hen was the last time you received a kind word? How did it make you feel? Praise is something we all like to receive, even if we’re a bit sheepish about it sometimes. It’s no different in a marriage– in fact, it’s just as important to praise your spouse whether or not they can hear you. “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Ephesians 4:29).
When we speak well about and praise our spouse for who they are and what they do, to them and to others, we are intentionally showing our commitment and confirming how much we care about them.
Here are a few reasons why:
- It makes you believe the best about them
- It shuts dangerous doors
- You build them up
- It strengthens your commitment
- It opens your eyes
We believe what we say most often, so if we praise our spouses both to their faces and to others, we focus on the best of them. The more we focus, the more we see, and the more we see, the happier we are. By believing the best about our spouse, grace and trust will be much easier for us to give.
By praising our spouse to others, it makes it clear that we’re devoted to them and them alone. Any question others may have about whether we’re happy in our marriage is answered before it’s asked.
Make it a habit of bringing each other up when you’re in conversations with people of the opposite sex. Praise each other, making it clear that you don’t have eyes for anyone else.
We all like encouragement. It makes us want to be the best we can be. In marriage, we have an amazing power to build up our spouses and encourage them. When we feel confident and loved, we try harder, and it makes us want to be better spouses.
“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing” (1 Thessalonians 5:11).
Take the time to praise your spouse in a meaningful way. Don’t just focus on appearances (“You’re pretty”). These are good, but try to also go deeper and lift up their character. Check out our free PDF, 28 Conversation Starters for Praising Your Spouse for an easy way to get started.
When you are constantly looking for things to praise, you’ll find them. The more you can find the good, the closer you feel to each other. Praising your spouse tells them that they are valuable, that you see them, and that you love them. This creates a strong bond that will lead to greater intimacy, both emotionally and physically. When we feel encouraged and uplifted by our spouse, commitment and loyalty naturally follow.
Many times in marriage, it can be easy to focus on the negative aspects of our spouse that annoy us. When we intentionally focus on what we love about our spouses, however, our eyes can be opened to see the wonderful qualities in our spouse, overshadowing the negative.
Look for opportunities to praise your spouse. This will require awareness and mindfulness. I’ll be the first to admit that I struggle here. Many people do, and that’s okay. What matters is that you constantly try your best to improve.
For an easy way to get started, check out our free PDF, 28 Conversation Starters for Praising Your Spouse.
What things do you love about your spouse? Share them in the comments!