One Word That Changed My Marriage {and balanced it for the better}

changed-my-marriageI recently wrote an article about a unique situation I am encountering in my marriage. It has been such a striking experience for me, I wanted to share my discoveries with other wives.  Even with such a short life span of a little over a week, that specific article has become my most popular blog post to-date.  The title may be catching, but my hope is that wives really capture the message I am sharing and the impact a single word can have on marriage.

You can read that article by clicking the title linked here: 

Why I Stopped Saying No To My Husband And Why You Should Too

The one word that has changed my marriage is “No.”  I never realized just how often I tell my husband no.  Whether it is a simple little task or an invitation to cultivate sexual intimacy

I decline, I refuse, I push away, I justify, I just say no…

Most of the time this powerful word slips out quicker than I actually think about the request or invitation. I just respond. I am a busy woman, a busy wife, a busy mom…but sometimes I use my “busy” life to justify why I don’t want to do something.  However, if I am not intentional about balancing my emotions and how I feel from one moment to the next my marriage will suffer…my marriage has suffered.  And if my marriage suffers, so does the whole family.

I never knew the negative impact that word was making on my marriage, until The Lord ask me to stop saying it. Avoiding the word no has been incredibly challenging and extremely difficult. I constantly fail and I am constantly praying for God to transform this part of my heart.

Since my commitment to stop saying no, my husband told me he feels more respected.  I never knew I was disrespecting him.  He also told me he feels like I am much more nice and easier to talk to.  I never knew I was being mean or cold.  He also explained that our overall marriage has seemingly improved as well as our sexual intimacy.  My eyes have been opened.  My heart understands.

I desire to be a “Yes Wife!”  I want to be a wife who supports and helps her husband when he makes requests and I want to be a wife willing to join in the adventure of marriage and the amazing opportunities we have in life.

God has also been showing me how my response towards my husband influences my child.  The more my son matures, the more he will express the behavior he has learned by watching Mommy and Daddy.  My desire for my son is to learn how to use the word no at appropriate times and not just as a response to use towards his parents, his friends, or eventually if he marries, his wife.  I want him to learn the power and love wrapped up in the word YES! Because love does!

Although this has been a difficult area for me to change, I really appreciate the fact God asked me to change.  I value His leadership because it is not only wise, but by intentionally balancing my emotions, my desires, and my responses towards my husband it is tremendously blessing my marriage.  I want to extend the same challenge to you, especially if you are a wife like me that struggles with laziness, selfishness, and hates being inconvenienced.  I challenge you to be a YES WIFE and to bring balance to your marriage by stop saying the word “no” to your husband!  And watch how this one word has the power to change your marriage and balance it for the better!

Ready. Set. Go!

- Jennifer Smith   Unveiledwife.com 

**Also, I invite you to please join me and over 9,000 women as we go through Wife After God together during the month of April! Details can be found HERE!

This post is part of our series Finding Balance as a Busy Mom. 

Please check the series page for all of the posts! 

Finding Balance as a Busy Mom

Utilizing FaceTime To Strengthen Your Family

facetime

My son loves to play out on the front porch. Whenever we exit the big wooden door leading outside, he runs as fast as his little legs can carry him, halting as soon as he reaches the hose.

This particular day was uniquely beautiful.  The weather was cool and breezy.  The colors in the sky and the gold tone from the sunset reflecting off of the neighborhood made everything sparkle.

My son stood with the hose in his hands begging with his big blue eyes for just a little fun with the water.  I didn’t hesitate to turn the old metal nozzle, repeating to myself to remind myself, “righty-tighty, lefty-loosy.” As water began to trickle out of the hose, my son looked up with the biggest smile on his face.

I love witnessing my son discover and experience new things.  I am amazed as I watch him enjoy some of the most simple things in life.  I value that I get to be home with him as his mind is growing and learning. I am privileged to be his mom!

My son’s smile contagiously reflected from my face, as more and more joy was poured out upon the porch. For a second I thought to myself,

I wish his dad could see him now!

Then I remembered I had my phone near me, so I quickly pressed call to FaceTime with him. My husband answered with a huge smile on his face, surprised by our call and blessed to be a part of the fun, even if it was only virtually.

As my husband sat in traffic on his way home from work, he had the opportunity to see what I saw, our boy laughing and playing and growing…moments that pass by all too quickly.

