A Win-Win Experience
A man is valued by what others say of him. Proverbs 27:21
Praise is genuinely a win-win proposition. The recipient of praise feels blessed at having been acknowledged as significant and important. The "giver" of praise is blessed with a grateful heart and guarded from a critical spirit.
In our conferences we often remind those attending that on the first day of Christ's earthly ministry He hears from heaven. He hasn't yet performed a miracle or preached a sermon, but Jesus begins His ministry by hearing words of praise. "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" (Matthew 3:17). Christ will be rejected by His own people and ultimately betrayed by His disciples, but He must have drawn strength from the significance of these words—His Father is pleased! The Father's words of praise communicated value to His Son. Our words of praise communicate value, strengthen hearts, and sustain marriages.
Communicating praise to another affirms and deepens the relationship. We often use praise-sharing in our work with couples. Couples tell each other things like, "I feel especially loved by you when ______.” This helps give each spouse a better understanding of how the other best "feels" love. Another exercise might sound like, "One of the qualities I admire in you is ... I saw that quality when . ." This helps identify specific qualities and concrete examples that are worthy of praise. In each of these exercises we ask couples to face one another, hold hands, and verbalize their response to their spouse. The spouse "receives" the expression of appreciation and acknowledges it positively in some way.
Many couples remark about the simplicity of these exercises and the profound impact on their lives. Each person begins to experience the win-win of praise.How would you complete the exercises listed above? When will you share these words of praise with your spouse?
Thanks, Father, for the privilege and power of praise.
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