Today I'd like to share a simple principle that can potentially revolutionize your marriage.
One morning, while my wife was still asleep I took the phone and quickly snapped a picture of her. When she awoke I showed it to her. What happened next? Don't think too hard. She was kind.
I said to her. "Even while you are sleeping you are beautiful". She smiled and I think that made her day. There is something special about showering your spouse with words of affirmation, and expressions of praise.
But some may say, "I don't find anything to affirm my spouse about, sorry". Well, think a little harder. Did he come home last evening? Then, tell him thanks for coming home.
Did she prepare food for the kids yesterday? Then, don't miss that. If she didn't assume that nurturing role, you would have to do it yourself or pay someone to do it for you, perhaps. So, look her in the eye and gently meet her primal need to feel important: "Thanks for feeding the kids". That simple. Yet the benefits may be transformational for your marriage.
We must change our mindset, and change our marriage. We must train our tongue to utter words of praise, and transform our home into a circus of celebration. After all, we are already married. Let's make living not just bearable, but exhilarating.
A spouse who is well-intentioned may say: "But I was not trained this way. I have so much dealing with. Trauma from my past coupled with the pain of living with a spouse who is insensitive and unkind, thus adding fire to fury."
In these circumstances, I understand that it's difficult to stay positive. But may I share with you that you still possess the capability to "win" your unconscionable spouse (See 1 Peter 3:1). The biblical option is that you make the effort to outdo evil with good.
Let them see a living demonstration of the superior nature of your elevated and sanctified life. This will be a profound rebuke and a riveting message that they cannot ignore. It is in these circumstances that many are led to inquire about the God that you serve.
Do you know why your words of praise are so powerful?
They communicate to your spouse that they are important.
These words, reaching the central nervous system, trigger the secretion of the "feel good" hormone, Dopamine. They experience pleasure and a sense of well-being.
They now look upon you as the source of their joy and they desire to relive these moments of affirmation and validation. Immediately you become the attractive and irresistible spouse and they desire to be nowhere else, than the place where their emotions are massaged, and that is in your presence.
To praise your spouse is a biblical principle and a necessary requirement of the Christian marriage: The virtuous woman of Proverbs 31, has a husband and children that praise her: "Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her" (Proverbs 31:28).
The man finds affirmation when she celebrates him as her hero, when she reveals to him that she is his most ardent fan. The bible reminds us that "Sarah calls him lord" (1 Peter 3:6). Sometimes, in my seminars, I like to ask the ladies. "When was the last time you looked upon your husband and said, My lord?"
You must start to create a culture of appreciation in your home. Cease focusing on the minor flaws and mishaps of your spouse, and instead, make a big thing of their small accomplishments.
Scan the environment to catch your spouse doing good. By identifying the good they do, and celebrating them for it, you inspire their better nature, thus bringing out the best in them.
1 Peter 3:1 (English Standard Version) Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives
Proverbs 31:28 Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.
1 Peter 3:6 like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.