Such sweet words!  These were the melodious words of Jeff a few evenings ago as we were casually dining in our recliners (This didn’t happen when our children were still home, but empty nesting will sometimes quietly maneuver you from the dining table right into those comfy chairs!).  I instantaneously continued the phrase singing, “I’m so glad you came into my life!”   While at our house most any comment can bring a tune to mind, this did more…it spoke to my heart to hear those thoughtful, unsolicited words of admiration from my husband.  These six simple words were a powerful reminder to me of the importance, in order to maintain a healthy marriage, to continuously lift one another up with positive, encouraging words.

Paul emphasized the significance of the brothers and sisters in Christ inspiring and applauding one another as they served in the church of Thessalonica, reminding them,

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
— 1 Thessalonians 5:11

If Christian friends are called to spur one another forward with affirming words, how much more should a husband and wife, who have committed to a lifetime of love, sacrifice and service together, be purposeful in praising one another daily?  The potential power of just a few spoken words (positive words, of course!) might just pleasantly surprise you!

Let’s take a look at men first.  If you have studied Ephesians, or attended a marriage study lately, you most likely have learned husbands are to be respected.  God created them with this particular need, so do not resist it, or resent it.  Ladies, you will profit if you embrace it!  They are drawn to encouragement and praise…it’s just the way God planned it.  Therefore, if you desire the attention of your man, express gratitude for his work, respect him, and build him up in your speech. Your compliments and recognition of his efforts will lift him to a higher level, helping him become the man God created him to be. 

Men, your wives were created to need a husband, sacrificial and sensitive to her needs.  Your warm words of approval, celebrating her role as your wife will speak to her heart!  You will enjoy the benefits of a peaceful, joyful home as you recognize her qualities and gifts, affirming through kind words…she is on your mind.  Men, God created you to love and sacrifice for her.   Your wife will become a needed blessing and encourager to your life as you extend words of affirmation her way. 

In the above scripture, Paul pointed out the Thessalonians were already encouraging others.  So I ask…are you presently lifting your spouse through admiration?  Not just once, but all through the day?  I must admit…I have work to do.  Most likely, many of us have not conquered this challenge.  So, this is my challenge to you, and to me.  Let’s intentionally speak life-giving words of gratitude into our spouse’s life…today and every day!

Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
— Proverbs 16:24

Let the sweet healing begin!

Debbie Earnest
IBC Marriage Ministry Leadership