Do you remember when the big Christian movie came out? It was called "Fireproof". Everyone was all behind their challenge to "fireproof" your marriage. It was a wonderful movie and what an incredible back story. Working on your marriage every day for 30 days. Seeing what God can do in just 30 days of loving your spouse.
Well I decided to do the challenge. At that point in our marriage things weren't shaky but they weren't as good as they are now. I was so excited about this challenge until I read the first day:
Don't put down your spouse.
"Love Dare Day #1
The first part of this dare is fairly simple. Although love is communicated in a number of ways, our words often reflect the condition of our heart. For the next day, resolve to demonstrated patience and to say nothing negative to your spouse at all. If the temptation arises, choose not to say anything. It's better to hold your tongue than to say something you will regret.
Did anything happen today to cause anger towards your mate? Were you tempted to think disapproving thoughts and to let them come out in words?"
I thought, dang, that's so easy! Who would have thought that *this* would be hard? I mean come on, just say nice things right?
Well... that evening we had our C&C group over from church. And it's not that we "bad talk" our friends but sometime when we play games we get a little edgy. I had to bite my tongue so hard to not say anything bad about Arnold. I couldn't think of good things. It was horrible.
I wrote some examples in my journal for that time. They were things that bothered me from the night where I had to be careful to not say anything mean to him.
As you can see they weren't really bad examples but it got me worried. If it was so hard to hold my tongue for the 3 hours our friends were over does that mean that it's hard for me on a daily basis?
The C&C group had finished watching a movie and were going to play a game. I started looking around for my diet coke and I asked DH if he knew where it was and he said I finished it. I said ok! He goes did you want your THIRD? With this tone. I said nope I'm just fine. He goes Good! Everyone was like... woooh. Normally we 'get snarky' or something but not today. It was kinda weird.
Another example was that the boys were in bed and I was getting worried he was coughing so much. I asked Arnold to go and check on him and he said no. I bit my tongue and then about 10 minutes later a few the other people asked if he was ok. Arnold finally went to check on him. It really bothered me that he didn't do it when I asked.
Things have improved a lot in the past 4 years (this was 2009 we did this). We have learned to communicate. I know how to explain how I'm feeling without putting him down in the process. I've learned to leave things in the past and not use them as "amo" for the next fight. And most of all I've learned that God can help me do these things.
So readers :) When you are talking to your hubby try to use encouraging phrases for them. I find that a bit of encouragement goes far. VERY far!