Honoring Your Spouse's Strengths
Let marriage be held in honor. Hebrews 13:4, NASB
Over the years I've come to appreciate Teresa's character qualities—those strengths within her that bless me and others. For example, she is very supportive and loyal to me. She is convicted and diligent about getting her tasks completed. She is discerning and insightful, truthful and hospitable. Those are just a few of her many qualities.
Honoring your spouse's character strengths is an important aspect of genuinely knowing him or her. Honoring your spouse this way has its focus more on who the person is than on what the person does.
We often ask couples to reflect on selected character qualities. We encourage them to identify qualities that exemplify their spouse. We have them ask questions such as, "Is my spouse a content, creative, forgiving, or generous person?" and "Do I appreciate his or her gratefulness, patience, resourcefulness, or self-control?"
Identifying our spouse's strengths is often challenging, particularly if we've grown accustomed to focusing on complaints and criticisms. It challenges us to look beyond behaviors and actions and seek to more deeply know our spouse. Here are two great ways to begin looking for partner strengths in your spouse:
Identify some of your own limitations and see if God hasn't blessed you with a partner who has compensating strengths.
Remember some of what originally attracted you to your spouse—qualities such as being outgoing, sensitive, easygoing, fun loving, etc.
After you identify positive character strengths in your spouse, then speak words of praise when the two of you are alone together. Then find other ways to praise one another. For example, send an appreciative note to the home or office or slip a special note into a suitcase or lunch box. Finally, share public praise. In the presence of others, voice your appreciation for your spouse's character qualities.
What specific strengths and qualities can you privately and publicly praise your spouse for today?
Lord, help me to see the unique strengths within my spouse.
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