5 Simple Ways to Encourage Your Spouse
5 Simple Ways to Encourage Your Spouse
This week we watched a video about making your bed every day. The statements caused us to ponder other simple actions in life, including encouragement. To be clear, we write about encouragement every week, specifically about encouragement in marriage. And yet, there are times when we (Robert and Lori) forget to encourage each other.
There’s a quote ascribed to Chick-Fil-A CEO Dan Cathy, “How do you know if someone needs encouragement? If they’re breathing!” We imagine you might find yourself – you and your spouse – in the same situation as us… perhaps you don’t always remember that the person you live with needs some encouragement also.
When anyone thinks about encouragement, the immediate reaction is to assume it’s all about “rah-rah” words. And yes, words are important. However, words are only one way to encourage.
Encouragement begins with attitude.
To help inspire you, here are 5 simple ways to encourage your spouse:
1) Inspire with HOPE – Your spouse will be encouraged if you live with hope in your heart. We serve a God of Hope.
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13 NKJV
Are you planning for the future together? We have a great future – we are loved unconditionally by the Author of salvation who wants us all to be with Him for eternity. Even when our natural lives, including our bodies, finances, and families seem hopeless, Jesus has paved the way for our eternal hope. Encourage your spouse with this hope!
2) Fortify with FAITH – Ah yes –encouraging with an eternal hope is only possible if we have faith in the One who calls us to Him. How is your faith in the Gospel? How are you growing in your faith, in your belief in Jesus and does your behavior show this? Does your spouse see you growing in faith? This growth can be so encouraging.
But what if one of you – husband or wife – doesn’t share a belief in the Gospel? It’s possible for that to change, and we have two stories of hope to illustrate that for you:
A couple we know intimately has just celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. In the years surrounding their 20th wedding anniversary they contemplated divorce. They felt they led separate lives; one spouse’s faith was igniting into a fire, and the other had no interest in pursuing God. And yet, within a few short years, after much prayer, the one spouse with a focus on a natural career, changed and gave his life to Jesus. If the couple had given up, they wouldn’t be experiencing this time in their 80’s where one of their greatest joys is spending time delving into God’s Word and discussing what they’re learning. The other story is similar – but it took 45 years. You can read about the other couple here.
Use your faith to encourage your spouse. And if your spouse doesn’t believe? Don’t give up – continue… faithfully!
3) Foster with LOVE – This way is directly from Christ. Love without condition or prerequisite. Love God first with your whole heart. And then…
‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Matthew 22:39
Who is a closer neighbor than your spouse? One of the most encouraging actions we can do for our spouse is to extend love. If you need to be reminded on how to love your spouse, review 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.
4) Uplift with PRAYER – Your prayer is an action. It demonstrates how much you care. Does your spouse hear you praying for her or him? Do you pray together? Lift up your spouse with prayer… and if you don’t know how to pray together, then start small. Hold hands and thank God for one thing about your spouse. That’s encouragement in action.
One easy way to pray for your spouse is whenever you wash your hands and see your wedding ring! (Read 22 more ways to remember to pray here.) Tell your spouse that you will pray for him/her and be specific about when, and that’ll be an encouragement.
5) Support with an ACTION – Be the extra pair of hands, the support that goes above and beyond, the person who stands (silently) beside your spouse. He/she will feel encouraged if they know you’re “for” them. What could you do – what action could you take – that would support your spouse?
Lastly, we need to tell you that encouragement is not about you. (Sorry.) Take your self-interests out of the encouragement, and you’ll be much more effective.
These 5 ways to encourage your spouse might be simple – but they’re not always easy.
Anything worthwhile is rarely easy. You knew that, right? Oh, but the benefits are amazing!
Which one of these 5 simple ways to encourage will you put into action today?
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