Have you ever realized that your spouse needs encouragement? The world tends to beat us down, and we constantly need someone to be there to build us back up. I have heard that encouragement gets us going, and consistency keeps us growing. We need discipline to stay in motion, but that encouragement is so powerful for helping us begin each day in a world that is great at tearing us apart.
I have recently realized that women need just as much encouragement as men. All people need a sense of self-worth. I believe that helping our spouse to feel like they are worth something is one of the greatest gifts that we can give. Our culture tells us that we are not good enough, the work place tells us we are not good enough, the church tells us that we are not good enough. The message comes at us from every direction. How do we combat these negative messages that do nothing but prevent us from enjoying the life God has given us?
It is fascinating how God brings good teaching to us. I hope that I can provide that to you now.
Joseph is a character in the Bible that we can look to in these situations, when we do not feel like we are enough. Joseph was sold into slavery by his own brothers, who basically wanted him dead. I am sure he felt worthless and betrayed. Little did they know that their brother would get the attention of the king because of his ability to interpret dreams, and he would soon be second in command over the people of Egypt. He would have access to the stored food, when the rest of the land was experiencing famine. Joseph tells us in Genesis that when people (his brothers) meant to harm him, God meant it for good.
Encouraging your spouse is important in word and deed. As John C. Maxwell explains, we need to set people up for a win. He said that good leaders take people so far that the finish line is within reach, and then they let them cross it on their own. We should do the same. We can praise our spouse, and then let him/her win. Feed the kids, and praise him/her for helping with the clean-up. Do most of the work cooking, and praise him/her for helping at cutting up the vegetables. Clean up the yard, and praise him/her for watching the kids. In our home, my husband is a good example in this regard. He does most of the cooking (because I am just not a great cook) and he praises me for the little help that I give. And, I am able to do more each time. If we ask for too much at once, we are setting our spouse up for defeat. But, if we are reasonable in our requests, he/she will be encouraged to do even more!
Let's encourage our spouse in word and deed! After all, you are the best person in the world that can provide that gift.