While today’s post from Sheila at To Love, Honor, and Vacuum is written to women, it is full of GREAT advice for all of us who are married. Are you your spouse’s biggest cheerleader? Do you help them see both the person they are and could be? You can change your spouse — here’s the secret.
What if you are the main vehicle for encouragement that God has planned for your spouse?
As his wife, you are the closest person in the world to him. Your words likely carry more weight. But we do we consider that? Do we use our words well?
Earlier this year I read Jefferson and Alyssa Bethke’s book Love That Lasts, and one anecdote really stood out to me that I’d like to share with you all today.
“The other day I walked into our bathroom, and Alyssa had written a “10 Things I Love About You” list on the mirror with dry erase marker. It listed things like “I love how you see the home responsibilities as a team effort” and “I love you selfless you are” and “I love how you draw me out with kindness.”
But the reality is, those things aren’t always true about me.
Alyssa isn’t lying, though. Rather, she’s speaking life and truth over me. And in a weird way, guess what happens? They more and more start to become true. She’s speaking an identity over me that I then step into.
This is the joy and beauty and amazingness of the marriage covenant. Since we are closer to our spouse than to anyone else, our words have the greatest impact. And when we step into that gift, we can continually breathe life into each other.”
I think that’s beautiful! And I think this is where God can really use us.
Right now, God is doing tremendous work in your spouse’s life. God is shaping your spouse to look more and more like Jesus. God is calling out to your spouse in specific ways. And the amazing and gracious thing about God is that He doesn’t try to fix everything at once. He works on key areas, little by little, as a potter works on clay.
Because you’re his wife, you can likely see what these areas are that your husband is struggling with, and where he is growing.
So can I issue a challenge today?
Here’s how you can change your spouse:
Call out those characteristics that God is growing in your spouse.
No, they may not be visible all the time. Yes, your spouse may still mess up. But when we declare the truth of what God is doing, we in some totally cool way start to make that thing become reality. We play a part in bringing it to light.
Don’t just call out the things your husband has already won victory over. Declare the things that God will win victory in–even before He has done it! Just like the prophets of old praised God for the victory that was to come, even though they couldn’t see the complete victory yet. They had faith as Paul expressed:
He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it until the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6).
Ideas of How to Call Out Words of Life Over Your Spouse
- Write it on the mirror like Alyssa did!
- Leave notes in his pockets or lunchbox
- Send him texts
- Pray it out loud during your prayer times together
- Thank him for one thing everyday, or start a conversation with, “I noticed that you….”
- Let him hear you talking about it to a friend, your kids, or your family
Let Me Start…
- I’m amazed at how God is putting big dreams in Keith for how he can serve the marginalized communities in Canada.
- I’m in awe of how Keith takes such good care of me, and always consider myself blessed to have him as a husband.
- I see how God is making Keith more courageous in calling out dysfunction in Christian communities, even when it’s hard.
- I love how I learn so much about wonder and excitement and living in the moment from Keith, when I too often live in my head.
- I am so impressed that Keith is always a man of integrity that others can trust. I love how I don’t have to doubt.
Now it’s your turn to change your spouse! Go speak love and life over your spouse. Be part of what God’s doing. It matters!