4 insights to bring more laughter into your home

I don’t quite remember where I heard this, but it has stuck with me even though I heard it 20 years ago.  Make it your aim to fill your house with so much love and joy that the laughter of your family bounces off the walls!  Wow!  Don’t we all want that?  I know I do.

So how do we get there?  I believe the Bible reveals several keys to bringing joy and laughter into our homes.  First, choose an attitude of hope instead of dwelling on a big, hairy list of all the things that are wrong in your life!  Proverbs 10:28 says “The hope of the righteous brings joy“.    Second, eliminate some things from your schedule if you are becoming grumpy due to exhaustion and stress.  Isaiah 30:15 says “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength.”   And third, have a sense of humor!  Proverbs 17:22 says “A cheerful heart is good medicine“.

Oh, and one more thing.  If you are holding bitterness and resentment against your spouse, deal with that.  If it is the result of something that happened a long time ago, you need to let it go!!  If it’s the result of an ongoing pattern of sin against you, then you will need to respectfully confront your husband.  Ongoing resentment will suck all the laughter and joy out of your home.

This simple change could improve your marriage

When’s the last time you said it?  You probably think I’m asking about the last time you told your husband “I love you”, but that’s not where I’m leading.  My question is this:  When is the last time you admitted to your husband that you were wrong?  We like to pretend as if we’re never “wrong”, but that’s not only prideful, it’s not true!

Think about it.  Have you been disrespectful toward your husband by rolling your eyes or by using cutting sarcasm?  Have you given him the look that basically says “you’re a jerk” or “you disgust me”?  Have you been stressed or frustrated about something unrelated to him and lashed out at your husband because he happened to be present?  (I did that just yesterday!  Ugh.)

If you want to be even more beautiful to your husband, be humble and admit when you are out of line or just plain wrong.  You might believe that confessing your wrongs will put you in a weak position in your marriage, but the opposite is true.  Proverbs 28:13 says “Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.”  Oh, and by the way, instead of simply saying “I’m sorry”, go a step further in humility by saying “I was wrong.  Please forgive me.”

Have you tried this approach during conflict?

It’s natural during disagreement with our husbands to believe you’re right, he’s wrong, and you must convince him of that!  However, if we stay stuck in that mindset, the battle only heats up.  He gets defensive.  You get defensive.  Usually, the situation either evolves into yelling and ugly accusations or a silent, but deadly cold war.  There is a better way and it begins with rethinking your end goal.

What if your goal was not to “win” the argument or change his mind?  What if the goal was to reach a compromise or solution that addresses the biggest concerns of you both?  Seriously. Think about it. Now you both win and there are no losers.  This means that you both agree to consider the other person’s perspective, fears, values, and concerns.  From there, you begin to present ideas that might address both of your main concerns.  Philippians 2:4 reminds us “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

So, the next time you and your husband start to have a significant disagreement, suggest that you would like to sit down together and better understand his perspective and concerns.  Then gently share your concerns, and ask him to join you in brainstorming a solution or compromise that would be the best fit for both of you.

Will you try God’s upside-down formula?

Recently, God has prompted me to consider who is truly on the throne in my life.  Am I really putting God at the center of my focus, or is everything actually about me?  Drat.  I have to be honest and say that when it comes right down to it, I tend to filter everything in my life and my marriage through the question “what will make me happy”.  How about you?

What if we changed the question?   I am suggesting that we start looking at our husbands, our marriage, our children, our work, and everything through the question “how can I please God at this moment?”  I believe this could radically change our relationships.  In Matthew 6:33 Jesus reminds us to “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well“.  In other words, we should strive to please God in all we do and we can trust Him to meet all our needs in return.

The world tries to convince you to focus on you.  The message is “you should focus on what makes you feel happy at the moment and you will be fulfilled.”  Unfortunately, this “formula” almost never works.  The Bible turns that equation upside down.  God tells us to focus on pleasing Him even when it doesn’t seem like you will be happy, and then you will indeed find true fulfillment and joy.

What if you were to ask the Lord to show you how HE wants you to treat your husband this week and how HE wants you to handle difficult situations with your husband?  I wonder how your marriage would change?  Shall we try God’s upside-down formula this week?

— or view this topic as a 3 minute VIDEO HERE

A simple way to avoid lots of frustration in marriage!

Even if you have a great marriage, we will all experience moments of frustration with our husbands from time to time.  Well, one key to resolving those frustrations (and avoiding them in the future) is to understand the cause.  In my experience, the cause is typically “unmet expectations”.   We consciously or even subconsciously expect our husbands to act in a certain way, and when they don’t, we get really frustrated!

So, here’s a nugget of wisdom that may be the remedy for you and for me.  Clearly communicate your expectations to your husband!  Duh!  I know this sounds too simple, but honestly, we are often at fault for holding expectations but failing to clearly reveal those expectations to our men.    We act like our husbands are mind-readers and should “just know”.  News flash:  Most men don’t “just know”.  They don’t think like women and they don’t know what you expect and desire from them.  In fact, when we fail to communicate what we want, we’re not really being honest with them.

Let’s bless our husbands by being honest about our expectations.  Proverbs 24:26 says “An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips“!!  Start to clearly communicate your expectations to your man.  Now, your husband may disagree with your expectations, and that’s okay.  That’s an opportunity for the two of you to sit down and discuss your respective opinions and work toward a compromise.  But at least you’ll be on the same page and understand each other’s expectations!

Beware of the temptation to engage in this little thrill

The thrill I’m talking about is that little rush women get when we draw the attention of a man. It feels SO good!  This is all completely fine as long as the man is your husband, but often we go out in public dressed in such a way that other men are tempted to lust over our bodies.

When we wear skin-tight clothes, cleavage-displaying shirts, extremely short skirts or midriff-baring tops, we are leading other men downhill.  The attention might feel good, but do you really want to lead these men into the sin of lust?  In Luke 17:1 Jesus said to his disciples: “Things that cause people to stumble are bound to come, but woe to anyone through whom they come.”  Also, 1 Corinthians 10:32 says “Do not cause anyone to stumble“.

Let’s agree to dress modestly instead of provocatively around our male co-workers, men at the store, and men at church.  Let’s not be the downfall of the men around us.  Think of it this way.  Would you like it if another woman was dressing provocatively in front of your husband?

Becoming a bold woman in spiritual warfare!

In my current Bible reading, I’ve been struck with how many times God used women to take a bold, courageous, and wise stand against the enemy.  There are so many occasions where a woman steps out to lead or help God’s people when the enemy is attacking.  Here are some of the examples:  Abigail (in 1 Samuel 25) acts wisely when her husband did not.  Rahab (Joshua 2) hides God’s people from the enemy.  Deborah (Judges 4) courageously leads the people of God into war against the enemy.  Esther (Esther 4 & 5) boldly intercedes for God’s people even though it was dangerous for her to do so.  The wise woman (2 Samuel 20) reasoned with an enemy who was about to destroy her city and her wisdom saved the city.

What can we learn from these women?  They were all very alert to the enemy’s schemes and they all boldly chose to take action against the enemy, trusting in God for the outcome.  So here is the question for you:  Do you see the enemy attacking your husband, your marriage, your family, or individual children?  If you do, are you going to just wring your hands in despair, or are you going to take action?  Hopefully, you will become a courageous woman of action!  What does God want you to do?  Do you need to commit to press into prayer every single day, several times a day?  Do you need to boldly confront an issue?  Do you need to get wise counsel from a godly woman? Do you need to ask others to pray with you?