A discouraged person feels the darkness around him. It holds him down. It tells him there is not light. You can’t tell a discouraged person there is light, but you can be the light.
6 Tips to Lift a Discouraged Spouse
“I don’t like you. Some days I don’t even like being around you.”
My husband took the moment of a commercial break in our television show to share his thoughts with me. I sat opposite him on the couch and stared in response.
I had no words . . . well, I had words, but not words I needed to let out.
I just sat there.
Two days later I had the opportunity to visit a Christian book store and I went in search of the perfect book to tell me how to fix my marriage – or better yet, how to fix my husband.
Obviously, he was the one that needed to be fixed.
I looked through the whole store and didn’t find a book about how to fix a broken husband. What I did find was a book challenging me to be an encouragement and a light in my own journey so that I could make a way for others to find their way – including my husband.
How to Encourage a Discouraged Heart
TIP 1 | Remember YOU will Never Fix It
I can do everything right, but discouragement will ALWAYS find fault. That is part of its job. I have to stop trying to fix it if I want to keep my sanity (and that ounce of compassion that will let me pray a humble hearted prayer for my spouse). I also have to quit trying to fix it to stop feeding the power of discouragement.
TIP 2 | I Can Only Do What I Can Do
If I do what I know to do and I do it as unto the Lord, then I stop worrying about what discourage points out. If I can, I address that concern – but always with a focus on what God wants me to do and not that doing it will drive discouragement away. When I live the life God has designed for me then, and only then, I become the light on the side of the hill. The light will drive away the dark.
TIP 3 | Encouragement May Not be the Key
I used to think that the right mixture of rainbows, lollipops, and hope would cure any ailment. I am learning that discouragement throws them back in my face. I will share encouragement when prompted, but I am learning to discern when it will be a blessing and when it will be a curse. Sometimes I still get lollipops in my face.
STEP 4 | Avoid Adding to the Discouragement
Negative words and negative attitudes only fuel the strength of discouragement. Follow the advice given throughout the ages. “If you have nothing nice to say then say nothing at all.” Even when negative comments are thrown at you, hold back those negative comments.
STEP 5 | Speak Love
In all that you say and all that you do, let love be the guiding force. Discouragement does NOT like to hang around love. Love grows up a heart (some times even three sizes in one day).
STEP 6 | Pray the Scriptures
Find positive and hope filled scriptures. Pray those scriptures over your spouse by putting his or her name in the scripture. Praying the Word of God specifically for your spouse will help your heart.
The way to fix a discouraged heart is to stop trying to fix the discouraged and to start focus on living an individual life of encouragement.
I invested two days in reading through the book “How to Encourage the Man in Your Life” by H. Norman Wright. I put the challenges to work immediately but never once said anything to my husband about what I was doing (or even why I was doing it).
Two days after he had shocked me into silence with his declaration, he turned to me once again. “I don’t know what is different, but I can tell that something has changed.”
I fix a discouraged heart by living a life (and being a heart) that reflects the Light.
AICR Photography by Gabby Orcutt