Intentional Encouragement

June 25, 2012 at 7:04 am 12 comments

 My husband Craig has a very stressful job at home and at the office.

At home, he leads me along with our 5 kids, 2 dogs and 1 cat. He is our spiritual leader, master accountant, comic relief, bread-winner, confidant, and referee….. and he is all these things remotely most of the time as he travels almost every single week for his career.

At work, he is by title the Vice President of Sales for half the region for a leading Mortgage Company. His mom boasted to other family members that his job title was “VIce President of the Nation” and we all got a kick out of that because in our minds, he really is VP of “our” nation, right beside our Lord.

He also has been going to school to complete his Masters of Divinity, he teaches the K-1st graders at church Sunday mornings, and he makes the time to update his blog with different ways to encourage fellow Men of God in their walk with the Lord and in being a better husband.

It would be hard enough for most men to do that while coming home to their wife and kids every night. However, Craig spends most of his nights alone in various hotels rooms with no one to hug and kiss him goodnight.

If I choose not to intentionally encourage my husband, who will? How long could he keep up this pace if I am not supportive and positive in our interactions? God mandates us to encourage and strengthen those around us throughout scripture and I owe it to my hard-working husband to make him feel so treasured and valued in all aspects of his life.

Job 16:5

But my mouth would encourage you; comfort from my lips would bring you relief.

Acts 15:32

Judas and Silas, who themselves were prophets, said much to encourage and strengthen the brothers.

Romans 12:8

If it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.

Romans 15:4

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

Ephesians 6:22

I am sending him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are, and that he may encourage you.

1 Thessalonians 5:11

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:14

And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone.

Titus 2:6

Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled

Titus 2:15

These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.

Philemon 1:7

Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints.

For a long time I was so wrapped up in “poor me” mode because my husband was gone all the time that I was not encouraging him in much of anything as I was so focused on how hard my life was. I felt so far away from him and we were not happy. I began to pray for him, intentionally, every single day. Everyday I prayed for specific aspect of his life and our life together and it filled my heart with so much love and appreciation for him and all he sacrifices for our family, I couldn’t help but begin to focus on making his life easier and serve him. God showed me how much harder I was making life for him and for our family by not encouraging him through his busy days and lifting him up with encouraging words and helping him feel so unconditionally loved.

I have to think outside the box to do this some days with him being gone, but it is worth it and our relationship is now stronger than ever.

Ladies, our words are so powerful in either edifying or wounding our husbands. If we all just focused on that one specific way to encourage our men in their days and in their walk, we will have happier homes, more fulfilled marriages, and we will be confident in how we are honoring our Lord by serving the mate God so intentionally brought into our lives to complete us.

I challenge you as you go throughout your week this week to intentionally only speak in a positive way to your husband. If you normally do this, take it to the next level and praise him in front of others! Even if it is your waitress as you are having dinner together…. let her know that you are blessed with the most amazing man in the world as your husband. Don;t be afraid to think outside the box and be ready to see positive changes in your relationship! Please share with me any challenges you might have with this…… and be sure to share your successes!

Craig has a strong message for husbands here: http://adversusmundi.wordpress.com/2012/06/25/words-of-affirmation-why-the-struggle/

My dear friend Robin Packer has written a wonderful guest post for Girlfriends Coffee Hour today about the power of words. Please read it here: http://girlfriendscoffeehour.com/2012/06/25/understanding-the-power-of-our-tongues/

I would be honored to pray for you….

Dear Lord, help us as a community of strong, Christian women come together and lift each other up and encourage one another in how we intentionally encourage our husbands. Help us to hold each other accountable in a loving way in this area so that we can be doing our best to honor our spouse and in turn honoring You. Thank you for the inspiration in Your Word to make this a priority and give us all the strength we need to be victorious in this task this week. Help us to not say a word if we are tempted to be discouraging at all and give up Your words of love and affirmation that You would love for us to speak. May You get all the glory, Lord! Thank you this and every provision as we vow to boldly love on our husbands in a most intentional way. In Jesus’ name, amen ❤

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Intentional Encouragement: Friendship Edition

12 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Christi Wilson: Founder, Girlfriends Coffee Hour  |  June 25, 2012 at 8:12 am

    In the first few years of our marriage, I was very guilty of constantly telling my husband everything that he was doing wrong….very seldom did I tell him what he was doing right as a father, husband, and more! One day during the heat of one of our arguments, he shouted out to me, “Why should I even try anymore!! It will never be good enough for YOU, anyway!!” Wow!!! Talk about an eye-opener! That hit me so hard!! I realized suddenly what I was doing to him with my words….I was tearing him down, bit by bit, word by word. I was breaking his spirit! I cried so hard that day when he said that to me. Not because of what he said, but because I realized how harmful my words had been to him, and how sorry I felt!! I asked for his forgiveness that day, and have done my best to build him up and encourage him, daily!!! I tell everyone today, just how much I love him and what a GREAT husband he is!! I tell HIM daily just how much I love him, and appreciate him!! I have seen an amazing difference in my husband! He has his confidence back again! There are still areas that I need to work on to help him be even more confident, and I am working on that. Together with God’s grace, and my husbands forgiveness, we’re getting there!! AMEN!

