We know that Jesus complimented people for the things in their lives that were special. He noticed the good in those around him. Noticing the greatness in your spouse as often as possible is one way to keep your relationship close. However, if you are repeating the same compliments over and over, they lose their effectiveness. How can we avoid getting stuck in a rut? How do you think of new, specific compliments for your spouse?
Getting ideas for specific compliments requires a bit of work and stealthy movement. Keep a secret list of things you love about your spouse. Have a stockpile of things about your spouse you can use to compliment them. If the topic you want to compliment them on doesn’t come up naturally, write a note or send a text. Surprise them with kind words.
Here are some ideas to get you started.
The Bible tells us that this is something worth striving for. Romans 15:5 says, “God is the one who makes us patient and cheerful. I pray that he will help you live at peace with each other, as you follow Christ.”
If you notice that your spouse excels at communicating and relating to others, this would be an excellent place to start. Does your spouse have more patience or empathy than you could ever hope to have? Maybe they have a crazy good sense of humor and keep everyone laughing, especially you.
Their relationship with God
One thing all Christians should be working on is their relationships with God. In John 14:23, Jesus said, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and take up residence with him.” (NET)
You’re going to notice things about someone who is growing in their walk with Jesus. If your spouse is making strides with truth, kindness, and service, you would not be wrong to point those out. Perhaps he or she has a heart for serving others or giving of their time or money in a sacrificial way. Take note of these and make a point of sharing what you’ve noticed.
Dealing with challenges
The Bible tells us in Ecclesiastes 3:4 that there is “a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance” (ESV). We are not always ready to deal with the weeping and mourning though. Does your spouse deal with challenges in such a way, that you can rely on them to be the steady one?
When adversity comes does your spouse avoid overreacting, blaming others, or comparing themselves to everyone else? Maybe during these times, they are just really good at recognizing their emotions and dealing with them instead of letting things fester. These are important traits, and a great opportunity to give specific compliments.
Everyone wants to hear that they are doing something right as a parent, because, let’s face it, there are plenty of times we are afraid we’re doing it all wrong. People quote the scripture from Proverbs 22:6 that says, “Train up a child in the way he should go; Even when he is old he will not depart from it” and we worry that we have our kids on the wrong train sometimes. If you notice that your spouse demonstrates excellent skill when it comes to managing your children’s behavior in a particular situation, tell them! Do they give lots more hugs and kisses than you do? Are they on top of things that could affect your kids’ health or safety? We all need reassurance that we are doing something right, and giving your spouse specific compliments on this part of their lives may make a huge difference to them.
No matter what job your spouse has, Christ expects them to do it well. Remember Colossians 3:23? “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men” This applies to ministries in the church, and other times when you are doing something that affects someone else.
Is your spouse the type who never gives up at a task? Are they well disciplined, respectful, or reliable? Those traits will help them go far, and unfortunately, the bosses out there who will point it out are few and far between. You are probably the only one that will point that out, so do it! use this as an opportunity to give good specific compliments. Make your spouse’s day!
Complimenting someone’s appearance can regrettably get you into a lot of trouble in today’s society. However, that does not apply to your partner! Spouses (yes, stereotypically, wives more so) still like to hear that they look good; that they are still appealing to you, and that your looks grab their attention. One of the compliments read in Song of Solomon 4:7 says, You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.” Seriously, what wife wouldn’t want to hear that?
Song of Solomon gives some ideas for complimenting husbands too. In chapter 5 verses 10-11 it says, “My lover is healthy and tan,
the best of ten thousand men. His head is like the finest gold; his hair is wavy and black like a raven.”
We should be ready to compliment the way our spouse looks. Give specific compliments about their outfit, hair, smile, smell, whatever comes to mind. Just don’t use it as the only type of compliment you give. We are so much more than the way we look.
Has your spouse recently had a big success at work or home? Whether it’s getting a promotion or succeeding in potty training a severely disinterested 3-year-old, these accomplishments need to be celebrated. If they complete a project they have been working on for quite a while, compliment them on it. If we follow the advice of Solomon in Proverbs 16:3, “Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.”
Jesus notices your spouse’s victories in life. So should you.
As Amber Moore says in her blog, “Becoming a Student of Your Spouse,” we need to study our spouses and make them our favorite subject! She has some great ideas on this topic, so check out her blog.
Need a way to keep track of these ideas? Download this cheat sheet to keep in your sock drawer! ?