This summer we have seen two couples close to us suffering difficulties with their marriages. We have also just celebrated my parents' 60th wedding anniversary. What causes some couples to find it impossible to stay together and others to find a way to make it last? I was reading Micheal Hyatt's last newsletter. In it he discusses the importance of praising your spouse in public. He says that praising your spouse in public might be one of the best investments you can make in your marriage and family. I know that for at least one of the couples this didn't happen. I also know that in my own marriage I could be doing a better job of this. I thought I'd share what Michael wrote. It may be too late for our two couples but maybe it will help you or someone you know.
This is important for at least five reasons:
You get more of what you affirm. Have you ever noticed that when someone praises you, you want to repeat the behavior that caused it? This is just human nature. It can be a form of manipulation if it isn’t genuine. But it can be a powerful way to motivate others when it is authentic.
Affirmation shifts your attitude toward your spouse.
Words are powerful tools. They can create, or they can destroy. They can build up, or they can tear down. I believe most people have a drive to align their actions—and their attitudes—with their words. If you start speaking well of someone, you start believing what you say.
Affirmation helps strengthen your spouse’s best qualities.
Encouragement is also a powerful force for good. All of us need positive reinforcement. This is why when we are losing weight and people notice, it gives us the strength to stick with the program. This is true in every area of life.
Affirmation wards off the temptation of adultery. When others see you are happily married, they are less likely to proposition you. It’s like a hedge that protects your marriage from would-be predators. You simply stop being a target.
I think this is pretty powerful! I'm thinking this would be good advice to share with newlyweds. I might just include this in my next wedding card. What do you think?