Love Encourages

1 Thessalonians 5:11

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

1 Thessalonians 5:14

And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone.

Hebrews 10:24

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 

Imagine for a moment that you’re a child or even a teenager.  Excitedly, you run up to your parents and announce that you know what you’re going to be when you grow up.  You announce that you’re going to be a doctor.  After a moment of silence, one of your parents looks at you and says “That’s great that you want to do that, but you’re not smart enough to be a doctor.”  Obviously no good parent would do this and you would be crushed by your parents telling you this fact.

The truth might even be that your grades aren’t good enough to be a doctor but one would still expect a parent to support a child’s dreams, even if they seem out of reach.  Instead of pointing out what seems obvious, a parent may even take this as an opportunity to encourage by reminding you that it takes good grades to become a doctor but if you really want to do it, you can focus on your schooling and reach for that goal.

Once most people settle down and get married, their days of big dreams are gone.  Your spouse probably isn’t going to crush your dreams of becoming a doctor, lawyer, or even starting your own line of handbags.  Sure, if you are still having big dreams after you get married, you expect your spouse to offer encouragement even if they don’t necessarily think it’s a great idea.  But encouragement extends far beyond just big dreams.

Life is full of plenty of discouragement, so the last place that we need to find it is at home.  Encouragement doesn’t have to be a big thing.  It can be something as simple as telling your spouse that they look nice today or offering sympathy that work was so bad.  One of the reasons that we get married is with hope that we will have someone who will support us in our tough days.  We need to offer encouragement to those we love in order to lift them up on good days and bad.

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