by Rick Warren — June 11, 2021
From You Make Me Crazy
“Encourage each other every day while it is ‘today.’”
Hebrews 3:13 (NCV)
We live in a world full of critics. You don’t have to look far to find someone who will put you down.
That’s why every person on the planet desperately needs to be affirmed by someone on a regular basis. It’s how God wired us. If you’re married, one such person should be your spouse. To have a growing marriage, it’s essential for you and your spouse to continually affirm each other.
More than likely, affirmation was part of your marriage in the beginning. You probably wouldn’t have married each other if it wasn’t. But like so many other parts of a growing marriage, affirmation often fades over the course of time.
The Bible says in Hebrews 3:13, “Encourage each other every day while it is ‘today’” (NCV). But how do you encourage each other? What should you affirm in your spouse? Here are some practical ways to affirm someone. They’re great tips for marriage and for any close relationship.
1. Affirm their value. One meaning of the word “appreciate” is “to raise the value of something.” You raise the value of other people when you appreciate them. As you appreciate your spouse, you raise their value and the value of your marriage. Proverbs 12:25 says, “A word of encouragement does wonders!” (TLB). A word of encouragement will do wonders for your marriage—or any other relationship.
2. Affirm their strengths. You will bring out the best in your spouse when you point out their best, not by pointing out their worst. Choose to be a dream builder, not a dream buster. We ultimately become what other people see in us. No person in your spouse’s life can impact their self-identity—and ultimately their future—like you can.
3. Affirm their ministry. You and your spouse each can make your own unique contributions to the world. Let your spouse know how much you appreciate their ministry. Cheer them on and help them see the impact they’re making for Jesus’ sake.
You have incredible power over your spouse’s self-understanding. You can use that power to build them up or tear them down. It’s your choice. And it’s one of the most important choices you’ll make for the health of your marriage.
Choose to intentionally build up your spouse today.