Encouraging words can go a long way in building your home and strengthening the foundation of your relationship.
"A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver" (Proverbs 25:11).
"The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down" (Proverbs 14:1).
"And when he arrived and saw the evidence of the grace of God, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts. He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord" (Acts 11:23-24).
Can those words be said of you? Are you a "good" person, "full of the Holy Spirit and faith" where the Lord can use your life as a vessel to bring others to Himself and cause them to grow closer to the Lord? Are you "wise" — where you build up those within your house, rather than tearing them down?
It’s not a matter of giving false encouragement — that would do more harm than good. It’s looking for the "grace of God" — evidence where your partner in marriage has done something that is helpful in some way and letting him or her know that you noticed and that it touched your heart in a positive way. Don’t lock those points of grace up within your mind without sharing them with your spouse. They could become as "apples of gold in settings of silver" where the spouse who receives them will be blessed that you pay attention and care enough to share words of appreciation.
By doing this, you are addressing their "aloneness." God said that it is "not good for man to be alone." A spouse needs the encouragement of a partner who cares and shares in ways that others might not.
"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers" (Galatians 6:9-10).
There have been times when my husband Steve has voiced words of appreciation over little things that no one else might acknowledge, and they have addressed needs that I couldn’t properly put into words. They have blessed me deeply to know that another human being would take the time to notice.
And there have been times when my heart has been troubled and he has reached over and grieved with me and then asked me if he could pray with me and over me. I can’t adequately express how much those times have meant to me — much as a healing balm. To know that I have a partner that notices and cares enough to connect in such a powerful way, and to pray a prayer of blessing, addressing that which concerns me, is priceless.
So we ask you, "have you encouraged your spouse today?" Even if your spouse hasn’t been encouraging to you, don’t allow yourself to hold back from being a vessel of grace and appreciation. Remember, "while we were yet sinners" Christ sacrificed his life for us. He didn’t wait for us to be the first ones (and maybe the only ones) to lavish us with extravagant love and grace.
"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, THAT IT MAY BENEFIT THOSE WHO LISTEN. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
"Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God" (Ephesians 4:29 – Ephesians 5:1-2).
"The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you."
Cindy and Steve Wright