It has been said, “The goal of marriage is two-fold: to reveal the glory of God and to enhance the glory of one’s spouse”.
How come this second half is so hard? Why do we find it so difficult to be our spouse’s biggest fan, cheering him or her on, and offering the gift of affirming words?
Of course, words are only the beginning. What our moms also told us is true, “Actions speak louder than words.” Our love can open wonderful possibilities, and cheering on our spouse can bring amazing growth to many levels of our relationship.
“One miracle of marriage is that we discover in ourselves and in our partner a true desire to help the other person become his or her best self. I think it is the part of us that is most noble, even the most godly, because it is about creating—not in our own image, but in the image of God we see in one another. It is love that draws this from us: an intimation of the divine pushing us to realize our potential and to help our partner to do the same.”
As I think about helping John become his best self, the weeks are counting down toward the Super Bowl. It makes me think what a great time it will be to snuggle next to John’s side and observe—not the game, but the devoted fans who flock to the stadium.
1. A devoted fan sits as close as possible, mesmerized. Am I that focused on my spouse?
2. A devoted fan shouts words of encouragement. The player has fumbled and is feeling discouraged. The fan reacts by cheering, “You’ll do better next time.” What praise do I give when John feels he’s messed up?
3. A devoted fan will boo the opponent. Life’s offender, Satan, is trying constantly to ruin my spouse’s game plan. I can put this enemy in his place through prayer.
4. A devoted fan will issue affirmation. “In marriage, each partner is to be an encourager rather than a critic, a forgiver rather than a collector of hurts, an enabler rather than a reformer,” say authors H. Norman Wright and Gary J. Oliver, How To Change Your Spouse (Without Ruining Your Marriage).
“Keep going! You can do it!” a fan calls. How often do I offer intense words of dedication?
5. A devoted fan celebrates.
This reminds me to applaud every victory John has, even the small ones, as if it were the Super Bowl.
How can you be a devoted fan?
© Tricia Goyer author of Generation NeXt Marriage