The "Completing Him" Marriage Challenge, Week 2
Marriage as an entity unto itself is frequently neglected. It quickly becomes an assumption- one in which I am so confident of the duration of our marriage that I may not be as attentive to the quality of our marriage. How easily marriage can come to the point of simply two individuals co-existing in life. The greatest influence on the quality of marriage is strong character qualities displayed by each individual. Who I am matters beyond anything I do. However, on occasion it's wonderful to make a bit of an extra effort to do something special. Chapter 10 of the Women Living Well book encourages such an effort. Courtney poses five challenges: cook your husband's favorite meal, follow your husband's vision, r-e-s-p-e-c-t, kiss him like you mean it, and assess your marriage.
Perhaps the greatest aspect of this week's challenges was simply that it got us discussing these topics. In marriage, it's so easy to just have surface level conversations about day to day happenings. The deeper discussions can become neglected. Yet, we need those deeper conversations. Each person is constantly evolving and it's so important to maintain connection and intimate knowledge of each other.
Some challenges this week were easier to accomplish than others. In all the challenges, I thoroughly enjoyed the conversations! We sat outside one evening and discussed our visions for our family. It was so pleasant to have that conversation and reaffirm that our visions aligned!
The most fun challenge was the "cook his favorite meal" challenge. We frequently show love through food! I already knew his favorite foods (we cook each other's favorite meal for birthdays). The initial attempt at this challenge was a "fail" on my part (though, I think the fact that we planned for this particular meal was still considered a "win"). His favorite meal is fried chicken. The problem is that I don't fry food, and so he usually takes care of that portion of the meal. So, the plan was for him to fry the chicken and I'd cook the sides. In no time at all though he had the entire meal cooked! It was just easier for him to continue cooking. I may not have made the meal, but I think he still considered the effort a success simply because he got to have his fried chicken! I did make an extra effort to make him one of his favorite desserts another evening. He had a long and hard day at work, and so I thought he'd enjoy coming home to fresh baked cookies. That I can do!
The hardest challenge was the one on "r-e-s-p-e-c-t." I'll admit that this is not a lesson I ever learned too well. I'm still trying to (re)teach myself the definition of this word. Not only do I want my husband to feel respected, but I also want my child to learn how to demonstrate respect by my example. Interestingly, in talking with my husband about this topic I discovered that we have different ideas on what constitutes respect or disrespect. It was so helpful to learn what behaviors/actions where most important to him in regard to this topic. While I'll probably maintain my list as well, I can now also try to focus on the ones he feels are most important.
Another challenge was to "kiss him like you mean it." I'm a believer in showing affection in marriage! I enjoy seeing married couples who still hug and kiss and are generally affectionate with one another. Marriage should show love not co-existence between individuals. So, this challenge wasn't much of a "challenge" for me! I enjoy showing affection and kissing my husband!
The final challenge of "assess your marriage" is one that simply comes naturally to me. I tend to be a rather reflective person, and am in constant "assessment" mode. I'm grateful to be able to say that our marriage is stronger now than it was in the beginning of the year. It took a bit of a hit from the stress and exhaustion of our son's premature arrival and then issues with lactose overload. Phew! We're finally feeling much more settled and enjoying this new season!
Spend time thanking God for the area that was least
difficult for you. Also, ask Him to grant you strength, energy and creativity to work on the area
that is the hardest in your marriage right now.
*Note: Reviving Homemaking is not an affiliate of www.womenlivingwell.org or the publishing companies (Thomas Nelson & HarperCollins Christian Publishing). No compensation has been received by either of these entities for the review of the book. All opinions are my own.
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