Becoming a steady stream of refreshing encouragement to your spouse

This week has brought some surprising developments as it pertains to my husband and my blog.  He's been visiting everyday.  This week he's been a DIHH (do it himself husband).  Get this: not only has he visited, but he's been coming back sharing how MY WRITING is helping him SPIRITUALLY!  This is BIG sisters!  What a blessing!  His praise of my blog and writing has meant so much to me.  It's reeled me in some more y'all.

Experiencing that got me to thinking about today's topic post: The practice of marriage.  Praise and interest in what our spouse is doing seems fitting for discussion today.

Taking an interest in the things our spouse is involved in or in things that are important to them sends a message way better than just the proclamation that comes from our mouth.  Doing—putting forth an effort to do says, "I love you."  Doing is our proclamation in action.  It is us taking time out of our busy schedule for the one who proclaim is import.  We love.  It's stopping and focusing on the other—that is what says, "You are important to me."

That's what God said to us in deed, isn't it?  The Bible says, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son ..."  God demonstrated His love with action:  He gave.  He did not withhold that which was precious to Him—His best. 

When I was first married, I would give things and do things for my husband only to be disappointed when he didn't react the way I thought he should.  What God began to show me is that I gave and did for him, what I wish he would do and give to me.  I gave based on my needs and desires instead of his.  Eventually, I learned his particular love language and finally began to do and give based on that.

My constant prayer here lately is that I not become a burden of complaint to my husband, but instead become his stream of refreshment... a stream steadily flowing waters of refreshing encouragement to him.

In my marriage 20 years of marriage the Lord has grown me and matured me through our problems.  That to me is a gigantic portion of the practice of marriage and our Christian life—growing, loving and moving forward even though we disagree and have struggles.  Maturity. 

If we're not careful our marriages can lose their initial spark when met with conflict and the daily grind of ordinary life pressures.  You know the ones that come with family life, work life and just living. Life can cause us to loose our tenderness with one another—hindering our efforts of becoming that steady stream of refreshing encouragemnt.  The glance and the touch that use to spark such an emotional flame can be met with "I'm tired" "Not now" "What about the kids?"  And a "don't bother me" attitude.
But...we can renew the lost intimacy (if we have it) and our marriage can become a safe haven for the other by focusing on each others strengths, needs and our commitment to the marriage.  It's a lot of work; therefore, we must purpose in our heart to do this REGARDLESS. 

 It also MUST be taken to God daily.  

God will honor this—prayers like this.  It is His will. 

"The more you invest in marriage, the more valuable it becomes. " ~ Amy Grant


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