I am thankful for the technology we have access to and how we can utilize it to connect and strengthen our family.  My husband felt honored to be thought of in that moment, affirmed that he too had the opportunity to take part in family fun, especially when he normally couldn’t because of his work schedule.

Something so small can be so significant!

I want to encourage you today to take advantage of the opportunities you have to strengthen your family through FaceTime or other technologies. If your spouse is unable to FaceTime, send a quick photo or video detailing the event through a text or email!  I am sure your thoughtfulness will bless your spouse while connecting your family!

- Jennifer Smith     Unveiledwife.com

What Is Love?

What is Love?Every day I try and tell my husband at least once that I love him.  Whether I say it to him face-to-face, tag him in a social update post, or text him, I make it a point to share those important three words with him.

I feel like telling my husband I love him affirms him and reminds him that I am thinking about him, that I care about him, and that well he is loved.  As much as I am convinced that sharing these words with him are important, I am learning that it is just as important for my actions to back up and support those powerful words.

What exactly is love and how can my actions support my words?

Love is defined as a verb, meaning it is an action word.  Love is something we do.  As a wife, I desire to know all the different ways I can show my husband love.  This means I must know what love is.

As I sought out to discover what love is I did a mini-series including some videos which I shared on my blog.  If you would like to check it out please go here unveiledwife.com/tag/what-is-love

What is Love?

Love is perfectly and eloquently defined in 1 Corinthians 13.  Love is the greatest gift we have to offer our husbands so it is paramount that we are familiar with the depth of this beautiful definition.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” – 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

As wives we need to implement love as a verb and do these things! I highly encourage you to check out the series I mentioned above because I breakdown each part of this definition of love and provide a challenge to help us as wives love our husbands by doing!

If we want to mean what we say with the words “I Love You” our actions must align! When I am intentional about showing my husband I love him, it reinforces the truth of the words I say, and that is what is most affirming for my husband.  I admit there are specific areas that are more difficult for me such as remaining patient in times of stress and not lashing out on my husband.  I am a work in progress and I am continually challenged to fulfill this definition of love in my marriage as I keep these verses close to my heart.

What about you…do you struggle with fulfilling a part of this definition of love?  What is your action plan to intentionally grow in showing your husband you love him?

- Jennifer Smith   Unveiledwife.com

A Cranky Wife’s Life

A Cranky Wife's Life

A cranky wife cannot enjoy her day.

Her insides feel twisted as her mind has a difficult time processing anything except lamenting, “Why me?”  She is quick to get angry and even quicker at responding to her husband or children without thoughtfulness or patience.

Her face remains crinkled up as if disgusted at the way the day is going.  Agitation and irritation sit on either shoulder convincing her of why she should snap back to her loved ones with a lack of kindness that is sure to drive away any inconveniences. A cranky wife pursues self-preservation.  Her posture and her body language reveal her attitude and outlook on life.  She lacks peace and her heart longs for rest.

A cranky wife loses intimacy with her husband.

I know because I have been a cranky wife.  I have seen my husband’s face turn curious as he looks upon his bride who morphed from pleasant to nagging, peaceful to raging, content to disappointed, loving to unkind…wondering to himself, what happened?

The cranky can last only a few seconds or it can trickle into days, months, years.

Why?

Why do we let cranky be ok?

I have allowed my heart to justify why I can let “cranky” come out and rule my life.  In those moments of weakness, I hurt my husband.  I fail to communicate in a gentle way and I hurt my husband.  In an effort to reconcile, yet still affected by my attitude I say, “Sorry, I am just cranky.” (Not really an apology, but more of a justification for my right to act however I want, disregarding those around me.) It hurts my husband.

How can we as wives resolve to not be cranky?

It is a choice of surrendering your flesh.  In those moments where cranky wants to come out and expose how you feel, you have a choice to lay down your justifications, take a deep breath, and ask God to help you be better.

I acknowledge this has been a difficult challenge for me as a wife.  I easily let my circumstances dictate how I feel.  But in my heart I know I have a choice.  I can choose to be better.  My marriage will suffer if I don’t.  I resolve to take a breath in those moments my flesh feels weak.  I resolve to think through my attitudes and actions before lashing out.  And I know that with God’s help I can change this part of my character and be a wife who does not allow cranky to rule.

Will you join me?

- Jennifer Smith    Unveiledwife.com 

photo credit: unveiledwife

This post is part of the month-long challenge From Grouchy…To Great.  Please check the series page for all of the posts! 

From Grouchy…To Great

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