Being Sincere – It Starts With YOU

Being Sincere – It Starts With YOU

The study of values is called Axiology. We discovered this description of what Robert does every day in a text book our daughter was studying. (It was satisfying to have a word to describe his passion!)

What do values have to do with marriage?

What do values have to do with anything in life? 

We hear and read quite a bit about values as they pertain to business – or businesses which have gone down a path of moral and ethical misbehavior. We also hear and read about so called “family” values. (Read more about that myth here.)

Values simply define

  • what is desirable 
  • what is worth doing
  • what is worth supporting
  • what is worth arguing for
  • what is worth striving for

Values are a set of standards.

Robert and I were talking about the fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22), and how they are all words which can be described as values, defining what is desirable, worth doing, supporting, arguing and striving for…

Fruit of the Spirit

What about in your marriage? Which values would you consider important? 

Which values would you consider desirable – worth striving for – doing and supporting?


    • acceptance
    • discovery
    • optimism
    • playfulness
    • loyalty

I’m sure there are other values you could list, if you wanted to spend time thinking about them…

What about sincerity?

To be sincere. Does that sound old-fashioned? How could the value of sincerity be worth something in your marriage? (tweet this)

Consider the value of Sincerity:

open and genuine; not deceitful; earnestness.

Being open with your spouse.

Being genuine.

Refusing to be deceitful – either in action or inaction.

An earnest heart – with intense conviction.

Where could you put the value of sincerity to work in your marriage?

First – sincerity needs to start with you.

You could be open, genuine, without deceit and convicting with yourself. (That can be a hard thing to do, we know.)

Here are some questions to ask yourself – on the way to adding sincerity to your marriage:

Marriage Questions:

If you scored the strength of your marriage on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being low, 10 being high), how would it score? What would need to change to increase that number by +1?

Hope Faith Love Prayer ActionWhat about you (yes, you!) do you think is most attractive to your spouse? What has he or she appreciated about you/complemented you on in the past?  What’s holding you back from letting that shine more often?

Hope Faith Love Prayer ActionImagine the best scenario of what your marriage could look like in 3-years. Have you shared this vision with your spouse?

Hope Faith Love Prayer Action

What are some ways you can encourage your spouse (and enhance your relationship) that truly comes from your heart?

Hope Faith Love Prayer Action

How can the value of sincerity –  being open and genuine –  help improve your marriage?

 sincerity (2)

Words to Encourage

Words play a


part in Robert and my life…

How about you & your spouse?

Which words –

or phrases –

do you have displayed in your environment?

Surround yourself with words that encourage!


life is hopeful - Mary and Martha Vintage Block set 83728 vintage block set from Mary and Martha 83728 - grace is beautiful love is genuine - Mary and Martha Vintage Block set 83728 vintage block courageous from Mary and Martha

This is a 3-block set I have on my fireplace mantle.  I keep turning the blocks (there’s different words/scripture on each of the 4 sides) as the mood strikes me!  It’s from…

Mary and Martha

Last year I found a company called Mary & Martha (then it was known as Blessings Unlimited) with products filled with words of encouragement. To add to our income, I thought I’d become a distributor…  One of the items I fell in love with is the vintage block set.  (I like versatile options.)

This 3-block set comes with lots of interchangeable options to display words of encouragement

– for you and those your love!

best yet…  it’s available right now at a special price until January 31st!

15 dollars

If you’re interested in adding these encouraging words to your space:

click HERE  (

mary and martha - my page - shop online

and when you reach that page, click on the “shop” box

my page shop online 800x 496 enter search 83728

Once you’ve clicked the “shop” button, you’ll see this page – enter 83728 into the search box


product page for vintage block set

and then you’ll see the description for the vintage block set!

Grab them while they’re on sale!

I was excited to see the lowered price on these vintage block sets – I needed to share with you!

Do you have favorite ways to display words of encouragement?


Encouraging Words: Invite

Encouraging Words: Invite

Did you know there are over 100 synonyms for the word “Encourage“?

When I first became interested in how spouses encourage each other, I decided to do a search for all the words related to encouragement.

One of the synonyms of encourage is INVITE.


An invitation.

To ask in a friendly way – politely – to make a request – to welcome – to tempt.

When we first met our spouse, we may have accepted an invitation for a date, or a group gathering. Do you remember your first date with your spouse? Were there flutters – tingles – zings of attraction?

I imagine there wasn’t a feeling of obligation or duty when you first went out with your spouse… I can guess that you went on this first date with an open expectation for fun, even if it was suggested by parents or friends.

What do you feel when you receive an invitation from your spouse today?

