“It’s a fact that the first step
toward any noble goal is to desire it.”
– Elizabeth George

So ladies did you get R-E-A-L this week? Were you able to give your husband a little respect?

Just a little bit? I hope so.

This week I’d like to challenge you to focus on “Encouragement,” the “E” in R-E-A-L.

Ladies, we live in a discouraging world. Our husbands go out in it everyday. Some days they are beaten down and attacked from all different directions.

They need encouragement.

My husband needs it. Yours needs it. Their jobs are sometimes done without reward or recognition. What men do for their families, us as their wives, or as a father is often overlooked.
This week I was awakened to the fact that I really need to kick it up a notch in the area of encouragement. I can get so wrapped up in what I need from my husband, Keith, that I neglect to think about his needs.
The above quote by Elisabeth George hit me this week.

I need to begin with the desire to get R-E-A-L with my husband.

That will go a long way in achieving the goals of Respecting, Encouraging, and giving him Affection and Love (R-E-A-L).

You see, once the desire takes root in the heart, the Lord will bring those things to full bloom.

A warning though: the desire is just the first step.

The next steps are a little tougher…the step of yielding my will and selfish desires to the Lord, a practicing of giving these things to my husband and the realization that this is a process that keeps on going and moving forward.

This week I challenge you to be intentional in your encouragement to your husband. Become a student of your spouse. Learn where he feels discouraged and take little steps to be the encourager in those situations. Leave a note telling him specifically how you appreciate him. Find something that you can encourage him in. These small things can feed his soul and affect his disposition.
In 1 Thessalonians 5:11, Paul says,

Therefore, encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. (NIV)

We are admonished to do this for each other. As we do it with each other in the Imperfect Wives group, don’t forget to do it for your husband!

Maybe you took my challenge last week to begin reading something on marriage for 5-15 minutes a day for the weeks of this summer and you have read something that is helping you get R-E-A-L.

If you did, would you consider posting it in the comments here on the blog or on the Facebook page? You may have a little nugget of wisdom that you can share as we continue this journey of being Imperfect Wives together.

Testify to what the Lord is teaching you and this week — Get Encourgement. Your husband will blossom as you couple the Respect with Encouragement.