    Excellent scriptures you have referenced here, Megan! I enjoyed reading yours and Robin’s posts today….now I’m off to read to Craig’s!! 🙂

    Reply
    • 2. megansmidt  |  June 25, 2012 at 8:27 am

      Thank you for sharing, Christi… as this is a struggle many women (and men) face. Thank God we can repent and change our actions to be our best every day forward! I hope you enjoyed Craig’s blog too……. I hope the Lord leads many men to read it and feel encouraged to lift up their wives as often as they can 🙂

      Reply
  • 3. Cynda  |  June 25, 2012 at 9:07 am

    Thanks Megan! I am going to accept your challenge. Christi, I was a lot like you. Now I try to watch what I say & not be negative. But sometimes body language speaks louder than watching what I say. So I also try to watch my attitude as well. It is slow going. Thanks again

    Reply
    • 4. megansmidt  |  June 25, 2012 at 9:09 am

      Praying for you Cynda!!!! Please let me know how it goes 🙂

      Reply
  • 5. Edwina Botha Howard  |  June 25, 2012 at 9:48 am

    Girlfriends, my husband told me last week that I have double standards. I expect certain things from him and then I do something totally different. I had to adjust my attitude there and then. I have been intentional about what I say and how I say it.
    I grew up in a matriarchial household, my mother has been married three times and all three husbands died. My mother was 6 months pregnant with me when my father died, her second husband. Although a christian, the words that come out of her mouth are very negative and hurtful. This rubbed off on me, but I praise God for opening my eyes through these wonderful teachings and life lessons from friends like you girls.

    Reply
    • 6. megansmidt  |  June 25, 2012 at 12:02 pm

      Bless you, Edwina!!!! Know that you will not only be making a difference for your family now, but also the many generations to come! Praise God and may He get all the glory!!! ❤

      Reply
  • 7. robinjp7  |  June 25, 2012 at 10:38 am

    I love this Megan!! There was a time when my Gorgeous Hubby told me that he felt he couldn’t do anything right in my eyes, that he shouldn’t even try anymore. I thought about the things I’d been telling him, and the Holy Spirit brought more things to my mind that I had to repent for. Now I enjoy telling him how much I love him, I encourage him in whatever he’s doing, I ask him if there is anything I can do to make things easier for him, etc. I’m so grateful to God for blessing me with my amazing man and I want to show it. Thank you for the reminder Mrs. Craig, great post!

    Reply
    • 8. megansmidt  |  June 25, 2012 at 12:04 pm

      LOL!!!! It’s not very often I get called “Mrs. Craig”… he is usually Mr. Megan! LOL!!! I love it, Robin, and I stand with you in agreement that God has blessed you in an extravagant way by giving you GH!!!! Love you, girl, and I am praying for the Lord to continue to guide your tongue for His glory!!! 🙂

      Reply
  • 9. Michelle D. Valentine  |  June 25, 2012 at 11:24 am

    Megan, I so enjoy reading your blog. You are an inspiration to me, and a strong Christian example. My hubby is gone alot too. and through your blog and messages I can see ways that I have errored & need to repent and ask forgiveness for–things that I otherwise wouldn’t see. And I see ways that I hadn’t thought of to encourage him while he is away. Learning to be positive has been something that I have been working on but can still improve. Sometimes I find it myself recalling the past and not able to look at things positively. In that aspect I think I need to go back over the forgiveness part and the letting go part. Not speaking forth negativity as part of our present or future. Leaving it in the past where it belongs. Praying for him daily is another area that I need to improve in. I am truly grateful that God has led me to such a christian example that I have found in you, Christi, Robyn and so many others to name. Ty for doing what you do… 🙂

    Reply
    • 10. megansmidt  |  June 25, 2012 at 12:06 pm

      It is so hard to have your partner gone so much….. and it is easy to play the victim! The problem with that is that it only hurts everyone, including you. Bless you for taking a stand against this and know that I am always here for you! You encourage me too, dear one… we are all in this together! 🙂

      Reply
  • 11. Carol Torno Costello  |  June 25, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    Megan, I loved your blog! I especially loved your prayer today! I’ve reread it several times–it fits so perfectly! Thank you for putting your voice to words I needed to hear! Big Love!

    Reply
    • 12. megansmidt  |  June 25, 2012 at 1:57 pm

      Thank you for reading, Carol and it makes me so happy that my prayer spoke to your heart ❤ have an amazing day!!!!! 🙂

      Reply

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