An invitation could be simply to spend time together talking, or it could be arranging time to plan for your future, or it could be the opportunity to share some intimacy.

Is there hesitation to accept an invitation?

Are you even noticing when you’re being invited?

If an invitation is given and refused – many times – the one who is inviting may hesitate.  Have you noticed your spouse is no longer giving invitations?  Perhaps there’s been too many refusals… It hurts to be turned down.

It takes courage to invite, to make a request, to welcome an advance, and to tempt…

How does it feel when you invite – make an invitation?

Perhaps it’s your invitations that are being ignored. Remember, there’s no obligation to accept an invitation – there is always a chance we’ll be turned down – or away – or refused, discouraged, postponed and avoided.

How many chances do you give your spouse to accept your welcoming, friendly request – that temptation you’re providing? One chance? Two opportunities? Ten – or more?

One thing to remember…

We’ve all been given an invitation from the Bridegroom of our soul – Jesus. How many invitations from Him did it take for us to respond? And perhaps we’ve slipped and continued to ignore His call many times.  Yet He still keeps giving an invitation. It’s an open invitation – to all. Always.

Should we do any less than what has been provided for us by Christ?

Being given an invitation is an honor – never lose sight of this fact.  Accepting an invitation provides joy to the giver – don’t forget that feeling – and there’s always a benefit for the one who accepts the invitation.

Is it time to reach out and welcome with a friendly request – or accept an invitation?  Give it some thought.

Let’s open our hearts – to provide & accept a few more invitations.

Welcome your spouse – tempt your spouse.

Make a request for your husband or wife’s time and attention – be tempting…

Have courage.  Encourage your spouse with an invitation. 

What can you INVITE your spouse to do with you today?

Linking up with

Matrimonial Mondays

Teach me Tuesdays

Whole Hearted Home

Wifey Wednesdays

Positive Effects for your Marriage

A week ago I spent the day writing down 101 phrases to encourage your spouse (click to go to that post) and it’s had a unique effect in our home…

but let me quickly explain our current family dynamics.

We have three adult children living in our home for the last few months – our daughter who lives in the self-contained basement apartment because she’s gone back to school, and our son with his wife who are in the guest bedroom while they wait for their new house to finish the l-o-n-g  process to close on a purchase.

This makes 5 adults living in one smallish house.

Fortunately, we like each other. And it’s only for a finite amount of time. And everyone is quite busy so we don’t really see a lot of each other.

It’s been a delight for Robert and me to see our son and his wife interact. They’ve been married two years, and we are thrilled to see their consistent positive and affirming behavior toward each other. (Face it – It’s gotta be stressful living with your in-laws!)

Anyway. Back to my point.

Alex and Alisane came home after I’d spent the day writing out 101 phrases to encourage your spouse. And, being the dutifully attentive kids that they are, they looked at what I wrote and began reading the phrases. Out loud.

All of a sudden these phrases came to life. There were smiles and giggles and laughter.

It was such fun that I suggested they should make a video – because that’s Alex’s profession. (His business is called Your Local Studio.)

The next day they went to the studio and filmed. (the videos are at the end of this post – along with the blooper reel)


A curious thing has happened in our house…

Now we’re using these phrases all the time – sometimes a few phrases in tandem. When we realize what we’re doing there’s laughter. (Yes. I admit it – some of the phrases sound goofy – but that doesn’t stop the smiles…)

And…  Alisane reported a curious effect following the taping.  She said,

“Even though we were saying these words – reading them from the teleprompter – they gave me a warm feeling afterward. It felt so positive and it made me so happy to hear Alex saying those words. Even though I knew he was just reading them. It was weird.”

Alex agrees with Alisane.

That got me thinking about some research done by John Gottman, author of The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work .  Here’s an article from Purdue University that cites this research:

“Successful intimate relationships have a balance between positive and negative feelings and actions between partners. According to relationship researcher John Gottman, the magic ratio is 5 to 1.

What does this mean? This means that for every one negative feeling or interaction between partners, there must be five positive feelings or interactions. Stable and happy couples share more positive feelings and actions than negative ones.”

Interesting, huh?

So this means that Alex and Alisane spent over an hour just saying positive things to each other – and laughing. (Sometimes laughing hysterically at the wording. Yes. I acknowledge some of the phrases are corny.  Again, you’ve gotta spend some time looking at the out-takes!)

What’s my real point of this post?

Say something positive.


Watch this young couple, married two years, saying these positive statements – 101 Phrases to Encourage Your Spouse – to each other:

If you’re interested in printing out these 101 Phrases to Encourage Your Spouse, I’ve created a PDF:

Click HERE: 101-Phrases-to-Encourage-Your-Spouse: to access the PDF.


