I know a lady that never has anything nice to say about anybody. She is by far the most negative person I’ve ever met, and occasionally she has the audacity to say, “I don’t know why my husband doesn’t want to hang around the house with me more often.” Wow, do I ever have to bite my lip on that one. I honestly have to admit that if I was married to this woman I’d … okay, I best not finish that statement.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we were all cheerleaders in our marriages instead of critics? I think the divorce rates in our nation would seriously drop if we became spouses who build up and not tear down. If you asked most people, they’d admit that they are much more critical than they are encouraging. What’s worse is the ones we criticise the most are those closest to us (like our spouse).
Research shows that the single most effective way to change someone’s behavior is to positively reward that person when they behave in a way that you want them to. Yet in marriage we often find ourselves being critics and not cheerleaders. Instead of rewarding, complimenting and building up our spouse, we’re quick to punish and criticize. Criticism rarely works to change the one you’re married to, yet sadly, we keep trying it over and over and over.
When was the last time you went out of your way to compliment your spouse? I know you can find something nice to say.
Sometimes all a relationship needs to get it back on track is one partner sincerely complimenting and honoring something the other partner has done. The partner then feels appreciated and reciprocates – it works.
The wisest man that ever lived said, “Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing” (Proverbs 12:18).
I don’t know about you, but I could do a better job cheerleading in my marriage.