Well, I won’t lie, I’m glad to see the beginning of a new week! Are you? For the next two weeks, we’re going to focus on the most important person/people in our lives. If you’re married, it’s your husband. If you’re not, you know who that person is – a flatmate, roomie, parent or someone else important or close to you.

 

“Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.”

Proverbs 31:11-12

 

Here is your challenge!

 

CHALLENGE 4

Married Women

In her book, God’s Wisdom for a Woman’s LifeElizabeth George speaks about ten principles for a wife. They are the following. (I have added my thoughts to hers here.) 

1. Work as a team – God has created us to be a team and not to function independently of each other. Team work means give and take and serving each other.

2. Learn to communicate – learn the best time, choose the best tone and choose words that are gentle, kind and loving in order not to stir up dissension between the two of you.

3. Enjoy intimacy – This is often a hard topic for married women. Yes, God designed making love to be enjoyable for both partners but love and marriage is also about sacrifice and giving. 1 Corinthians 7:5 talks about not being apart from one another for long otherwise Satan will tempt us and drive a wedge between us. 1 Corinthians 7:3-4 commands us to fulfill our “marital duties” to one another because our bodies are not our own. Enough said! I think you know where I’m going with this.

4. Manage money – Be content in the Lord with what you have. Practise patience. Trust the Lord. Communicate well. Grow in your understanding of budgeting and money management. Give to the Lord and others. 

5. Keep the home – your home shows your care and character. Is it a welcoming place for family and visitors or is it chaos and a place of stress? Does it show that you don’t care? (Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t need to be immaculate but it can be well-looked after even though it looks “lived in”.

6. Raise your children – Communicate with your spouse and BE ON THE SAME PAGE. As a teacher, I CANNOT stress this enough!! I see how families divide on this issue and how it not only causes confused and manipulative children but it also drives a wedge between parents. Know what the Bible says (you can’t argue with God’s word!!) and come up with a plan on our to raise your children. Where possible, don’t make decisions regarding methods without one another. (I have phoned my husband at work before and asked his advice on a discipline issue.) We are commanded to train our children in the way they should go (Proverbs 22:6). The Bible also says that children are known by their actions if their conduct is pure and right (Proverbs 20:11). Sobering right?

7. Make time for fun – make, yes, make the time to have fun together. Even if your interests differ, do something together in the same room. Make time to do what interests your husband. Do things you both enjoy. Google dates (The Dating Divas is a great website). Make time to go away together.

8. Serve the Lord – focus on bettering and encouraging others and serving the Lord together. What can you do over and above your regular duties or services at church? How can you help and lift up those around you?

9. Reach out to others – This may sound similar to the above but take it a step further. Open up your home and heart to show the love of Christ to those around you.

10. Grow in the Lord – pay attention to your spiritual growth because it permeates every aspect of your life! If you are growing spiritually, you will be a lot more Christ-like and handle situations and people with more patience, wisdom, love and understanding.

 

Overwhelming list, right?!? Write down these principles on the back the paper with your verse and look at them often so they are in your mind. Zone in on one or two in particular that you are especially lousy at and determine to put steps in place this week to make a difference to that one area, no matter how small! Write down the changes you want to make, put them into your schedule and ask your mentor to keep you accountable to those changes. Baby steps, ladies…baby steps.

 

If You’re Not Married

We’re going to take the same verse in Proverbs 31 and focus on the “brings good not harm” part. Think about the significant and important person/people in your life. What can you do this week to bring that person good and not harm? Many of the points above can apply to the person in your life, especially if you are living with other people!

 

1. Work as a team – God has called us to love and serve others. How can you work together to make life happier for both of you instead of causing dissension?

2. Learn to communicate – learn the best time, choose the best tone and choose words that are gentle, kind and loving in order not to stir up hurt and anger between the two of you.

3. Manage money – If you have to contribute to the household in which you’re living because you’re not on your own, make sure you are a responsible and reliable person financially. Pay your bit on time. Be content in the Lord with what you have. Practise patience. Trust the Lord. Communicate well. Grow in your understanding of budgeting and money management. Give to the Lord and others. 

