One way that we can edify our loved one is through words of affirmation. Merriam-Webster defines acknowledgment as “recognition or favorable notice of an act or achievement; a declaration or avowal of one’s act or of a fact to give it validity.” An acknowledgment is considerably different from a compliment. Compliments are often shallow and fleeting. “I like your hair” or “Dinner was great” are two examples. This type of validation, although nice, doesn’t stay with us for very long. We need to go deeper with our husbands and wives. We need to identify the uniqueness of our spouse, those qualities that first drew us to them. “Thank you so much for defending me to your mother. Tonight I realized that you will protect me and our family.” “It really meant a lot to me that you supported my decision to go back to school and get my degree. I know that we are a team and that you believe in me.”
These examples go further below the surface of who we are and what our spouse really thinks of us. When it comes to acknowledging, consider the traits and characteristics that God has instilled in your spouse. Remember, these were some of the things you first found endearing. Focus on the things that exemplify and demonstrate their creation by God in His image.
Make acknowledging your spouse a regular part of your weekly activities. The more you meditate on the treasure God has given you in a spouse, the more God will reveal to you.
Were you affirmed growing up? Have you learned not to require acknowledgement? Ask yourself, do you think it would be nice to be affirmed once in a while, to know that your efforts in the relationship are appreciated? If your mate doesn’t affirm you, could it be because she doesn’t feel important to you? What do you think might happen if you took the initiative to edify your spouse? To start, make a list of those qualities that first drew the two of you together. Thank God, then thank your spouse for the gift he has given you in her.
©2014 Eric A. Disney, Marriage by Design
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