Again, I hesitate on writing when it comes to marriage. I hesitate because I, by no means, am an expert. I don’t have all the answers. I have NOT figured this entire thing out. But I do believe in this unity. With all my heart.
And I have learned a few things along the way.
But, by no means, am I done learning.
In following along with the Revive Your Marriage Series, hosted by the Unveiled Wife, the topic today is: praise in marriage
I just love praise! In fact, who doesn’t like it? If we’re real honest with ourselves, perhaps we go looking for it without even realizing (checking facebook for “likes”, ahem). I am a firm believer in encouragement. It’s just so good for the soul. It’s a win-win for both parties, both the giver and the receiver. And if we’re even more honest, we might note that it flows more easily to the ones “outside” our home than the ones inside.
Especially when it comes to our spouses.
Why is that? Well, it happens for a number of reasons. I venture to say that we’re spent in our daily interactions apart from home. We’ve given and focused and re-focused in all sorts of directions. By the time we reconvene at home, our giving cup is empty.
Or is it?
Last time we “talked”, we looked at ways to “like” each other. We boiled it down to one word – intent. This time, I want to stay in that same stream. How can we be intentional about praising our spouses with our words? Seems easy, but often it’s just easily overlooked.
Perhaps you’ve gotten out of the habit? Easy, start small and simply get back in the habit. How? Say what comes naturally – see it, say it. Take notice. Compliment the tasks, the words, the motives, the appearance, the heart. Start with once. And don’t expect anything in return.
Hard to find something to praise? Look harder, look inward, look upward. I promise you, it changes things. You’ll find it sweetens the tone of the home.
How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
I know this isn’t rocket-science, yet all too often we find ourselves bent on correction rather than praise. I first heard about a concept when it came to sibling communication. We put this theory into practice, and I loved the results. We enlisted a three question check-list. If a statement did not meet all three of the agreed upon requirements, we re-phrased. This was our filter:
Is it kind? Is it necessary? Is it true?
We often found that a statement was true, but neither necessary nor kind (enter sarcasm and passive-aggressive tendencies). Perhaps this could be a great pause/check filter when it comes to speaking to our spouses as well. After all, it’s not just about what we say, but how we say it.
SO, if your spouse is an outward processor, perhaps start with asking questions and listening, looking for an opportunity to praise. If your spouse in an inward processor, perhaps write a note of praise, asking a question to prompt discussion after a bit of downtime. It’s doesn’t take a ton of time, just a bit of thoughtful intent.
Today, I praised my husband for his thoughtful intentions in helping with meals and chores. I spoke this while eating at the dinner table where the kids could be present. And then we chose as a family to play a game of corn-hole, to which the girls promptly whooped on the boys… again! Some praising happened there, in a different way 🙂
The point is to have fun with this. One-up each other if need be. The joy can be contagious… IF we proceed with intent. Enjoy, and don’t forget to share!!
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” – Ephesians 4:2