Encourage one another

“Encourage each other every day while it is ‘today.’” Hebrews 3:13 (NCV)

Most of you have to juggle a lot of important roles in your life. You’re a colleague, a parent, a family member, or a friend to someone. But if you’re married, God has given you another incredibly important role: to be your spouse’s biggest fan. It’s a job only you can do in the way God desires—and your spouse desperately needs you to do it.

Every person on the planet needs to be affirmed by someone on a regular basis—including your spouse. It’s how God wired us. More than likely, affirmation was part of your marriage in the beginning. You probably wouldn’t have married each other if it wasn’t. But like so many other parts of a growing marriage, affirmation often fades over the course of time.

The Bible says in Hebrews 3:13, “Encourage each other every day while it is ‘today’” (NCV).

But how do you encourage each other? What should you affirm in your spouse?

Here are some practical ways to affirm someone. They’re great tips for marriage and for any close relationship.

  1. Affirm their value.

One meaning of the word “appreciate” is “to raise the value of something.” You raise the value of other people when you appreciate them. As you appreciate your spouse, you raise their value and the value of your marriage. Proverbs 12:25 says, “A word of encouragement does wonders!” (TLB). A word of encouragement will do wonders for your marriage—or any other relationship.

  1. Affirm their strengths.

You bring out the best in your spouse when you point out their strengths, instead of focusing on their weaknesses. Choose to be a dream builder, not a dream buster. We ultimately become what other people see in us. No person in your spouse’s life can impact their self-identity—and ultimately their future—like you can.

  1. Affirm the role they play.

You and your spouse make your own unique contributions to the world. Let your spouse know how much you appreciate the role they play. Cheer them on and help them see the impact they’re making.

You have an incredible opportunity to impact your spouse’s self-understanding. You can use that opportunity to either build them up or tear them down. It’s your choice. And it’s one of the most important choices you’ll make for the health of your marriage.

Choose to intentionally build up your spouse, today!

Adapted from an article by Rick Warren

Love reaches out

Where there is great love, there are always great miracles!

One morning as I neared the hospital where I worked, I noticed a frail, stooped, elderly man hurrying in the same direction. I wondered where he was going in such a hurry and at such an hour. I also questioned whether it was safe for him to be out alone in his obviously poor state of health.

Later that day, I was surprised to see the same man walking down a corridor in the hospital. I found out he had always enjoyed helping other people, so one day he had come to the hospital and offered to work as a volunteer. He comes two mornings each week to work in whatever way he is needed. He enjoys the interaction with the staff, the patients, and their families. By helping others, he has been able to forget his own health problems. In giving of himself, he has found a new lease on life and a new reason to get up in the morning.

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Got potential?

“We want to go by God’s definition of ‘realistic,’ and often His definition of ‘realistic’ is ‘potential.’ With God anything is possible, and He knows that no matter what has happened in the past, or what our current weaknesses or lacks, we can change and He can use us. We must learn to see ourselves and others through the eyes of faith, through the perspective of what we and they can become, what Jesus’ power can transform us into, what God can be in us.”
This quote reminded me of some quotes from John L. Brandt, on the theme of “potential,” Here’s his encouragement that you can be whatever the Lord needs and wants you to be in any area of your life!

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A finger to hold

By Carrie Wilkerson
Our team has been busy, busy as usual—but one of us has been especially busy. LauraLee, our 11-month old, has been really focusing on her walking! She will be 1 in a few weeks and she decided about 6 weeks ago that walking looked like something she wanted to figure out.

She’s wobbly. She falls a lot. She sometimes needs a hand to hold, sometimes just a pinkie or finger for confidence. She prefers to walk towards someone who is reaching out their arms for her. She’s bumped and scraped from obstacles. When she hits her head (or any other body part) it doesn’t seem to hurt as much as normal because she’s so focused on her destination. But, most importantly, she keeps getting up and trying again.

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Dealing with dragons

By Marie Story

Have you ever faced a challenge? A challenge that seemed so big and scary that you wanted to run away from it before you even assessed its enormity and level of difficulty? We all reach these points in our lives when we say to ourselves, “I’m too small to tackle what’s ahead.”

Dealing with scary challenges isn’t easy. It takes a whole lot of courage.

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Through the storm

Our heart is heavy when we see people’s suffering and hear about their heartbreaks. The other day we received the following email. We pray that God will answer speedily. May He give strength and courage to those in similar situations and open doors for those who need jobs. 

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