4. Keep the home – your home shows your care and character. Is it a welcoming place for visitors and/or the people you live with or is it chaos and a place of stress? Does it show that you don’t care? Are you being a burden on those you live with because you don’t do your part of the upkeep or you don’t take the pride that they do in keeping the house a pleasant place for all? (Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t need to be immaculate but it can be well-looked after even though it looks “lived in”.) 

7. Make time for fun – make, yes, make the time to have fun together. Even if your interests differ, do something together in the same room. Make time to do what interests your the other person/people. Do things you both enjoy. Google fun activities to do together.

8. Serve the Lord – focus on bettering and encouraging others and serving the Lord. What can you do over and above your regular duties or services at church? How can you help and lift up those around you?

9. Reach out to others – This may sound similar to the above but take it a step further. Open up your home and heart to show the love of Christ to those around you.

10. Grow in the Lord – pay attention to your spiritual growth because it permeates every aspect of your life! If you are growing spiritually, you will be a lot more Christ-like and handle situations and people with more patience, wisdom, love and understanding.

 

Overwhelming list, right?!? Write down these principles on the back the paper with your verse and look at them often so they are in your mind. Zone in on one or two in particular that you are especially lousy at and determine to put steps in place this week to make a difference to that one area, no matter how small! Write down the changes you want to make, put them into your schedule and ask your mentor to keep you accountable to those changes. Baby steps, ladies…baby steps.

 

Monday:

Yes, ladies. A lot of these days lately, I have failed! Today I started off pretty well but didn’t end up serving those in my life quite as I should have. Firstly I didn’t write down how I could serve them. I did go to see my husband at work in case he didn’t see my daughter before she went to sleep but I got there well after I said I’d be there only to realise that he had an appointment not long after I arrived. Wife fail! But I did go…

I took my daughter to the park with all our friends but the other thing was to get her to bed early because she had an early nap. Failed! That didn’t happen! (Her daddy saw her again partly because of my tardiness but I whined when he walked through the door making it a great welcome-home for him!) I did nothing for others and the home today other than the usual. And I didn’t get this post up so you could start the week with the new challenge! I did none of the above today, SO we’ll all just start tomorrow, shall we?

In all honesty, it wasn’t a bad day. I just didn’t do things as I’ve been challenging you all to do them. But anyway…we knew these days would happen, right? (Sadly in succession for me the last week!)

Praise God for the gift of new days to start again! Here’s to a new week…starting tomorrow!

 

Tuesday:

What a lovely day! My house was clean early on, the washing was done and hanging up and I actually turned to my daughter, asked her if she wanted to have tea and, if I recall correctly, I may have even asked her what she wanted to do! I did pretty much everything on my list. I wrote out the 10 principles (although I could have reviewed them more regularly) and I zoned in on three areas that need work. Although I didn’t write down specific ways to change nor contacted my mentor about them or wrote them down, I have made a change in one area, possibly another and will continue to think of ways to improve my three areas tomorrow.

My husband has just arrived home from having coffee with a friend and wants to get an early night. So, in order to honour him, goodnight all!

 

Wednesday and Thursday:

I don’t know how many more failed days you want to read about?!? These two days have probably been the worst! I have had good intentions that have amounted to nothing! I have done little more than write down things I could do in the 3 principles (my areas of weakness) that I want to target. No action taken on any. No prayer time for the last two days! The last two days I’ve been running from one thing to the next with no time to breathe in between. So basically all there is to tell you is that I have failed, failed, failed and done nothing! I am about to try and pray now…

 

WEEKEND CHALLENGE

If You’re Married

Right, time to get a little more practical! Today, plan something that you can do to treat your husband this weekend and show him that you appreciate him. How can you be kind and encourage him? How can you show him that you value him. Resist complaining and naggingPray for him today and tell him you did. 

Write out this acrostic and put it on your mirror or next to the loo or above the kitchen sink and review it regularly.

