On this Thanksgiving day why not .....

Accentuate the Positive

“He is the half of a blessed man

Let to be finished by such as she

And she a fair divided excellence,

Whose fullness of perfection lies in him.”




How can you spur your mate toward love and good deeds as we’re admonished to do in the book of Hebrews? By accentuating the positive and minimizing the negative! Then you can do a better job of affirming each other.

Before marriage, it’s easy to look for the positive. But once we say “I do” the stars in our eyes begin to fade and we see each other’s idiosyncrasies. The reality of living together does create tension and before we know what is happening, we can easily focus on the negative instead of the positive. 

When you criticize you tear down and when you encourage you build up. So it’s time to do an “about face.” Stop being a critic and become your mate’s number one fan. What do you appreciate about your mate? Here are some questions to get you talking:

How has your spouse affirmed you in the past? (Dave likes Claudia’s hugs, kisses, and she likes his practical help like volunteering to be the one to clean the toilets!)

How would you like to be affirmed in the future? (Claudia likes it when Dave calls when he is going to be delayed, brings her favorite candy, or takes the garbage out the night before without being reminded.)

In what areas is your mate most competent? Affirm your mate’s positive attributes like his happy disposition which enables him to laugh and handle pressure, or her verbal skills that help her be so expressive and articulate.

Is there an area that you would like to explore together? Perhaps learning a new sport or craft or taking gourmet cooking lessons, or a community course.

As you begin a concerted effort to spur each other on, here are some tips to help you accentuate the positive:

·         Actively look for the positive. It takes five positive statements to offset one negative statement, so for the next twenty-four hours track your positives to negatives and see how you’re doing. Concentrate on each other’s strengths. We already know our weak areas so look for strengths!

·         Give honest compliments.  Describe what you appreciate about your mate. We would all like to get more compliments.

·         Develop a sense of humor. Humor is a first cousin of affirmation. So relax, look for the lighter side of life and affirm each other through laughing together.


You may find that as you spur your partner toward love and good deeds, you will also be the benefactor!  For sure, things will become much more positive around your house! 

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.

Hebrews 10:24