How to encourage your spouse?
Eph 5:25-33 “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless, let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverences her husband.”
Heb 3:12-13 “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.”
1. The more spiritually stable you are, the better you will be at encouraging your spouse. One of the best things that encourages me is the spiritual stability of my spouse. When I am low and she is strong in her faith, I am then motivated to put on my big boy pants and keep moving in faith and trust in God. God has given each of us a spouse to be an encouragement. We are joint heirs together in the grace of life. In other words, we both have to cross the finish line in order to win. We share in God’s rewards together. We are meant to strengthen each other but we can also hinder each other. The more stable you are in your spiritual walk, the better encouragement you will be to your spouse when he/she is vulnerable and weak. I Peter 3:7 “Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered. The Bible teaches that two are better than one: Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 “Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”
2. If you’re an answer to your spouse’s prayers, this will encourage your spouse. When my wife tells me that she’s praying for me, this is an encouragement because I know the Lord hears the prayers of my spouse. When you hold bitterness towards your spouse this will hinder answered prayers. When your spouse prays for you specifically in a certain area and you improve in that area spiritual speaking, he/she attributes that change to their prayers being answered and he/she’s faith then grows as a result . Answers to prayer always encourages. Make continual progress in your spiritual growth. Perfection is not the goal; progress is the goal. This will encourage your spouse.
3. Taking your walk with God seriously, will encourage your spouse. I am encouraged when my wife allows me to be me. My wife doesn’t expect perfection. We all have a human side to us. There is not another person that knows the real you, the flaws and the strengths more than your spouse. They see your feet of clay. I am encouraged when my wife gives grace to me when I’m not at my best.
However, if I stay dwarfed instead of rising up to my God-given potential, I will not be an encouragement to her. Sanctification is a gift that God gives to all his children. My spouse encourages me at my worst by realizing that I am not now what I will someday be, but I cannot encourage her if I remain at my worst. Encourage your spouse by rising above the works of the flesh and worldly temptations, and overcome stubborn habits, and sinful besetting sins through living the Spirit filled life. Living as a defeated Christian does not encourage your spouse. Living victorious will encourage your spouse. There can be no victory without a battle. When you’re unwilling to fight, it knocks the breath out of our spouse.
4. When your pulling in the same direction spiritually, this will encourage your spouse. I am encouraged when our passions align together to serve the Lord. When we’re both willing to do the right thing together and we’re both on board to live the Christian life, to be at church, to grow in our faith, to be used of the Lord, to raise our children in the Lord, to put our hope and expectations in God, to live for others and for the eternal treasures, and to use our lives together to fulfill God’s will for our lives. There is nothing more frustrating than to be going in different directions and have different goals and aspirations. You married a Christian, or at least he/she is now a Christians, so choose to be one yourself. There dedication to Christ is first and foremost, and only when both are in submission to Christ will the marriage be equally yoked. 2 Corinthians 6:14-17 “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.”
5. When you are willing and actively following God’s leading, this will encourage your spouse. My wife encourages me when she points me to do what the Lord wills. Sometimes, in periods of discouragement, I may say some things that give an indication that I’m changing direction, and my wife would always ask me, “Is that what the Lord wants you to do?” She points me to the Lord. God’s guidance is everything and nothing else matters. In times of spiritual lows or discouragement, ask yourself if this is God’s will rather than my emotions or a response to weak faith. Don’t make big decisions when you are not spiritually at your best. If I tell her after much prayer and discernment, I believe this is what the Lord wills for us, she will support me. This may be hard for some spouses to do, because it must require faith. My spouse is my biggest critic, but also my biggest cheerleader and supporter. She believes in me the most, and has invested the most of her own life than anyone else to see me succeed. I would be foolish not to strongly consider my spouse’s constructive criticism. I am encouraged, when she trusts me to seek and to know God’s guidance for us. God’s design is to lead the husband and the wife to be willing to trust God’s design. If the husband is actively following God’s guidance this will encourage his spouse. If the wife is willing to trust God’s design this will encourage her husband. I am not naive to the depravity of human nature, and in some instances God’s design is marred because of sin.
