by April Motl
Oh, the comfort - the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person - having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are, chaff and grain together; certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then with the breath of kindness blow the rest away.
-Dinah Craik, A Life for a Life, 1859
Marriage was intended to be a relationship of intimacy and that means vulnerability. After God, your spouse is the one who sees nearly every flaw. How we respond to each otherís weaknesses and insecurities can make or break the trust so vital to the intimacy of marriage.
Responding to your spouse's struggles with compassion and understanding creates an atmosphere of comfort, safety and trust. Not only will your marriage be stronger, but as individuals you will be able to conquer more of those daunting tasks in life because you know you have a cheerleader right there beside you. As a husband or a wife, you have a place of influence that no one else has! We are wise to learn how to be our spouseís safe place.
The following are some of the ways God prescribes we offer comfort and encouragement to our family in Christ:
2 Corinthians 1:3-5:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
All of us feel overwhelmed or discouraged at times. When you see your spouse in that predicament instead of reminding him that he needs to work harder to climb the ladder of success or poking a finger at her struggle to juggle the demands of kids, the house and work, choose to comfort them with grace and love. God allows us to experience trials for many reasons, but one of them is because he wants us to reach out with compassion and understanding to others.
2 Corinthians 1:7:
Öknowing that as you are sharers of our sufferings, so also you are sharers of our comfort.
The context of this verse describes a ministry partnership relationship, but doesnít it also well describe how our marriages work? We ought to experience each others sufferings, but also share our comforts as we make this faith journey together.
2 Corinthians 2:7:
Öforgive and comfort him, otherwise such a one might be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow.
This verse references the sin of one of the members of the church Paul is writing to. In our marriages we, will see each other fail. If your spouse is repentant, Godís heart is for you to respond with comfort and forgiveness. It is so easy to keep that long list of offenses and mistakes our spouse has made and use it as our trump card whenever we need a little leverage in a dispute. But what an opportunity we miss when we keep score!
Encourage the exhausted, and strengthen the feeble.
This verse isnít hard to understand how to apply -- is your honey worn out? Find a way to tangibly come along side him or her to give encouragement and strength to them. Maybe it is some time away from the responsibilities of life, a shoulder rub, making and cleaning up dinner or just listening to them process life.
1 Thessalonians 5:11-12:
Therefore, encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.
Use words that build your spouse up in love and truth!
But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called "Today," so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
Keep encouraging your spouse! Donít get weary of it because we all need it!
One of the other ways we can comfort our spouse (and my hubby thought of this) is through sexual intimacy. Now, just for fun, I want to share his thought process with you.
I asked him if he knew of any good comfort verses that applied directly to marriage, since the ones above pertained to the general Christian life.
He said, "God made Adam and Eve naked in the garden."
"So, nakedness is comfort?" I responded with a little doubt because I was looking for a direct word correlation.
"Yes. They were comfortable being naked -- so comfortable, comfort -- that works!"
Not only were Adam and Eve partaking in physical intimacy, but there was no part of their physical, emotional, or spiritual union that held the slightest hint of uncomfortableness. They were free to be open and vulnerable with each other. Marriage was designed to be a completely safe relationship.
Think about how you can direct your relationship toward its design as you interact with your spouse. And enjoy Godís design for marital intimacy along the way! However the Lord moves your heart to apply these truths to your marriage, I am praying that God opens your eyes to new opportunities to proactively comfort, encourage and strengthen your sweetheart!
Source: Ile It Devotional
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In the early church, one of the most powerful images used for the Trinity was the image of a dance of mutual indwelling. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit live in an eternal, joyful, vibrant dance of love and honor, rhythm and harmony, grace and beauty, giving and receiving.
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