A few weeks ago, Jason and I started running together. We’re aiming for 3 times a week. The first day - awful. I hated it, and I let the world know. The second day I decided, why dread it? Why complain? Why look at the negatives? It turns out sooooooo much better when you focus on the POSITIVES! Soo, here are some positives to running!!
- I run a little bit longer each day. My “walk time” got shorter and shorter with each consecutive run, and on Saturday I actually made it to a FULL mile without walking!!
- Even though I feel like I’m going to die/have a heart attack/pass out/collapse at the end of each run, it takes longer for me to START feeling that way each time I run.
- I feel more confident about myself after I get back from a run, knowing that I’m improving each day.
- I get excited knowing that my heart and lungs are getting healthier and stronger each day.
- I get to run with my best friend, who encourages me, helps me keep my pace, and distracts me from my pain as he tells me stories as we go (yes, he’s that fit - he can keep up a 1-sided conversation for a full mile, barely getting winded).
It’s #5 that I want to focus on for right now…. my wonderful husband who runs with me. Here are some reasons why I’m so thankful that he runs with me:
- He keeps my pace. I’d end up slowing to a walk if it weren’t for the steady beat of his footsteps keeping me in check.
- He keeps me company. I’d end up turning around early out of boredom if I ran alone. He keeps up a conversation, we laugh when the bugs attack him (they deflect off of my bug-spray-covered legs and hit him instead), and he’s there to encourage me if I do start to slow down.
- He’s my protector, if necessary. Since we run on a road where people like to speed, he makes sure that I run on the inside. He also points out the roadkill, to make sure I don’t step in it (or maybe just because he thinks it’s cool?)
- He’s my coach. He encourages me when I’m doing well, or even when I’m getting tired. He points out how close we are to the end, and challenges me to push myself harder - like a sprint race for the last several yards of our mile.
- He’s there for me if I need him. If we were to hit some sort of obstacle in the way, I know he’d help me. If I twisted my ankle, he’d be there to carry me back home. The other day, after sprinting to the “finish line”, I thought I was going to pass out from exhaustion… and he was there, making sure I was okay, and getting me a glass of water when we got home.
You know, I don’t run through this life alone, either. In the Garden of Eden, God said that it is not good for man to be alone, so he created a helpmeet suitable for him, in the form of a woman. God intended marriage to be a man and a woman, united together, running the race of life TOGETHER.
The benefits of running through life with a partner are similar to the benefits I listed above. Marriage is meant to be a partnership, complete with accountability, protection if necessary, encouragement, advice, and help!
Ecclesiastes 4 outlines these benefits as well. Look at what the writer says in verses 9 through 12:
Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their work:
If one falls down,
his friend can help him up.
But pity the man who falls
and has no one to help him up!
Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Perhaps you recognize the truth in those statements. However, depending on where you are in your marriage, you may not easily recognize those truths in YOUR marriage. If that’s the case, we’re going to work on voicing the POSITIVES. In order to succeed - whether you’re trying to run a mile, a marathon, or run through life with your husband - you’re going to have to look past the negatives, and focus on the positives!
Here are some positives we can focus on….
“Two are better than one“
- Think of all the ways you and your husband benefit each other. I can think of several, from the simplest of housework to the complexities of Christian ministry. For some examples… I am not very organized; Jason reminds me to make lists and keep schedules. Similarly, Jason is forgetful at times, and can easily overbook his (or our) schedule; I keep the calendar, and remind him of our schedule that week, any appointments we have, or nights we have free. Also, we complement each other in ministry! We both enjoy skits and dramas, and have often performed together as a team! (You can check out one of our recent skits right here, if you’d like!) We also serve together in Youth Ministry, and help out together in other ways at church.
“If one falls down, his friend can help him up”
- Think of ways that you can encourage your husband. Think of how you talk to your husband. Are you uplifting and encouraging? Or are you the one making him fall? It’s amazing how powerful our tongues can be. We have the power to make or break our husbands. Let’s give him the gift of encouragement, of loving words, and lift his spirit up with our love. In fact, if you’re serious about wanting to encourage your husband, I recommend you take the 30-Day Husband Encouragement Challege. I found out about it and started it today, and am excited to see how it will benefit my marriage! Let’s strive in this together, ladies! Sign up for this challenge TODAY! Start encouraging TODAY!
“If two lie down together, they will keep warm”
- Think of ways you can spend more alone time with your husband. It doesn’t have to be anything sexual, just time spent together. No kids, no visitors. Just each other’s friendship and company. How can your love and friendship grow if you don’t put time into it? My favorite person in the world to hang out with is my husband! Some of the best nights we’ve had involved a bowl of ice cream and a few rounds of Rummikub! That’s one of the main reasons I enjoy running with Jason - it’s just him and me, no computer, no distractions (other than my screaming lungs), and he gets to tell me all about his day (since I certainly can’t talk while running!). Plan a date night, fix him his favorite meal (or cook it together), and do something that the two of you would enjoy. Do that often, and your love for each other will stay kindled.
“Two can defend themselves”
- Think of areas in your husband’s life and in your marriage that can use prayer. Prayer is a wonderful defense against attacks from Satan! If possible - pray WITH your husband! Jesus said in Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three come together in My name, there am I with them.” Pray against the distractions and obstacles that threaten to pull your marriage apart. Pray against the negativity that tries to bring you or your husband down. Pray for God’s love to shine through both of you in your marriage, and strive to keep prayer an important priority in your marriage. If you need help in knowing how to pray for your husband, you can always purchase this book, The Power of a Praying Wife. (It’s AWESOME).
“A cord of three strands is not quickly broken”
- How evident is the Holy Spirit in your marriage? Does He make up the “third strand” of your marriage? If you feel like your marriage is headed in the wrong direction, that divorce is inevitable, or that you just don’t have the strength to continue in your marriage, you may need more of the Holy Spirit in your life! That is only accomplished by spending time in the Word and in prayer EVERY DAY… don’t miss out on that important time!!!
Now that you’ve thought about all of these things, it’s time to TAKE ACTION!! I could think about all the positives to running, but if I don’t get off my butt, my running time will never improve (neither will my heart or lungs, either!). Thinking about the positives in your marriage is not enough - go encourage your husband, plan a date night, pray for your husband, and spend time with Jesus!
If you can think of another way to TAKE ACTION, leave a comment right here! Or, if you have a success story, or even a prayer request, leave a comment. Let’s strive to build a better marriage by first forgetting the negatives, and focus on the positives! In fact, given some time, I’ll bet you can write your OWN list of reasons why you’re thankful your husband runs with you!
Keep on Striving!!!
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