Encouragement Makes A Difference in Marriage

Thought: How embarrassing! We were bowling with friends and our families. I was showing off dance moves because I was hitting spares and strikes. On my tenth frame, I was tied in first place and was certain I was going to win. As I took control of my steps and approached the foul line to release my ball, I miss stepped and my entire body falls forward encroaching inside the lane. Game Over!  I look to my husband who has a huge look in his eyes that clearly says, “Are you okay and I’m so sorry honey.” He already knew I had put my own foot in my mouth and the last thing I needed from him or anyone else was laughter, or wise comments.

When your spouse (or any relationship) stumbles, how do you respond? Anger, gossip, stone walling, or patient, kind, understanding? Are you quick to help them recover or do you let them wallow around for a while and try to get back up on their own? Shamefully, in my past I’ve been guilty of adding disgrace to their stumble. But through God’s grace, He gave me hope, inspires me with encouragement and daily His Holy Spirit strengthens me so I can handle the pressure and endure the embarrassment or pain. Daily He reminds me His grace is sufficient for me.

Encouragement begins with a heart of love and caring. We can share it through words, actions and our attitudes. We have a choice in what we say to people. Pointing out your spouse’s abilities and strengths can build their esteem, self-confidence, and feelings of worth. If we focus on our spouse value through God’s eyes, we’ll see the perfect mate he chose for us and love him or her even more deeply. We will never want them to hurt, or fail or be laughed at again. We will want to help them succeed.

Action: Encourage your spouse by affirming the positive side of his or her responsibilities. How do you want to be an encourager? How would you like to be encouraged by your spouse? Have you ever talked about it? Encouraging one another is the process of believing in him or her and there are many ways of expressing this. “You are capable of this, you have the skills, the insight, the knowledge, etc.” “Go ahead and keep doing your work at your pace, you have years of experience which gives you wisdom the young college student coming in doesn’t have, he will need you.” “I know we don’t agree on the way we should tackle this project, it’s all right, you will do well on managing it, let me know what I can do to help you.”

Scripture:  For we all stumble in many ways. If any one does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body as well. James 3:2  Therefore, encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Prayer: Father thank you for giving me ________ as my life time mate to grow with. It is our desire to serve you. Help us to handle life’s surprises by coming daily face to face with you focusing on your love, encouragement, and strength. Thank you for your hope and inspiration and most of all for the clarity of your grace that is sufficient for each of us. In the Holy Name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.

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