6. Maintaining fellowship, will encourage your spouse. I’m encouraged when I’m walking in my best and it causes her countenance to light up. She’s proud of me when I’m doing my best. She celebrates my victories because they are also her victories. It’s like the fan who cheers for his team to win. The players need their fans. I am at my best when I’m walking close with the Lord. She’s at her best when she is walking close with the Lord. It’s a double bonus! Fellowship with one another is always sweeter when the Lord is in the midst. There is no better fellowship than that of fellowship with the Lord. Marriage is the closest earthly relationship to spiritual fellowship. When both in the marriage are in fellowship with the Lord and in fellowship with each other, you have the best of both worlds. In order to be in fellowship with the Lord, you must be in fellowship with your spouse. When we align our expectations in our spouse with God’s priorities and then applaud those priorities, it will encourage your spouse.
7. Praising your spouse’s good qualities will encourage your spouse. I’m encouraged when she forgives me. When I make mistakes and she doesn’t hold a grudge. She overlooks my faults and chooses to see Christ in me, the better me. We have to see the best in our spouse. Sure there are flaws in everyone of us, but for some reason those flaws were invisible to you when you were dating. Overtime, you can become irritated with your spouse and magnify those flaws especially when the trials of life gets you weary. Signs of a spiritual low and weariness is that you begin to pick out the flaws of your spouse. Don’t lose sight of those good qualities. Write a list of the things you love and admire about your spouse and then take it out and read it when you can only see the flaws. Choose to not magnify the imperfections but to praise the good qualities. Praising what is good about your spouse and praising the potential they can’t see in themselves has a far better reach of encouraging behavior changes than picking at your spouse’s imperfections.
8. Contentment and courage will encourage your spouse. I’m encouraged when my wife is happy. There’s something about knowing that the other person is happy that encourages a desire to be happy and content. Happiness is a sign of courage. Discouragement is a lack of courage. If I choose to display a joyful countenance no matter the trial, I will add strength to my spouse. The trials will probably not go away. It’s called life. Life is difficult and the burdens are very heavy at times, but don’t allow trails to rob the happiness from your marriage. How you endure them will matter. God has uniquely gifted you to be the encouragement your spouse needs. Your spiritual temperature will directly affect positively or negatively whether or not your spouse will remain encouraged in her spiritual warfare. We all have our own struggle and no one is exempt. When your spouse, who deals with the same life’s pressure as you, endures and remains courageous through it it will encourage the other. Remember that your spouse needs daily encouragement to combat against daily troubles. Sufficient of the day is the evil thereof. We must counteract the daily bombardment of the enemy’s oppression with the daily ministry of encouragement one to another. Don’t let your spouse fight their battle alone. Make ministry of encouragement a necessity in your home. Don’t be the one always needing encouragement, but realize the other has their battles to and they need you to be courageous for them as well.
9. Being passionate about your contribution to the marriage will encourage your spouse. I am encouraged when my wife takes care of the shared responsibilities in our marriage. A marriage is a partnership. We each have roles and gift mixes that adds to the overall success of our lives. When we take seriously our responsibility in the marriage and for the family, this adds stability to the home. When I am carrying my end of the table; this will encourage the other end of the table. Think of marriage as a single body. When I got ready this morning, I made sure the overall appearance gave glory to the face. I didn’t leave anything undone. My character contributes to my overall appearance and confidence. If I forgot to brush my teeth, I might be walking around embarrassed to talk with people. Character is essential to encouragement. When we contribute to the marriage, character in our shared responsibilities this will yield encouragement to your spouse. Passion inspires and encourages. Take passion in what you do for your spouse. If that means you’re shared responsibilities are to clean the house, cook the meals, manage a career, mow the lawn, pay the bills, oversee the decor, or to plan the activities, remember to put your heart and soul into it. Do it with excellence. The Bible says ” Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.” Nothing is more discouraging then apathy. Don’t aim for mediocrity. Passion excites! Excellence will inspire and encourage your spouse.
10. Expressing daily acts of thoughtfulness: this will encourage your spouse. I am encouraged when my wife writes me encouraging notes, sends me text messages through out the day, tells me she loves me, and does things that show she is thinking of me. Encouragement is not something that you hide. It can’t be hidden if its authentic encouragement. It is always loud and intrusive! Encouragement is seen in acts of kindness, displays of thoughtfulness, and words of affirmation. Biblically encouragement always points your spouse to God’s love, promises, faithfulness, and His purpose for their life.
- Pray that God will make you a better encourager to your spouse.
- Make encouragement a daily discipline.
- Don’t get discouraged if you don’t get any reward back at first. Its God’s plan for building your spouse and it will work.
- Biblical encouragement points to God’s promises. Remember the best encouragement is to strengthen your spouse in God.