Michael Hyatt recently pointed to a great blog post by Mary DeMuth – Overachievers: Slow Down to Celebrate Victories. Since I read things with an eye to how I can apply them to marriage, I quickly saw marriage applications to the suggestion we need to be better about celebrating our victories.
It’s easy to be so driven you are never satisfied with your performance. Beating up on yourself because you failed to be the perfect husband is not helpful. Failing to celebrate improvements you have made in being a husband is also not helpful. Both of these can easily lead to discouragement, which can keep you from growing. Don’t rest on your successes, but don’t ignore them either. Allow yourself to feel good about growth and improvement, even when it’s not as much as you want.
The other way this can be destructive is doing it to our spouse. Commenting positively on growth and improvement your bride has made encourages her to do more of the same. Not commenting, or complaining it’s not enough change will discourage her. Initially she may try harder, but this won’t last. If she gets grief whether she tries or not, why should she bother? If she decided she can never do enough, she will stop trying.
Look for small victories so you can celebrate them with her. It’s possible what seems minor to you took her a great deal of effort. Any positive change is an indication she is trying to do better, so encourage her. Saying “that’s a nice start” is not necessary – she knows it’s only a start. Let her enjoy your pleasure in her growth without any “but keep going” message.
Self-Promotion: Michael Hyatt also pointed to Some Thoughts on Self Promotion and Why Arrogant People Think it’s Wrong on Donald Miller’s Blog. I’ve been doing a lot more “self-promotion” over the last few months, and I found this post resonated with me. I’ve come to the point of thinking what I do here, and on Twitter, facebook and The Marriage Bed is important, and it is changing lives.
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