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The Look of Real Comfort

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What are some ways you can bring true comfort to your spouse when he or she needs it?

Comfort one another with these words. 1 Thessalonians 4:18, NASB

Comfort is an expression of the heart. It means responding to a hurting person with words, feelings, and touch. Comfort means hurting with another person. It means showing compassion for another's pain or grief.

A person who is hurting feels emotions such as sadness, disappointment, and rejection. That person doesn't need a pep talk like, "Come on! Cheer up! It's a beautiful day outside!" He or she doesn't need words of correction or teaching such as, "The reason this happened is . . . Next time, why don't you . . . ?" When someone needs comforting, don't give advice such as, "If I were in your shoes, I would...

It's important to learn a "vocabulary of comfort." Here’s what true comfort might sound like: "I'm so sorry that you're hurting. I'm so sad that you're going through this. I'm on your side, and I'm committed to helping you get through this difficult time.”

It's also important to convey comfort through gentle touch. Holding hands, a warm embrace, or just sitting quietly and crying with someone conveys compassionate care. Putting your arm around someone who is enduring painful emotions shows that you are concerned and care about that person's hurt. Wiping a fevered brow or holding your spouse while he shares his heart brings comfort and consolation.

Comfort means expressing through words and actions what you feel for another person as you share in his or her pain. It means becoming vulnerable, too.

What are some ways you can bring true comfort to your spouse when he or she needs it?

Father, as the God of all comfort, I pray that You will show me how to comfort my spouse in a longing, compassionate way. Show me how to respond when this person is enduring hurt or disappointment in his or her life.

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