– by Paul Nyamuda
People will always live out how they see themselves. It’s important for us to have an accurate view of ourselves based on God’s Word. Sadly, due to life’s wounding, many people enter marriage in a broken state. One of the purposes of a Christ-centred marriage is to minister deeply to one’s spouse the heart of Jesus, through our disposition, attitude, and grace-filled words. Ephesians 5:25-27 says, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her, to sanctify her, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to Himself as a glorious church, without stain or wrinkle or any such blemish, but holy and blameless.”
Everyone has a basic need to grow
We love progress. Your wife or husband must be more confident and secure as a result of being married to you. Sadly, many people go backwards as a result of a spouse ministering the enemy’s strategy against them and not the Lord’s. Each time you interact with your spouse, ask yourself “How am I contributing to this conversation and how am I contaminating this conversation?” Self-confidence is one of the six pillars of self-esteem. It is associated with the word “Self-efficacy”, which is your belief in your ability to accomplish something. Of course, we ultimately trust Christ to work through us and our competence is in Him, however, those who lack self-confidence always believe Christ’s promises are for someone else.
The result of having a sense of confidence is self-validation
You no longer need someone else’s approval but have already affirmed yourself with God’s approval. You feel confidence in the face of life’s challenges. You have a strong sense of “I’ve got this”, “I will handle it”, “Let’s do it!”. So how do we practically build our spouse’s self-confidence? If you were to ask them, this is what they might tell you: verbally acknowledge my capability and achievements. Ask my opinion on difficult matters. Ask me to do things that are too difficult for you. Demonstrate that you trust my ability and judgement calls. Don’t micromanage me. Don’t hover over me after having made a request. Ask me once and trust that I can and will do it. Don’t always have a plan B after asking me to do something. Wait for me to ask for your help instead of just taking over. Be gracious and non-critical. Make suggestions instead of barking instructions. Initiate sex from time to time (ladies). Quote me when speaking to your friends. Trust me with something that you usually like to control. Communicate that you appreciate my dedication to the family. Show me that you appreciate my hard work.
Undertake this project:
Here is a project you can embark on this month to assist you on this journey:
Make a list of their abilities, and good deeds done to date. Communicate creatively how you have benefited from these. Purchase a gift to specifically appreciate them for their contribution. Ask for their input and listen without controlling the conversation. Finally, ask them to do something for you that you usually like to control. You are the primary minister into your spouse’s life. Colossians 4:6 says, “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt.”
JOY! Magazine (December 2017)