Jesus, the encourager
In John 16:33, Jesus said to His disciples, “I have told you these thing so that in Me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.” He knew that in the coming days when He would go to the cross all that the disciples would go through emotionally during that time. He also knew what they would face in the years ahead and how each of their lives would end, with most of them being martyred for Him. His words were meant to be encouraging to them. With each trail they would face, they could remember this moment with Jesus and be courageous as they trusted in Him.
Life and Death in the power of the tongue
Solomon wrote in Proverbs 18:21, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” As Jesus encouraged His disciples in John 16:33, He spoke life-giving words. What if Jesus had only said, “You will have suffering in this world” without any of the encouraging words to go with it? How motivated would the disciples have been to continue following and serving Jesus – especially after Jesus went back to heaven and Christian were being persecuted?
Trials when we are One
We all go through trials. In marriage, sometimes those trials are individual trails, such as something difficult at work. Other times they are trials we go through together such as a financial crises. However, even if the trail is an individual trial, because we have been made one in marriage, there really isn’t such a thing as going through a trail without it also affecting your spouse. Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 12:26 regarding the church, “If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.” Just as it is true that we are all members of one Church, couples are made one through the bonds of marriage. So when one of us suffers, we both suffer.
Loving Like Christ
If we are going to love our spouse like Christ loves the church, then like Christ, we need to be encouragers to one another. We need to remember that life and death are in the power of the tongue. With every word you say, you choose to speak life into you marriage, or death. You choose to speak life over your spouse, or death. With every post on social media, you choose to speak life or death into your spouse and your relationship. With every conversation you have about your spouse with friends or family, you speak life or death into your spouse and your relationship. Being an encourager is one way we can love like Christ and speak life into our marriage.
Make time to intentionally be an encourager
Too often we get into routines and neglect to take time to notice when our spouse need to be encouraged. At times, your spouse might be holding something inside they are struggling with and if we are not taking the time to intentionally notice and intentionally encourage them, we leave them to handle a difficulty alone. Other times, you might be going through your own trial and because you are focusing on your own difficulty, you don’t notice their’s. However, if we are only focused on ourselves, we risk building tension and hard feelings towards one another.
How different would marriage be if we were more focused on our spouse than ourselves? Jesus expects us to love each other as we love ourselves. That means you need to be just as concerned about the difficult times your spouse is going through as you are your own.
Today, make an intentional effort to be an encourager to your spouse and find a creative way to encourage him or her.
Taken from God, Love, and Marshmallow Wars, Day 242
by Julia M. Bruce (Westbow Press, 2018)
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