The conversation that changed our marriage

Last week my husband, Bobby, sat me down for one of the most encouraging conversations we have ever had in our marriage life.

He took time to list out every single reason why I was awesome.

I am sharing this now not because I want to puff myself up, but because of the soothing nature of this conversation. His words made me feel loved during a time of hard healing.

Here’s a little background of our marriage. Maybe you can relate.

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We both are a bit prone to focus on the negatives of our marriage. For myself, I focus on how I can be improving. I beat myself up a lot. I know I don’t deserve grace, but instead of feeling thankful for God’s grace, I feel miserable.  I can stay there feeling that way for days as my pride takes sinful cuts at my heart. I shouldn’t be so sinful, but I am. I should be a better wife, a better mom, a better writer, a better whatever.

Bobby gets focused on what he does right and feels bitter when I don’t praise or appreciate him enough for what he does. He also focuses on what he could do better but because he wants to avoid conflict with me. Peace in our marriage becomes an idol and if it’s disrupted, I’m the one to blame.

So during a session with his accountability partner, his friend asked what we were both doing right in our marriage. Bobby had very concrete examples about what he was doing right, like making sure to lend a helping hand last Sunday when the day was falling apart. But when he answered the same question about me, he just had abstract ideas like that I’m encouraging, that I honor him. He knew I was doing things according to what I’m called to as a wife, but he felt convicted that he was just overlooking them.

When Bobby came home after the time with his accountability partner and said, “We needed to have a conversation about your awesomeness,” I nearly fell out of my chair.

After dinner while the children played happily in their room, we sat in the kitchen despite unwashed dishes piling up in our sink. He gave me reason after reason why, by the grace of God, I was succeeding as both a wife and a mother.

He told me I was an encouraging person, to him and to others through my blog. He said I convicted him with how I honored and esteemed him in a way he had never seen another wife fawn over her husband. He loves how I hold him accountable as a leader in intentionality for our family’s spiritual growth and being an extension of his ministry. In my biggest struggle, being a mom, he assured me I was a great mother, that he wished he had been gifted a mother who loved as fiercely as me.

He also pointed out ways I’ve changed, that I’ve grown in patience and kindness, especially when we are facing a daily trail or having an argument. He was in awe of how easily I made connections with anyone and everyone in order to make an impact in people’s lives.

What resonates in my ears is that he said I fight for our marriage.

What was the aftermath?

I cried; he cried. We rejoiced together. He rocked my world in showering me with his observations of how God was at work in me, changing me.

I keep a prayer journal and can go through and read answered prayers, seeing my sanctification through the written word, but to hear this coming from the man I admire and love the most has had significant impact on how I view myself in Christ.

I’m not the only one who sees my change. And isn’t it often the case that your spouse takes the longest to really see the changes that are happening within you?

I would so encourage you to sit down with your spouse and talk about why you find him or her awesome.

Avoid using that time to blame or bring up areas where you feel there should still be growth.

Don’t wait for a date night.

Make this conversation a priority to have with your spouse in the midst of their normal routines, before bedtime, after dinner, or even while making dinner. It’ll be unexpected.

Also, go in prepared to lavish love.

You can’t go wrong here. I don’t mean to say be untruthful or falsely compliment, but my husband succeeded in genuineness by using specific examples of my sacrifices and love.

This conversation may be full of the most needed words for your spouse’s week.

Now read this: How do I pray for my wife?

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