Mirror, Mirror: Reflecting Your Spouse's Worth
- 2006 11 May
We discovered the power of encouraging words while on our honeymoon, I (Pam) had just stepped from the shower and was looking into the mirror. I began to criticize my body. Bill was sitting on the bed, admiring his new wife. As I would comment on an area I thought needed improving, Bill began to panic. He was afraid I would continue to point out my shortcomings then get depressed and intimacy would be out of the question!
I went on for a few minutes until he could stand it no longer. He was angry that I would put down his choice of a wife. I was not only tearing myself down but undermining Bill's taste. But instead of saying something in anger, he prayed, "God, I could do a better job than that mirror!"
He stood up, wrapped his arms around me and told me to look straight into his eyes. He very seriously and very lovingly said. "I will be your mirror. My eyes will reflect your beauty. You are beautiful, Pamela. You are perfect, and if you ever doubt it, come stand before me. The mirror of my eyes will tell you the true story. You are perfect for me. If I have to throw away every mirror in the house to get you to believe me, I will! From now on, let me be your mirror!"
For over 21 years, Bill has reflected to me my worth and value from God’s point of view. He does himself a favor by loving me and being my mirror because I want to love him the way he desires to be loved.
100 to 1 Principle
Sometimes it isn’t easy to discover ways to encourage a spouse. One woman came to me and said, " There is nothing here! No spark or sizzle—nothing! I have no feelings—I want out of this marriage!"
I suggested that we pray and ask God to show her one positive thing about her spouse. She went home and prayed. The next day she called me and said, "I thought of something."
"Good, what is it?" I said hopefully.
"He’s still here."
He’s still here! I thought she was kidding but I could tell from her tone she was completely serious.
"Okay, let’s run with that. Let’s brainstorm together ways you can tell him thanks for being here—but in a positive way."
We brainstormed a list of several ways to positively say, "You’re here!" and she went home to begin using them. She saw her husband, sitting in his recliner, with remote in hand watching sports. She walked by and rubbed his shoulders saying, "It’s nice to know you’re around."
She’d see him sitting reading the paper, walk by and say, "You know, I was thinking, it’s nice to know some things in life you can count on—like you—being here."
She came up with so many ways to positively say, "You’re here, bud," that one day, he got up out of that old recliner. He came into the living room where she was having a quiet time, reading her Bible. He had never been interested in spiritual discussions before this time but he said, "Honey, what are you reading?"
"My Bible. I was having a problem at work and this passage in the Psalms is helping me."
"Why don’t you read it to me?" Which she did and added an explanation of how it applied to her life.
"That’s pretty neat," he replied with genuine enthusiasm in his voice.
The next Sunday, a miracle happened. Instead of going to his favorite chair, he asked if he could go to church with her -- and he's been coming ever since. In addition, she now regularly tells me of his romantic gestures toward her.
She found the power of encouraging words by taking 100% of her energy and focusing it on one positive trait. Experience has taught me that happiness and passion in marriage do not come from finding the right partner, but in being the right partner.
This article was adapted from: Red Hot Monogamy (Harvest House Publishers).
Pam and Bill Farrel are international speakers and the authors of over 20 books including best-selling Men are like Waffles, Women are like Spaghetti and their newest, Every Marriage is a Fixer Upper. For more information on their books and ministry: 800-810-4449 or http://farrelcommunications.com.