m doing it, but there are times when I’m clueless. If you want to see a change in marriage, show your husband the same (and more) courtesy as you would your best friend or boss. Interrupting shows a lack of respect. James 1:19 says, Listen, open your ears, harness your desire to speak.
- Emphasize His Good Points
It all comes down to a choice to focus on the positive attributes of your husband…or the negative. When you’re hurt, the negative looms large. When I mentor women, I encourage them to pray through the negative they see in their husbands. Not only is it difficult to hate someone you’re praying for, but as you pray, the words you speak often provide clues as to why your husband acts or thinks as he does. When the Holy Spirit gives you glimpses of the ‘why’ behind negative behavior, compassion is released and makes it easier to drag your focus away from the negative to the positive. Philippians 4:8
- Pray for Your Husband
Ruth Graham Bell said, “Tell your mate the positive and tell God the negative.” This is fantastic advice that will yield HUGE dividends on both sides of the equation! Your husband will receive the affirmation he needs but rarely gets and God will hear and answer your prayers if you are praying according to His Word. Philippians 4:6,7. I Thessalonians 5:17
- Nag Not!
If there’s one thing I’ve learned in 35 years of marriage, it’s this: Men SEE better than they HEAR! When I mentioned this on Family Life Today, Dennis Rainey and Bob Lepine burst out laughing because it’s true. So why waste your energy saying the same thing over and over? Instead, let prayer and boundaries do the work for you.
PRAYER: It’s not what you say, but what you pray. If your husband’s actions are sinful, pray about it instead of nagging. Speak the Truth in Love in 10 words or less (chapter 8 of The Beautiful Wife).
BOUNDARIES: If the garage needs to be cleaned, ask your husband if he’d like to be involved or if he’d prefer to pay someone to do it (neighbor kid, etc.). Depending on his answer, set a mutually agreed on date for completion. If it doesn’t get done by that date, hire the neighbor kid.
Bottom line: Men are NOT won over by words, but by watching your pure, godly behavior.
Beautiful Action Step:
If you know a friend who needs to see change in marriage, Forward this One Degree Challenge to her so you can encourage one another!