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Recently, my husband taught me a very important lesson about what it means to inspire and encourage your spouse rather than to nag and berate them.
And it was all thanks to an unmade bed.
You see, since we got married, making the bed each day has been a favorite way of mine to make the room look nicer. I always tried to have it made before my husband got home from work. And then, for some reason, I got a little lazy, and I stopped making the bed for a while
One day, I have no idea what prompted me to it, but I was cleaning up the rest of the house and decided to make the bed again. I had forgotten how nice it made the room look!
Later that evening, after my husband was home from work, he thanked me for making the bed. He said it looked really nice.
I was surprised. I hadn’t thought he really noticed one way or another.
But I enjoy making my husband happy (and let’s be honest, I enjoy his compliments!). So the next day I made it again. Sure enough, another compliment.
After that: No more laziness. I’m now back to making the bed every day!
And that is how it’s done!
Had he bereted me for not making it or complained or otherwise made me feel badly, the results may have been the same: I would’ve made the bed. But I would’ve done so grudgingly, because I felt like I had to.
Instead, he made me want to make the bed! He inspired me. And he encouraged me. It’s a joy to serve someone who makes you feel that way!
Here’s the best part, though: When I mentioned to him that I was writing this post, he was surprised! It wasn’t like he was just sitting around waiting for a chance to compliment me to get me to act in a certain way. He was just genuinely giving me a compliment. He knew it took extra effort to follow through with that chore and wanted me to know that he noticed. If I hadn’t made the bed for another two weeks, he wouldn’t have been angry or resentful.
This is what we should strive for in our marriages! Ladies, if your husband isn’t doing something, don’t nag him about it. Don’t be passive aggressive or punish him. Let it go.
Praise him for all that he does. Compliment him for the tasks he accomplishes every day. Be grateful rather than critical. I can tell you from experience that this approach is infinitely more effective than nagging!
Don’t be manipulative. If you compliment him just to get something out of it, that’s not sincere and that’s not showing Christ-like love. To avoid disappointment, make sure you’re complimenting him just for the sake of complimenting him. If it inspires him to do more, great! If it doesn’t, take heart because your encouragement is still strengthening your marriage and building up your husband in a healthy, positive way.
I know this is just a small example. I mean, it’s just an unmade bed, right? If you’re facing huge marital hurdles, this might seem silly. But start with the unmade beds in your life. Start letting the little things go. Give compliments at every opportunity. It may seem small but the results of changing nagging to encouragement can make a powerful impact on your marriage!
Now it’s your turn! How do you handle the temptation to nag in your marriage? What other ways have you found to work through this issue?