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Thursday, August 8, 2013

THE RELATIONSHIP CHALLENGE. [Day 8]

*PLEASE NOTE: This blog is intended for a mature audience. It does contain some sexual content. It is directed towards adults in a mature relationship. 

I saw this on Pinterest yesterday and of course, it has inspired me. 

You might remember that I wrote about husbands and wives the other day in my daily devotional, but I wanted to take things a step further today and not just talk about things, but actually DO something.

According to the American Psychological Association, about 40 to 50 percent of married couples in the United States divorce. (APA) Can you believe that almost half of the people that marry in the US will eventually get a divorce? Those are some high numbers..

and I refuse to be a statistic.

Of course, we can say that we don't want to be a statistic, but we have to put feet on our faith and be proactive. 

I want to issue a CHALLENGE. A HUSBAND/WIFE CHALLENGE. (Even if you aren't married, substitute husband/wife for fiance or boyfriend/girlfriend.)

I typically direct my blogs towards women, but men--you can participate too!

I don't want to be a statistic. I don't want a divorce to be in my future because I didn't love on my husband enough... because I didn't spend enough time with him... because I didn't compliment him... because I didn't do special things for him. I want to work hard.. I want to pray hard... I want to love hard. I want my marriage to last for a lifetime.

See, I'm very much in love with my husband. I love being with him. I love being next to him. I miss him when he is at work all day. I love feeling him next to me when we are sleeping. I love laughing together. I love that we have a family together. I am in love with him. But I want that love to always grow! 

We don't want to become stagnant in our marriages. Have you ever saw or smelled stagnant waters? According to the Center for Disease Control, diseases can be carried in these waters. They smell. They are not healthy for you. Don't become a 'stagnant marriage!' Lets FIGHT together! 

Are you and your husband having problems? Or are you a happily married couple? Are you and your husband finding yourselves fighting about everything? Or can you not remember the last time you fought?

Regardless, you can always work on your marriage.

My husband and I haven't always had the 'best marriage.' We have had our fair share of downfalls. We have had arguments. Brought up the past one too many times. Yelled at each other. Slammed doors. Said things we didn't mean... but we fight every day to make our marriage better... and that's what I want us all to do with this challenge.

So, here it is. For the next 14 DAYS (2 WEEKS), we are going to focus on our RELATIONSHIPS. Every day will be something that will bring us closer together. It may seem small, but trust me-- it will build. I am going to participate too because I find myself just wanting to show my husband how much I love him.. even more!

Please don't be scared to  participate. You don't even have to share with me that you are (although I would love to hear about it!!) Do this for your husband. Do this because you want to show him how much he means to you. Do this because you want a healthy marriage. Do this because sometimes we get so caught up in the busyness of life that we forget even that big, strong man needs love and encouragement too!

Are you ready?

DAY 1: FLIRT WITH YOUR HUSBAND. (August 8th, 2013) That's right, ladies. Do you remember the first time you saw your husband? Where were you? How did you meet? How did he look? What was he dressed like? What made you want to pursue him? Remember that and focus on that. Remember how you used to flirt with him before you were married? Did you play footsie? Did you leave him playful text messages? Did you write him notes? Did you smack his butt? Whatever it was, DO IT AGAIN. Remember what it was like to be young.. go back there. Flirt with him all over again.

DAY 2: GREET YOUR HUSBAND AT THE DOOR. (August 9th, 2013) If it's possible, greet your husband at the door whether it's when he gets home from work, gets home from ball practice, or gets home from running errands. Greet him at the door. This might sound so small, but trust me.. it will build so much. I remember when I stopped doing that. I didn't even know that my husband recognized that I did it. And I quit. After about 2 weeks of going about my day and just yelling 'hello' from the kitchen, he sat down and said, "Why don't you greet me at the door anymore? You used to kiss me and hug me as soon as I walked in.. is something wrong?" And I proceeded to tell him that I didn't know it meant anything to him. So, he began to tell me how much he appreciated it every day.. and I greeted him every day. (Still do!)

DAY 3: COOK HIM HIS FAVORITE MEAL (August 10th, 2013) I know you're busy. I know I posted this on a Saturday which might make it a little more difficult (or a little more easier?) But try it! What is your husband's favorite meal? It can be breakfast, lunch, or dinner... or even a snack. Doesn't matter. What is it?? Ask him to watch the kids for a little bit, head to the store, buy all of the stuff you need, and make it for him. Does he have a favorite drink to go with it? Orange Juice, Coke, a beer? Make it just for him. 