If you’d like a chuckle,

here’s the blooper/outtakes video:

When you watch the out-takes, pay attention to their tone with each other on some of the phrases. It’s completely possible to turn the phrase into a negative experience… (ei – “I won’t do that again.”)


Please leave a comment!


The Alabaster Jar

GraceLaced Mondays

101 Things To Say To Encourage Your Spouse

101 Things To Say To Encourage Your Spouse



  1. I love you.
  2. Thank you.
  3. We have a good future together.
  4. I believe God put us together for a reason.
  5. I just prayed for you. What would you like for me to ask God for – on your behalf?
  6. I would like to help – what would you like me to do?
  7. You are amazing.
  8. I would like to give you a hug.
  9. Let’s kiss for a while.
  10. My arms are a great place if you want to cry for a bit.
  11. Everybody makes mistakes – it’s OK.
  12. I forgive you.
  13. You did the right thing.
  14. I’m proud of you.
  15. I’m sorry.
  16. It’s not too late.
  17. Please forgive me.
  18. How can I make things better for you?
  19. It’s OK that you changed your mind – I’m with you.
  20. What a great idea.
  21. Tell me more.
  22. You are such a thoughtful person.
  23. I’m OK waiting for you – you’re worth it.
  24. I’m listening.
  25. I missed you.
  26. I was thinking about you and it made me smile.
  27. If we work together, we can do anything.
  28. Let’s go to bed. Together.
  29. What you think matters more to me than anyone else.
  30. I need you. Only you. Always you.
  31. There’s no hurry – we have time.
  32. I trust you.
  33. I would marry you all over again.
  34. Tomorrow will be better.
  35. Today is all about you – what would you like to do?
  36. You are a great parent. (mother/father)
  37. You look great.
  38. Let’s spend some time together.
  39. I admire your perseverance. 
  40. Remember when… (insert good memory here)
  41. God is doing great things in your life – I’m thankful I’m here to see it.
  42. We don’t have to talk – let’s just sit/walk together.
  43.  I value your opinion.
  44.  I’m so glad you’re home.
  45. I won’t do that again.
  46. We can solve this together.
  47. I’m on your side.
  48. Thank you for working so hard.
  49. It’s OK to be sad.
  50. I believe you.
  51. Dinner is ready when you are.
  52. I want to understand what you’re saying. Please help me.
  53. I’m glad you had a good time with ______. I can see you’re happy.
  54. Let’s remember all the good stuff God has done for us…
  55. Let’s imagine all the good stuff that God will do for us…
  56. I’m here for you.
  57. I love how you touch me – do it some more. Do it “doucement”.
  58. I’m glad I’m your husband/wife.
  59. Your hugs make my day.
  60. You’re such fun.
  61. Tell me about your day…
  62. Drive safely – you’re irreplaceable.
  63. Wow.
  64. You are a blessing for me.
  65. I was sure you could…
  66. That took a lot of courage.
  67. I like looking at you.
  68. Tell me the story behind that…
  69. I love how you said that!
  70. Let’s do what you want this weekend!
  71. Let me be your support.
  72. I like laughing together.
  73. You’re my best friend.
  74. What can I do to help you relax?
  75. In my eyes you’re perfect.
  76. I can handle it if you’re beside me.
  77. What you provide is enough.
  78. I believe you can do it.
  79. We don’t have to talk about it now – you tell me when you’re ready.
  80. Do you need some time by yourself?
  81. I admire how you handled that.
  82. I see where God is blessing you.
  83. Your gift means a lot to me because…
  84. I’m proud to wear your ring.
  85. Can you help me plan a way to…
  86. Your parents raised an awesome daughter/son.
  87. Let’s make a fresh start.
  88. Thank you for noticing. (or not noticing)
  89. Thank you for making it easy for me.
  90. You’re in my head. You’re in my heart.
  91. I know you’ll do the right thing even when nobody’s looking.
  92. I see how you’re using the talents God has given you.
  93. Your hard work is gonna pay off soon!
  94. I believe in your dream.
  95. Change can be good.
  96. I know what kind of person you are – you’re …
  97. Thanks for being willing to try.
  98. You’re not like anyone else – and that makes me happy.
  99. I’m excited and happy to look forward with you.
  100. Your words lift me up.
  101. As you wish.

Pick your time – choose your words carefully. You’re sowing seeds…

Remember – it’s all in how you say it…

Love & Respect!

 “A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver” Proverbs 25:11

“Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.” ~  Proverbs 12:25

To download a PDF with these 101 Phrases click HERE

And watch the video!