Enouraging #19 and #20

Day Nineteen
Read a wife's description of her beloved in Song of Solomon 5:10-16.
"My beloved is radiant and ruddy, distinguished among ten thousand."  SOS 5:10

"Criticism leaves scars; but encouragement can bring healing. Remember that today as you focus on your "30-Day Encouragement Challenge."
Almost nothing is as devastating to a man as the belief that his wife finds him repulsive. Sadly, many women unwisely criticize their husbands' bodies.
Have you ever considered how wonderfully God designed men and women? No matter how a man looksby the standards of the worlda loving God designed them all, and they are all "beautiful" in His sight. Encourage your husband today by praising his uniqueness.
As you look over your husband's body, from the tip of his toes to his bald or bushy head, thank God that your husband is "wonderfully made," then admire your husband verbally. (Strong arms? Hairy chest? Firm hands? Big feet? Rugged chin? Wide shoulders? Compassionate eyes? Broad smile?) "

Journaling Thought:"Describe the physical characteristics you admire in your husband. Be sure to tell him today what those things are."

Day Twenty
"And be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, 
just as God in Christ also forgave you." 
Ephesians. 4:32
"It's time for some heart examination. As you continue in this 30-day challenge, have you
found any roots of bitterness that are contaminating your relationship with your husband? Do you understand that as long as you are unwilling to forgive your husband
by God's grace and in His poweryou will not be able to encourage him? Your own resentment will keep getting in the way. Now is the time to deal with any unforgiving attitudes. Forgive him, even as God has forgiven you.

Is your husband a forgiving man? Does he keep short accounts of your problems? Express your thankfulness for such a man.

Does your husband seem to harbor grudges against you? If so, could there be things you need to change? Do you possibly need to ask forgiveness for an offense? 

Journal Your Thoughts


Missing these little princesses and our afternoon ice cream boat treats.
August 18
"Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, 
he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him."  
James 1:12

"And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory."
1 Peter 5:4

I have absolutely no idea what had me off and researching the five crowns in heaven, but it happened.
Elmer Townes, the co-founder Liberty University has an excellent article on the site below, which will take you into a little more depth about these rewards for the faithful.

Dr. Townes explains the Bema seat of Christ's judgement, where the believer's crowns will be given.

"For we all must appear before the judgement seat of Christ; so that each of us may receive 
what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad."
 2 Corinthians 5:10
He goes on to list and describe the five crowns mentioned in scripture.

The Incorruptible Crown is for "faithfulness in self-control."  I Corinthians 9:25-27
The Crown of Rejoicing is for "faithfulness in service."  I Thessalonians 2:19
The Crown of Righteousness for "faithfulness in testimony." II Timothy 4:7,8
The Crown of Glory for "faithfulness in tending those entrusted to you.  1 Peter 5:2-4
The Crown of Life for "faithfulness in temptation." James 1:12

The self-evaluation process that has come out of this research for me is to ask:
Am I faithful in self-control, in service, in my testimony, in tending to those entrusted to me and in resisting temptation?

Not sure about you, but it is good for me to ponder these things.

Day Eighteen of Encouraging Your Husband
'You will show me the path of life. In your presence is fullness of joy . . . Happy are the people whose God is the LORD!" Ps. 16:11a; 144:15b
"A merry heart does good like medicine.Prov. 17:22a

It's hard to criticize others when we are enjoying their company. Instead of speaking negatively to your husband today, enjoy him! Encourage him! As you experience fullness of joy with God, share some of that joy with your husband.
Does your husband have a playful side? A great sense of humor? Is there a "little boy" that wants to escape from time to time, reflecting the joy in his heart?
This is a wonderful part of who he is, and a great strength. Let him know that you appreciate his joyfulness and his playful spirit. Find opportunities to join him in positive play times.
If your husband can sometimes be overly serious, coax him out occasionally for some play times. It will help him relieve stress and relax. 

Journal thought: What are some things you've done in the past that makes your husband laugh?

Don't "Duck" Responsibility

August 17

When we accept Christ, we become a new thing!  New attitudes of character should surface!

“So don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others,
With these qualities active and growing in your lives, no grass will grow under your feet, no day will pass without its reward as you mature in your experience of our Master Jesus. Without these qualities you can’t see what’s right before you, oblivious that your old sinful life has been wiped off the books.

