Have you ever had someone say, “I believe in you” and then follow their words up with ongoing support? You may be able to think of a handful of people through your life who have done so—and you know how far their words carried you.
You may have been in athletics and had a coach or fellow player pull you aside and say, “I know you can do it! I believe in you!” Or a teacher or parent encouraged you saying, “You have great potential. I just want you to know that I believe in you.” You felt empowered to do your best, achieve more, and press through difficult times, didn’t you?
In your marriage, you have the ability to lift your spouse up to their fullest potential through your belief in them. In the “love” chapter of the Bible the Apostle Paul writes that “Love…believes all things.” (1 Corinthians 13:7) To believe all things is to assume and expect the best. In marriage, “believing all things” means making the decision to assume the best of your spouse—their motives, intentions, and potential.
To not believe the best is to predetermine the worst of our spouse. It immediately creates barriers in the relationship, shapes our thinking toward failure and not success.
One of the deepest expressions of love in marriage is to communicate through your words and your actions your belief in your spouse. Here are three things you can tell them:
1. I choose to trust you
Trust is vital for a healthy marriage. Conflict can arise when we choose to distrust our spouse’s intentions, motives, and behaviors. Our minds can easily concoct reasons why our spouse has done what they did.
When you catch yourself imposing negative assumptions, stop yourself and say, “I choose, instead, to believe the best and to trust my spouse.” Then, let them know that you trust them.
We recognize that trust can be broken—repeatedly and sometimes devastatingly. In situations like those there should be appropriate boundaries in place and there will be a season necessary for rebuilding trust. But overall, each marriage should be characterized by, “I choose to trust you.”
2. I choose to encourage you
To believe in our spouse is to let them know that they can reach their full potential with our support, that we see good things in their character. We know their skills, heart, and abilities.
A simple handwritten note, a post-it on the steering wheel or mirror can refuel their passion and zeal for days. You may just wrap your mate in your arms and tell them the traits you admire and appreciate.
3. I choose to support you
Life can be hard. Discouragement can set in. Setbacks happen. In the low points of life it’s important to know that we’re not alone in the journey.
Someone once said, “A shared burden is half a burden,” and in marriage you have the privilege of letting your spouse know that no matter what, “I believe in you, support you, and we’re in this together.”
What have you said or done to let your spouse know that you believe in them? Take the steps today to love on your spouse with your belief as you build your marriage!