Helping Her Grow Up – Making Right Easy and Rewarding

Yesterday I talked about making wrong less comfortable. I put it first because honestly I am not overly comfortable with it. It’s not something I have done in my marriage, and I’m sure it would not have been effective had I tried. However, I know for some it is effective, and for some it’s the only thing that works. (I base this on women who have said it was what got their attention when nothing else did.) Our wives are individuals, and what works for some is a very bad plan for others. Even when the “stick” part of the carrot and the stick is needed, it must be done wisely, in a limited fashion, and never done out of anger. I also think it is best to try the “carrot” first.

Carrot and Stick © Stuart Miles | freedigitalphotos.net

For most women, a far better approach is to make what is right both easy and rewarding.

Easy

I know doing the right thing is not always the easy way to go. Sin is often easier than doing what is right. Nothing you do will change that, but you can make sure you aren’t doing anything that makes it even more difficult to do the right thing. Make sure she has what she needs to do what she should, and do what you can to deal with those who try to stand in her way.

Don’t blast her if she doesn’t change “fast enough” or if she only gets it right some of the time. Sometimes doing it wrong all the time actually results in less anger than doing it partly right or right some of the time. Or, if your complaining is the same for any level of wrong you are not motivating change!

Rewarding

Be fast to compliment any hint of improvement. Thank her for doing it right once even if it was one time in ten. Look especially for a growth trend, and encourage her when you see it. When she has makes a significant change and holds to it, look for ways to compliment her in front of others.

Some recommend giving her something for doing what is right. I know this works for some couples, but it makes me nervous, as I can see how it could easily become a limiting factor. Again, know your spouse.

When she is treating you well, you want to treat her well. You don’t have to think about it, it comes naturally and it is much easier than when she is doing you wrong. I don]t see this as manipulative, so don’t hold back. You might even voice to her it’s easier for you to ______ when she _______.

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3 Comments on “Helping Her Grow Up – Making Right Easy and Rewarding

  1. Paul,
    First, I want you to know I think this has been well written and I’m sure it will be helpful to a great many husbands.  I know you think this is what I was looking for but as you said in your email to me the other day we just are not quite on the same page. 
    The best way to explain what I’m thinking, seeing I believe is going on is to describe what was said about Jesus in his hometown.  Even a prophet is not excepted in his hometown scripture teaches us.  As you know from my deleted post that had too much information, I think we are setting up a scenario where women are elevated moral and superior creatures who do less harm and men are baser sinners and we strip them of any godly authority except “maybe” a title but no reality behind it.  What becomes of it is Christian wives who think they are always right and men who are giving up because we feel like no ones got our back.  We can’t lead at home because we aren’t respected at home.  Again, I don’t want to go into my background but needless to say it paints a picture that no matter how respected you are in the church and no matter how wrong or in sin your wife is the current church sides with the woman and do other women.
    So again, I want to thank you and I pray this series helps other men but I think the problem I had is saying women work harder, women do less damage, women are more spiritual…I think these are way more individual and I also believe it depends on how you measure it.  But the only purpose it serves is to pedestal women and put men in a position they cannot lead from or address her sin from even if he has his act pretty much together.
    I hope that better explains my position and thank you again my brother for tackling such a tough subject.  God bless-

    • Oldschool Husband I think I understand what you are seeing. Since I don’t think those things, I know they are not sneaking into my writing subconsciously. Maybe I am using words that do not communicate what I think well to you, maybe your reading is coloured by your experiences, and maybe I am more affected by my culture than I think.
      I continue to work to see myself more clearly.

      • TheGenerousHusband Oldschool Husband 
        Thanks for your reply and thoughtfulness.   Yeah, sometimes I guess I see the world differently.  I definetly see something in your writing you don’t think is there, my wife and I believe it’s you but obviously it must be me.   I’m caught somewhere between the Mansphere and You & Sheila (and I think you two represent the modern church teachings accurately)…which puts me in no man’s land.  I’m going to leave you alone and pray God’s blessing on you & Lori.  You haven’t returned my emails so I’m hoping I haven’t offended you…I thought I was a lot more conciliatory in those but maybe the damage was already done.
        Take care and keep up the good work. God bless-

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