So, friends, confirm God’s invitation to you, his choice of you.  Don’t put it off; do it now.  Do this, and you’ll have your life on a firm footing, the streets paved and the way wide open into the eternal kingdom of our Master and Savior, Jesus Christ." 2 Peter 1:5-11  

The fact that you are seeking God means that He is seeking you! Woot!!!! It doesn’t get better than that sweet sisters!  The more we know Jesus, the more we know God. If you’ve never RSVPed to his invite and established what Peter calls “basic faith,” today’s the day.  All you have to say is “I need you Jesus.  I know I’m not perfect and sin is always trying to creep in.  You are perfect and You have taken the punishment for all my sins. Thank You, thank You.  Today, I accept the love You have poured out upon me and I want to study your Word and your ways and receive Your gracious love. I’m ready!  In Your name I pray, Amen! 

Day Seventeen of Encouraging Your Husband
"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding." (Prov. 9:10)
"Are you a wise woman? Do you open your mouth with wisdom, as Proverbs 31:26 suggests? As you continue in your 30-day challenge, remember that a wise woman encourages her husband.
Is your husband a "wise man?" Does he have a godly perspective that comes from knowing God and walking with Him in obedience? Does he have a sense of purpose for his life and vision for your home? Tell him how much this means to you.
If you are not sure about your husband's vision for your home, ask him, "Honey, what do you want to accomplish with our marriage and home in the years to come?" and "How can I help you accomplish that?" If he does not have a vision, your questions may inspire him to develop one.
If your husband is not walking with Godor perhaps, does not know the Lordyou have the opportunity and responsibility to practice your faith and create a thirst for God.
Thank God for giving your husband a place in his heart that only He can fill, and keep praying that he will turn to the Lord to fill that vacuum! "

Journaling Thought:  We are more than halfway through.  Journal thoughts from this process.

The Winner

August 16
We've had a summer long fishing competition going on here at Shiloh amongst the grands.  We had to keep a bottle of lemon fresh dove soap in the boathouse to help remove the stink from the grownup handlers' hands!  These little blue gills are going to miss their daily kernel corn buffets.  The poor fish in this photo didn't even get to swallow his corn.

This five year old, with the coaching help of his father who is quite the fisherman, barely topped the tally board.  His reward...this photo on boojoyful!

While I am a firm believer in competition and how it spurs us on to be our best, I'm thankful that anyone who accepts Christ is a winner!  No matter how many rewards we have awaiting us in heaven, the rewards will be sufficient for our eternal elation!

"For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and will then
recompense every man according to his deeds."  Matthew 16:27

Day Sixteen
"And the LORD God said, 'It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.'” (Gen. 2:18)
God says that it is not good for man to be alone. But the way some women criticize their mates, the husbands may long for solitude. Be careful today not to criticize your mate, but look for ways to encourage him personally and publicly.
Speaking of communication, does your husband communicate with you? God has made you a companion and helper for your husband, and part of being "one flesh" with him is the privilege of sharing and discussing personal needs and concerns. Thank God for that wonderful gift. Thank your husband for communicating with you.
If your spouse does not communicate as you wish, look for ways that he communicates that are normal for him: smiling at you, nodding his head, even a pleasant grunt, and then thank him for letting you know that he cares. Perhaps he needs to be lovingly taught how to communicate. Be patient with him . . . and listen when he does speak.

Journaling Thoughts: I'm thinking about the country song lyrics which say, "Occasionally, I'd like to talk about me."  Our pastor shared how he dreads it when his wife says, "We need to talk."
Who does your communication focus on?  You, your spouse, the kids, the house...
Is the bulk of the conversation encouraging or critical?  For me, so often it's concerning a "to do list" which no one looks forward to.

Pajama Boating

August 15
Kids, put on your pajamas! Evening boat rides are the best! A warm breeze blowing on your face and the waves rocking you to sleep. As you watch the big red ball go night night you begin to have the same desires, wishing you'd worn your pajamas!

Takes me back to a night when the disciples were in a boat with Jesus.

