Supporting your spouse is an important element in creating a satisfying marriage. Whether it’s a matter of simply validating your spouse by listening to what they have to say or financially backing your wife’s new book—and everything in between—your spouse needs to know that you are an active partner. You do not have to agree with everything your spouse says, but the very least you can do is hear them out and weigh the pros and cons of their proposal. Many things will require seeking the Lord for direction, so take that time and be encouraging to your partner. Remember, it’s not all about you; your spouse has a thought process that is just as valid as yours.
In the same vein, it’s important to acknowledge the efforts of your spouse. All too often we take our wives or husbands for granted. Does that sound familiar? Perhaps you heard it from your spouse this week. Don’t do that! The world offers plenty of opportunity to tear down your mate. Acknowledging good behavior is one of the most effective ways to elicit change in a person. Think about it. With children, how do you get them to do the things you want them to do? Whether it’s doing their chores, being polite, or sharing their toys, we encourage them when they do what is right. “Thank you Johnny; Mommy really appreciates it when you take out the trash.” “Susie, that was very nice of you to let your sister play with your doll.”
Positive reinforcement makes such a big difference. And it’s not just the children; we all appreciate it when our efforts are recognized. The best way to encourage long-term change in our loved ones is to acknowledge them and make them aware that we appreciate what they are doing. Leave it alone and don’t say anything and you have ensured that the positive behaviors will stop in short order.
Take a moment and assess yourself. How well do you do in the acknowledgement department? Do you offer is freely or do you have the tendency to take your spouse for granted? Investing in your mate is a great way to increase intimacy in your relationship. In what ways can you make improvements in this particular area of your marriage?.
©2017 Eric A. Disney, Marriage by Design
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