How can you support your spouse?
Ike and Linda Nnene suggest ways in which we can all strengthen the bonds with our spouse.
When you contrast the lives of single individuals and those who are married you can identity several aspects which, depending on the circumstances, might make each status look more desirable:
The single person can point to the fact that they have freedom and agency to do whatever they choose whenever they want, whereas for the married person, this 'freedom' is somewhat qualified and requires an appreciation of the presence and needs of one’s spouse.
However, we understand from God’s Word in the bible that our salvation is individual and personal. God’s plan for mankind was that we would have someone closer than everyone else with whom we could form an intimate bond.
The bible highlights the benefits that flow from being with your partner while dealing with the affairs of life: “Two people are better than one, because they can reap more benefit from their labour. For if they fall, one will help his companion up, but pity the person who falls down and has no one to help him up. Furthermore, if two lie down together, they can keep each other warm, but how can one person keep warm by himself? Although an assailant may overpower one person, two can withstand him. Moreover, a three-stranded cord is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 NET.
Jesus being the third component essential component of your marriage makes for a solid unbreakable union.
Here are ten ways you can support your spouse:
Be a Cheer leader. You should be the first person leading the praise for your spouse’s efforts. Give praise generously and sincerely. Let them know that you appreciate their enterprise and you believe in them.
Be a Passion generator. Do everything possible to create a desire for each other in your marriage. As you enjoy your closeness and create the environment for love to flourish, you will discover a freshness and daily rejuvenation that will make you unstoppable in all your pursuits.
Be a Confidant. You should be the first ‘go to person’ concerning anything that is troubling your wife or husband. Your spouse should be able to tell you anything and everything. They should have the confidence to be completely vulnerable and know that their insecurities will not be exploited, or their mistakes thrown back in their face.
Be an ever-present 'Rock'. A spouse should be a barricade or fortification in one’s life that is present when required. Every spouse wants to know that they have someone on whom they can rely. A supportive spouse will be present and ready when events are adverse and the going gets tough. When your spouse is low, you should be there to be with them and help them get back up.
Be an honest but gentle critic. Provide honest critique that has the effect of building and not tearing down confidence. Make an effort to really understand the issues first before saying anything that would constitute giving an opinion. Avoid saying things like ‘You never listen’ or ‘You think you are always right.’ Forthright discussions held between husband and wife looking at the merits and demerits of any course of action will yield incredible insight and increased confidence.
Be an Enabler. Give them the space to be themselves. The fact that they are married to you does not mean that they should feel hemmed in or unreasonably restricted. They have aspects of life that do not relate specifically to you. They should feel free to pursue good activities that give them enjoyment. It is not desirable that your spouse is made guilty when issues concerning pastimes, their parents , siblings and other relatives , friends, work colleagues, old school mates and recreation buddies are brought up. Of course, it is essential that one partner does not pursue the aforementioned to the detriment of the most important relationship. A positive attitude and right balance is essential. A certain richness comes into your relationship when you allow your spouse the space to be who they can be.
Be a Dream chaser. Being a dream-chaser for your partner implies that you are the first and most enthusiastic recruit in the enterprise in which they are the CEO. You employ all your faculties and demonstrate a solid commitment to the cause. This may involve doing separate endeavour or enquiry to uncover valuable strategies in pursuit of the goal. It demonstrates complete belief and dedication. You are working as an effective partnership.
Be a Defender. A man should be willing to stand up for his wife , and a lady should be willing to stand up for her husband in the presence of others, even if they may not be in the right. The proverbial ‘I would take a bullet for you’ is what we are referring to. Always take the side of your spouse publicly and deal with any matters of contention in private so you can always present a united front. Criticising your spouse in the presence of others is a sure way to undermine them. They feel alone and dejected and question their status and relevance.
Be an Intercessor. There is no more powerful prayer than an individual praying in intercession for their spouse. “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that you may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” James 5:16. By praying for your spouse, you are standing in faith to see everything that has been spoken concerning them come to pass.
Be a Loving devotee. Make what matters to your partner matter to you. This simple but powerful mindset will supercharge your romance and create a virtually unbreakable union. Each of you will know the kind of things that will generate positive emotions of generosity. Little things like keeping the house in a certain way, being early back from work, and deliberate acts of thoughtfulness can help create the marital bliss we all so earnestly seek.
We excel in our relationships when we understand how we can support each other. It really comes down to the best way we can be there for our spouse such that he / she feels supported in a wholesome and uplifting fashion.
Dr Ike Nnene and Mrs Linda Nnene live in Norwich and worship at Soul Church. Ike is a GP and Linda is a teacher at CNS School, and they are both passionate gospel musicians. They have a passion for and write about marriage, family, wellness and personal empowerment.
Their blog, called Power and Beauty, seeks to promote Bible based living in marriage and family life. You can hear and watch Ike and Linda on their podcast and YouTube channel called Marriage On Song.
The views carried here are those of the author, not of Network Norfolk, and are intended to stimulate constructive and good-natured debate between website users.