Your Best Accountability Partner ~ Your Spouse!

By Rachel O’Neill, Contributing Writer

“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow.” Ecclesiastes 4:9

 

Carefully crafting New Year’s Resolutions is one of my favorite parts of the holiday season. I love to sit down and review my life- areas I need to grow in, habits I want to form as a wife and mother, and big projects I’d like to accomplish, Lord willing.

You Best Accountability Partner ~ Your Spouse

One of the greatest resources I draw from when it comes to actually following through with these resolutions is- you guessed it- my husband!

Last year Niall and I spent New Year’s Eve drafting goals and plans for our family. It was a sweet time of fellowship, friendship, and dreaming about the future.

I personally believe that {in most cases} your spouse is the person best equipped to keep you accountable, encouraging your growth in discipline and grace. Why?

Your spouse is the person most intimately connected to you- they know you best! They know your strengths and weaknesses. They know if you got up when you were supposed to, or if you hit the snooze button five times.

Your spouse loves you more deeply than other people do. They, more than most people in your life, have your best interests in mind. They want to see you grow and flourish and improve.

Your spouse has the most to gain from your successes. When I strive by the grace of God to be a better wife, homemaker, and mother, my husband is going to benefit greatly from it! My success is his success, and vice versa.

How can we form healthy accountability in our marriages? How can we become “iron sharpening iron” (Prov. 27:17) for our spouses?

1) Communicate

Sit down together and talk- discuss your goals, character traits you’d like to develop, habits to form, and hopes for your family’s future. My husband and I really enjoy these meetings. They help us to become a united front! We can better understand what is important to the other, and how we can best encourage one another.

Make sure to take notes- write down your goals, how you plan on practically accomplishing them, obstacles you might face, and how you’ll overcome them.

2) Know Thy Spouse

It is important to us as a couple that we rise early each morning. Having extra time before Niall goes to work to read our Bibles and pray sets our day off on the right foot. In order to accomplish this, an early bed time is essential.

I have a little problem. If Niall wants to do family devotionsat 8 so that we can be in bed by 9, I cram every last possible task into the ten minutes before 8, often sitting down for devotions at 5, 10, even 15 minutes past the intended starting time. If it looks like he is doing something else, then I will keep busy until he finally asks me to sit down. I figure he’ll call me when it’s time, he figures that he already told me what time he wanted to start, and is growing anxious waiting for me.

I’ve learned to place a greater value on sticking to our schedule because it is important to Niall. He’s learned that it helps me to be reminded thirty minutes, then ten and five minutes beforehand. I’m also working at not biting off more than I can chew- too often I’m too optimistic {rather than realistic} about what I can accomplish in a limited amount of time.

Understanding these things about one another has helped us to work as a closer team at accomplishing our goals.

Learn what helps your spouse, and what doesn’t help. If you aren’t sure, just ask them what you can do to serve them best. Ask them to kindly share when you do something that bothers them, and be gracious to receive it with a responsive heart.

Photo By Summer Skyes

3) Encourage One Another

In all of your communications, and in all of your accountability, it is so important that you be kind, supportive, and encouraging of one another. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Prov. 18:21)- make sure that your words to your spouse are life giving!

Make sure to audibly note it when your spouse follows through with their goals. “Great job on getting up early all week honey!” “I am so encouraged by your faithfulness in caring for our home,” etc. It is important to notice and celebrate these things.

When you fail to meet the goals you’ve been shooting for, the last thing you need to hear is words of condemnation from your beloved. Remember this, and kindly encourage your spouse to pick themselves up and keep going. Self discipline never comes easy, it requires time and perseverance and struggle, and it will involve some failure along the way. Commit to blessing your spouse with kind words, refuse to tear them down.

4) Finally, pray diligently

We know that apart from Christ, nothing good dwells in us (Rom. 7:18), and without Him we can do nothing (John 15:5). Seek His help and grace each day, individually and as a couple.

May God grant you much victory, joy, and sweeter intimacy in your marriage as you seek to keep one another accountable!

Comments

  1. Great post, Rachel! I love how you base your advice on Scripture. I’ll be sharing this with my beloved! :)

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