Growing up, you have probably taken some type of lessons on certain skills. You might have taken music lessons, swimming lessons or dance lessons. But one are that many of us have probably no taken lessons on is the area of relationships. We all need lessons on loving.
The great thing is that God, who built us for relationships, did not leave us without any guide on it. There is actually a whole chapter about it found in 1 Corinthians 13. One particular phrase I looked at and used in one of my sermons is found in verse 4, “love is kind” and kindness is simply love in action.
Romans 15:2 says “We should consider the good of our neighbor and build up his character.” Part of being kind is building up somebody, particularly, our spouse’s character. But how do we build up our partner? Below are four things we can give them that will bring out the best in them.
1. Give your spouse a personal challenge
We all know that there is more to life than just living for yourself. There must be a cause, reason, purpose that I’m here than to just take up space. All of us need somebody in our lives who can inspire us to be what we could be. God gave you your husband or wife God wants you to build him or her up. God wants to use us to bring out the best in them, to inspire them to be what He knows they could be.
2. Give your spouse complete confidence
We all need confidence. When somebody believes in you it brings out the best in you. I Thessalonians 5:11 says, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. ” This is talking about the power of affirmation. If we want to be people builders we’ve got to be good at encouragement.
When was the last time you wrote a specific note of encouragement to your parter about a strength that they have?
3. Give your partner honest counsel
There is no progress without learning. There is no learning without feedback. We all need honest feedback. We all need people who will lay it out on the line and be honest with us and give us occasional correction.
Correction is very powerful but dangerous stuff. Correction done the right way can build up your husband or wife. But correction done the wrong way can scar also scar them for life. When you correct somebody it’s very serious. The key to proper correction is this: affirm the person, correct the behavior.
4. Give your partner full credit
Praise the growth and the changes you see in the life of your husband or wife. Romans 12:10 says, “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.” Usually we like to share the blame but keep the credit. The mark of maturity is to accept the blame and share the credit.
Practical assignment on how to get started on this: Get alone by yourself, take some time, take out a sheet of paper, and start thinking about your husband or wife. Then stop and pray — “If any man lacks wisdom let him ask of God.” Ask God to help you see the strengths in that person’s life, because we always build on people’s strengths, not on their weaknesses. What do you see are their abilities? In the past, what have you seen that made a difference, or brought out the best in them? What are have they excelled, or succeeded? Write them down. Write their strengths down start communicating them to that person you want to build up.
Imagine the impact that each family could have if we would commit ourselves to being people builders. When we come in contact with our spouse we’re going to try to bring out the best in them, help them to develop to become what God made them to be. Let us commit to become people builders. 🙂