DAY 4: DO ONE OF HIS FAVORITE ACTIVITIES TOGETHER (August 11th, 2013) What does your husband LOVE to do? Is it softball? Golfing? Running? Playing video games? Whatever it is, take a little bit of time out of your day and do something with him. If you have children and you cannot get a babysitter, figure out what one of his favorite activities at home would be and do that. I know for my husband, he would enjoy going out to the softball fields. Or he'd enjoy going to the gym with me. You know your husband better than anyone. You know what he loves to do. Imagine how much he'll love doing that activity WITH you. 

DAY 5: TALK TO EACH OTHER ABOUT DIFFERENT THINGS THROUGH YOUR WEEK, SOMETHING THAT IS BOTHERING YOU, ETC. (August 12th, 2013) This might sound so simple, but you would be surprised how many couples don't really talk to each other. They sit with each other at night watching TV or playing on their laptops, but they don't TALK. We ran in to a couple not too long ago that said, "I don't remember the last time we just sat down and had a conversation together. We're too busy." Here's the thing about that: God NEVER intended for us to be so busy that we forgot about our mates. NEVER. If you are too busy to talk to your husband (or your children, friends, family..) you are TOO BUSY. Take some time out of your Monday to talk to him. He needs that and you do too!

DAY 6: PRAY FOR YOUR HUSBAND. (August 13th, 2013) Nothing can bring a couple together more than PRAYER. I will be honest with you here. We have a prayer altar at our local church where we can write specific needs down and lay them on the altar. It isn't so people can go through and read them... you don't even have to write your names on them. It's just an act of symbolism. It's laying your needs at the altar before Jesus Christ. Now, my marriage wasn't suffering. It wasn't even 'iffy.' But you can NEVER have a perfect marriage. There is always room for improvement. So, I wrote 'My Marriage' on a piece of paper and laid it on the altar. We must always pray for our husbands, ladies. Pray for him to remove evil things from his eyes. Pray for him to withstand the temptations that come with this world. Pray for him to have strength. Pray for him to be the husband and father that you need. Pray for him to have a good day at work. Pray for him to have blessings on his life. Pray for his health. Pray for a promotion at work. PRAY PRAY PRAY. Spend your day thinking about him and seeking God's face for him.

DAY 7: LISTEN TO 'YOUR SONG' TOGETHER. (August 14th, 2013) Do you have a song together? I know my husband and I have had a few down through the years. When we first got together, when he called me, 'Smile' by Uncle Kracker would play. "You make me smile like the sun, fall outta bed..." It's how I felt about him. And then as our relationship progressed, the song became "Crazy Girl" by Eli Young Band. "Crazy girl, don't you know that I love you? I wouldn't dream of going no where..." That's the song we danced to at our wedding reception and ever since then, it's been "our song." Play the songs from your past that remind you of your husband. You might have a couple.. play those together and reminisce. 

DAY 8: GO FOR A WALK TOGETHER (August 15th, 2013) Once again, this probably sounds SO simple, but going for a walk together means one thing: Holding hands. I remember when I first started dating my husband, I loved touching him whether it was hugging him, holding his hand, kissing him. Do you remember those days? When he was taking you home after a date and all you could do was rub the back of his neck, rub his hand, hold his hand. You just loved touching him. You'd stand at the front porch hugging for what seemed like hours because you didn't want to let him go. Don't lose that. Go for a walk. Rub the back of his neck. Hold his hand. Rub his hands. Love on him.

DAY 9: BUY HIM SOMETHING SPECIAL (August 16th, 2013) Don't worry, ladies. I'm not saying you have to go out and buy him a new car. Or really anything expensive. Go out and purchase something that says, "I thought about you while I was out today." I remember one day I went to the store and I saw his favorite drink. And it was on sale-- 2 for $2.00. Couldn't beat that! So, I came home with two of them. You should have seen the smile on his face-- for only $2.00! But it was because it was his FAVORITE!! It didn't matter how much I spent. It was the thought that counted. Think about something your husband might want or appreciate and purchase it for him today. Let him know you were thinking about him.

