The Gift of Spousal Encouragement – MM #155

Spousal Encouragement Pixabay thumbs-up-2649310_1920Are you living in a home where you are being affirmed and feel you are continually receiving spousal encouragement? Are you an encourager? Remember that we are told in the Bible:

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:23).

The above Bible verse is a good one for us to remember —especially in our marriages. As life gets hectic we often forget to be nicest to the human being we claim to love the most. Our spouse is the one we should WANT to find ways to “spur” on “toward love and good deeds” —our spouse.

Giving the Gift of Spousal Encouragement

We forget that some of the reasons we married is to love them. It is to share our lives with them in honoring, cherishing ways. Spousal encouragement is part of our promise to them. Plus we promise to help them to be all they can be in Christ so we can live a “life of love” (as God tells us to do in Ephesians 5:1) for the rest of our lives together.

I (Cindy) read in the devotional book, A Gentle Spirit (published by Barbour Publishing), something that spoke on this aspect of living. It reminded me of marriage and the role we’re to play in encouraging each other.

The writer, Hannah Hurnard, wrote how dissatisfied she was with her life in how she was relating to the people around her. She prayed to the Lord about the lack of power she had in helping them. She perceived that the Lord said to her:

Look at Your Motives

“My child, what is your motive—to help or hurt? Instead of blaming people, bless them, speak well of them. Concentrate on discovering the good things in people and on encouraging them to enjoy doing good and lovely things. You can’t force people to stop doing bad things. But you can make doing good, so attractive that they don’t want to waste a minute of time on the wrong and harmful things.

“Quietly adapt yourself to living happily with the people who aggravate you. Do this rather than trying to force them to change their habits so as to suit you.”

1 Peter 3:1-4 says, “Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husband so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.

In 1 Peter 3:7 ISV, husbands are told, “In a similar way, you husbands must live with your wives in an understanding manner, as with a most delicate partner. Honor them as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing may interfere with your prayers.

Acting Like Jesus in Spousal Encouragement

With these admonitions in mind, the following is something else Hannah Hurnard wrote which might inspire you to better help, rather than hurt each other:

“Whenever you react with praise and thanksgiving for an opportunity to grow more like Jesus in your way of reacting to things, INSTEAD of grumbling or feeling self-pity, you will find that the whole situation will be changed into a greater blessing.”

How true this message is in how we approach each other in marriage! When I’ve tried to force Steve to see things my way, he has acted all the more resistant to treating me as I felt I “deserved.”

Even if I was right in what I was trying to communicate, the way in which I was saying it brought about negative results all the more powerfully.

And instead of Steve truly understanding what I was trying to convey, his mind seemed to slam shut. He was resistant to whatever I was trying to communicate. He would then stubbornly do things his way. Of course, this is the opposite of what I hoped would happen.

I’m reminded of the Bible verse that says,

Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another. Be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.(1 Peter 3:8-9)

Piling on Insults

God tells us through these verses in the Bible that we are not to pile our insult on top of theirs. That’s not what God is calling us to do.

We’re told in Romans 12:2:

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world. But be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is —His good, pleasing and perfect will.

Even if your spouse doesn’t do what he or she should, that doesn’t give permission to “conform” to the ways of the world. We are not to pile evil upon evil and insult upon insult. It’s a great temptation and we can feel a pull to do so. But that doesn’t mean we should. Sometimes going along with our raw feelings just complicates matters all the more. God created and embraces us, expecting better than that.

May we continually keep this in mind! May we be dispensers of grace and encouragement, rather than vessels of criticism.

It is our heart’s cry that together we will reveal and reflect the heart of Christ in all we do and say within our marriages. May we treat each other with the love and honor that we vowed on our wedding day we would give. And most importantly, it’s that which God would have us give.

Cindy and Steve Wright

— ALSO, on the Issue of Spousal Encouragement —

For a few more insights on this topic, please click onto the following web site links to read the articles:

•  “I Believe in You!” The Power of Encouragement in Marriage

•  What Kind of Encouragement Does Your Spouse Needs

Print Post

Filed under: Marriage Messages

Join the Discussion

Please observe the following guidelines:

  • Try to be as positive as possible when you make a comment.
  • If there is name-calling, or profane language, it will be deleted.
  • The same goes with hurtful comments targeted at belittling others; we won't post them.
  • Recommendations for people to divorce will be edited out–that's a decision between them and God, not us.
  • If you have a criticism, please make it constructive.
  • Be mindful that this is an international ministry where cultural differences need to be considered.
  • Please honor the fact this is a Christ-centered web site.

We review all comments before posting them to reduce spam and offensive content.


3 responses to “The Gift of Spousal Encouragement – MM #155

  1. (SOUTH AFRICA)  Hi Angelita, It is natural, my husband and I are six years in marriage but we never go out on holidays. I always feel hurt about this, especially when some of our friend go for holidays at some resorts and we don’t.

    The past 2 months we are extending the house and we do not have money even to go out for dinner and it was hurting me until I asked myself if going for a holiday and going out for dinner and finishing the project of extending the house, out of all of this, what is important? I prayed about it and last week I asked my husband, what if for our six year anniversary we should go for a holiday and his answer was I must look at the places where we can go but it must be reasonable financially, since we will be just finishing with the project that we are on.

    When I was alone God told me that I must not expect my husband to think of everything but I must also suggest it to him and discusse it with him. You should talk to your husband by going out together or organise it for both of you.

    1. (USA)  Oh Khanyo – Wonderful answer – you’re so wise (of course, our God is the wise One – but you listened!). Thank you for sharing.