Guest Blogger,  Marriage

Step-by-Step Instructions for a New-and-Improved Husband

He could see it in my eyes.
The Look.
And I bet you know the look I’m talking about. It’s the gleam a woman gets in her eyes when she’s itchin’ to dive into a project.
Right. The I‘m-Working-On-a-New-Project Look.
So I’d been staring at that ugly front room for several weeks and finally realized what had to be done.  This one would require a major overhaul. Believe me, it was just begging for fresh paint, lush carpet, and a trip to the second-hand store for new (well, nearly-new) furniture.
Yes, I had a vision. An inspiration. There was no stopping me now.
My husband had seen that look before and was all too aware of what it meant. He knew I wouldn’t rest until my plan was complete. He might as well go ahead and get his paintbrush out because there was no doubt where we were heading….
Brace yourself, Honey, ’cause it’s DIY time.
He shook his head helplessly – although he doesn’t really mind as much as he pretends. He understands that I have this nearly overwhelming impulse to improve. To revamp. To fix up. Transform.
And who could deny that this room needed transforming? Or that I was the woman to do it? It was going to look oh-so-much lovelier when I was finished with it.
It’s actually a wonderful quality we women have – this desire to make the home a better place. We’re full of home-improvement plans and that’s something to be admired. A skill and a strength.
With this one exception.
When I turn to my husband and make him my next Project. When I get determined – not merely to make our home a better place – but to make HIM a better man. That’s when I get into trouble.
Oh, my intentions might be good. Clearly, he could use some improving. He could be softer, for instance. More sensitive. And more spiritual. I’m telling you, I could help this guy a bunch.
No doubt – my husband could be a better man. And I’m just the woman to do it.
Or so I start to think.
But the Lord has appointed me to be the Wife of this man – not his Project Manager. I have to remember this particular role is reserved for the Holy Spirit and that He is far more effective than I’ll ever be. He has His own plans for my husband and, thankfully, He is the ultimate Expert.  
So you want to be involved in the plans? Here’s how you can….

Step-by-Step Instructions for a New-and-Improved Husband

1.    Work on His Wife. This is definitely the best place to start. It’s so easy to look at that guy and see how he needs to change. But, surely, there’s something you could be working on too? Ask The Lord – or even your husband (if you’re brave) – to show where you could improve as well.

2.   Don’t Tear Him Down. This technique is only effective with old wallpaper – never with your man. No matter how frustrated you are with him, resist bringing him down. This could damage, or even ruin, your Project. Avoid at all costs.
3.   Do Build Him Up. Oh yes. You’ll make way more progress by encouraging and cheering him on. Looking for how to do this? Check out Six Ways to Build Up Your Husband (good suggestions AND an adorable printable). A terrific resource.
4.   Don’t Stare at the Ugly Spots. Honestly? This is where I think we get the most hung up. It’s when we focus on his faults and flaws that we get to thinking he needs our personalized husband-improvement-plan. Try looking at his bright side instead.
5.   Trust the Spirit to Transform Him. He is the only One who makes all things new. So maybe your guy is not a Model Husband? Well, thankfully, we have a perfect God who is able to do the work required. Leave your Project-Man in His capable, skilled hands.
So instead of working on my husband, I think I’ll content myself with working right alongside him. To grow with him. To complete him.  To love on him.
And I’m just the woman for that job.
In His grace,

Lisa Jacobson

Lisa is the happily-ever-after wife of Matt Jacobson, literary agent and writer, and together they enjoy raising 8 children. Please join her over at Club31Women, a blog for any wife, mother, or sister who is looking for Biblical encouragement and inspiration. 
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