DAY 10: THANK HIM (August 17th, 2013) Take some time to thank your husband for the blessings he has helped provide in your life. Do you have a roof over your head? Do you have a vehicle? Do you have luxuries? Does your husband work hard every day to help with these? Do you have children with him? Does he say sweet things about you? Does he surprise you with random things sometimes? Does he cook for you? Whatever it is, THANK HIM for it. You will see a change in his spirit. Thankfulness reaps blessings. If you aren't thankful for what you have now.. why would you be thankful with anything else? Be thankful. Always. Let your husband know how much you appreciate all he does for you and your family.

DAY 11: LET YOUR HUSBAND SLEEP IN. (August 18th, 2013) If your husband is anything like my husband, he gets up early. My husband usually gets up between 330am-430am for work. And for someone that enjoys spending time with his family in the evening, he doesn't always get to bed at 8/9pm. Is your husband in the same routine? If so, let him sleep in! Once the kids wake up, take them out to the living room and leave him sleeping peacefully. Don't even set an alarm for him. Just let him sleep and get his rest. Men carry so much on their shoulders (and I know women do too. Believe me, I'm there!) But I know men carry the weight of bills, money, etc. on their shoulders. Rest and sleep are so healthy for them! Let him sleep in today. He needs it. 

DAY 12: PLEASE HIM SEXUALLY (August 19th, 2013) Whether or not you enjoy sex, we all know that it is a part of a relationship. Men need it and desire it. Hopefully all of you women out there do too! Regardless, take time today to please your husband sexually. Change things up a little bit. What would he think if you came on to him? Or how about teasing him a little bit? Get a shower with him first. Massage him. Whatever it takes, get the spark started. And then let the mood take you wherever it does. Play some music to get you in that 'sexy mood.' Wear something naughty. Don't be shy-- please him. Take your husband to ecstasy. We've gotten so accustomed to BUSYNESS in our society today. I'm too busy. I have kids. I work all of the time. We work different shifts. Doesn't matter, folks. You want a strong, healthy marriage? Sex should be a part of it. It connects you not only physically, but spiritually. I hate to say it like this, but oftentimes if a spouse isn't getting it at home, they will look elsewhere. They want to feel sexy. They want to feel wanted and needed. Make your husband feel that today. Make him feel wanted. Make him feel masculine. 

DAY 13: WRITE DOWN YOUR FEELINGS FOR HIM. READ THEM TO HIM. (August 20th, 2013) This might seem a little awkward to you if you aren't comfortable with expressing your feelings or writing them out, but it is so healthy to do. Share things with him. Express things to your husband. Talk about how far you have come in your relationship. Tell him what you love about him. Tell him how attractive he is to you. Reminisce about your early days. Use you words to remember why you fell in love. It is so important to do this. Why did you fall in love with him? What were the little things that made you want to marry him? What were the big things? Tell him. Sometimes we get so caught up in wanting our spouse to change to meet our specifications that we forget the tiny things that made us fall for them in the first place.

DAY 14: GO ON A DATE. (August 21st, 2013) Lets end this journey with a BANG. Go on a date with your spouse. It doesn't have to be anything fancy. Make a picnic dinner and go somewhere with a blanket and enjoy it. Get a baby sitter and go to a classy restaurant. Go to McDonalds and get your favorite burger. Whatever works for you two... do it! Spend quality time together. Go to the movies. Go shopping. Go for a drive. It doesn't have to cost you a penny-- just go on a date and spend time together. My husband always says that he wants to go on a date where we take his truck to a secluded spot with a blanket and just lay there and talk. What would your husband enjoy? Whatever it is. Do that today. 

Folks, we have to stop being so dang busy. I can't stand hearing that. 'We are so busy. We never have time for each other.' THEN STOP IT. Stop being so busy. What do you have if you gain a great job that you are at 24/7... extracurricular activities that you are at in your spare time... but lose the love of your life and your family? It isn't worth it. In the next 14 days, lets focus on the LOVE OF OUR LIFE. Lets put everything else on the backburner these next 2 weeks and just LOVE them. It's necessary, vital, and so worth it!

Will you join me in this challenge? I sure hope you will!Take time to appreciate them these next 2 weeks. 

THEY ARE WORTH IT.

YOUR RELATIONSHIP IS WORTH IT.


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