Editor’s Note: During the month of November, we are going to learn how to build healthy, Godly relationships. Whether it is with yourself, your spouse, your family, your friends, your co-workers, who we surround ourselves with matters! Relationships can be life-giving and sometimes not. Looking to the Word gives us clear direction and instruction on how to foster healthy relationships. Enjoy reading these just in time for the holidays! This is a re-post from 2 years ago.
My husband asked me to go hunting with him a few months ago and I said, “Sure, sounds like an adventure.”
Ladies, be sure you get all details before you agree to go on a hunting trip.
Turns out, we hunted for 5 days. Like hardcore hunting in the MOUTAINS. Hello! Of course you are going to have to hike, JuLea!!! We woke up at 4:15 and didn’t return back to the cabin until after dark. It was COLD…16 degrees cold and snowing. I opted out one morning when it was 2 degrees… did you get that???!!! 2 DEGREES!! I told them to come back for me when it was at least double digits. I bought a cute backpack before we went, not knowing that by the time I had packed all of my necessities for the day would weigh over 40 pounds. It consisted of: water, Gatorade, sandwich, chips, granola bar and bullets (that I never even used). In addition, I carried a 12-pound rifle, 3-pound binoculars, and a blanket strapped to the top of my pack. I was a sight to be seen!
What had I gotten myself into???
One evening, I became quite nervous. We had hunted all day. I was tired, and it was quitting time. We had just hiked to the top of a double black diamond. If you are skier, you know what that means. We were 2.5 miles away from our pickup, and the sun was setting. So, down the black diamond we went. After about 20 minutes, I knew we still had at least about 1.5 miles to go and it was completely dark. Everything looked the same. I couldn’t have retraced my steps if my life depended on it.
Every step into the dark was unknown. Luckily, we had a guide who knew those mountains like the back of his hand.
And it reminded me, sometimes we are in uncharted territory in life, or so it seems, but our Father knows exactly where we’re at. He knows our next step. He’s the one who created the mountains! And with confidence He leads us through the mountains to our destination – just like our guide.
Things may feel way off. You may be nervous. You may feel like you’re on the wrong path. But take heart, He has overcome the world! Scripture says in many places that He is guiding your every step. Proverbs 16:9 – The Lord will establish your steps. Isaiah 58:11 – The Lord will guide you always. Friend, He knows what He is doing! He knows exactly where that dark trail leads to. Choose to be brave in those moments of uncertainty. He will always get you to the other side if you keep walking. He cares about you. We are of such high value to Him!
Back to the hunting trip…my husband was so excited that I said “yes.” He was proud that I was hunting with him. And you know what? Every cold moment was worth it to see him happy. Once we were at the top of the double black diamond mountain, it was amazing to watch the beauty of creation from a couple thousand yards away. Hours of peaceful sitting became filled with prayer and quiet time. But the greatest reward was the time I got to invest with my husband.
Flowers won’t grow if you don’t water them.
Your relationship with your spouse won’t grow if you don’t water it either.
Figure out things you and your spouse like to do together and do those things! Make time. Do the things you don’t like to do that your husband does and see what happens. A couple of years ago I stumbled across the “30 Day Husband Encouragement Challenge.” Every day you encourage your husband in a different way. Some days the encouragement was subtle and went unnoticed, other days it was apparent. Some days I would forget and so will you. But, it will become part of who you if you stick it out. Eventually Brent caught on and he started returning the encouragement!
I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone. Be intentional about showing him physically, emotionally and spiritually that you care about him. I would encourage you to do your own 30-Day Husband Challenge and keep track of what God does in your marriage. Here are some examples straight from the challenge of what you can and can’t do for 30 days:
- You can’t say anything negative about your husband… to your husband… or to anyone else, about your husband.
- Say something you admire to your husband or to anyone else, about your husband.
- Let him know you appreciate him and his hard work every day. Tell him you respect him.
- Praise your husband for a character quality that you see in him. Build up that man of yours!
- Appreciate your husband’s faithfulness to you.
- Praise your husband’s faithfulness to God.
- Ask your husband questions – hear the heart of your husband. Get to know him. LISTEN, women! Quit talking.
- Tell your husband how handsome he is.
- Submit to his authority. God’s perfect design.
- Let your husband know when he pleases you and help him navigate through those unknowns.
- Encourage his love making and masculinity.
- Verbally let him know you are proud of him.
- Don’t focus on his faults. Make a list and focus on his strengths. Draw those out in him.
I leave you with the most important thing you can do for your husband: Pray for him. Pray for him. Pray for him. Have fun encouraging him and in return, enjoy the intimacy this will bring to your relationship!
Oh, I almost forgot. My husband got a nice muley buck on the last hour of the last morning of the hunt. BAM!
We would like to thank JuLea Bouma for writing this post.