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Do You Know How to Encourage Your Spouse?
Sometimes it isn’t easy to discover ways to encourage your spouse. One woman came to me and said, “There is nothing in my marriage. No spark or sizzle—nothing! I have no feelings. I want out.”
I suggested we pray and ask God to show her one positive thing about her spouse. She went home and prayed some more. The next day she called and said, “I thought of something.”
“Good. What is it?” I asked hopefully.
“He’s still here.”
He’s still here? I thought she was kidding, but I could tell from her tone that she wasn’t.
At our next session, I said, “Okay, let’s run with that. Let’s brainstorm together ways you can tell him thanks for being here.” We made a list of several ways she could say to him, “You’re here.”
She went back home and began a new habit. She would walk by her husband sitting in his recliner with the remote in hand watching sports, rub his shoulders, and say, “It’s nice to know you’re around.”
She’d see him sitting reading the paper and say, “You know, I was thinking, it’s nice to know some things in life you can count on—like you being here.”
She came up with so many ways to positively say, “You’re here, bud,” that one day he got up out of that old recliner.
He came into the living room where she was having a quiet time reading her Bible. He’d never been interested in spiritual discussions before, but he said, “Honey, what are you reading?”
“My Bible. I was having a problem at work and this passage in the book of Psalms is helping me.”
“Why don’t you read it to me?”
She did, and added an explanation of how it applied to her life.
“That’s pretty neat,” he replied with genuine enthusiasm.
The next Sunday, a miracle happened. Instead of going to his favorite chair, he asked if he could go to church with her. And he’s been going ever since. In addition, she now regularly tells me of his romantic gestures toward her.
She found the power of encouraging words by taking 100 percent of her energy and focusing it on one positive trait.
Pam and I have learned that happiness and passion in marriage don’t come from ﬁnding the right partner, but in being the right partner.