"You rule the swelling of the seas; When its waves rise, You sill them."  Psalm 89:9

"And there arose a fierce gale of wind, and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up.  Jesus Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke Him and said to Him, 'Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?" Mark 4: 37-38

He does care!  He cares about every hair on our head!  Hope you rock out with Jesus today.

Day Fifteen Encouraging Your Husband
Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (2 Pet. 3:18a)
Sometimes we live so close to our spouse that we fail to see him as others do; we only see our husband's faults. But take a step back. Perhaps he is growing spiritually in ways you have failed to appreciate. How can you encourage his growth in a fresh, new way? Remember, your husband is accountable to God for his spiritual development. You are accountable to God to encourage and not hinder that growth.
Can you identify an area of spiritual strength in your husband? Does he pray or read his Bible regularly? Does he like to read about or discuss spiritual matters? Does he go to church with you? Is he a spiritual leader? What do others say about him? If you can identify a specific area, praise him for that.
If not, pray earnestly that God will work in his heart, and watch for signs of spiritual growth in the future. 
Journaling Thought: How can you encourage your husband's spiritual growth (without nagging)?
Don't forget to examine your own heart and spiritual growth as well.

Father Daughter

These girls love their daddies.

August 14
Girls and their daddies are a sight to see.  It's been such a joy this summer to watch our sons loving life with their little girls. The other day I found myself sitting alone with a picture of my father and verbally thanked him for all he provided for his children and grandchildren; all the time he invested in us and the example he set on how to live a life pleasing to God.

There are many people who have never had a deep relationship with their earthly father. It's a serious void in people's lives. We have an opportunity to point those people to the reality of a vibrant relationship with their heavenly Father, but also to encourage the godly men in our lives to invest in the life of a fatherless (whether literally or figuratively) individual.

"Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, 
but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord."   
Ephesians 6:4

Day Fourteen Encouraging Your Husband
"The righteous man walks in his integrity." (Prov. 20:7a)
"Every week there are news reports about men who gave in to temptations and

compromised what they said they believed. We hear countless reports about dishonest business dealings, hidden infidelity, and hypocritical leaders. It's so easy to focus on these things and ignore those who are being honest, faithful and genuine. As you continue in the "30-Day Encouragement Challenge," determine to look for ways that your husband stands against the culture.
Is your spouse a man of integrity? Is he fair in his dealings with people? Does he understand the meaning of justice? Is he honest in business? Unhypocritical in his faith? Consider all the ways a man can live in integrity, and praise your husband for one of them.
As you have the opportunityas it is appropriateshare examples of your husband's honesty and integrity with others."

Journaling Thought: Do you stand by your man?  Does he know you appreciate his honesty and integrity? Are you praying regularly for God to equip him to take these stands out in the world?

Encouraging 12-13

Day Twelve
"With all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love."
(Eph. 4:2)
Part of the difficulty you may face as you continue in this 30-day challenge to encourage your husband is that you really are struggling to find positive things to praise. Perhaps the problem is not with your husband. Have you checked your own heart?
Sometimes we get disillusioned because of our own unreasonable or unrealistic expectations 
(Prov. 13:12). It may not be that our mates are doing something wrong; it's simply that we expect too much in some areas.
Our expectations must be met in God alone, and then we will have the right perspective to ask God for the healing and grace we need to respond to others.
How sad that we give more grace to others than to those in our own homes. Today, try to look at your husband through eyes of grace. Verbally thank your husband for what he is already doing.
Journaling Thought:Describe ways God has shown grace to you. Examine ways you can extend that same grace to your husband.

Day Thirteen
I am my beloved's, and his desire is toward me. (Song of Solomon 7:10)
The sexual relationship. It's one of those elements—along with money and children—that can derail a marriage through negative comments. Negativity destroys intimacy, but encouragement builds and strengthens the marriage bond.
Let's get practical here. Is your husband a "good lover?" Have you told him so? Be specific. Let him know when he pleases you. Most husbands genuinely want to please their wives, especially in this important area of marriage.
In moments of intimacy, do you find your mind wandering? This can change as you focus on something wonderful about your husband. Realize that your husband wants intimacy with you . . . 
his desire is toward you.
Does this area of your marriage need some work? Remember that this is a sensitive area for men. 
Be sure to encourage his lovemaking and masculinity in positive ways. 

Journaling Thought:Does your husband feel affirmed by you romantically?