By Joey & Carla Link

October 18, 2023

You have had a long, hard day with the kids and things you needed to get done for the church’s upcoming Harvest Fest. The roast is in the crock pot but nothing else is done for dinner. The kids are fighting with each other and you just want to sit down for 5 minutes and let your mind go blank. Your husband comes in, takes a look around and calls the kids to him and gives them each something to do so they stop fighting with each other. He tells you to go upstairs and take a bath and when you come down he has fed the kids, was seeing to their baths and had the 

2 year old in bed. 

What’s love got to do with it? Love is what senses it needs to step up and let your spouse know he/she is precious to you.

Last week we looked at ways we poison the love we had for our spouse. This week, let’s look at ways you can show your spouse you DO love him/her.

1.     Be an encourager.  When I (Carla) get discouraged, it is usually because I am overwhelmed with criticism.  For me, the issue is not that I can’t handle criticism. It becomes a problem when it is not balanced with encouragement.  During these times, I get so overwhelmed with my faults that I lose confidence in my strengths.  Charlie Shedd, in his book Letters to Karen states, “Tell your husband he is wonderful.  You can only tell him he isn’t wonderful where he isn’t if you have already told him he is wonderful when he is!”  

2.     Have realistic expectations.  We all have expectations of each other.  I (Joey) expect Carla to know what I am thinking and feeling without having to express it. Much of the conflict we have experienced in our marriage has been a result of unrealistic, unspoken expectations.  We finally learned to share our expectations and at the same time express to each other how we need those expectations to be met. 

It has helped me a lot to have these thoughts regarding my expectations: 

– Is there any way she can meet them? (Or am I demanding what she is unable to give?) 

– Am I being selfish? 

3.     Do forgive and let go of your spouse’s mistakes, even if he/she doesn’t ask for it.  If you let mistakes that your spouse never apologized for fester in your heart, you will be a miserable, unhappy person and so will your spouse because he/she knows you are angry with them. An old saying goes, “A real friend is a person who, when you’ve made a fool of yourself, lets you forget it!”  

When you need to talk with your spouse about something you know he isn’t going to want to hear, ask yourself first, does he need to hear this?  Is there a better time or way I could approach him with this? Joey and I will say, “Is there a time today we can talk for a few minutes? I need you to know I have an agenda.” This tells the other person to get ready to hear something he/she may not like, but it has worked wonders for us. “Convince, rebuke, and encourage with the utmost patience…” (2 Timothy 4:2)

It would be well if our spouses could say of us, 

“I have come to have much joy and comfort in your love.”

(Philippians 1:7)

This post was taken from the Mom’s Notes presentation, “Is Your Spouse Your Best Friend?” (Volume 1)