M – Make your marriage a priority

A – Ask God for wisdom

R – Respect and honour your husband

R – Realise marriage is a book with many “chapters”

I – Invest large amounts of time in your marriage

A – Adhere to God’s keys to communication (Proverbs 10:19, 15:1, 16:21, 16:24, James 1:19)

G – Grow in your understanding of your role as a wife

E – Enjoy your mate and God’s gift of marriage

 

If You’re Not Married

Find a way to show that important person/people in your life that you appreciate and value them. Today, plan something that you can do to treat that person this weekend. How can you be kind and encourage him/her? Resist complaining and naggingPray for him/her today and tell him/her you did. 

 

Have a super weekend, ladies!

 

Friday (posted on Saturday):

So yesterday I took the day easy. My daughter has picked up a cold and we had a shocker of a night on Thursday! A child with a blocked nose who decided it was time to drink milk and read books at 3am (we didn’t indulge her!) and gun shots in the area – this resulted in all of us sleeping in the same room – great recipe for a good night’s sleep! I pottered around the house and did precious little apart from a clean. While my daughter slept, I tried to finish my quiet time. My husband arrived home early and, as we both lay down to catch some shut-eye, my daughter woke up at least 45 mins earlier than we expected! So much for time to rest and spending time together!

Yesterday was a hard day to practise loving my husband. I saw him for maybe 40 minutes before my daughter woke up. He read his Bible and the latter time was spent trying to sleep. We then went to a gynae check-up and from there, he went back to school for an all-night LAN (part of his job description). I managed to sneak a note into his closed laptop – something he hasn’t mentioned so I’m not sure he got it…

Two of my areas to work on are learning to communicate and managing money. So far this week, and both not linked to the challenge, my husband and I had a really good conversation and I feel like I’ve managed money well. But, ironically, the month I stick to a budget, I lose cash twice! So, not sure if that’s a strike against me?

I haven’t written out the marriage acrostic yet, but plan to later on today. Chat later!

 

Saturday and Sunday:

This weekend has been a bit of an emotional roller coaster! Yesterday, we spent the day doing things around the house that have been waiting for months to be done – well, my husband more so than myself. I cleaned things that I’ve been meaning to do for ages and can finally say that this house is ready for the arrival of a new baby. But…my family were not my priority yesterday…it was getting stuff done! I am ashamed at how I spoke to my husband and y daughter. Then, the power went out as we were making dinner. I must be honest, it was the first time in a while that I haven’t lost my head when we’ve lost electricity. Thank goodness dinner could be transferred to the gas Cadac! My husband and I were too exhausted to do anything last night after our daughter went to bed so we lay on the bed, spoke about baby names (our communication for the day!!) and then went to bed early.

 

Today (Sunday), I have to confess that I woke up grumpy! The power was still out and the contents of my freezer I assumed were defrosting! The thought of losing all that precious food or questioning whether to feed it to my family and my pregnant self made me despair! I got up early to pray only to have my daughter cry in her room while I tried to talk to the Lord, howling for me before the time she’s allowed to get up. I resigned myself to the fact that I’d probably get no where in my prayers but I also realised that I needed to pray because my heart was fearful, distrusting and overflowing with self-pity! I certainly could have set a really bad “temperature” for my household. But, praise the Lord, church was a good distraction as my husband and I took the teens again and had a Q & A about porn, sex and modesty. I felt a lot better after that. My husband had also taken the contents of our fridge and freezer to work so that worry disappeared. And, praise God nothing had really defrosted! I had nothing to worry about! Not even the ice had melted! The power of prayer, guys, the power of prayer!

As for what I’ve done to show my husband I love him…working on it! I still have the evening…thank goodness! But like I say, crazy weekend! I did go to my daughter so he could sleep a bit this afternoon, but I need to do something else…will let you know tomorrow what I did! He has the day off! Yay!! He took my daughter to the park so I had some time to myself in which I tidied the house instead of blobbing on my bed. Hope that counts for something…

Get ready for a new challenge tomorrow…

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