You Have a Unique Power in the Life of Your Spouse

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I recall the time that I questioned Barbara why she'd not disciplined our children for what seemed to be an obvious disobedience. I was surprised when she replied that she wasn't certain of her judgment. "You're a great mom," I told her. "And your batting average is much better then you are giving yourself credit for. Believe in your judgment and decide-God will guide you. And I have confidence in you!"

Afterwards Barbara told me that she needed my encouragement-it indicated that I believed in her, even when she did not believer in herself.

People need the support of friends, family, and mentors. But there's nothing can beat the love and encouragement of your spouse. You may not realize it, but who else has the strength to build up your partner as you do-not even parents.

This really is something Barbara and I learned early in our marriage and also by participating in some christian marriage seminars. I will never forget what a shock it was for me as a young man, a brand new husband, to understand that my spouse had serious queries about herself, that she had self-doubt. She needed me to believe in her, to help her, to point her to Christ as her sufficiency. And Barbara found out just how much I needed her to assist me end up being the man God was calling me to be.

You have a special power in the life of your partner. Here are two ways you could express this power.

First, love and accept your partner without condition. True intimacy in marriage is risky. We all fear being rejected, and in marriage it is common to think, If you actually knew me, you would not accept me. In the event that you actually knew what I am like on the inside-who I am as a person-you might reject me. You may not love me anymore. So the more we are transparent in a marriage-freely sharing our deepest thoughts and emotions-the more susceptible we feel. Is it any wonder that a divorce is really traumatic? The individual who knows you the best has declined you.

It is powerful to understand that the person who knows you best, loves you the most. That your partner accepts you and loves you regardless of all of your faults. As 1 John 4:18 states, "Perfect love casts out all fear."

Acknowledging your partner and loving your spouse without condition signifies continually remembering that she or he is God's gift to you. It means giving him the freedom to fail, and once he does, offering forgiveness. It means making your home a safe location where your partner knows she could be herself without disapproval. It means loving your spouse as Christ loved the church.

Second, look for ways to build-up your spouse. This doesn't mean manipulating or controlling your partner to fulfill your standards or specifications. Yet you do have a unique power in your marriage to encourage and help your spouse walk more closely with God and become the man or woman He wishes.

Does your spouse get discouraged? He will need a supporter who will accept his failures, enjoy his triumphs, and gently inspire him to press forward and be courageous. One thing Barbara has done for me through the years is advise me of the truth about who I am-that I am God's man. She reminds me of what God has done for me, for us as a couple, for us as a family. This is extremely useful when I'm experience doubtful or discouraged or lacking confidence as I'm facing a tough situation.

Does your spouse have a problem making decisions? You could come along with her and aid build her confidence. Coach and encourage her in how to consider her options; mention good decisions she's made in prior times; help her examine poor decisions so she can learn from them instead of permitting them to block her later on.

Does your spouse have potential that must be developed? Lots of of us hardly know what we do well during the time we're married and even by going to many marriage counseling retreats. Turn into a student of your partner. What are her unique gifts and abilities? Exactly where does he excel? Exactly what can you see him doing that he truly enjoys? Develop your spouse's borders-challenge him to test something that perhaps he's wanted to do for years, however that no one has ever given him authorization to try.

Lately I've motivated Barbara to pursue her interest and talent in art, and it's been a pleasure to see how she has blossomed. It's even transformed into an outreach as she's got started building beautiful resources to aid families know and use the Scriptures and bring meaning to holidays.

God has certainly given you a unique power in the life of your partner. The question is: How will you utilize it?

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