Family Frameworks

Encourage don’t Discourage


Jun 2013


Fireproof has passed but I still love its message. So much good stuff in just the trainlers.    Many times I sit and listen to conversations of friends and family and I hear talk about this husband or this wife that they should definitely leave them.  My heart hurts when I hear that.  I have been so guilty of the same thing.  It’s so easy to judge when we aren’t living in their shoes.  One of the worst things I see us do as spouses is tear our spouse down to other people.  It’s almost like we bring out their bad points to justify ourselves.  Yep, I’m guilty.  But I know that’s so very harmful.  Over the years I have tried to encourage couples in their marriages.  No, I’m not a therapist, but I have found that when we encourage and bring out the good points of a spouse to a person they tend to go back and realize what they have.

No, I’m not advocating unhealthy marriages where there is actual abuse, I’m just trying to say that many times we can help a couple get back on track by just bringing out the good points.  For twenty years I have been telling couples how important their marriage is to their children.  There have been some that share some pretty horrific stories about the put-downs the negativeness etc.  But years later they have come back to me to tell me they stayed and continued to work on their marriage and it worked.  They have been glad that they stayed.  I have read the research that states that those that stay in the marriage and WORK on getting through the challenges and conflicts are much happier in five years than those that gave up.  I’m just saying, try to work on it.  It’s much better to find the good in the marriage and the person you are married to than constantly dwelling on the negative parts.

That is one thing I have been so encouraged with in my biking community friendships, We have a bunch of couples and we all lift up our spouses!! No they aren’t perfect, but we really don’t want to trade ’em in.  One friend shared her story about the challenges of constantly trying to keep him happy.  Doing all the things he wanted to do and leaving her feelings and wants and  desires on the back burner.  She eventually got tired of this and said phooey, I’m gonna do my own thing.  Well that’s when she started biking.  A beautiful thing happened, she never put him down as she started doing her thing, she didn’t try to push him to start doing it with her, but he eventually joined her after about a year.  Now  I watch as they have this beautiful relationship together.  They LOVE to be together but they also are very comfortable doing their own things.  There is a confidence we gain as we encourage our spouse but don’t leave our thoughts, feelings and desires out.

I noticed this same thing in Fireproof in a scene when both partners were talking with their friends and saying how bad the other spouse was.  Most of their friends were saying you just need to leave him/her, except one, he said hang in there, it’s definitely worth it. When there is one or two that can encourage and give them hope there is greater hope to save the marriage.  I want to encourage you to be a marriage champion and encourage someone in their marriage.  It’s worth it for everyone.

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