What do you do when your spouse messes up. Are you quick to be critical? Do you continually nag them to change their ways. Your spouse doesn’t need any more criticism, but I’m pretty sure they’d love to have more of your encouragement. God instructs us to:
“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3:13
How do you want your spouse to respond towards you when you do something wrong? We need to be slow to critique and quick to ask ourselves, “In the scope of eternity, does this really matter, or can I just let it go.” Another way to frame what you feel compelled to say is to ask yourself, “Is what I am about to say kind, necessary and true.” If you cannot say yes to all three, then you need to prayerfully release it to God. Let the Holy Spirit be the correction in your spouse whenever possible, not you.
Did you know that people tend to be what you say they are. If you continually nag your spouse and tell them where they disappoint you, it will actually cultivate more of that negative behavior. Or, it will cause them to feel hopeless and just give up trying to please you. You will likely get the opposite result to what you desire. Instead, tell your spouse what you love and admire about them. Build them up in the area of their strengths. This will tend to bring out the best in them. Tell your spouse what a great friend, helpmate, spouse, and lover he or she is and they will tend to be more of those things. Be intentional about seeing the best in each other and celebrate the good. We can all use more encouragement and the most important person we want to receive it from is our spouse. Be an encourager to your best friend!
“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up” 1 Thessalonians 5:11a