I want to blog today. The problem is that what’s on my mind isn’t terribly interesting and I’m struggling to write about it in such a way that you will want to keep reading.
You’ve been warned.
Last Friday afternoon my mentor and I talked for about two hours. I did a lot of listening. When we said our goodbyes, T said, “I’m sorry. I feel like I’ve rambled and you didn’t get much out of it.”
“Oh, no! You feel like you were rambling, but you said a few key things that I needed to hear. The Lord was definitely controlling our conversation.”
Today I’ve been thinking about one of her statements: Make sure you encourage your husband in those spiritual things you want him to do, but that maybe he isn’t all that strong or confident in doing. That’s not a direct quote, but that’s the gist of it.
She and her husband recently finished doing The Love Dare. One day’s assignment was to share one thing with your spouse that you wish he/she would do. T told me that one of the things that she always wished her husband would do is initiate prayer just for the two of them. “We do a lot of praying separately and with other people,” she said, “but not as a couple.” So on that day, she shared how she would love it if K would pray with her. She said he has prayed with her every single day since then.
She explained to me that she learned a long time ago that when she praises K for doing the things she wants him to do, then he keeps doing them. So, in this case of praying together, she says, “You know, K, I really love it when I hear you pray for me. I feel so protected and loved.” Just that little bit of encouragement makes him feel good and it encourages him to keep doing it without her reminding him or nagging him.
My challenge this week, in addition to our scripture memory work, is to be careful with my mouth and use it to encourage my K in those spiritual things that I want him to do. For instance, we started reading a book (The Bookends of the Christian Life) and using the study guide together, but we haven’t kept it up. Rather than nagging him about it, I need to find a positive way to tell him that I want us to keep reading and talking through this book together without my words sounding rehearsed and canned, forced.
I’m more comfortable with the straight-forward approach. Nuance and hinting only frustrate me. There are two possible outcomes: I won’t say anything for fear of nagging or I’ll get frustrated with dropping hints and trying to verbally encourage him to do what I want without telling him what I want. And then he’ll wonder why I didn’t just tell him what I wanted.
(Insert big sigh here.)
Instead of the usual, “Hey, do you feel like reading together tonight?” I should say, “Hey, I really love to hear you talk about Jesus and what’s going on in your heart. I feel such a deep connection with you.”
Strategic book placement may help, too.
hint, hint, nudge, nudge, say no more