I started the 30 day Husband Encouragement Challenge for a few reasons. One, I found myself being overly critical of my husband and it was beginning to become a huge problem. Two, I was frustrated with *his* lack of change. Three, I wanted something to change, and I knew change only begins with me.
But there is this weird paradox with things like this: secretly, inside, you are hoping that by *your* changing, then your husband will change. But it doesn't always work like that, nor should we ever count or trust in that. A means doesn't always guarantee an end. In the Christian life, we find this everywhere. You must die to live? Being like a child is wise? God's economy is not like the world's economy.
Similarily, this applies to child-rearing. Just because we raise our children in the "fear and admonition of the Lord" doesn't always mean that they will, ultimately, love and serve the Lord. Just because I encourage my husband for 30 days does not mean he will turn around and write me love letters about how wonderful I keep the house clean. (I'm kidding. Sort of. About the house cleaning part.) Just because I make an effort to help a friend in her time(s) of need(s) by bringing her meals, cleaning her house, doesn't mean that she will make the effort to talk to me at church. (Seriously.) So why bother?
God's ways are not a means to an end. They never are. Man's chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. (Westminister catechism) So why do we do what we do? To glorify Him.
“The critical question for our generation—and for every generation—
is this: If you could have heaven, with no sickness, and with all the
friends you ever had on earth, and all the food you ever liked, and
all the leisure activities you ever enjoyed, and all the natural beauties
you ever saw, all the physical pleasures you ever tasted, and no
human conflict or any natural disasters, could you be satisfied with
heaven, if Christ were not there? ”
― John Piper, God Is the Gospel: Meditations on God's Love as the Gift of Himself