Edify: To build up – strengthen – establish.
I don’t know about you – but this is NOT a word I use most days. Or any day. Sometimes I read it in a Biblical context, but I don’t think I’ve ever used it when describing my relationship with my spouse.
When I look at the real meaning of the word “to edify”:
build up – establish – strengthen
I’m convinced it’s a valuable word.
Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.
~ 1 Thessalonians 5:11 New King James Version
Here is the word used in the New King James Version where Paul is writing to the Thessalonians.
And here it is – same verse, different translation:
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
~ 1 Thessalonians 5:11 New International Version
I kept going back and forth to all the different translations (using BibleGateway) to see how this verse would read.
- Build up.
- Build each other up.
- Give each other strength.
- Make each other strong.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could do this for our wife or husband?
How can you edify your spouse?
Here are 5 suggestions:
- Talk about the future in a positive way. Use the past as an illustration. Focus on all the ways God has helped you both to carry on – to move forward – to prosper. Your God is bigger than your problems. God’s strength is there to give you hope and make your future good. (Jeremiah 29:11)
- Trust God. And live that way. It’s not enough to talk about having faith. Adopt the Nike motto: Just do it. Strengthen your spouse with the way you live your faith – the way you immerse yourself in God’s Word – the way you’re consistent in seeking fellowship with other Christ followers. Ponder Acts 2:42 – and behave that way. Then invite your spouse to join you.
- Love your spouse – even when you don’t feel like it. Feelings are fleeting, they come and they go. Decide to love your spouse and act in a way that shows love. Start with kindness and work forward. Tell your spouse, “I love you.” and then list the ways. Review 1Corinthians 13 if you need context.
- Ask God to bless your spouse. Work through a 31-day challenge to pray for your spouse in specific ways, a different way each day. Be creative. Pray differently – try a journal, or meeting with a group of like-minded believers to pray for your spouses. Ask. Seek. Knock. (Matthew 7:7,8) Pray without ceasing. (1Thessalonians 5:17) Invite your spouse to pray with you – let him or her hear you pray in specific, concrete ways for her/him – not just once, but continually.
- Add your strength in a practical way. When was the last time you did something for your spouse? A cup of tea (or sweet-tea if you live in the South) at an opportune moment can make a difference. (or a favorite anything) Your willing attitude can create a dent in the impossible. Sometimes words are cheap, and taking action turns the tide. (Proverbs 3:27) If there’s something that is in your power to do – just do it!
Edify your spouse.
One last idea from the book “Happy Spouse, Happy House” by Pat Williams. He uses the word EDIFY as an acronym:
D – Delight: Delight in one another.
I – Involve: Active listening & talking.
F – Fulfill: Help each other to reach the greatest potential.
Y – Yield: Live in a yielded, forgiving state.
How will you edify your spouse this week?
Linking up with The Alabaster Jar Marital Oneness Monday!