Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Listener Letters

Leslie Basham: It seems like makeovers are one of the most popular things on television these days. People make over their appearance or their houses. Today we're going to hear about some women whose words have gotten a makeover.

It's Memorial Day, May 31. This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

We're in the middle of a series called, "Recipe for a Godly Marriage." Today we'll hear about the power of a wife's encouragement. Here's Nancy Leigh DeMoss to tell us more.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: If you've been listening to Revive Our Hearts for any length of time, you know that we love giving 30-day challenges. And one of the challenges is in relation to wives encouraging their husbands. Now, in case you've not heard it before or in case you've forgotten, let me share with you just what that challenge is.

We've asked women to make the commitment that for the next 30 days they will not say anything negative about their husbands, to their husbands or to anyone else about their husbands. Now, usually when I share that, I get some pretty wide eyes and women wondering, How in the world can I do this?

But that's not the only part of the challenge.

The second part is that every day for the next 30 days, they need to commit to say something positive, affirming, encouraging about their husbands, to their husbands and to someone else about their husbands.

So I tell women, "You can say something to your children, to your mother, to his mother, to your boss. Say something about your husband and say something to your husband that expresses what you appreciate about him."

A lot of women have taken that challenge seriously as we've given it in the past. And today, I just want to share with you some of the e-mails and letters that we've received from women who have taken that 30-day challenge to encourage their husbands.

I think you'll really enjoy these and that you're going to see the power of this simple little thing called "encouragemente" and how, if you're a married woman, encouragement can build and strengthen the most important relationship in your life.

So let me just read some of these e-mails and I know you're going to enjoy them. Now, not everyone found this challenge easy. But I'm sure everyone who took it found that some days it was particularly difficult. One listener admitted that she had difficulty right from the outset.

She said, "I made the commitment yesterday but I've blown it already. I need mega help. What attracted me to my husband of forty-two years was his quiet strength. But now, his being so quiet and easy-going drives me crazy."

This listener says, "I've become very critical through the years so he probably doesn't dare say anything. He never knows what he'll get in return and that makes me so sad and brings tears to my eyes. Your suggestion to think back to what I loved about him really works because I really do love him. He is twelve years older than I am. He's seventy-four so I want to get it right before something happens to one of us. Thanks again for the challenge."

Well, here's a woman who said, "I still consider myself a newlywed even after three years of marriage. I thought I had a wonderful husband. We always built each other up no matter who we were talking to. But after hearing about your 30-day challenge, I decided I would try that and see what the results would be.

"I didn't think anything would change since we already tell each other how wonderful the other one is and how happy we are to be together. I've been doing the challenge just over two weeks now and it has impacted our lives. My husband acts like a teenager in love again. Thank you for renewing our hearts to each other. Your teaching on marriage has truly impacted my life."

And other women wrote to share how God began to bring about results in their marriages rather quickly. One woman said, "Thank you, Nancy. I can't explain how this happened but I made a commitment to speak good words to my husband for 30 days and I experienced a big change on the first week--from him telling me how beautiful I look to bringing flowers after his day of work. It's like when we were dating eight years ago. God is so awesome."

Well, from people who've been married just a few years to those who've been married for many years, this challenge made a significant impact.

One listener said, "We've been married for forty years and after listening to your message today, I realize that I have slowly let this practice of saying words of appreciation to my husband slip over the past few years. And starting today, I want to raise that level back up. As a matter of fact," she wrote, "he's out mowing the lawn as I'm writing this e-mail and I'm going to compliment him on how nice it looks. It's a hot day and he's working so hard to make it look nice. Thanks for the help."

Maybe you're thinking, My husband is supposed to mow the lawn. That's his job. Well, it may be. But it certainly wouldn't hurt for him to know that you really do appreciate the hard work and the effort that he puts into making that lawn look nice.

As some people took this challenge, they were surprised at how much they had not been encouraging their husbands. This lady said, "When I began the challenge, I thought I only spoke negatively once in a while to or about my husband. It was surprising to me how often thoughts came to my mind that I had to work at not letting pass through my lips."

Did you get that? She said, "I realize that I've been thinking a lot of things that I had just been blurting out or saying. And once I started taking this challenge, it was hard not to let all those thoughts come through my lips." She said, "I'm so glad I heard about this challenge because it has changed the way I communicate with my husband." She says, "Your daily e-mails with scripture and a few thoughts have been a tremendous help during this time."

And for those of you who aren't aware, when we first gave this challenge we offered 30 days of e-mail reminders and tips about how wives can encourage their husbands. And if you want to start this challenge today, as I'm going to encourage you to do, if you've never done it before, you can go onto our Web site and find those e-mail reminders.

This woman said, "I've been reminded each day and encouraged through those e-mails. I want to thank you. I've not shared with my husband that I'm doing this. It's amazing to me the reaction I'm getting from him. I wasn't doing the challenge to receive but to give."

And that is so important, by the way, that you not use a challenge like this to manipulate your husband but that you use it as an opportunity to give and to be a blessing. "And yet," she said, "I'm being blessed every day by my husband. I've shared with other wives and they have taken on the challenge as well. We are praying for each other and changing some bad habits in our marriages. Thank you for this opportunity."

