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Write It On A Rock

Faith and Family
October 3rd, 2013 by Sarah

The Power of Encouragement


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Strand Family  20

You know how when you take a shower the mirror fogs up, and you can write a message that will look invisible until the next person takes a shower? A few weeks ago I wrote, “you’re the man,” with my finger so that my husband, Jason, would see it when he got out of the shower.

Then a few days later I stepped out of the shower to a message on my side of the mirror… (I know what you’re thinking. That Jason wrote something cute like, “you’re beautiful.”) Actually, I saw the words, “Micah’s the man.” Micah is my 8-year-old son and when he saw my message to Jason he wondered why he wasn’t the man. He cleverly decided to write a note back to me.

Inside each of us there is an unquenchable desire for encouragement.

I think we all know that it’s important to encourage each other, but if you’re like me you need reminders. It comes more naturally for me to critique (you know, the fancy word for criticize) than to encourage.

When one of my sons recently got into the bad habit of lashing out when he was angry, I encouraged him to do the right thing, which in this case, was to use his words. He knew what to do and not to do, but no matter what consequence and instruction I gave him, it wasn’t working.

Then, one day it happened. He did the right thing and used his words, and I was so proud of him. I semi-over-the-top encouraged him for using his words and from that point on we saw a huge change, and we continued to encourage him for it.

I believe discipline and instruction are important, but out of everything we tried, encouragement was the most powerful force of change.

Three things to remember:

1. When you think something good–say it, send it in an email, or text it. Just communicate it.
2. Try to notice what your spouse, children, or parents do well and thank them, letting them know how much it meant to you.
3. Rather than saying something vague to your children like “you’re good,” or “you’re smart,” when they attempt a task try something specific like “you’re working so hard” or “wow, you obeyed me the first time I asked, I’m so proud of you.” Studies have shown that more specific encouragement motivates and builds confidence.

Hebrews 3:13 says, “Encourage one another daily.” Build a habit of it, and I believe it has the power to change our families and marriages for the better.

Comments

3 Responses to “The Power of Encouragement”
  1. Wish there was a “like” button! Love it! Great reminder!

  2. Mary Beth Mirock says

    I just love your openness and ability to be real. Although my time as a young mother is long past I am a grandmamma of ten. I still remember a day when our home was very LOUD. I thought whatever I give my energy to will be amplified, kind of like an electric guitar. You reminded me of those days and how quickly they pass.

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