August 15, 2008
Cultivating a Beautiful Marriage
“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”
I Thessalonians 5:11(NIV)
Have you ever secretly compared your husband to another man or your wife to another woman? Perhaps you’ve wished they were more thoughtful, spiritual, or a better dresser like “so-and-so.”
If so, let me reassure you. The grass is not greener on the other side. Trust me. That man you’ve got your eye on doesn’t clip his toenails either. Nor does that woman rub her man’s feet while feeding him grapes after a long day of work.
Your spouse and mine are the people we fell in love with. No, they’re not perfect. Maybe all they need is a bit of tender loving care. Instead of comparing and complaining about our partner’s shortcomings, you and I should try nurturing our mates lovingly in the area they need most. We might be surprised by the results.
I heard an encouraging story about an attractive millionaire who married an ordinary woman. The marriage instantly became the talk of the town.
“Why would he marry her when he could have any woman he wanted?” The people whispered among themselves. “It won’t last. She’s just not good enough for him.”
The man took the ordinary woman away for six months on an exotic honeymoon. When he returned, there appeared to be another woman on his arm. She walked with confidence and poise. The countenance of her face glowed with beauty.
“Now that’s the kind of woman a handsome man should be with,” announced the town’s biggest loud mouth.
As the happy couple causally strolled past the gossipmonger, she got a closer look. To her surprise, it wasn’t someone new holding the gentlemen’s arm at all. It was the average woman he had married months ago—completely transformed!
The wise millionaire had taken his common bride away and nurtured her inward beauty. He lovingly spoke positive and encouraging words to her day and night until she believed she was beautiful. The once ordinary woman now carries herself with confidence and exudes the exquisiteness that her husband saw in her all along.
His secret, you ask? He took time to care for and fertilize her confidence until she grew into the grandeur display she was always meant to be.
You and I shouldn’t dream about taking off our shoes and walking around on the neighbors’ grass. Instead, we should try fertilizing our own yard. We might be surprised how it blossoms into a thing of beauty.
Dear Lord, Thank you for my mate. Protect my thoughts and help me to see them as I once did. I’m not perfect either. I don’t want to judge my spouse. Instead, I want to encourage them to be all they can be. Today, I will put away any discontentment, any anger, any lustful thoughts toward another, and work at building a beautiful relationship that brings joy to our marriage and glory to Your Name, In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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What a Husband Needs from His Wife by Melanie Chitwood
You and I can cultivate our marriages by choosing to see the good in our spouse or by acknowledging their effort to improve. Build up your spouse with encouraging words. Tuck a poem or card under their pillow.
Be their cheerleader and offer your support often. For instance, if they are trying to get fit, go on a walk with them. Nurture and support your spouse, and at the same time, you’ll be cultivating your marriage.
How did you support and nurture your spouse in the beginning of your relationship?
When is the last time you dated your spouse? What’s keeping you from a date this weekend?
How can seeing the best in your spouse improve your marriage relationship?
1 Peter 1:22, “Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.” (NIV)
1 Corinthians 13:4, 7, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It always protects, always trust, always hopes, always perseveres.” (NIV)
© 2008 by Micca Campbell. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
Matthews, NC 28105