“Encourage each other and strengthen one another…” (1 Thessalonians 5:11, GW)
My wife’s confidence, trust and encouragement mean more to me than anyone else in the world. She is a brilliant and talented leader with capabilities and insight that penetrates to the heart of an issue. People seek her out for counsel and encouragement. Often, I watch her, still amazed at how God uses her. She makes it look effortless.
She has worked hard and I might add with joy on her music, education, developing her skill sets and been an amazing wife, mother and partner in ministry. So recently when my incredible and beautiful wife looked me in the eyes while talking through a professional challenge and said “you are the best _______________ I know” she encouraged and strengthened me deeply. I’ve thought often about her sincere comment.
She has always encouraged me, believed in God’s call to ministry on my life, been patient and stood with me. Any success that I have enjoyed, any accomplishments that will have any eternal value to them, and above all the joy we have shared is because she has encouraged and strengthened me. I love her and the life we have been blessed with!
So it has puzzled and grieved me to have been witness to so many struggling and hurting marriages.
Perhaps it’s the expectations we have of our spouses when we get married. Maybe its comparing our marriages to others. Far too often couples find it easier to criticize, blame and pass judgment on their spouse. The wife or husband begins to respond in kind. Soon it escalates and there is distance between two people who love each other. Jesus warned us about this. “Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults—unless, of course, you want the same treatment.” (Matthew 7:1, Message)
When we affirm we build bridges, give affection, increase trust and vulnerability. When we criticize our spouse withdraws, feels insecure and begins to become intolerant of our faults.
Why not spend some time dreaming together, praying together of what your marriage can be. Dream big of how God can increase your love and desire for one another. Dream of how He will build His kingdom through your marriage and family. An inspired dream will breathe life into your marriage. God will help you dream. He restores shattered and broken dreams.
Albert Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” (Einstein by Walter Isaacson)
Dream a dream! God is a great, big, awesome and wonderful God. He looks for people to give big dreams so that they will seek His kingdom first!
Peace and Joy!