Hebrews 10: 24-25 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 25 …let us encourage one another —and all the more …
Encouragement is one of your heart’s favorite foods … and every heart is a hungry heart!
We all get tummy twinges telling us that it’s time to get some nourishment. Our hearts ache for words of love and encouragement to get us through each day too!
So, one of the vital skills we need to develop is the ability to feed our spouses’ hungry hearts with acts and words of encouragement. Let’s look at what that looks like.
Webster defines encouragement this way: to embolden, hearten, give courage or confidence to; contribute to the progress of; to raise the hopes of; to help on by sympathetic advice and interest; to promote, stimulate, and strengthen.
Instill Courage. To embolden implies the giving, or installing, of courage our spouse needs to overcome timidity or fear. What is your spouse “afraid” of today? What can you do, or say that will him or her give strength and confidence to face this challenge head on?
Cheer Development. We cheer when our favorite team scores! Let your spouse hear your cheer when they have successfully overcome a challenge! Keep an eye open for what they have overcome … or done well.
Bring Hope: In discouraging times our mates need to hear from us that we are with them … that God is with them. They need to see a light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. Sometimes it is encouraging for them if we roll up our sleeves to help them work through their challenges. Be careful that they are “hearing” this action is genuine help and not as a statement of their incompetence.
Support and Affirm: both flow out of love and concern; and demonstrate genuine encouragement. Look for ways to come along side of your spouse to affirm where they are and what they’re doing.
Honor their character: We want to polish the positive traits in our mates. This is more than affirming what they are “doing,” but acknowledging who they are “being.” “I love your generous spirit …” “You showed a great kindness to …”
Look to see how the fruit of the spirit is being evidenced your spouse’s life and let him or her know when you see glimmers of them emerging.
Knee to Knee Nose to Nose Questions:
Talk about which of the facets of encouragement is your heart’s favorite food.
Talk about how you can feed your spouse’s heart.
Here is a challenge. Let’s promise to feed our spouse’s heart with a least one of these “encouraging” actions every day this week.