To Urge Forward and Positively Persuade toward a Goal
Encourage one another. 1 Thessalonians 5:11, NASB
Encouragement, one of the true blessings in a relationship, means urging another to persist and persevere toward a goal. It means to stimulate another person to show love and good deeds. Encouragement looks like calling your spouse on his or her "big day" just to say, "I love you and I'm praying for you." Encouragement sounds like, "I know you can do it! I believe in you."
Encouragement helps keep us from growing weary in doing good. It helps us keep trying even when things are tough or when we encounter obstacles. Encouragement stimulates us to keep doing what we know is right. It means to inspire courage and determined resolve.
To give encouragement means I declare myself a cheerleader for my spouse. With sincerity and genuine praise, I tell my spouse how much I believe in him or her. By not taking over, I show him that I know he can do it. By speaking confidently about her abilities, I show her that I know she can do it.
Encouragement is not just for the hard times. It's not just something to give as a last resort. Encouragement is continued gratitude for your spouse. It means that I share words of hope about our marriage, words such as, "Sweetheart, I'm so thankful that you and I were able to resolve our differences. It gives me confidence for the days ahead." It means that I share words of excitement about the character I see in my spouse: "Honey, I'm so grateful for your enthusiasm. I know we'll still be having fun even when we're in our golden years."
Encouragement is truly one of the great blessings of married life.
In what areas of his or her life might your spouse need encouragement today? What words of encouragement can you speak?
Father, produce in our home an atmosphere of encouragement. Help me to see this need in my spouse and respond accordingly.