Nancy Leigh DeMoss has a one-page article in the Spring 2010 issue of Life Action Ministries Revive magazine that recently caught my attention. She called it The 30-Day Husband Encouragement Challenge.
She leads with Proverbs 31:12 which says that the virtuous wife does her husband good, and not harm, all the days of her life. One way to do that, Demoss argues, is through encouragement.
She issues this two-part challenge:
- For the next 30 days, commit to say nothing negative about your husband–not to him, and not to anyone else about him.
- Every day for the next 30 days, tell your husband something that you appreciate about him; then tell someone else about it.
Among the numerous responses from women who have taken the challenge illustrating the power of affirmation of encouragement was this one:
This hasn’t been easy going for me. There’s a lot of hurt and anger and resentment toward my husband to overcome. But you have encouraged me to remember why I fell in love with this guy, what was so special about him. You’ve given me hope for my marriage. I may not be able to change my husband, but I can change m heart and attitude toward him with God’s help. My husband is talking to me more–really talking from his heart. We still have a long way to go, but it is working. Every day gets a little easier, and some of that anger and resentment is fading away. I married a great man. I have just forgotten to nurture him in the day-to-day busyness of our lives. I love my husband (emphasis added).
It seems to me that the challenge can certainly cut both ways. Husbands may very well need to take on the same commitment toward their wives.
Perhaps this is something of what Paul means when he writes in Romans 12:21, Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Does God want you to take the 30-day spouse challenge?