And let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds.
I once was speaking to a group of several hundred singles, and I asked, "How many of you grew up in homes where you were told you were great?" Perhaps a dozen raised their hands. The rest of these young adults remembered words of criticism from their parents more than they remembered encouragement.
When was the last time you pondered on how to encourage those in your family? If you want your mate to live a godly life...if you would like to see your children grow up to love the Lord and walk with Him, then you need to make encouragement a part of your daily vocabulary.
I remember watching a PBS special in which Daniel Boorstein, then the Librarian of Congress, brought out a little blue box that contained the contents of Abraham Lincoln's pockets on the night he was assassinated. Among the contents were found several news clippings applauding Lincoln's leadership and great deeds. It's easy to forget that when Lincoln lived millions of people hated him, and he needed encouragement like anyone else.
All of us have an encouragement meter that is near empty at times. In fact, has anybody ever been encouraged too much? Have you ever felt too appreciated?
I've got a challenge for you. Spend some time thinking of five good things about each member of your family. Begin writing them here, and use additional paper as needed.
Now, commit yourself to finding time to encourage each family member in these areas during the next week. Spend more time encouraging than criticizing.
Be warned though, do not wait for somebody to praise you. Someone once said, "You can sometimes catch a terrible chill waiting for someone else to cover you with glory."
Discuss: Share your lists for each child.
Pray: That God would cement good qualities in each family member through your encouragement.
Excerpted from "Moments Together for Couples" by Dennis and Barbara Rainey.
Used with permission. Copyright 1995 by Dennis and Barbara Rainey. All
rights reserved. To purchase the book, visit ->http://www.familylife.com/1-800-358-6329/detail.asp?id=1170