Well, my plan didn't go off so swimmingly, since Jesse came home feeling a little "down in the dumps." He's pretty frustrated about the job search and feeling inadequate. But we cuddled for a while and I did my best to encourage him by reminding him of God's promises to provide and that everything that comes to us is straight from the hand of God, even if we don't see how. We talked about how our worth isn't in what job we have or how much money we make (a direct spin-off from the Bible study conversation the night before) and that God has His own perfect timing. His ways are so much higher than our ways. It's easy for both of us to get a little discouraged right now, since Jesse having a full-time job teaching next fall would be really ideal, but God will work what God will work, and it's such a comfort to remember that if Jesse doesn't get a full-time teaching job right now, it's because God has something so much better in store, even if that "so much better" is subbing again. It must be better, since God only wills what is best for us. I did do the dishes last night after we got home from late-night baseball games for my brothers, but Jesse came in and helped me finish, which was a blessing, since it was about 11 o'clock when I got started. The rest of the day went well after we talked for a while; God was good to encourage both of us through our conversation. On to today:
Husband Encouragement Challenge day 15
"But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ
. . ." 2 Pet. 3:18a
Sometimes we live so close to our spouse that we fail to see him as others do; we only see our husband's faults. But take a step back. Perhaps he is growing spiritually in ways you have failed to appreciate. How can you encourage his growth in a fresh, new way? Remember—your husband is accountable to God for his spiritual development. You are accountable to God to encourage and not hinder that growth.
Can you identify an area of spiritual strength in your husband? Does he pray or read his Bible regularly? Does he like to read about or discuss spiritual matters? Does he go to church with you? Is he a spiritual leader? What do others say about him? If you can identify a specific area, praise him for that. If not, pray earnestly that God will work in his heart, and watch for signs of spiritual growth in the future.
Jesse is a really faithful servant of Christ. We really enjoy praying together but don't do it nearly often enough. He has so much knowledge about Scriptures and the things of God, it's amazing to me. He knows the Old Testament far better than I do, whether it's names, stories, themes... he definitely paid attention in Sunday School as a kid, and has always had a reputation (I just learned recently) as the "kid who knows the answers." He was the fallback question answerer in Sunday school and youth group apparently. I admire this ability to have and hold all of this knowlege in his head. He faithfully goes to church with me and strives to have an uncritical spirit about the service - what I mean is, I guess it's really easy for me to slip into complaining about aspects of church that I don't like, such as a worship song I don't like, etc., but Jesse is always bringing me back to what's important and helping me think more positively about what God is doing. I really appreciate this ability to help keep me from sinning with my over-worked tongue.
As I've said so many times before, he is so good with our Bible study. He humbly and quietly leads discussion, always prepared with topics to discuss if ones don't naturally arise each week. I know the people, especially the men, in the group really respect him for the way he lives his life and the way he treats others (including his wife - me!). I tell him how much I respect him for his leadership often, and I know it encourages him, especially when he's feeling inadequate. I'm excited to work together with him this summer to plan lots of events for the college-age/young-adult ministry we're leading. It's great fun and it's such a blessing to see where God's brought us and to see pretty clearly where we're supposed to head next.