Have you ever gotten yourself into trouble for something you said?
We all have! Today, our guest Karen Ehman, the author of Keep it Shut: What to Say it, How to Say it and When to Say Nothing at All, tells us how to keep our words uplifting, fruitful and God-honoring.
She shares how we can:
- Avoid saying painful things to our loved ones that can cause damage when we are in a moment of temporary frustration.
- Keep our “verbal grenades” of opinion flinging from hurting people on Facebook and Twitter. (And knowing how to pray before we post so we don’t say the wrong thing.)
- Find the fine line between processing and gossip.
- Be intentional about our communication so that our words can speak truth and life into the lives of the ones we love.
Listen in, and then click over to read Karen’s website and sign up for Karen’s 5-day “Pray before you Pounce” challenge and start practicing your newfound communication skills.
Post – It Notes – Man’s Greatest Invention
Leave a Word of Encouragement
Today’s Project: Leave a cute and flirty note for your husband to find.
“A simple word can renew hope.” Lois Mayday Rabey
Keep it simple today. Put a Post-it in his briefcase, on his dashboard, in his wallet, anywhere that he will find it. Make it fun, make it flirty, but just make sure he is the one who will find it. Wink-wink.
OK – some guys are going to think it’s hokey. But, if you can’t be hokey in your marriage, when, can you be?
All I want you to do is give him a little encouragement. I know there’s nothing more encouraging for my husband than knowing that I am on his side. Throughout his day, I want him to know that no matter how difficult things may be at work, he’s got someone at home rooting for him. All it takes is a post-it note, and about two seconds of thought.
And if you want to get the kids involved – look at what Dawn Beavers did for her husband – asking her kids why they love their daddy and putting Heart-Shaped Post-it Notes to work, she created a thing of art that would do any dad proud!
Crib Notes: 21 Post-It-Sized Encouragements
- I’m praying for you today.
- Those jeans are really working for you…
- I love you.
- You are the best dad!
- You’re the kind of husband that makes the other wives jealous.
- You rock my world!
- Can’t wait to see you tonight – meet me upstairs…
- Thanks for working hard to provide for us. I appreciate all that you do.
- You make me feel beautiful.
- I thank God for you everyday.
- How did I get so lucky, being married to a guy like you?
- You’re great!
- You make everyday more fun.
- Have a great day.
- You’re hot!
- I feel so safe with you.
- Smart and good looking – I’ve got the whole package in you!
- You can be very distracting, you know…
- Our kids are so blessed to have a dad like you.
- That smile I wear – it is all because of you.
- God have blessed me in big ways by letting me be your wife.
Let’s Be More Specific
I gave you that list in case this whole exercise is a challenge for you. If it feels uncomfortable leaving a note for your husband, it you get writer’s block even when the blank page is post-it note sized, just use one of the above phrases to get you started.
However, if you’re comfortable, and can get a little more personal, I would highly encourage you to do so.
“Specific praise is far better than general praise.” Gary Smalley
When leaving notes for my husband, I try to be as specific as possible about how he has blessed me. Every once in a while, I will leave him a little note saying things like,
“How lucky am I that I have a husband who makes the bed everyday. Thanks for taking care of me.”
(Hint: Men love to know that you feel “taken care of.” It makes guys feel like they’re doing their job.)
“I loved falling asleep on your shoulder last night. You have a special way of making me feel safe and warm.”
Think about the ways that your husband loves you, and then put them down on paper. When you write those things down, it’s a double blessing, because:
- while you are writing it down, it reminds you of how much you are loved
- it encourages your husband in a way that only you can
A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver (Proverbs 25:11).
Your Project: Tell us what you are going to write on your Post-it, and where you are going to put it so he will see it. Tell me in the comments and you will be entered to win THE ME PROJECT.
Spreading Great Gossip About Your Guy
Today’s Project: Say something nice about your husband to someone else. Make sure you tell him what you said, and to whom.
