Since January 23rd, Robert has been playing with a new ‘toy’ to motivate himself to focus on being more active.  It’s called the FitBit.

What is a FitBit?

It’s a small, wireless device that tracks how many steps he takes every day.

The data is sent wirelessly to a website, and he can track his fitness activity over time to measure his progress.  The device, connected to his personal FitBit webpage, also tracks other areas such as calories, sleep patterns, distance, etc.

There are incentives for a high activity day – his “flower” grows (a digital representation of the amount of activity) – he receives “badges” online to commemorate steps that correlate to flights of stairs, distance, etc.  Robert has walked 250 miles since the end of January.   It’s very motivating to see progress!

On Saturday we celebrated Robert’s highest activity day in 15 weeks – 17,580 steps. Yes, it was a very busy day…

However, each day the device automatically resets at midnight.

Every day.

Each morning he begins again at zero.

Zero.  Nada.  Zilch.

What does this have to do with encouragement?

Encouragement is more than just “rah -rah”.  Encouragement is literally “adding courage” into your spouse.  It’s an activity that is future-focused, positive-focused, and possibility-focused.  Everyone likes to be encouraged.  Encouragement adds to a relationship.

Do you encourage your spouse?

If you were tracking how much you encourage your spouse  – each day – could you “track” your encouragement activity?  What would your analytics look like?

Think about “Encouragement Analytics” as displaying:

HOPE – How often during one day, do you share your hope for a  good future together?  Do you take the opportunity to inspire your spouse with a word of hope?  Encouragement comes from knowing God is planning a good future for those He loves – do you share this hope with your spouse?

FAITH – Do you have a strong faith in God?  Do you use your faith to add strength to your spouse – each day?  Do you fortify your spouse’s faith in God, because you, yourself, stand solid in the Gospel of Christ?  Encouragement comes from knowing Christ – do you share this with your spouse?

LOVE – How do you show love every single day to your spouse?  Do you deliberately speak their “Love Language“?  Encouragement comes from a full and complete assurance that your spouse is loved without barriers, and nothing held back.  Model your love on 1Corinthians 13 and foster that love till it resembles Christ’s love for us.

PRAYER – Do you pray for your spouse – every day – with a fervent and sincere attitude?  Your spouse will feel encouraged when they are confident you are lifting them up to the Lord.  Fight difficulties with prayer.  Battle discouragement with prayer.  Knock down concerns with prayer.  Your spouse will be encouraged when they know you are taking life’s challenges to God.

ACTION – Do you get off your duff – and actively participate in your marriage?  Where do you place your support?  Does your spouse feel supported – every day?  Encouragement comes from not standing alone – it comes from feeling like a team.  Does your spouse feel you are a team player, freely extending support?

Motivate Yourself to Encourage

Just like Robert’s FitBit uses metrics to motivate him to do more – is there a way to be motivated to encourage consistently?  Sometimes motivation comes from tracking.  How could you track how many times you encourage your spouse?

Since there are 5 ways to encourage:  hope, faith, love, prayer & action, here’s one simple way to ensure you’re encouraging your spouse in every area – every day:

  1. Find 5 dimes. (or five small tokens)
  2. Use an indelible ink marker to write an “H” on one dime, “F” on another, “L” on the 3rd, “P” on the 4th and “A” on the 5th. (Hope, Faith, Love, Prayer, Action)
  3. Put these 5 dimes/tokens into one pocket.
  4. Be deliberate and encourage your spouse once in each category.  When you’ve completed one way  – transfer that dime/token to the other pocket.
  5. At the end of the day see which ones remain in the first pocket…
  6. Start fresh tomorrow.

I’m sure you could find other ways to track your encouragement efforts.  This way might be a bit goofy or cheesy, but it is concrete.  Just like Robert’s FitBit, you can’t ‘fool’ the data.  Either the dime/token is one pocket, or it’s in another.

One of the benefits from analytics is a way to note progress.  If  anyone wants to improve in any area, understanding a starting point and creating a goal to work toward is key.

The question is –

Do you want to encourage your spouse?

Robert wanted to be more active.  He’s using the FitBit to measure and prove to himself that his daily activity levels are increasing.

How about you?  Do you want to prove to yourself that you are – actually – encouraging your spouse?


For more information/ideas on each category to encourage:  Inspire with Hope  ~  Fortify with Faith   ~  Foster with Love  ~  Uplift with Prayer  ~  Support with Action

Lori – The Generous Wife – talks about the books “The Power of a Praying…” in this post.  I’ve worked through the book “The Power of a Praying Wife” and it’s one of my favorites!