Have you encouraged your spouse today? Encouraging words can go a long way in strengthening the foundation of your relationship. But you have to make them known. We’re told in God’s word that:
“A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.“ (Proverbs 25:11)
“The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.“ (Proverbs 14:1)
“And when he arrived and saw the evidence of the grace of God, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts. He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord.” (Acts 11:23-24)
Can those words be said of you? Are you a “good” person, “full of the Holy Spirit and faith” where the Lord can use your life as a vessel to draw others to Himself? Are you “wise” —where you build up others, rather than tearing them down?
Have You Encouraged Your Spouse?
It’s not a matter of giving false encouragement. That would do more harm than good. It’s looking for the “grace of God” —evidence where your partner in marriage has done something that is helpful in some way. It’s also letting him or her know that you noticed.
Don’t lock those points of grace up within your mind, giving them the silent treatment, without sharing them with your spouse. They could become as “apples of gold in settings of silver.” Your spouse who receives them, will be blessed that you paid attention and shared those words of appreciation.
By doing this, you are addressing their “aloneness.” God said that it is “not good for man to be alone.” Your spouse needs the encouragement of a partner who cares and shares in ways that others might not.
To the best that we are able:
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” (Galatians 6:9-10)
There have been times when my husband Steve has voiced words of appreciation over little things that no one else might acknowledge. They have blessed me deeply to know that he would take the time to notice.
There have been other times when my heart has been troubled and he has grieved with me. He then asks me if he could pray with me. I can’t adequately express how much those times have meant to me. To know that I have a partner who cares enough to connect in such a powerful way, and to pray a prayer addressing that, which concerns me, is priceless.
So we ask you, “have you encouraged your spouse today?” If you need a little help with this, we found an article posted on the Internet that might help you, if you read it (and apply what you learn). It’s written by Doug Britton and is titled, Encourage One Another: Say Encouraging Words Daily.
Amongst many, here’s one little nugget of potential inspiration Doug wrote that might inspire you.
“Life is full of problems, and we need to deal with them. But if we aren’t careful, all we see are the problems. There are lots of good things we can focus on. Instead of ‘catching people being bad,’ catch them being good. Make your words a fountain of life. Be a positive person. Encourage one another.”
Even if your spouse hasn’t been encouraging to you, don’t allow yourself to hold back from being a vessel of grace. Remember, “while we were yet sinners” Christ sacrificed his life for us. He didn’t wait for us to be the first ones (and maybe the only ones) to lavish us with extravagant love and grace.
As we’re told in the Bible:
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, THAT IT MAY BENEFIT THOSE WHO LISTEN. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:29-32)
“Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” (Ephesians 5:1-2)
We hope you are vessels of appreciation and grace, rather than dispensers of criticism. It’s easy to go the negative route when you live together day after day. Instead, put effort into noticing, and acknowledging even little things that are good in your spouse. Pray for God’s help in noticing, and as God inspires you.
And as you do so, “May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.“
Cindy and Steve Wright
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