List of ten things to continue:
1. Pray for my husband -- not with change as the focus, but thankgiving and God's hand leading me to meet his needs.
2. Daily consider things to say or do that show he is important to me.
3. Speak favorably about him to myself and others.
4. Daily offer thanks to him for something -- whether it be completion of a regular task or his doing something new. Recognizing him for being active in keeping our home a home.
5. Push negative thoughts out -- denying them residence within my brain.
6. Often, do something fun that is special for him. Maybe make cookies, fix something with b-b-q sauce, or wash the dinner dishes before dinner (wash pots, pans, measuring cups, etc. before dinner, so that not much is left for afterwards).
7. Don't take personally his behavior that is withdrawn or short. Often times there is something going on inside his head, but I need to allow him the space to work through it.
8. Allow him choices. When doing a project, often times I get it started and completed without involving him. This challenge helped me identify that he does want to be involved -- so ask what he might do with XXX or any thoughts on project Y.
9. Share with him my disappointments or dreams -- don't hold them inside figuring he will get that information by osmosis.
10. Stop and listen. Put the paper down. Turn toward him if I am cooking. Make eye contact. Keep my mouth shut to finish his sentences.
* Gal 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
May God's Spirit be within me -- showing forth through me in my actions and words as guided by my thoughts on Him.
* Prov. 31 (Selections) An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels... She does him good and not evil all the days of her life...Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she smiles at the future... Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised...
My role as Marshall's wife and my response to being his wife go far beyond just him. At the heart of our relationship all is my love and fear of the Lord.
* Lev. 19:18 ...you shall love your neighbor as yourself...
How do I want to be treated? That is how I should act toward my husband.
* James 1:17 Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation, or shifting shadow.
Our relationship is under God's hand. If change takes place that is good -- it is through God's mercies, not my nagging or my efforts to be positive and to encourage. Instead, I must remember that all that we have came from Him -- all those things or behaviors that I count as important, are from our Creator, our Maker. Patting myself on the back and then getting frustrated when all does not continue to go as I want is not part of is best for me. Instead, that long slow process of growing and changing is like the potter with the wheel....
* Ephesians 4:29 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. I saw this one on Sarah's site and it spoke to my heart as appropriate for me as well. Sometimes I mutter under my breath -- and these words should not be said if I don't want him to hear it -- don't say it, don't think it, not even "quietly".
God of renewal, everywhere your Holy Spirit breathes new life into creation. As I undertake this day to bring glory to you by honoring my husband, I ask you to be present in my marriage. Guide me to know in which things I should ask forgiveness, in which things I should change, and in which things I should ask for the grace to let go. Show me new ways to respect my husband today and open my eyes to all that you have made him to be. I trust in your goodness and in the covenant my husband and I made with you and each other on our wedding day. Through Jesus Christ I pray, Amen.