Now, some wives just really enjoyed taking this challenge. Others admitted that they found it very difficult because of the pain and the hurt that's in their marriage.

One woman said, " Nancy, I'll be honest with you. This hasn't been easy going for me. There's a lot of hurt and anger and resentment to overcome toward my husband. But you've made me think. You've encouraged me to remember why I fell in love with this guy and what was so special about him. You have given me hope for my marriage.

"I may not be able to change my husband but I can change my heart and my attitude toward him with God's help. He's talking to me more--really talking from his heart. It's working. We still have a long way to go. In the beginning, I didn't think I could do it. What could I possibly see that I liked about him now, today? But every day gets a little easier. And some of that anger and resentment is fading away."

And then she ends by saying, "I married a great man. I had just forgotten to nurture him and our relationship in the day-to-day business of our lives. I really do love my husband."

And here's a woman who found the challenge was difficult. And God gave her what I think is a wonderful insight that may be helpful to you as well.

She said, "Thank you for your recent study about respecting our husbands. I confess your 30-day challenge is difficult for me as I've developed a habit of hubby-bashing. I've found that what helps me to revere my husband and have genuine Christ-like love for him is to think of him in light of eternity, not as my husband but as a brother in Christ.

"When I think of him as a husband, I tend to attach many expectations to that title. Selfishly, I want him to be everything I think he's supposed to be. I'm often upset that he doesn't seem to have much time for me and that we seem to have so little in common. But when I think of him as a brother in Christ, I become more concerned for his eternal welfare not my temporal welfare."

Isn't that a great concept there? "When I think about him as a brother in Christ, I become more concerned with his eternal welfare and not for my temporal welfare." And then she concludes with this sentence that I think is profound. She says, "God didn't create my husband to serve me. God created me to serve him to serve the Lord in His kingdom."

And doesn't that put things into a perspective that's helpful? If we live to have others meet our expectations and our needs, we're inevitably going to be disappointed. But if we live for the eternal well-being of others and to serve the Lord Jesus, we really can never be disappointed.

In some cases God used this exercise of the 30-day challenge to make a huge difference in a woman's life. One woman wrote and said, "I heard your program for the first time today. I was told by a friend to turn to this radio station I hadn't listened to since I was twenty.

"That message about taking a 30-day challenge to praise my husband meant so much. I considered walking out on my husband and young daughter for so long. But today's message changed my decision. I've been through so much in my life," she said. "I've even been raped two times. But now, after this message, I know that I have been placed on this earth for a purpose--to serve the Lord God."

You see, she realized the same thing as that last listener--that our purpose in life is to be givers not takers--to serve the Lord God. And what a difference that perspective makes.

I've shared with you several letters that we received from our women listeners. But from time-to-time, we also hear from men who are listening to Revive Our Hearts. And I want to share with you what one husband wrote as he heard me give this 30-day challenge to wives.

He said, "I was so glad to hear you give this challenge to women. I have first-hand experience of this. Growing up, I was always being torn down by my mom and I hoped to find a wife who wouldn't do the same. All I want is for my wife to build me up and to support me in my life. This will be a good challenge for my wife if she takes it. Men do need to feel wanted and loved. We do have feelings even though it's harder for us to show them."

Now, I don't know anything about that marriage or what the needs are in that wife's life or in her husband's. But I think it's helpful for us to be reminded from time to time how our words can either build up or tear down the men around us.

So, if you're a wife, I want to encourage you to take that 30-day challenge to encourage your husband. You may have done this with us before and you may need just a refresher in this challenge. I'm sure your husband won't mind at all if you take this challenge a second time.

In fact, what would be really wonderful is if you committed to make it a way of life. But, especially if you've never done this before, would you commit that over the next 30 days you will not speak anything negative about your husband--not to him, not to anyone else about him?

Now, that may be hard because every man and every woman has their faults and flaws. But God can give you grace. And by the power of the Holy Spirit, you really can restrain those negative words.

And then remember, over the next 30 days, not only not to speak negatively of your husband, but to encourage him. Lift him up. Praise him. Express gratitude and appreciation, something each day that you appreciate about him. Say it to your husband and then take time to say it to someone else about him.

You say, "What will happen in 30 days? Will my husband change like all these husbands changed that you were just reading about?" Well, I can't guarantee you that.

But I can guarantee you that you will change--that you will begin to see your husband through fresh eyes of love, devotion and reverence and that that really will make a difference in your heart and in your marriage.

Leslie Basham: Are you ready to take the challenge Nancy Leigh DeMoss has been telling us about? Would you write and let us know? You can write to Revive Our Hearts. Or, to do it electronically, you can get us at ReviveOurHearts.com. Click "Share and Interact" and then click on "Contact Us."

While you're there, you can find out how to get a copy of our current series called "Recipe for a Godly Marriage." Tomorrow, Nancy Leigh DeMoss and her guest will talk to us about how to forgive despite what our emotions say. Please join us for the next Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss is a ministry partnership of Life Action Ministries.

*Offers available only during the broadcast of the podcast season.