A little about our family
My husband is a Youth Pastor, and I am a full-time mom to our 2-month-old daughter, Penelope. We both have a passion for young people and pray that our family and our lives can be a living testimony to others. I’ve been married to my husband for almost 16-months. It’s not a long time, and I don’t know a lot, but I thought I’d share a little bit of what I have been learning lately through our marriage.
My 5-day experiment
A few days ago my husband and I were reading our couples devotional together. This particular devotion was about serving your spouse each day, and asking yourself “what can I do to love my spouse like they have never been loved before?” A few hours later I realized that I needed to be asking myself that daily, if not hourly. I decided that I would commit the next 5-days to seeking ways to totally and completely love my husband selflessly. I felt 5-days were manageable. This “experiment” would be exhausting, because I planned to watch myself, my actions, my tongue, and my thoughts virtually every moment of the day. At the end, I would reflect on my experiment and see what God had revealed to me about areas that need to be changed.
My marriage wasn’t perfect the past 5-days. Nope, not even close. But, I saw some areas that I really need to change, and also experienced some beautiful moments with my husband. Many times my husband commented that “today was a great day”, or something to that effect. He had no clue, no clue at all, how hard I was praying and watching myself. But, he saw the difference it made in our marriage and our time together.
My words: My tongue is powerful and I can use it to lift up or to tear down. That’s for sure. I noticed that there are moments when I’m exhausted, or just irritated, and I can say some unkind or unhelpful things to my husband. Sometimes what I’m saying can be truthful, just not expressed correctly. Sometimes I can be overly emotional and say things that are completely unfair and outrageous, like, “you never help me!!” (can anyone relate to that one??)
My heart: The more I prayed for my husband, myself, and our marriage, the more that I saw my heart changing. I wanted to serve, I wanted to care for, I wanted to encourage. Even though it was exhausting, I found myself actively seeking out ways to be a loving wife to my husband.
Our daughter: During this time I was also caring for our daughter, but being a loving mother can often translate into being a loving wife. I saw my husband’s respect and love for me grow as I sought out more ways to care for and love our daughter.
Loving myself: Women tend to neglect themselves…a lot. During these past 5-days I have realized that taking care of myself means I’m also taking care of my husband. I got a haircut, dyed my hair, spent more time reading and doing things on my own, and bought a few dresses that actually fit me. In the end, my husband was able to enjoy me as I enjoyed myself!
Changing the tone of your home: During this experiment I noticed a shift in the “tone” of our home. It was more pleasant and relaxed. I found I enjoyed myself more, and had more energy. By simply seeking ways to love my husband it seems that everybody benefited. My husband was happy. I was happy making my husband happy, and seeing him trying to serve me more too. If my daughter were a bit older I can guarantee she would have noticed the change too!
Was this really a five-day experiment? No. I called it that so I would not be daunted by the task of seriously evaluating my family, and what I could be doing to selflessly serve them. So many times we say, “I wish my husband/wife would just _______.” Instead of wishing our spouse would change, why don’t we look at ourselves and set a new tone for our marriage. By diligently seeking ways to affirm, love, encourage, and appreciate my husband I also saw him begin to do the same for me. It’s a cycle that keeps on giving. Instead of looking at what we can get from our spouse, we need to ask ourselves what we can give. That was the greatest lesson of all.