Love Encourages… “Marriage is not what I expected.” Have you ever thought that? What is it that you want married life to be? Do you want to feel secure, free to be yourself even if/when you fail? Your spouse wants that, too. The bottom line is that it is a choice to live by encouragement rather than by expectations. Towards your spouse you are to be encouraging, pouring in to them words and actions which allow them the freedom to be themselves, feeling loved. Towards yourself, you are to take responsibility for your own words and actions in order to improve yourself, rather than demanding more from others.
Maybe when you were dating, and when you first got married, you thought your spouse was “perfect.” Your expectations were high that you would “live happily ever after.” The fairy tale ended when you discovered that’s not realistic.
Love would have us take a different path; one of encouragement, not discouragement. We all tend to respond better to kindness than criticism, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that your spouse is motivated in the same way.
This Saturday, June 4th, Nancy and I will celebrate 23 years of marriage!! And although their have been many more highs than lows, it’s during the low times or difficult times that God has really developed the character of our marriage. Nancy is my wife, mother of our two children and best friend. Make a commitment to daily let go of unrealistic expectations and become your spouse’s greatest encourager. And the person they’re created by God to be will begin to emerge with new confidence and love for you.
Therefore encourage one another and build up one another — 1 Thessalonians 5:11