As cliché as it may sound, our husbands want to be our heroes. More than they want to know that we love them, they want to know that we respect them. They need to know that they’re never the butt of our jokes, that they’re the go-to-guy in every story we tell.
Make an opportunity today to spread some great gossip about your man. It doesn’t matter if it’s one of your friends or one of his; let that somebody know how blessed you are to be married to your guy.
Some key phrases you may want to put on index cards to help you remember:
? “I feel so lucky to have a man who knows how to do his own laundry.”
? “You know when I knew that my husband really loved me? When he could remember my order at Starbucks.”
? “I just love the way he is with our kids.”
? “He makes the best lasagna on the planet.”
Steering the Ship
A small rudder on a huge ship in the hands of a skilled captain sets a course in the face of the strongest winds. A word out of your mouth may seem of no account, but it can accomplish nearly anything—or destroy it (James 3: 3-4 The Message). That’s what great gossip is all about.
As wives, we are often the ship’s captain, while our husbands are that huge ship. Words spoken in encouragement and love can go a long way to building our men up. But the opposite is true as well. There is nothing that can determine the direction of our husband’s day quicker than the words that are spoken to him in the morning.
Sometimes as wives, we forget the role we play in our husband’s lives. We all remember that great line from My Big Fat Greek Wedding, spoken by Toula’s mom, “The man may be the head of the household, but the woman is the neck. She tells him which way to turn.”
OK, I don’t tell my husband which way to turn, but I do have an influence about how he navigates through his day.
I know that I need to be especially careful about my tone. Sometimes I think I am just oh-so-witty, when really it’s coming off as sarcastic and biting. It’s not enough to just say kind and encouraging words. I need to make sure that whatever words I choose only build up my husband, never tear him down.
That’s what great gossip is all about.
Death to the Dufus Dad
Our world encourages us to define our husbands by what is lacking in them. Need proof? Just turn on your TV.
Watch any channel for more than ten minutes and you’re almost assured of seeing some man playing the role of the dufus dad. You know the one; his wife is always right, his kids don’t respect him, and he’s the punch line of every joke, accompanied by a laugh track. Even his best friend, the dog, thinks he’s kind of a moron.
I feel like it’s time for a man revolution in our generation. No, I don’t want to go back to the times where women were tethered to the oven by their ever-present strand of pearls. But, I do want to see a place where men are allowed to be men and they can be respected for it.
My warrior cry will be, “Death to the Dufus Dad!”
But I digress.
OK – so you have bragged on your husband, now what?
Once you have done your bragging, let your husband know what you said, and to whom. He needs to know that he is the good guy in every story you tell.
With our friends, we have a lot of influence over the “tone” of our speech. Here’s how my friend, Michelle, puts it when it comes to steering away from complaining about her husband, Rick:
“I love this Project and have practiced it for years, even when I was irritated with my husband. Sometimes hearing yourself point out the good stuff gives you the power to change your own perception of something that’s annoying — of course, not that Rick is EVER annoying.
Another thing I think about… how women can help other women. When a woman is complaining about her husband (not confiding, because I think there’s a difference and we should be there for our buddies), but when it’s a light-hearted complaint, where a friend may be stuck in a rut, thinking about something in regard to her husband, I try and gently encourage her to see the goodness in her husband. I might say something like, “Yeah, he likes to watch football, but think of how he’s also bonding with your sons by sharing something they have in common!” You know, I try to find the silver lining and ‘illuminate’ that for my friend.”
While your greatest need may be for your husband to tell you that he loves you, most guys are programmed differently. He wants, at his very core, to know that you respect him. He wants to know that you are proud of him and that he is the one you would choose again if given the chance.
This goes a long way to solidifying you as a team, as well. There’s no way that anyone in my family would ever say a word against
my husband. They know that I’m on his side, and it’s a gossip-free zone around me (unless the gossip is about how great he is.)
So to be entered into today’s giveaway: 1. Tell us something awesome about your husband, and then tell your husband that you bragged on him.
And what will you win? A copy of The “What’s for Dinner?” Solution. Food and flattery – does it get any better for a guy?