Weekly Challenge: Don’t Complain for 48 Hours

Weekly Challenge Michelle Lindsey August 1, 2013

Complaining is one of my default modes

Sometimes I complain so much that I get tired of hearing my own voice. There are times when even the birds chirping above me annoy me. If I get into one of those moods, it’s very hard for me to snap out of it unless I sleep it off or pray really hard. Today was one of those days.

My niece lives next door, and I am pretty sure each time I saw her today, I just complained. I even complained while eating dinner with one of my friends. I was just feeling negative today. The women in my life seem to handle it much better than my spouse. They just listen and nod and smile and tell me that they understand. It’s pretty amazing actually, the way women can just listen and not feel the need to fix things. But I am married to a man.

Complaining puts my husband on edge

I can almost see him looking for the nearest exit sign. After twenty three years with him, I have realized it is simply because he wants to fix things. It is because he loves me, or he wants me to stop talking. Either way, he scrambles for an answer. But sometimes there aren’t any answers. Sometimes I’m just venting. Sometimes, my complaint is legitimate and about him, and that makes things even more difficult. Because change takes time and God doesn’t need me holding up cue cards for Scott as he lives each day. It’s not helpful to be micromanaged. It just creates distance in a relationship.

I’m not saying we should overlook things that need attention

It’s good to be honest about valid concerns, but there’s truly a way to go about it. And most of the things we complain about are actually a bit petty. I am often quick to question his methods of . . . well just about everything. Driving, shopping, his choice of clothing, how he dries off the counter tops, and the list goes on.

After griping all day today, I decided that I’m going to try my hardest to not complain for 48 hours. I initially wanted to go for a week, but I know two days will be challenging enough. I’ve tried this before, and it shocked me that it was so difficult. Countless times, I began to complain and had to change my words mid-sentence in order to make it an encouraging statement rather than a negative one. I had to force my scowl into a smile, sometimes quite painfully. I looked a little odd at times, but it was the only way to stand by my goal. It also made me aware of how the words I said, affected my spouse, good or bad.

Join me in this challenge: no complaining for at least 48 hours.

If you are a very cheery person, you might want to bump it up to a whole week. Be encouraging whenever possible, even if it means silence. Who knows, you might see some great changes take place!

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