I had a young lady, who was a couple of months away from getting married, ask me, “What’s the one thing I can do that will really make a big difference in my upcoming marriage?” The answer for me was easy … “Give him LOTS of praise and admiration. You cannot heap it on too thick!”
I mentioned it again in a marriage class I was teaching yesterday … “if there was one thing that could make an immediate positive impact on your marriage, it would be praising your spouse.”
You and I should be our spouse’s biggest fans and biggest cheerleaders in life.
I believe that admiration (or praise) is the one thing that we don’t do enough in marriage. While I believe both husbands and wives need to do this, it’s wives who especially need to heap large amounts of praise on their husbands. Dr. Willard Harley, who wrote the book, “His Needs Her Needs,” says that admiration is the second greatest need in a man’s life only behind sexual fulfillment. Men never grow out of their great need for admiration … especially from their spouse.
I know personally I’m very motivated by praise in my marriage.
Lea makes our bed every morning. Personally, it doesn’t matter to me whether the bed is made or not, but Lea likes it made. One morning a couple of weeks ago, while Lea was having her morning quiet time, I took a second and made the bed before heading out for work. Later that day she gave me a hug and a kiss and told me how sweet it was for me to make the bed for her. It didn’t take long for me to decide to make it again. That little praise made all the difference.
Ephesians 4:29, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs…”
Here’s another personal example. Every Saturday morning we try to clean the house. I do the vacuuming, sweeping and mopping, while Lea does all the other things … including dusting which I hate to do. A while back I got my cleaning jobs whipped out quick and decided to pick up the dust rag and just dust a couple of the big items in the room. Lea walked through the room, saw me holding the dust rag, stopped in her tracks and said, “Wow, I’ve never seen you looking sexier than right now dusting this room.” That’s all it took. I dusted the REST of the house flaunting my sexiness EVERYWHERE for her to see. J All I needed was a little encouragement to be motivated.
Of course all your praise and encouragement in marriage isn’t for the sole purpose to motivate your spouse to do something for you, but it’s SO needed in our marriages.
Want to make a big difference in your marriage today? Instead of criticism … try praise … and LOTS of it. Be the biggest cheerleader in your spouse’s world.