A friend of mine once paid me a great compliment. She said that I never complain about my husband. Now that cannot possibly be entirely true. He’s imperfect. I’m imperfect. But how lovely that someone would have the impression that I’m so for Will, that I wouldn’t grouse about him, even to friends. I will savor this sweet affirmation for a long time, even though, sadly, this friend is packing up and moving to Texas.
But this for-ness is definitely part of a good marriage. No one should want your spouse to succeed more than you. No one should want them to be affirmed and recognized more than you. No one should take more satisfaction in their achievements — whether that be running a marathon, completing a degree or getting a promotion — more than you. And it’s not just rejoicing in their joys, but being there to help, to encourage. Being for Will doesn’t mean I’m just on the sidelines cheering, it means I’m willing to speak the truth in love. And how wonderful that I can count on him to cheer me on, but to also be the voice of reason. He is the person in my life who is steadfastly practical in helping me set goals and achieve them. Because being for your spouse definitely means holding them accountable too.
May our marriages be characterized by these four for verses:
- Build each other up. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11
- Cheer each other on. Rejoice with those who rejoice. Romans 12:15
- Hold each other accountable. As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17
- Speak the truth in love. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. Ephesians 4:15