Building Your Home
Using the tool of encouragement
It is important to have dreams and vision beyond your wedding day. Most of us have already some dreams in mind; they may include career, children and having our own home. You may have a dream home in mind and are working towards the goal of purchasing it but without a good marriage that home becomes only a house. Building your home is about building your relationship. To do this effectively we need to follow Biblical principles.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV) says “Therefore encourage one and another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” Encouragement should be a big part of your communication!
Interestingly the phrase ‘build each other up’ can also be translated as ‘edify’. It comes from two Greek words: oikos which means ‘a home’ and dimeo which means ‘to build’. The verse could therefore be read “Therefore encourage one and other and build your home …”
Your home life might only be starting, you are building from ground level, you have just got married and your relationship is in the early stages of growth. The word translated ‘to build’ is also relevant to restoration, rebuilding and repair. That is good news for those who are struggling in their marriage and wondering how they are going to reverse their current situation and rebuild their broken relationship.
Where do we start? It is never too late to introduce encouragement into our marriage but if it hasn’t been a pattern in your marriage you may find it difficult to know where to start.
Identify 5 things you appreciate about your spouse
If you are having difficulty doing this think about even the smallest of things, you might appreciate being made a cup of coffee, the way they look, the help they are around the home. Once you start looking for the good in someone the task becomes much easier. Often we can focus in so hard on the negative that we can forget about the positive attributes of our spouse.
Learn to say thank you
Thank you may seem like an insignificant thing to say but it means so much to the person who is hearing it. A sincere thank you given for mundane tasks as well as for gifts is an encouragement.
Don’t buy into the retaliation game
Too many people use the excuse “Why should I encourage them when they don’t encourage me?”. There is a spiritual law called sowing and reaping. Galatians 6:7 says “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows this he will also reap”. If you want to start receiving encouragement then start sowing it.
Repent for Criticism
Repentance can be difficult especially if you feel justified in what you have said but criticism sown in the marriage is a destructive seed. If you build your home through encouragement then you tear your home down through criticism. Take time to ask God’s forgiveness and ask him to give you a new perspective of your spouse.
Nagging is not encouraging! In fact if you nag you will drive your spouse from your home rather than build your home.
It is better to live on a corner of a roof
than to share a house with a nagging wife.
Proverbs 21:9 (New International Reader's Version)
Support Each Other
Encouragement is about supporting. If you go to watch sports you cheer your team on, cheer each other on in what you are doing. Sometimes on the 'Married for Life' course we use the example of a candle in a candle holder, without the candle holder the candle can’t stand and can’t do its job easily. Support is a human need, it isn’t a weakness if we realize we were made to complete one another rather than compete.
If you have trouble accepting encouragement you need to realize that you are of value in God’s eyes. Study these scriptures to see how He feels about you.
You have value (Psalm 139:13-16)
Christ loved you so much He died for you (Romans 5:8)
You are God’s own child (John 1:12)
God has a plan and a purpose for your life (Ephesians 2:10)
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