Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Celebrate Your Mate! (Part II) - Praise

Proverbs 16:24 says, “Pleasant words are a honeycomb, Sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” Praise makes you feel good. Praise makes you feel loved. Praise energizes you to keep going. It can come from your boss, your co-workers, your best friend, children, but nothing compares to the praise you receive from the one you love. Now that kind of praise has the power to turn a bad day into a good one, a frown into a smile. So, I don’t have to say any more about what praise can do. Many of you know what it’s like when you receive it and when you don’t.

My primary love language is Words of Affirmation and during pre-marital counselling my husband learned my language and over time has grown to speak it fluently. It wasn’t very easy for him at first because he didn’t grow up all warm and fuzzy like I did. My mom told me she loved me every day, always complimented me, said nice things to me and about me and my husband’s family was somewhat different. His mother demonstrated her love in how she took care of them and provided for them. Praise was not prevalent in their household. So, he meets me and has to LEARN how to praise me. And may I say he not only knows what to say, but when to say it! He’s been an excellent student of me…but let me keep going…
Praise is very important to a marriage because it’s a way to make sure your mate knows that their efforts are being recognized. Yes, there are certain things we are “supposed” to do as a husband or wife, but it still feels good when your spouse notices and praises you for it.

Make a goal of making praise an everyday thing in your marriage. If your marriage is in a difficult season right now, praise can aid in turning things around. Finding something to praise your spouse about can help take the focus off the negative thoughts that you may be having about him or her.
Praise doesn’t have to be on a grand scale for the big things in life. It has a great effect on the small things such as when my husband washes my car I say” You did a great job honey, I can see out the windows so clearly”….when my husband is eating something I have cooked he says “this is delicious”. These are ways you can get started on praising your spouse this week or even today! Go out of your way to make your mate feel good about themselves and let them know how wonderful you think they are.
Another way of celebrating your mate is praising them when he or she is not around. Any chance you get to tell someone something positive and great about your spouse you should do it. We hear enough from our friends and family who complain about their spouse and some complain so much you wonder why did they get married in the first place. No, be different. Ask God to keep watch over your mouth and if you don’t have anything nice to say about your mate, don’t say it all. Add this scripture to your prayers, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.”(Psalm 19:14). I understand we all need to vent sometimes, but at least make sure it’s someone you can trust and don’t bad mouth your husband or wife to anyone that will listen.

Just last week my husband placed an order for my favorite bbq sandwich and I just needed to pick it up on my way home. When I pulled up the owners starts saying “there she is, there she is”. I was looking around like who’s here??? Well they were talking about me! The gentleman told me my husband said I would be in a gold car and I would be beautiful. I couldn’t do anything but smile from the inside out! The funny thing is I know I was looking  a hot mess! But that’s OK my husband said I was beautiful! You know he got major points for that, right?

PRAISE is also about compliments. Tell your wife she’s beautiful. Tell your husband he is handsome. Compliment perfume, cologne, new dress, new suit. Anything and everything goes when it comes to complimenting or should I say celebrating your mate!

Read from the Song of Solomon Chapter 1, verses 15-16.
"The young man says How beautiful you are, my darling, how beautiful! Your eyes are like doves.
The young woman says: You are so handsome, my love, pleasing beyond words!"

If you need some inspiration on complimenting your spouse, God has it for you in His word.
Here’s just another tip: temptation is real! Don’t let some other man or woman out in the world compliment your husband or wife more than you. Praise from a flattering woman or man can be the tool the devil uses to draw your spouse’s attention elsewhere in a moment of weakness. 

Here is a portion of Proverbs 5 which warns us about this trap:
For the lips of an immoral woman are as sweet as honey,
    and her mouth is smoother than oil.
 But in the end she is as bitter as poison,
    as dangerous as a double-edged sword.
 Her feet go down to death;
    her steps lead straight to the grave.
 For she cares nothing about the path to life.

    She staggers down a crooked trail and doesn’t realize it.

PRAISE that evil spirit away and make no room for it to come in between your marriage! Take a minute or two today and notice something good your husband has done and praise him for it. Do it today and tomorrow and the next day! Practice makes perfect!